Elizabeth Banks: I Keep a ‘Running Tally’ on Felix

07/03/2012 at 01:00 PM ET
Roger Kisby/FilmMagic

When it comes to parenting her 15-month-old son FelixElizabeth Banks says she is no different from any other mom trying to balance it all.

“I’m trying to [balance everything], too. As a working parent you got to have a good village and it takes a village,” the People Like Us star, 38, tells PEOPLE.

“I have a running tally 24-7. If I’m not there I ask, ‘Where is he, who is he with, what is he doing, does he miss me?’ Once I know the answer to those questions I can go about my life. It’s just checking that list every day.”

The actress, who was in N.Y.C. to host The MOM’s private Mamarazzi event, sponsored by Martini, spoke with mom bloggers to celebrate the release of her movie and discuss the importance of being aware of a child’s feelings.

“Taking care of their little hearts,” she says is more important than taking care of physical things. “What I love about this age is that Felix doesn’t know to say, ‘I need you to take care of being here.’ He doesn’t need a friend. He needs care of his heart and that is what’s most important.”

For Banks “listening” is a top priority. “I let Felix lead me. He is tough, and now that he’s little I follow him around. You should let your kids lead you a little bit and just pay attention,” she explains. “There will be mishap and you have to figure out to go with the flow.”

The first-time mom knows this firsthand. “When Felix first started walking and then running he had a mishap, he did a face-plant on day two of knowing how to run. It was on cement. He had a little scab after,” recalls the actress.

Banks agrees that parents “have to pledge unconditional love,” and they “can’t expect it in the reverse. It’s the bargain you make to become parents.”

For the working mom, a steamy hot shower after a long day gives her some me-time. “I do really long showers. It is so important. I get all my thinking and all my relaxing [done] in my 20 minute shower.”

— Debra Lewis-Boothman

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 18 comments

Tieraney on

I always think she is Chelsea Handler at first glance!

Allison on

How sad that she doesn’t know who her son is with or where he is.

stepinsidemyheart on

Really Allison? That’s not what she said. At all.

meghan on

Allison, how is it any different from a father who works? I realize the concept may be beyond you, but women are allowed to leave the house after they become mothers.

meghan on

Allison, I think it’s sad that you think that because Elizabeth works that “she doesn’t know who her son is with or where he is”. Only a moron would read what she said and reach that conclusion.

Allison on

Really stepinmyheart? Because that is what it says.

Meghan-you are correct. It is beyond me. I simply cannot wrap my head around a mother or father, not knowing who their young child is with or what they are doing. Makes me feel more and more grateful that I am able to stay at home with my 2 little ones.

PS-that doesn’t mean we are housebound girlfriend,get a grip.

We are all different. We all have different realities-calling someones names because their views are different from your own is rude.

meghan on

Allison, she knows who is with her kid. Learn reading comprehension. She just takes a moment to reassure herself before she can do her work. She’s no different from a working father.

Ashley on

I’m the same way! I always stop in the morning to reassure myself that my 8 week old is with either my husband, my mom or my dad. I’m not housebound by any means, but the odd time yes, I have to leave my son with someone. Reading between the lines, Elizabeth does the same thing. It’s a reassurance for all moms to remember that their child is safe.

stepinsidemyheart on

Thank you Meghan, for having a brain–unlike Allison.

Anonymous on

Allison- Does your husband or partner work? And if so, does he know what your kids are doing every second of the day? I highly doubt it!

Courtney on

Any mother who works out of the home knows what she is talking about – when I get home, I want to know what my kids ate, what they did that day, did they nap, are they hungry. If my kids are with my in-laws on a certain day, I will check in daily – it just gives me peace of mind, and then I can go on about my day, too. I know EXACTLY what she is saying.

Maria on

Allison- I agree with you! I feel like there are some good reasons for a mom not to be with her baby- such as, she simply needs to work in order to make a living- that is a primary one! Or another is tat she just does not feel able to handle the pressure of being home with her baby. But for someone who can well afford it, and their reason for being away from their baby is to pursue their career just for a fun thing- not becaue they need to for heir career- I think it is sad too- to be not with your baby. IT goes so quick and the firstcouple of yrs are so important for bonding and security for the baby- I agree with you Allison that it is sad, and it sounds like this person ( I don’t even know who she is-an actress?) is making excuses to herself- her baby doesn’t know she is calling to check on him, he just knows she is not there.

Guest on

And once again the “working mom versus stay-at-home mom” arguing begins. Why can’t we just support each other and each others’ choices? As a working mom, I respect and support the choice that stay-home-moms have made, and I know they work very hard. I would hope that the respect and support would go both ways. Trust me, we working moms beat ourselves up every day and we are our own harshest critic. The last thing we need is for other people to pile it on and make assumptions about our lives, our choices, and the love we have for our children.

Michelle on

Maria – She is a famous actress. Even they need to work sometimes…

boohoobytch on

I pity some of you pathetic, dowdy women covering up your lack of skills and education by getting pregnant and letting your husband pay the bills (literally, you lay there, fart out a kid and start the process over)…I applaud the REAL women that work and do other things besides babble about their kids (same stories) and bake brownie’s all day until someone comes home to entertain them…it’s boring, I know this – my coworker’s wife calls him so much he’s mocked by others…if she only had a brain and something to do, the kids are in school for 6 hrs, DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE…and don’t get me started on the fat stay at home cows – really? you can’t utilize some of your wasted, boring day to pop in an exercise DVD?

Momof2in1year on

My own kids have not had babysitters, but I am a Nanny. I love the kids I care for, and hope I can contribute to their health and well-being while their parents are not with them. I keep a journal for one of my Moms (there are two families) at her request because she likes to know the little things that happen during the day. I consider it a privilege to be allowed to “borrow” them for a few hours a few times a week!

Olivia- on

I do know acting is a job and that sometimes they have to travel and be away from home at times and be on the set at ridicule hours, but it’s still hard to accept them as ‘working parents’

Aotearovian on

“Misogynist: a man who hates women as much as women hate one another.”

– H L Mencken