Tori Spelling's "Mommywood"
Tori Spelling has come a long way since playing the role of "Donna Martin" on "Beverly Hills, 90210" in the 90's. These days, Tori -- an actress, reality TV star, jewelry designer and author of two best-selling books -- is a married mother of two, juggling family, romance and a busy career in the wilds of Hollywood. Her reality show with husband Dean McDermott, son Liam and daughter Stella, "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood," is in its fourth season on Oxygen and includes a companion web series called "Mommywood." Tori also designs and markets her own line of fashion jewelry on HSN called the Tori Spelling Collection. Most recently, following the success of her first New York Times best-selling book, "sTori Telling," Tori introduced her follow-up, "Mommywood," about her life as a busy wife and mother in Tinseltown. Despite her celebrity status, the book details how Tori deals with the same relationship and parenting issues as the rest of us!
Check out an excerpt of Tori's entertaining and candid new book, "Mommywood," published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment.
Excerpted from "The Afterword: The Other Shoe"
Raising normal kids in Hollywood sometimes feels like an oxymoron. Giving my kids that down-to-earth upbringing I always fantasized about is especially hard for me since I've never lived anywhere else or worked in any other business. I mean, I have a feeling I constructed all those fantasies about a "normal" childhood from seeing "normal" families on TV shows. There is no question my kids will be Hollywood kids. Liam may always prefer the weeklies to Goodnight Moon, and I'm sure I'll pass the fashion bug on to Stella. But with Dean, I will find a balance for them. I know what's most important: time with my kids, time as a family, time to explore the world together, make discoveries, and talk about the lessons we learn. Love shines through everything. No matter how blinding the paparazzi flashbulbs may be, I know that my children will always feel my arms around them, actually or figuratively, and they'll see beyond the superficial interference.
Liam is still a Daddy's boy. For now. A few days ago Dean took Liam and went to get Jack for the day. The boys were together from two p.m. to eight p.m. When they got home I said, "Hi, Monkey! I missed you," but Liam wouldn't even look at me. He just said, "Daddy, Daddy." I got his Goldfish crackers and said I'd open the packet for him. He said, "No! Daddy, Daddy." All week I've been putting him to bed. The first night he had a tantrum, crying, "Daddy, Daddy, my daddy." I spent forty-five minutes talking him through it. I said, "Daddy went night-night. He's sleeping. Now it's time for you to go to sleep. I love you. You're fine. You're safe." I said the same things over and over again. But there wasn't one moment when I felt tired or frustrated. (Thank you, Mimi, for teaching me patience.) Finally, he calmed down and snuggled into bed. I said, "Good night, angel. I love you."
I walked away from Liam's bedroom feeling very proud of myself. When I got to our bedroom Dean said, "That was an ordeal, right?" But no, it hadn't felt like an ordeal. I was happy to spend forty-five minutes making my child feel comfortable and safe. I couldn't imagine having anything better to do with my time. I was confident. It felt natural. I wasn't a new, inexperienced parent anymore. I was a real mother, and it made me happy to see my son growing, to see Liam realizing that he could go to sleep with me instead of Dean. I saw it as a breakthrough. I told Dean, "No, it was fine. We're adjusting a learned behavior. It takes time."
Dean and I are learning to share our parenting, to balance experience and inexperience, and to talk through the hard patches. We don't have to be on the same page every minute. No matter how busy our day is or if we're having a disagreement, we always take moments throughout the day to stop, to hug and kiss, and to tell each other how much we love each other. Dean is really good at initiating that. Our challenge is to balance the newness of our family with our different experiences. But undertaking new adventures with the wisdom and experience that life brings is what it's all about. Dean is my soul mate, and I'm always grateful to be growing a family with him.
Just the other night, Dean went to take Liam up to bed. Liam turned and said, "Mama." My heart. Oh my God! He was in Dean's arms but he wanted me. I took him, trying to be cool. I said to Dean, "Isn't this good?"
And Dean said, "My heart's breaking a little bit right now, but yes, it's good." Halfway up the stairs Liam changed his mind. He reached out for Dean. But for those first five steps he wanted his mama. There's hope for me yet.
There are worse things for my children than a Hollywood childhood. I have some fond memories of my own. I think again about the Christmas snow that my parents famously arranged to have delivered to our backyard so their Los Angeles children would have a white Christmas. I'm definitely doing it. I don't know how much it costs, but even if all I can afford is to spread bags of crushed ice across a sandbox, I'm doing it. The Christmas snow is something Jenny, Mehran, and my other friends have been hearing about for years. The snow wasn't really a family tradition; my parents only did it twice. But that extravagance-the jokes we've made about it over the years-that is a tradition between me and my friends. We'll have a big chuckle over doing it for our children. And I know that over the years we'll create our own traditions-simple traditions, extravagant ones, silly ones, and romantic ones. I look at my children-they're still so small-and feel grateful for the years of memories that we have ahead of us.
I spent so long wanting and trying to change my life. I've accepted and embraced "Tori Spelling," and I'm trying in my work to make the most out of being true to myself. The same goes for me as a mother. My kids may not have a normal life. I may be raising them in Mommywood. But I love them, and no matter if we're appearing on red carpets, getting the neighbors in a tizzy, or being documented in weekly magazines, love is love.
*Excerpted from 'Mommywood' by Tori Spelling. Copyright © 2009 by Tori Spelling. Excerpted by permission of Simon Spotlight Entertainment, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.