JoAnna Garcia Swisher Loves Dressing Her Daughter Up Like Her Mini-Me (Whether She Likes It or Not)

11/19/2015 at 09:30 AM ET

JoAnna Garcia Swisher loves the tiny toddler fashions available to dress her daughter Emerson Jay in — unfortunately, the 2-year-old doesn’t quite feel the same way.

“I love dressing Emme up like a little mini,” she says in an interview for Eva Amurri Martino‘s lifestyle blog, Happily Eva After. “It’s truly one of my favorite things to do. I was warned she might not always be amenable to wearing what I have hand picked for her, but never knew how sad and frustrating it would be when she put her foot down.

The Astronaut Wives’ Club star says her daughter is partial to rain boots and costumes from Disney’s Frozen — in particular, Elsa dresses from Target.

“She even has strong opinions about what I wear,” the 36-year-old, who will next guest-star on Grandfathered, shares. “She’s quick to let me know if she isn’t impressed, but if she gives me her stamp of approval as I’m walking out the door, I can’t help but feel like a million bucks.”

JoAnna Garcia Swisher Nick Swisher daughter Emmerson
Casey Martinez for Private Editorial

The actress, who shares Emerson with husband and pro MLB player Nick Swisher, has to remind herself to still prioritize her own needs since becoming a mother.

“The best advice I have ever received is to trust your instincts and make sure to take care of yourself, too!” she explains. “When I first had Emme, I was so focused on doing everything ‘right’ or ‘by the book’ that I forgot to listen to my gut and have confidence in that.”

Swisher shares her breastfeeding experience as an example of putting herself first. After Emerson was born with severe reflux, she began adhering to a strict diet in an attempt to help the condition.

As a result, her “milk production plummeted” and she felt overwhelming guilt. Eventually, with the guidance of her husband, she realized she needed to be “kinder” to herself.

“Once I stopped worrying about what I ‘should’ be doing, started focusing on what was best for Emme and giving myself some much needed TLC, the joy and excitement of mommyhood was limitless,” she says.

JoAnna Garcia Swisher Nick Swisher daughter Emmerson
Casey Martinez for Private Editorial

While traveling for the couple’s “demanding jobs” can be a challenge, Swisher admits Emme is a “little trooper” when it comes to the nomadic lifestyle.

“Giving her a sense of normalcy in our crazy little world is challenging, but I truly believe she will benefit from this moment in her life, and hopefully it will make for a more well-rounded little lady,” she explains.

But how does the Reba star recharge amid life’s chaos? Gastronomically.

“There is nothing that I love more than an amazing meal and a few glasses of wine,” she confesses.

— Lindsay Kimble

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charlotte on

What a gorgeous family!

Roze on

Two year old puts her foot down? Sounds like she’s encouraging her daughter to be a b*tch.