Elizabeth Berkley: Why My Son Isn’t Sitting in the DWTS Audience

09/23/2013 at 11:00 AM ET

Elizabeth Berkley Dancing with the Stars
Craig Sjodin/ABC

She’s so excited, she’s so excited, she’s so …. happy to be back dancing.

Fourteen months after welcoming son Sky Cole, former Saved By the Bell star Elizabeth Berkley is finding it “hard” to balance the demands of a ballroom with a baby — but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Being a new mom, I want for my son to always see me make choices that honor my own passions too,” the actress and author, 41, told PEOPLE following the season debut of Dancing With the Stars.

“I think it’s important for a child to grow up and see their parent also passionate about something that they love, maybe artistically.”

Aside from teaching her baby boy an important life lesson, Berkley’s motivation to compete for the mirror ball trophy has much to do with her own personal journey.

“I want him to see that it’s never too late to be courageous,” she explains. “Also, for myself, I wanted to challenge myself and step in and walk through my fears about doing a show like this.”

For now, Sky — who was not in the audience to watch his mom and her pro partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy score a 24 for their first dance — will have to settle on seeing her weekly performances through the television screen.

“He wasn’t here because I need to test it out and see … He might reach for me and cry because he might not understand yet. He might be a little young,” Berkley says.

— Anya Leon with reporting by Michele Stueven

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Lisa on

At 14 months your son isn’t seeing anything. He is just a newborn baby. Your supose to be there to nurture him not go frolic on a dance floor. Now is the time as a parent to make that sacrafice to be there and nurture to him, If you want him to see you do what you love wait and do it when he can actually understand it.

Amrie Ojeda on

Right on! Glad to see a mom thinking about her passion but her baby too. I wish her the best!

Laura Kaster on

Showgirls will be an interesting mother/son conversation….

Jen on

14 months is not a newborn… Glad to see she is not giving up on something she wants to do

Kim on

@Lisa. 14 months isn’t a newborn baby. at that age they’re mobile infants, almost at the toddler stage. being a mother doesn’t mean you have to give up everything, being the implication behind your words; you can still do the things you want. all you need to do is find the balance that is right for you. Elizabeth is obviously trying to do that. yes, you’re entitled to your opinion, but on this I respectfully disagree with you.

lolalee on

Although he is not a newborn, he is still a baby and I think her reasoning, while I understand it, does not apply to a baby. He does not know his mother is pursuing her dreams, he just knows that his mother is not with him.

Jack on

Laura – I had the same thought, should be interesting later in life when his friends see that movie she did.

stephanie on

@ lisa…14 months is not a newborn and he can most certainly see things…. not sure what 14 month olds you know or where you’re getting your information but seeing as most 14 month olds are walking, I would hope they can see WHERE they’re walking. I do agree that it’s too young for him to be there. too much stimulation and no idea what’s going on. but yes, he can see and no, he is not a newborn, he’s a toddler.

candoz on

Let’s hope he never sees “Showgirls” !

Anonymous on

stephanie- While I don’t agree with Lisa’s comment either, I highly doubt she meant the part about him not seeing anything literally! 😉

lolalee- How many moms are with their kids all the time, though? Plenty of kids have working moms, and most of those kids turn out just fine! I also think it’s important to note that Elizabeth probably spends more time with her child than most working moms do, since she is not working a typical 9-5, five day a week job.

She’s a TV actress, meaning that she only films for a few months out of the year, and can probably bring her baby to set when she is.

Anonymous on

Also meant to say that for all we know, Sky loves the time he spends with whomever cares for him while Elizabeth is at work!

Anonymous on

Lisa said, at 14 months your son isn’t seeing anything because he is a newborn baby. Stephanie said, he is not a newborn and he can see things. Your attempt at a joke was a failure. If you had children maybe you would understand. Newborn babies….have a different vision as a 14 month old baby. So, by saying, “your son isn’t seeing anything,” that is literally what she meant. If she was all the way across the dance floor the baby would not be able to see her…if it was a newborn. Although she was wrong as 14 months old can see.

In regards to Loralee’s comment, maybe it was deleted. That often happens. Because all I see is, “He does not know his mother is pursuing her dreams, he just knows that his mother is not with him.” She didn’t say there is anything wrong with her doing it or that she is a bad mom or the worst mom or a neglectful mom, but that he is too young to understand. It makes perfect sense. The same goes for any working parent.