Tammin Sursok has had a busy year. She became a mom in October 2013; filmed Season 5 of "Pretty Little Liars," which begins airing in December on ABC Family; and participated in the Johnson's Baby video series "Moms with Strollers." She talks about her experiences with us.
Happy first birthday to your daughter, Phoenix, this month. Any special plans?
We are having a very intimate celebration with friends and family who have been so integral to her first year. My parents are coming out from Australia, which I am beyond excited about. We are very much looking forward to what the next year of her life will bring.
We love your daughter's name; does it have special meaning to you?
We wanted something to signify strength and individuality. We love the mythology behind the female Phoenix rising from the ashes. Not to mention, she kicked so much throughout my pregnancy that I knew she'd have some spitfire in her!
How are you adjusting to motherhood? What have been your favorite and most challenging moments?
My favorite moments are when I hear her laugh; it's unbelievably infectious. Also, I was shocked how cute everything looks in miniature! The most challenging thing for me is finding the balance between being a working actress and a mom, but we make it work. For us, it takes attention, communication and teamwork!
Do you have any silly, sleep-deprived mommy stories to share?
I have many! No. 1: I put my phone in the fridge and couldn't find it for an entire day. No. 2: I invited a group of people to the wrong address. No. 3: I left my keys in the car ignition while I did yoga for an hour and a half.
Which mommy duties are you best/worst at?
I am great at bath time, outfit changes, getting in the car seat, feeding time and story time. I am not so great at following instructions on all of the stuff you have to put together!
What's the best parenting advice you've received so far?
Best advice: Do what works for your family. We are all navigating the waters of parenthood, and no one is perfect. We are all doing the best we can! And don't sweat the small stuff!
What's your favorite thing to do with Phoenix?
Bath time! Every night during bedtime, I give Phoenix a warm bath with Johnson's Bedtime Bath and follow it with a gentle massage using Johnson's Bedtime Lotion. It's moisturizing and helps me get her into a sleep routine. I am constantly amazed how even the little things, experiencing them with her, can be so fulfilling.
Were you able to take a full maternity leave from "Pretty Little Liars" or did you have to jump back into your filming duties quite quickly?
A bit of both. I did shoot pregnant on "Pretty Little Liars." But luckily, I did have some time off. Lately, I've been shooting a feature for 16-hour days, so that's been a bit difficult trying to juggle it all.
Have you created any shortcuts in your regular routine, like wearing less makeup, to accommodate your life as a mom?
I honestly can't remember when I last washed my hair, put on makeup or put together an outfit that made sense, but funnily, it doesn't bother me!
What made you decide to participate in the Johnson's Baby video series "Moms with Strollers"? How was the experience? Did you learn anything from the other moms that you'd like to share?
I loved the idea of sharing stories with other mothers in a public forum, where we could help each other and talk about the realities of parenting. Everyone has a different style and perspective, and I think you can take a little piece from each mom you meet and implement it into your parenting. It was such a wonderful and enriching experience. I think one of the most important things is a sense of community, and Johnson's "Moms with Strollers" series provided a wonderful platform to connect. It's so crucial to be around other moms! "Moms with Strollers" features pairings of everyday moms and celebrity moms as we share stories, experiences and questions that often arise from being a first-time mom. Topics range from how to swaddle your baby (my husband and I practiced a few times once we got home from the hospital before we got the hang of it) and the best ways to get your baby to sleep. To check out my episodes on "Moms with Strollers," you can visit the Johnson's YouTube page.