Catherine Bell’s Blog: Learning to Slow Down and Observe

06/03/2011 at 08:00 AM ET

Thanks for welcoming our newest celebrity blogger, Catherine Bell! The actress — mom to son Ronan, 9 months, and daughter Gemma, 8, with husband Adam Beason — stars on Army Wives and can next be seen in the TV movie Last Man Standing, premiering on Lifetime June 6 at 8 p.m.

Bell, 42, can also be found online on Facebook and @reallycb on Twitter.  In her latest blog, the actress discusses a quote that inspired her to slow down, step back, and watch and learn from her kids.

Courtesy Catherine Bell

Hello again! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed my first post. I’ve never really blogged before … it’s fun! So thanks for the warm welcome.

As I was preparing to leave my babies for a short work trip this weekend, I was thinking about the juggle of work and family (or LIFE and family for full-time moms — which IS a full time job!). People often ask me how I balance it all and you know … it’s a work in progress! Always.

My goal is to continually try to improve myself — as a mom, a wife, a friend, an actress … if we aren’t getting better, we eventually get worse! You can’t just coast or stay the same. So my goal is to try to improve that balancing act, as much as possible.

Courtesy Catherine Bell

If I have a day or week that was super busy and I didn’t get enough family time in, I carve out a few hours or half day or full day or weekend (whatever the case may be) and I make a point of using my phone/computer less or not at all (!) and really giving my kids my undivided attention.

The principal at my daughter’s school recently reminded the parents of Winnie the Pooh’s wisdom: “Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing.” She reminded us to take time to do nothing this summer and to help our children learn how to do nothing — which allows all those brain cells we stir to settle like flakes in a snow globe. It gives us time to process and reflect and grow! I loved hearing that and have been really working on doing just that! I must say, it’s nice. 🙂

Courtesy Catherine Bell

In slowing down a bit, I’m constantly amazed at all the amazing things we can learn from our kids … if we take the time to look and watch and be willing to learn from an 8 year old or 9 month old or whatever the age may be!

Watching Ronan, I learn so much about being able to enjoy the simple things in life. Watching him scratch his fingernails on different textures and be truly immersed and fascinated by what he feels and hears! Wow. To be able to enjoy life and all the things in it like that is a beautiful thing. So I’m trying to do that more!

Courtesy Catherine Bell

And watching Gemma with her little brother … that constantly blows me away. I feel so blessed! Her whole goal is to be the best big sister ever (we’ve told her from the start how much he needs that and it always amazes me how much kids will do something when they feel they are NEEDED for the task — big or small!).

The other day, she started crying because Ronan was fussing while she was holding him, so Adam picked him up. She thought it was because she was doing something wrong and she felt so bad that we might be disappointed in her. Of course, as soon as she told us we were able to clear it all up … but how amazing that she wants to do the right thing and help and contribute to our family. Kids are really remarkable!

Courtesy Catherine Bell

Being a mom is my absolute most favorite thing I’ve ever done!!! It ain’t always easy, can be a challenge (!), requires you function on little or no sleep at times, immense patience and quite a bit of selflessness … but MAN it is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done!

I look forward to hearing about some of the amazing things you all have experienced too!


— Catherine Bell

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Showing 23 comments

Brooke on

I think that the age differences between your kids is absolutely perfect. Gemma is at the age where she can really help and Ronan will just feed on her big sister love!

melissa on

The first picture is adorable!

klutzy_girl on

It’s sweet that Gemma wants to help with Ronan!

Can’t wait for new AW on Sunday and “Last Man Standing” on Monday.

labouille51 on

your children are beautiful.Ronan’s always the smile.He’s cute this little boy.congrats Catherine & Adam


I am loving your blogs so far. You seem to be such a genuine down to earth mother and your kids are lucky to have you. I have always been told to enjoy every second with them because they grow up so fast, but sometimes I forget. I get so busy doing everything else that requires my time, I forget that my children are the most important things (no, I don’t think children are things) that need my time. Thanks for the reminder.

AllisonJ on

I totally agree with Catherine. I’m a mom of a 7 year old and 10 year old. It’s easy to get caught up on the computer or phone, and with the busy, busy, business of life. But, it’s important to slow down, put down the electronics and focus your undividided attention on your child.

Sometimes “doing nothing” results in the most fun we’ve ever had as a family!

Thanks for your blogs, Catherine (my daughter’s name!) and keep blogging!

Kim on

Hi Catherine…Thank you for sharing your first 2 Blogs with us. I will tell you I’m at the other end of the spectrum as you with my daughters being 25 and 22. I’m always amazed at how fast those years went and how wonderful it has been to watch them grow,change,develop and find themselves and to see the Amazing young women they are today. I’m so proud to be their Mom.

I will share with you one special thing I did with my girls while they were growing up…On top of all the things we did as a family…Every year I took each one of my girls on a seperate long weekend doing what they wanted to do…that one on one special time when they individually had my undivided attention. Such special individual Mom/daughter time that we’ll always treasure.

Recently it was real special for me to get a call from my girls together asking me to come for a visit because they wanted/needed some Mommy/Daughter time as they put it…LOL! I love it…so of course I was right on it…LOL! I too love being a Mom and I think as the years go by you’ll see that even as things change and as they grow…even through the challenges (they may give you a few gray hairs…LOL)…in every aspect it’s amazing and rewarding and gets better and better.

Thanks for sharing your Beautiful Pictures…You have a Gorgeous Family. Continue to take the time to enjoy each phase of motherhood because as you said it is SO REWARDING! Take Care! :)))


TRES BEAUX VOS ENFANTS et adorables, il a de tres belles joux Ronan !!! Toujours tres souriant 🙂 , votre mari un peut mal rasé peut etre (LOL) .Vous aussi tres belle et tres grande actrice je vous suis depuis des années;)photos tres jolies .

nancy on

Catherine, Love the blog. your children are beautiful. Ronan’s smile just makes you melt.

Janice Feige on

Love the photos you have a very beautiful family
Thankyou for sharing them with us.
Families are very important part of our lives must be so lonely for people who don’t have a family. I would be lost without mine 2 Daughters and 3 Grandkids and Hubby of course better not forget him.
I will have to find out more about your new show Last Man Staninding is it a series or movie? Don’t get to hear much about it over here in Aussie Land.
Thanks for sharing your life with us Catherine.

Deb Brod on

Keep blogging. I’m a fan who enjoys it. Both of my boys are grown and gone. Treasure every minute…..they leave so quickly.

Sharon White on

As a mother of 3 and grandmother of 8, don’t know where the last 40 years of marriage have gone by! I tried to have a special time with each of my 3 (2 boys and a girl) on a different Saturday. If nothing more than shopping for them, or out for an ice cream. Sometimes it was just sipping hot cocoa in front of the fireplace and or making cookies together. It made them feel special. Each day I usually hear from each of them and we yak a bit or exchange emails. Still very close with all of them.

I just hugged my 3 year old granddaughter good bye tonight and she gave me the sweetest little kisses, smiles and hugs. It was precious and reminded me what a gift from God that they all are. Just got my 10 yr old grandson out of the bathtub full of boats! I remember his mom playing with her duckies in the bathtub. LOL. Savor each moment of their hugs and smiles and record them all. Ronan is lucky to have Gemma for his big sister. Bless you for being wonderful parents for them, Catherine! You can never give your children too many hugs!

Sam on

They are adorable. I love the little girl’s expressions, so sweet a big sister!

Hollie on

So glad you are blogging on her now. You are my all time favorite actor. I started watching you when I was 12 on Jag and love you in Army Wives!!

Your family is so beatiful!!!

Camille on

I love to read your blog !!! Beautiful pics, your kids are SO cute !!! 😀

Thank you very much for sharing Catherine !!! 😀

Jubellant on

Love how Gemma expressed her concerns so that you could clear them up right away. Much better than bottling her disappointment! Shows her comfort level with communicating the things that effect her. Children often remind us of the joy to be found in the simplest things. Thanks for another insightful blog CB. Looking forward to the next one!

Charlotte on

Hi Catherine,
I am at a stage in life where you really didn’t know how much you love your children..yep, I’m a granny! I watched what my kids had a passion for at an early age. Always told them no matter what follow your heart! Give it 110% My daughter is the oldest, the teacher, drama queen, & writer. She won a contest for a screenplay on Broadway at 16! So proud of her. She now has two kids, oh how I love them! My boys, Both on their own, one just bought his first home, lives life and loves it. My oldest is a Captain in the Army, has fought in Afghan, and wants to go back, as his mom, well you know how I feel, but he is one the best and is respected. He watches out for all his men, so proud. When they were young we had a lot of rental homes and I would take them to help me do what ever work needed to be done after a tenant would move out. Now it is so funny to watch them “DIY”…how many young adults can fix their own plumbing? My daughter is good at it~ Even today when they have an issue, (except my Captain, he can’t) they come to me, just to vent, cry, or laugh. Why? because we spent a lot of time, working, crying, and laughing at each other for as long as I can remember…Now I love my grandchildren I think even more. And, I spend a lot of time with them, at least every weekend. What a wonderful place to be in life….

Nella on

Gemma is a beauty and she seems like such a sweet little girl. Ronan is adorable with his big smile! They seem like great kids and you seem like a great mom. Love your show!

Joyce on

Hi,Catherine. I was a middle-school English teacher for my entire career, and I know how important loving parents are to children. It is good to read about a celebrity who has family values-teenage girls need to emulate a strong role model and that is you! I have been a fan since Jag and now Army Wives. Keep on making those Good Witch movies, and good luck with Last Man Standing. You have adorable children and are blessed with a solid marriage. I respect you and your husband for balancing your careers and your family life.

Joyce from Boston

Labradoodle Dreams on

I LOVED Last Man standing!! It was fantastic!!! Great work & Noone would have ever guessed you had just had that gorgeous baby a few months before!

I recorded the show so I can watch it again without interuptions! lol

anonymous on

Catherine if you’re reading this, I love to read your blog and oh my GOODNESS, your kids are absolutely gorgeous! What an angel Ronan is, happy as can be smiling from ear to ear.

I don’t have any kids yet but I love reading these blogs, it’s fun to read different thoughts and approaches on mommyhood. 🙂

Lois Caroline Pedro on

What a delight to see that Catherine Bell has grace and delight in her personal life as well as her professional endeavors as an actress.

In this day and age of half dressed, half witted, manufactured and implanted “star—let’s” – Ms. Bell is a welcome respite.

Laura on

Read the blog and really enjoyed it. So glad that you don’t have every second of every day mapped out for your kids! I give big kudos to parents who are willing to just do nothing once in a while. I’ve got friends who jump from sports to scouts to sports to church. It’s all important but not all the time. Missing one Sunday will not destroy your soul. Sitting out one season of peewee football will not keep you out of the Hall of Fame. Skipping one dance class will not disqualify you from Julliard. Do nothing once in a while. Stay in your pajamas all day and watch trashy movies(age appropriate) while eating popcorn and cereal. Listen to your kids and do what they want on occasion.

I have 3 boys and 1 girl and have always used drive time to talk one on one with them. 5 minutes can be the difference between them trusting you forever and missing out on the most important conversation you could ever have. We are not big on the touchy-feely hugging and kissing all the time but when they need to talk they know they can talk to me. I’ve been open with them and we trust each other.

Those kids are cute and I think you and your husband are doing a great job with them. Just don’t forget the importance of doing nothing! Blessings to you all.