Mayim Bialik on Balancing Boys and the Business

11/28/2011 at 04:00 PM ET
Matt Baron/BEImages

Since stepping back from the spotlight over 12 years ago, Mayim Bialik earned a doctorate in neuroscience, tied the knot and started a family.

But now Bialik is back and learning to weave two worlds — acting and motherhood — together with the help of husband Michael Stone.

“When we had our first son [Miles, 6] we were both in grad school. It was really only after we fell in love with attachment parenting that we realized we wanted me to be the primary [caregiver] for the first year,” the actress, 35, tells PEOPLE at the Nov. 14 premiere of Breaking Dawn – Part 1 in Los Angeles.

“I honestly tried acting again just to see if I could work sporadically and be home with the boys and, a year later, here I am.”

Her return to television in The Big Bang Theory was mostly made possible by Stone, Bialik admits. “I can only do it because my husband has made the commitment to be home with our boys,” she says.

However, nothing quite eased the challenge of balancing breastfeeding — Bialik pumped for younger son Fred, 3, while she worked — with an already demanding schedule.

“When I think of those working moms who are pumping in between, to me, that’s a working mom. I’m a happily working mom, but it’s really that my husband is home and parenting our kids,” she explains.

“We’re both kind of juggling it and working it out together. It’s hard. It’s very hard.”

But not everyone is impressed with Bialik’s return to stardom and all the responsibilities it includes.

“I was never good at [the Hollywood party scene back then], but it’s different [now]. My perspective is different. I want to get home to my boys,” she reveals.

“And [my boys] don’t like when I [get dressed up] at all. Miles said, ‘You look like a clown, like a girl clown.’ That’s what he said. Thank you, Miles.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Jessica Wedemeyer

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 31 comments

blessedwithboys on

I bet she’s the awesomest mom! 🙂

Bree on

Love Mayim!! She seems like such an awesome person and she is so funny on Big Bang Theory, love reading about celebs like her 🙂

Heather on

She’s awesome!

Sarah on

She’s my fav! I love her on Big Bang!

Sandy on

So glad that she came back to TV – She could not have come back to a better show than the Big Bang Theory. Love her.

Amit on

saw her on What Not to Wear, and she was great, so sweet and intelligent.

Amber on

She’s awesome, didn’t know a lot about her, she’s a great mom and a very intelligent person, love her on TBBT

Anonymous on

And she’s a vegan too! I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw her on Big Bang. So cool!

granny to 3 on

Love her and BIG BANG…..

Amber on

Love her on Big Bang!!

Donna Brown on

Love her! She is so great on Big Bang. Love it when she’s on.

AKM on

She is the coolest! Loved Blossom, and love Amy Farrah Fowler! She’s super-smart, down-to-earth, kind, lovely, and talented.

Elizabeth A Genge on

Cheers to you Mayim for keeping up with breastfeeding for little Fred (also my husband’s name, by the way!). He’s a lucky boy to have you as his mom.

Elizabeth A. Genge

Pamela on

I love that she acknowledges that it’s hard work parenting and she wouldn’t be able to do what she does if her husband wasn’t staying home. It sounds like they have a partnership.

Cali on

She is so incredible. Love her!

Debs on

I love her on the Big Bang..she is hilarious!!

sous chef on

I love her on BBT. For me, she makes the show. She and the guy with the bowl haircut.

tweetygirl59 on

I just saw her do a lecture last week, and she was explaining all of this. She’s Superwoman, I swear! Not to mention she didn’t stay after the lecture to talk to people because she wanted to catch a flight back to L.A. so she could be with her boys. That’s dedication.

Rhonda on

Why can’t we hear more stories like here? She is amazing! So funny, super smart, and obviously dedicated to her husband and her boys. If more celebrities were like her, oh, what a world it would be! She is truly a role model!!!

AMichele on

Love her as Amy Farrah Fowler on Big Bang. She has quickly become one of my faves.

Jennifer on

LOVE her!

Cyn on

What the hell is “attachment parenting”? Are we giving fancy tags to parents who raise their own children now?

meghan on

cyn, try typing attachment parenting into a search engine before criticizing it. You claim to not have heard of it but that doesn’t stop you from making snotty comments about it.

Michelle on

She has really done all this on her own terms and I so admire that. What a great role model to younger actresses. Love me some Amy Farrah Fowler.

Megan on

She gave up first-hand parenting to her husband just to be in one of the most popular sitcoms today, where this vegan plays a neurobiologist whose experiments are solely dependent on animal testing. Way to go, Mayim! What’s integrity compared to attention whoring, eh?

Sarah S. on

I LOVE her character on TBBT!! She has added so much to an already stellar cast! I can’t wait for a real kiss between Sheldon and Amy (I know, wishful thinking…)

cookiejarprincess on

Mayim is hardly an attention whore. And her character’s experiments are not based solely on animal testing either; I happen to recall a recent episode in which AFF was cutting up a human brain. It’s a comedy. I doubt her fans think any less of her for acting out a part on a television show that may not completely jibe with her personal life. And thank you, Mayim, for bringing attachment parenting into the spotlight! More people need to know what it is and what the benefits are.

meghan on

Megan, so Ralph Fiennes is a Nazi? Is Joe Lawrence really an idiot? I guess Monique beats her children. Most actors don’t do or believe in what their characters do or believe in. That’s why its acting.

Millie on

Attachment parenting (a term coined by Dr. Sears) is an approach to parenting where you respond your child with sensitivity and stay near to them, always being responsive, so that they form an attachment that will help them form bonds in later life with others. AP’d babies, some say, trust their enviornment more, and are more at peace knowing their needs will be met with warmth and kindness. Breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping can often be a part of it. Thanks for your inquiry. Google is your friend. 🙂

Megan on

Oh, the humanity. There’s an ocean of difference between Fiennes playing a nazi or Pesci playing a mobster to Bialik playing a neurobiologist who finds it “hysterical” to have her test monkey slip on a banana peel and die accidentally. These nazi and mobster flicks open our eyes to why one MUST NOT be such.

In effect, the actors HELP us realize what’s wrong with such heinous acts. Bialik, on the other hand, plays a character who doesn’t find anything wrong with animal testing, and in fact SUPPORTS it. Her handful of Twitter fans may be blinded to this fact, but we vegans and animal activists see just one thing about this so-called “vegan”: HYPOCRISY. All for the sake of Hollywood. Shame on her.

Megan on

Oh, please, cookiejarprincess. Have you been to her Twitter and FB pages at all? Now if THAT’S not attention whoring, I dunno what is. Even she herself admits that she’s self-obsessed. I believe, her words were: “Self-obsessed? Never said I wasn’t.” I’ve never seen an actor do his or her own self-promotion AS MUCH as Mayim Bialik does, to the point of insulting another sexy actress on a black carpet event just because the sexy one stole her dowdy thunder.

I stopped being a fan and unfollowed her insecure-masked-as-condescending ass right there and then. You know who doesn’t need to self-promote? Sublime actors AND human beings like Jim Parsons who make it to the top by their sheer talent and humility. Mayim Bialik is full of it, and whether or not whatever’s left of her fans can see it, five bucks says she knows it too. She is, after all, not dumb and clueless.