Known as the buttoned-up and tightly wound kitchen queen on Desperate Housewives, Marcia Cross appears to be quite the opposite when seen about town toting her two tots to the local playground for a swing in the park or a roll in the grass. Though the multitasking mum certainly has her hands full and plenty of mouths to feed in her own home, the drama mama took time out of her Sunday afternoon to dish on motherhood, balancing a career, her fortunate life and how she gives back to the community.
How do you teach your children about giving back?
I have to be very honest and say that I'm in this very strange interim of wanting the world to seem like this perfect lovely place because they're 2-and-a-half... to then introducing them to the idea that other people have less. It's going to start soon, I think around the holidays. The way I try to do it is in simple ways. I have things in the house and I say, "Why don't we give this to so and so?" And I will say somebody else's child and "If you're finished with that, why don't you give that to so and so?" I've noticed that they'll come up with that on their own now, which makes me so happy... I can't yet go to the place where there are other kids that are hungry... maybe in another year. I don't know exactly. I think just teaching empathy and then teaching giving in that sort of way is how I've started and hopefully it will grow from there in terms of how lucky we are... We say Grace and we say prayers at night. Prayers to me is just sitting around and saying what you're grateful for. One answer that my daughter Eden says all the time, which I love, is "Outside," which is such a beautiful thing to say thank you for, which we take for granted.
What kinds of things do the girls do to make you laugh?
My girls are really funny. They're actually little jokesters. They do twists on words already, or I call them my little minxies. They dance, they do imitations of other kids dancing, they make up songs, they make up lyrics. It's all so silly but I think every mother just adores their own child and I'm the same way. They make me laugh all the time.
To see what the striking redhead has to say about balancing motherhood and her career, her character Bree, and what she is most thankful for,
Are there any similarities between Bree and Marcia Cross?
Wow. I wish there were more because she's so organized and such the domestic diva, which I am not. But I think in her own twisted way, Bree has a big heart and a passion for life. Although, I'm thinking about what she's doing right now and we don't have that in common... she's having a little extra passion right now (giggle). At the moment, I'm going to say there's a little less in common than more.
How do you raise your kids and have a career?
I think some days I do it more gracefully than others. And other days it takes its tolls. Like any parent, I go through times where things are going great and then I have a week where both of my daughters are sick and so I'm trying to juggle work and home-life and it's hard and it's stressful and I think it would be unrealistic to say otherwise. I think that mothers manage an incredible workload. Whether you're a stay-at-home mother or you have a job as well, it's a very full life and certainly one that I dreamed about and always wanted. And even given that there are days that are challenging, because you can only be in so many places at once... whether it's at work or with your kids, or sometimes you just really want a nap so it's a full-time job.
What are you thankful for?
Health. Health of my family, health of my friends, health of my parents, who thank God, are still with me. I'm grateful that I have a family that I always dreamed about. I'm grateful for the job that I have. I get to do what I love. I'm grateful that I get the opportunity to be a spokesperson for things I feel are important.
This Thanksgiving, Marcia is encouraging all Facebook mommies to go to My Chinet's Facebook page where they can pick a plate, decorate it and show it on their profile page. By doing this, mommy will feed her soul and donate to the cause of filling someone else's stomach this holiday season.