Mom-of-four Gena Lee Nolin is inviting Celebrity Baby Scoop readers along as she shares her life experiences – and asks for advice – as she juggles her busy life with husband Cale Hulse and their four children: Spencer, 16, Caia, 11, Hudson, 6, and Stella, 4.
In her latest guest blog, Gena talks about the illusion of ‘having it all.’ The former Baywatch star talks about the stress and challenges facing moms everywhere – from Hollywood’s leading ladies to everyday women. Continue reading her words of wisdom, and share your thoughts, questions, and advice in the comments.
“Can moms truly have it all?
It’s the question most every working mother inevitably asks herself: can I have it all? The answer you may not be expecting to hear… It depends on your situation and your own definition of ‘having it all.’
Most working women face much more difficult life circumstances. Some are single mothers; many struggle to find any job; others support husbands who cannot find jobs. Many cope with a work life in which day care is either very expensive or unavailable; school schedules do not match work schedules; and schools themselves are failing to educate their children.
Many of these women are worrying not about having it all, but rather holding on to what they do have. Mind you, that’s real life, not Hollywood!
I’m not saying the mothers of the world can’t make it happen — they can and do all the time with the right mindset.
Speaking of Hollywood, almost everyone I know has nannies, personal assistants and chefs. Yes, I said chefs!
However, in my colleagues’ defense, working 15-hour days on set doesn’t exactly make it easy to be the next June Cleaver. It’s incredibly challenging, as it is for all us working moms. You must have help in order to obtain a healthy family life while keeping up with the grind of the entertainment industry.
I was lucky enough to have my mom nanny for me while working full time. I knew I couldn’t care for my son and deliver lines at the same bloody time, so having the best care taker was my number one priority. Don’t forget, I chose to be a working mother, some women don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing their next television series. It was a privilege that I never once took for granted.
All this Hollywood talk brings me to this… I call it ‘funny money.’ You get paid a lot working in this industry. So, it’s really unfair to compare others who are just getting by like my own mother did. She had three of us, divorced, and had no choice but to work hard for everything she got. I respect it, as it was how I was raised and all I knew.
While working with a hectic travel schedule, press, and the stress of having my own series on my shoulders, it was extremely demanding. Ultimately, it cost me a 10-year marriage while giving me extreme mommy guilt. That’s one of the reasons I chose to take a Hollywood break. I wanted to be on the other side of the white picket fence, to wake up with my children, make dinner and be the mother I wasn’t able to be.
Now that I’m back at it again with my upcoming whirlwind schedule, it’s all about balance. This is where my 16-year parental experience comes in handy! I don’t know if you’re like me, but I’m horrible at taking time for myself. I put everyone’s troubles before my own — it can be draining and exhausting at times.
I’ve learned how to become a balanced mom, wife and friend. Also, I am learning my own definition of ‘having it all.’ I can tell you this, it’s certainly not about being on the number one show in the world or being on the next magazine cover. It’s about being present in every thing I do. No matter what adversity life throws at me, my children know how important they are and that I can always be depended on.
I feel blessed to be invited back into a business I truly love. My writing, being a health advocate, a spokeswoman for RLC labs, host, endorse beauty products and author to my new book, Beautiful Inside & Out. Who would’ve thought my forties would be the best part of my life?
My perspective has totally changed as I’ve gotten older and wiser. At the end of the day, we’re all mothers and I firmly believe that’s the true meaning of ‘having it all.’ “