Posted: Nov 12 2013
Is it possible to be two moms to two different sets of families? For Leigh-Allyn Baker it certainly is. As a mom on Disney Chanel's Good Luck Charlie and mother of two boys in her off-screen family, Baker has motherhood down pat. With a life that's always on-the-go, complete with mandatory pajama days each week, Baker doesn't even break a sweat balancing work and family time. Find out more about our newest super-mom, Bu Ru Tastemaker, and actress in her exclusive Bu Ru Q & A below.
BR: What do you love most about being a mom?
LAB: It’s hard to say what I love most about being a Mom. I can tell you that I don’t believe I truly understood what happiness was until I had children. Sure, I had happy moments, but day-to-day bliss was a bit out of reach for me until I had Griffin. And now, having Baker has only added to that joy. It’s so heartwarming to see my boys play together and love on each other.
BR: What is the number one way in which motherhood has changed you?
LAB: Motherhood has changed me the most by showing me, with 100% certainty, what is most important in life. I think that is one of the reasons I experience so much joy now– because my life’s priorities are very clear. And patience...I am a much more patient person.
BR: Why did you choose to breast-feed each of your sons?
LAB: I chose to breastfeed both of my sons because, if physically, emotionally and psychologically healthy for Mom and baby, it is the healthiest food source. It was one of the most fulfilling and difficult things I’ve done in my life. That being said, breastfeeding is not the best option for every mom.
BR: What was it like filming during and after your pregnancy? What was a challenge? What was a breeze?
LAB: Filming while pregnant was great because it kept me busy. I didn’t have time to indulge in my nausea, exhaustion or worries. It also kept me moving. I also had a cast and crew supporting me every step of the way. Probably the most difficult part was that there was no downtime. Despite being really sick with my first, I truly got to soak up the experience. But with my second, I was taking care of a 3 year old, acing in my series and even directing my series. Focus on pregnancy #2 was not really an option.
BR: How did you stay in shape during and post-pregnancy? Was there anything you cut out of your diet? Was there anything you craved but wouldn’t let yourself eat?
LAB: For both of my pregnancies I gained about 30 to 35 pounds. With my first pregnancy, I was so nauseas, but never once threw up. It was awful. I felt like I was going to throw up 24/7 for six months. There was no relief. I ate a lot of simple foods, comfort foods… carbs. Interestingly enough, for my second baby I only craved fruits and veggies, but still managed to gain the same amount of weight. I also did Pilates through my first pregnancy and did not exercise very much with my second. Between pregnancy, work and Griffin, there was just no energy for workouts. But post pregnancy, I went back to Pilates. I feel like one Pilates session is as effective as four trips to the gym.
BR: During and after your pregnancy, what was your day-to-day style? Did you ever wear maternity clothes during or after either pregnancy?
LAB: With both of my children, I was one of those women who looked 6 months pregnant when I was 3 months pregnant. I remember going to A Pea in the Pod and the woman saying, “let me guess, you’re 6 months pregnant?” I said, “No. Just barely 3 months.” She replied, “Twins?” So, I was in maternity clothes very early. With both of my pregnancies, I invested in about 3 good pairs of jean. For baby #2 that meant buying my favorite jeans one size bigger and having my tailor sew in a tummy panel. I would also buy blous-y, non-maternity tops an add ruching to the sides. My style was this: You’re creating life… Show it! So I always went for skinny jeans with boots or heels with sassy, fitted tops. When I attended the Creative Arts Emmy Awards 2 days before having Baker, I wore a fitted, non-maternity, stretchy gown. The following year after baby, I kicked it up a notch with an amazing Herve Leger.
BR: As a working, on-the-go actress and mother, what’s the most unconventional place you have ever nursed at?
LAB: Ahhh… nursing in public. It’s never really a fun thing, is it? I had huge breasts and huge babies. This made for many laughs trying to breastfeed in public. Once on a first class flight, my baby latched on and then pulled off right when I let down. I squirted a man on the aisle diagonally across from me on the top of his head. And then there was that time when I actually pumped in the car while driving on the 405. Not recommended, by the way.
BR: What is a typical weekend like for you, your two sons, and your husband?
LAB: I LOVE weekends! When I’m working, our weekend consists of at least one pajama day. That means for absolutely no reason what so ever is anyone allowed out of his or her pajamas! Sometimes we close all of the curtains and pretend there’s a rainstorm or snowstorm outside. The next day, we venture out to brunch and take a stroll to our favorite farmer’s market. We may hit the slides or the swings or even head to Whole Foods for weekly treats.
BR: Between filming and two kids, how do you and your husband make time for one another? What do you do?
LAB: This is another hard one. Keith and I both work, so anytime off of work, we want to spend time as a family. We struggle to fit in time for just the two of us. That being said, kids go to bed early and nap time provides a moment or two together. We have lunches together often and can occasionally steal a date night. But the way we see it… these kids will only be little for a little while. Soon they’ll want to hang with their friends instead of us. So we’re soaking this up as much as we can.
BR: What do you pack for your sons when you all eat out? Any unique items in your diaper bag or tote to entertain your baby or child?
LAB: When we all go out as a family, I do bring some fruit/veggie crushers for the boys and I always bring their waters in their cups. I’ve never met a restraint cup that can defy spilling like my own sippy cups. I also bring books and little finger snacks, like puffs. My favorite restraint item in my bag is a table cover. It’s a plastic, disposable place mat that sticks to the table and has fun images for the kids to look at. I can put their munchies directly on it and not worry about the baby slinging his plate across the room.
BR: What is the one thing you wish you would have known before becoming a mom?