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Busy Philipps: Motherhood Makes Me Relax

10/24/2011 at 08:00 AM ET
Angela Weiss/Getty

When it comes to motherhood, Busy Philipps certainly knows how she does it: The actress has learned it’s all about rolling with the punches.

“Becoming a mom allowed me to just relax in a way I never had before,” the I Don’t Know How She Does It star, 32, tells Parents.

“I used to care a lot about what I looked like in public or what people thought of me. I care at least 40 percent less now.”

The sudden change behind Philipps’ perspective on life came following the birth of her now 3-year-old daughter Birdie Leigh.

“I want Bird to see her mom as a woman who is confident and real; not someone who’s always trying too hard,” she says.

“I still like to dress up and get fancy from time to time, but it’s okay to be sweaty and without makeup at the grocery store … The bigger part, to me, is being Birdie’s mom, Marc [Silverstein's] wife, and how I’ve worked very hard to grow the past 10 or so years.”

Working hard is something Philipps knows all too well; She admits her downfall is often her inability to resist favor requests from friends.

“I think learning to say no is very important, however I have not mastered that yet,” she says. “I, in fact, feel like I say yes to everything — making cakes for other kids’ birthdays, doing improv shows at midnight, stranger’s podcast … the list goes on.”

However, the number one spot on her to-do list is one pastime Philipps can’t get enough of: Spending time with Birdie.

“Birdie is always my first priority and I cherish the time we spend together … I try to schedule work things around that,” she shares. “You know, like, ‘Yes, I’ll do your podcast, but only after 8 p.m.’”

But when the juggling act gets to be too much for the Cougar Town star to handle, Philipps relies on a good dose of laughter to tackle the challenges.

“I think that very early on I realized that if I couldn’t come at this parenting thing with humor, I would not only lose my mind, but probably my marriage as well,” she notes.

“I took great comfort in something I read in a Dr. Sears book which basically said to remember that the difficult moments will pass, and then at some point, you’ll long for the days when your child wanted nothing but to be held by you or rocked to sleep or breastfed for 10 hours straight.”

Until that day comes, however, Philipps is making it a point to savor each second with her family.

“The fact is, maybe because I’m lucky enough to have a job that affords me the luxury of sometimes being a stay-at-home mom and sometimes working full time, I’m able to appreciate both sides so completely,” she says.

“This early childhood time is so fleeting and before you know it, you’ve got some huge person living with you. I think the chances of liking your kids as they grow into adults, and I mean really liking, not loving, has a lot to do with this early time in their lives.”

– Anya Leon

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Showing 3 comments

amw on

love her and her always down-to-earth parenting views. thanks busy!

Poppy on

She is great!

Dee on

Awesome perspective…..unfortunately motherhood stresses me out some days. My son is 15 months old and runse ragged. He is VERY ACTIVE and at the stage right now where he is testing my boundaries, climbing on table tops, throwing everything and bing defiant.

Some days daycare is a blessing and other days an absolute curse because of all the negative behaviours he has picked up.

But I love my lil monkey and these days, I aree with Busy…I re 50% less what I look like in public now!!!

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