Mariska Hargitay Skips Sleeping In for Sake of Family

08/19/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Courtesy Good Housekeeping

If there was ever a moment that Mariska Hargitay suddenly felt a strong connection with her late mother Jayne Mansfield, it was when the actress became a mom herself to August Miklos Friedrich.

“I understand her in a new way that gives me peace,” the Law & Order: SVU star, 46, reveals in Good Housekeeping‘s September issue.

“Being a mom has been healing. Now I understand the love she had in her, and it makes me feel closer to her.”

Together with husband Peter Hermann, raising 4-year-old August in a tight-knit home is non-negotiable for Hargitay.

To that end, the family skips sleeping in on the weekends, instead waking up to cook “a whole big breakfast extravaganza with pancakes, bacon and eggs, oatmeal and apples.”

Equally as important, is ensuring the couple’s only child learn his manners — and learn them well! “August has great manners, and I am very proud of that,” the proud mama notes. “We are on him like white on rice about looking into someone’s eyes if you are saying please and thank you or apologizing.”

A strict bedtime routine, however, is one area where the Hargitay-Hermanns take a more relaxed approach. “Bath time is such fun. I get in trouble with Peter because I’ll stay in the bathroom with August for hours just laughing,” she reveals.

“It’s a special bonding time and lots of interesting things come out when he is downloading the events of the day.”

Often, the final call for lights out comes hours later from dad! “Peter will come in an hour and a half later and August and I will be wrestling on the bed, and Peter will be like, ‘Bedtime!'”

The ritual makes up for their time apart when Hargitay is caught logging long hours on set. Fortunately, the mother-son duo use technology to their benefit, as they schedule video chats throughout the day.

“When you love your kid, there’s a string that attaches you, and you are always connected even when you are doing other things,” she says, adding that along with fellow moms Maria Bello and Debra Messing, Hargitay sends out a Monday e-mail filled with cute photos of the children.

And although she remains in constant close contact with August, the pain of missing out on all of life’s littlest moments is always present.

“I get jealous that other people get to take August to school and pick him up,” Hargitay admits. “It’s hard for me to go to his school and not know all the parents. They all know one another, and it’s a community. I can’t always be a part of that. You can’t have everything, though.”

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 25 comments

megan on

Mariska is always drop dead gorgeous. But that cover looks odd. The left hand coming from her left side seems random and creepy. Plus it looks like they adjusted her head. on

Mariska is gorgeous…it’s a shame the photoshopped this photo so much!

SadieA on

One of the few stars that looks better without photoshop! Such a beautiful family too. She’s gorgeous, her son is painfully adorable, and I won’t even start in on her husband ::swoon:: She always seems so genuinely happy, you can’t help but smile when you see pictures of her!

Sky on

I love Mariska SO much but it kinda sucks how Peter’s deemed the “bad guy” throughout the interview. I hope he’s not as big of a hard *** as Mariska is making him seem!🙂

JustMe on

Shame… they photoshopped that cover like mad… and she doesn’t need it (Nor do we, the readers!)

Alix on

I love Mariska Hargitay!!
But this photo has been badly photoshopped. What I love the most about her is she is a real women, with curves. You can tell they have made her slimmer because now her head looks too big for her body!! Weird!!

Hippy Hop on

You really won’t know the importance of a mother until you become one yourself. You thinkyour mother is getting in your life way too much but then again, think before you throw a mouthful to your mother. Mothers only wants the best for their children.

sinclair on

photoSHOP OF HORRORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That does not even look like Mariska. Her head looks ginormous and that body is butchered.

Sophia on

Mariska’s beautiful and a lot curvier than that cover lets on. I think it’s a shame they photoshopped her to be so skinny, she looks amazing as she is. This just looks unnatural.

Mia on

I was confused about the cover too. It looks like she’s placing her hand over her stomach + I thought, “That’s odd-she’s not pregnant…”.

robinepowell on

As long as August knows she loves him, that’s all that matters. She had video chats during the day and I’m sure the visits her on the set occaisionally.

It’s like any other working mom, you have to make sacrifices somewhere. They have their weekends together and holidays, so Mariska shouldn’t feel bad.🙂

Robyn on

I’m glad I’m not the only one who is horrified by the photochopping on this picture. She’s beautiful naturally, why do they feel the need to change it?!

Sky, I didn’t read the interview as her saying Peter was the “bad guy”…I don’t know – I interpreted those statements differently…but not bad guy…(maybe just rule-maker? I don’t know lol)

CelebBabyLover on

Ugh, I hate the awful photoshop job! And what really makes me sick is the message these magazines are sending to young girls with images like this one!

torgster on

I don’t understand why they can’t sleep in lol. Just cook breakfast later.

gdfg on

“What I love the most about her is she is a real women, with curves.”

All women are REAL, curves or not! We should embrace all body types!

Emily on

Ok, AGREE on all the photoshop comments! I saw this at the store yesterday and was slightly horrified. She has to be one of the prettiest natural beauties (she comes from great DNA!) and this picture does not do her justice!

Kim on

Glad I’m not the only one who looked at the cover and gasped. she is a beautiful woman. What they did to her is down right disrespectful. Looks like they put her head on a different body. Hope the real magazine cover does not look like that.
If it does, then shame on GOOD HOUSEKEEPING.

ohhplease on

if you look again you will see that the hand that’s on her belly seems to be so much bigger than the other hand. It even look manly.
they really screwed this one up really bad, its even worse than Kimora’s add pic for her perfume.

Lila on

It’s so horrible they way her mother died. And so sad that she had to grow up without her. It brings me to tears to think that I wouldn’t get to see my child grow up.

Jess on

The pictures inside the magazine are photoshopped even more. They took off half her waist! It makes me so mad. Mariska has one of the most beautiful bodies in Hollywood, and photoshopping her to be less curvy is unnecessary and not beneficial to anyone.

Janey on

Mariska is gorgeous, a real role model, but why have they photoshopped her? Love her parenting style too, she is raising a responsible well mannered human being, but not in a real strict way.

Bancie1031 on

Mariska is gorgeous ….. I thought she was pregnant again when I seen this photo with her hand being on her belly …… She sounds like a fun mommy to have ……
I do have a question does anyone know what happened to her mother?

Terri on

Jayne Mansfield was killed in a car accident. Mariska survived the car crash. Along with some of her siblings I believe.

I didn’t get the impression that Peter was the tough guy in the interview. It was cute. And I too vote for sleeping in and having breakfast late! Best of both worlds.

Jeannette on

Jayne Mansfield died in a car crash in 1967 when Mariska was 3. Mariska, as well as her two older brothers- Mickey Jr. and Zoltan, were in the car crash and all the children survived (they were sleeping in the back seat) while the adults (Jayne, her boyfriend Sam Brody, and their driver) did not.

I don’t think Peter was being made out as a bad guy. He’s being a father!

FC on

Wow, talk about Photoshopped to death! They have her looking like a bobblehead figurine. Anyway, she’s beautiful and they did her an injustice by doing so much photo manipulation.

Interview was adorable, too!

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