Mira Sorvino Dishes On Parenthood and "Finding Mrs. Claus"
Q: You have had FOUR kids and you look fabulous at forty! What are your tips for staying fit and what do you say to other women who want to try and get pregnant over the age of forty?
A: Obviously, I say do it— but of course it’s between you and you doctor. But if fertility is not an issue then go for it! I am so happy I had my third and fourth children - I am living my dream of having four kids. The tests are terrifying though. And I was so happy that with my fourth baby, I was able to take a test for Down Syndrome that was not invasive or dangerous.
Oh and my body is not 100 percent by the way! But as far as having kids over forty I’m not going to let a number tell me how to feel. I honestly don’t feel any different now than I did in my thirties. My grandma used to say, “I’m not old I’m young people”. It’s an attitude and how you feel in your heart and mind. I think having four children tires you out no matter what age you are- I always say, “four is more” but I would be tired if I was twenty and had four kids. I think the only thing I would say about being over forty and having young kids is I just notice that I have less tolerance for screaming and chanting of nonsensical songs! It’s like my oral capacity to hear certain sounds and chanting over time has deteriorated. If you’re a healthy person-these days there’s nothing we can’t do at 40 that we did at 30.
Q: What about your workout routine?
A: If I’m near a gym I’ll do the elliptical – it’s one stop shopping experience for toning your lower and upper body and you can burn calories watching TV. I also take an amazing dance class called "Juicy Athletic Moves". It’s this weird combination of Zumba with belly dancing moves, hip hop, mid-eastern and Latin rumba and salsa - and has an amazing mix of comedy dance songs, non-stop dancing and crazy stretches. And if I do that for several weeks I feel like my butt is in better shape. If I can dance and get in shape, it’s the best. I also like to swim and I like to run.
Q: So you must rely on a team to help you raise four kids?
A: We have one great nanny who helps me when I’m working and she's here right now because I knew I’d be talking to you and I wanted to work on a speech. But the truth is I love being a mom - the time I spend with my kids is the happiest and it breaks my heart when I go into acting jobs where I have to go into a bunker-like state of 17 hour days without seeing them. So I definitely haven’t found perfect balance. Luckily the longest I’ve been away from my kids is for two weeks and by the end of those two weeks I go crazy! But I don’t have the right to tell anyone how to parent - my job is not comparable to a 9-to-5 job.
When I’m home, I’m really home. I try and volunteer at school and in fact I just went on a school camping trip for two days with my daughter. But during the trip I had to do a TV appearance that was a paid job so I set up the camping ground, left to do the appearance and then I drove back to campsite with the baby to camp in a tent for the night. Then the Dr. Phil show called me to talk about the advocacy work I do and so I couldn’t say no, so I drove to his studio and then made it back for my daughter’s hike to beach! So here we are sleeping in separate tents next to my daughter’s schools campsite and I’m sleeping with a baby in this pouring rain in this tent. It was an insane two days but that's the juggling act, right?!
Q: How do you spend quality time with your kids?
A: I don’t think I’m qualified to give anyone advice, but time with my kids is precious so when I can be with them I try to maximize the moment and be really present and turn off technology. They don’t have iPads yet - they have DS's but can only use them on planes! I notice if if they’ve got their DS’s at the dinner table, the kids do not engage with anything or anyone else. They are only allowed on a super long car trip - and they know it’s a special treat rather than all the time. We also do a lot of reading and playing games. We just played this cute game called "Beat the Parents" - it’s a board game where kids ask parents things about the kid’s world and parents ask kids things about the adult world. It was of course eschewed in their favor but it was great for my six year old who is trying to strengthen his reading skills. We are truly blessed and of course we try and have Sunday dinner with my dad who likes to cook up traditional Italian dinners in his apartment.