POWERHOUSE MAMAS: ALL ABOUT "MOTHERHOOD IN HOLLYWOOD' WITH HEATHER BROOKER
Despite of all the years I spent in classrooms, either teaching or as a student myself, with not much free time to enjoy the "outside world", I must say I really like the entertainment industry. I might not watch much TV, or see as many films as I used to before I became a mom, but still, I am often trying to find out what's going on in Hollywood. So when I found @motherhoodinhollywood in social media, and just read that the amazing woman behind it, Heather Brooker, was all about "#realtalk about parenting in the land of make believe" in her podcast and blog, I was hooked! I started listening to her interviews, and the information I found went beyond my expectations: Not only was it entertaining, but very educational too. I listened to her ask real-life questions about parenting to a very diverse group of people. They work in front and behind the camera. They are actresses, TV personalities, but also producers, publicists, authors, psychologists, wellness specialist, etc. So the inside information is very interesting, specially when you get to see they are just like any mom; that they try to juggle their jobs with the day by day of raising their kids. And I really appreciate a lot of the information they have to share. But I won't tell you more, you have to listen to her podcasts! In the meantime, here's Heather answering the questions this time. I hope you find her as amazing and enjoyable as I do.
How did you become interested in social media/podcasting/blogging? What do you enjoy the most and why?
I created my podcast Motherhood in Hollywood as a way to stay creative in my industry. Being an actress can be a somewhat isolating career because unless you are working regularly on a TV show or film, you are not around other actors very much. So I set out to create my own community of moms, actors and creative types who could share their experiences in motherhood with me. And it's grown more than I ever expected. I've connected with moms who are hosts, writers, producers, stylists, photographers, chefs...you name it. And although it's now grown in to a website for entertainment news, lifestyle and events, I still really enjoy my podcast interviews the most. That's where I get to put my journalism skills to work. I love asking questions and finding out what makes people tick. What's their story? Why are they in their field? And how are they juggling motherhood in Hollywood? Their answers are my favorite part.
What does your podcast and/or your blogging give you that you find attractive or compelling?
The one thing my guests don't realize, is that I'm secretly asking them questions so I can use all of their wisdom and experiences for myself! My podcast has become one big encyclopedia of motherhood in the entertainment industry. I get so much wisdom from the men and women who share their stories on my show. Rosie Pope gave me incredible potty training tips. Catherine McCord (Weelicious) reminded me about the value of visiting the farmer's market with your kids. Stefanie Fair (Wild Orchid) gave me goals to "keep it hot" for my husband. The list of inspirational stories goes on and on. My guests will never know how much they have inspired me.
How do you find time to juggle writing, interviewing, acting? and of course, mothering at the same time? Is there anything you would quit of all the things you do?
When you write it all out like that it does seem like a lot! But when I'm in the middle of it, I just go into cruise control. I know I have deadlines for my podcast, my blog posts, events and auditions. So I manage my time and schedule accordingly. My calendar is my best friend and I live and die by it. I'll always remember a quote from comedian Joan Rivers when she indicated that her only fear is an empty calendar. I could not agree more at this point in my life. Check back with me in a few years and I may be dreaming of an empty calendar!
What is it that you value the most of that amazing and big mama tribe that follows you on Instagram, that reads you and listens to your podcasts?
I was a cheerleader through out high school. Every time the team came on the feel we would jump and yell and try our best to keep their spirits up, even in the face of adversity. Now, I feel like the women and men who listen to my show, or support me on IG/FB are MY cheerleaders. It sounds cheesy, but nothing encourages me to keep pushing toward my dreams like a kind word from someone. Or funny words. I love it when people get my crazy and often inappropriate sense of humor. So I'd say I value the support of people with a sense of humor.
How do you think motherhood changed you?
I think motherhood is still changing me. Just when I think I have something figured out, we enter a new phase of parenthood and I get to start all over. The biggest change I've noticed is how much more compassionate I am towards moms. I really had no idea just how hard it is emotionally, physically and mentally to be a mom. And now I see someone struggling with their tantruming toddler in Target and I want to run over and give her a hug. Motherhood really is a uniting experience.
Best part of being a mom?
The best part of being a mom is that I get to watch this fiercely independent girl grow up and become whatever she wants to be and know I had a hand in helping her do that. My heart swells with pride just thinking about it. I want her to learn empathy and kindness. So often we forget to put ourselves in other people's shoes, to really think about what their lives are like and what drives them to do the things they do. It's a very introspective way of thinking and a huge challenge for outgoing people. It's something I still struggle with to this day. I want her to balance her big, gregarious personality with empathy because it would be so easy to let her boldness overrun other people. I want her to be bold, but be kind. So I'm learning to do that myself <3