In this video for Variety’s “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors”, Felicity Huffman and Jennifer Lopez sat down and chatted about being working moms and how men just don’t struggle with “mom guilt.” There’s almost too much greatness in one interview, if we’re being honest. Watch these two badasses have an awesome, real, totally unfiltered conversation about motherhood.

The series airs June 12 and June 19 on PBS SoCal.

It’s the moment when they take the bed out of the room that you know it’s all over.

A few years back, my youngest kid went to college. And I was a nervous wreck about it all. As proud as I was that he was “all grown up,” I hated that those childhood years were behind him. Behind me. Me. Yes, it’s me everyone should be thinking about. The mother.

When he left for school, his room stayed pretty much the same. The closet still held his yearbooks, basketball trophies, and the clothes he’d outgrown years ago were still squeezed between his Varsity jacket and lone black suit. The room was still a bedroom — with a bed, dresser, desk. It was still his bedroom. And that made the leaving part so much easier.

And now, in just two days, that bed will be packed into a U-Haul and carted off to Alabama. Five hours away.

When I tell people my son is moving away, I get a lot of “Wow, that’s exciting…what an adventure.” What I want them to say is this: “Oh my God, I can’t believe he’s moving so far away.” Yea, again, it’s all about me, right? And yes, I’m excited for him. I am. As the youngest of four, he wants to fly. Be on his own. Start his own life. I get it. He’s got this. But I’m also nervous. And, yes, I’m sad. I’m really just kind of sad that it’s really happening.

I wrote in his journal last night. The journal I’d been writing in since he was a toddler. (Sorry, I guess I should have warned you from the get-go that this is going to be a sappy post. I will understand if you stop reading here — especially if you’re a mother. I hear ya.) So, yes, he’ll be taking that journal with him when he leaves. That last entry was a tough one. Went through an entire roll of toilet paper as I filled the pages with all kinds of motherly advice:

  1. “Change your sheets every week.”
  2. “Use baking soda to absorb odors in your fridge.”
  3. “Buy a fire extinguisher.”
  4. “Brush your teeth.”
  5. “Call your mother. Once a week, at least.”
  6. “Text as often as you like, but call.”

I scribbled and scribbled, madly gathering life’s questions and making sure I’ve told him everything he needed to know. Though I know I’ve been preparing him for this moment his entire life, why does it feel like I’ve missed something?

He’ll figure it out, I know. On his own. It’s how it’s supposed to be–even if it does suck for me, the mother.

My own mother arrives in town for a visit on Wednesday. How serendipitous is that, eh? As I sit here thinking of my son being so far away from me, it does make me think of how I just up and left all those years ago. I moved to an entirely different country without giving a single thought of how my mother felt about it. I never even asked her what she thought of the idea. I was a “grown up” capable of making my own life decisions. I didn’t really consider the fact that other people would be impacted by my decision to move away.

Yea, feeling a little selfish now.

[Insert full circle moment here]

As I reflect on my own decision to move away from home–as sad as I know it probably made my mother feel–I know I would do it all over again. It was my journey to take and no one was going to talk me out of it. I guess my mother knew that. She understood it. Her journey to independence began when she left home at the mere 18 years old. She packed her bags and moved across the country, from Newfoundland to Ontario. I’m sure her mother, my grandmother, was sad to see her go — and yet excited that she was beginning a new life.

So my son has his own journey to take, now. It’s his turn and the greatest gift I could give him is to let go and place my trust in him. I’m trying. I really am.

I will be fine (in case you wondered, since it’s really all about me). Just not today.

Repeat after me, “It’s a beginning, not an end. It’s a beginning, not an end.”

This week is going to serve up some life lesson shit. I can just feel it.

This article was originally published on Gwen’s blog, Eat Drinkn Play. Featured image via.

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While many people might think mothers have all of their shit together, the reality is that there are a lot of things us moms are afraid of. (Umm, hello, responsible for another human life, etc.). We asked Felicity Huffman and some badass moms what their mom fears were – watch now!

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February is Heart Health Awareness month, and February 14th is National Organ Donor Day.

I come from a very large, very close, extended family, and when I say we’re close, I mean we’re really close. Talk and text and facebook all the time close. So when something bad happens to someone, the ripples can be felt throughout the family.

February of last year was undoubtedly the worst month of our lives. Hell, 2015 was the worst year of my life. On February 10th, 2015, my cousin Madison was hit by a car while out riding her bike.

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Heart Awareness Month
Maddy.

Madison was one of those truly beautiful people who come along so rarely in this world. Yes, Madison was gorgeous, but she also had the kindest, brightest, most generous, happiest, and most good spirit I’ve ever encountered. And that’s pretty much how everyone who ever met her felt. She loved to cook and bake and drink tea, she led yoga groups and was notorious for going hiking in sundresses. And she sang – all of the time.

Maddy was 20 years old and a student at Walla Walla University, a private Seventh-Day Adventist college in Walla Walla Washington. She was studying Spanish and Nutrition, hoping to expand her missionary work with the Adventist Church after graduation. She was wearing a helmet, and a neon orange reflective vest as she rode away from a campus coffee house on the afternoon of February 10th. The area around Walla Walla quickly sprawls into rural farms, and it was on a sunny road running between two fields that she was hit. The driver of the car behind the car involved in the accident was a volunteer firefighter and was able to perform CPR on Maddy until paramedics arrived. She was airlifted to Harborview Hospital in Seattle and rushed into trauma surgery. Madison’s mother was able to ride in the helicopter with her and the medics to Seattle, the rest of their immediate family, and some close friends, drove through the night across the state to reach Seattle in the wee hours of the morning. As word of Madison’s accident spread across campus and through the Adventist community, prayer groups and candle lit vigils sprouted up and spread around the world.

At the hospital intensive care unit, as hours turned into days, Maddys prognosis grew dimmer and dimmer. The waiting room and hallways surrounding the ICU were filled with friends and family, and the entire school choir showed up and began singing softly in the hallways around the nursing station. Finally, on February 12th, Madison’s parents were faced with a decision that no parent should have to make, the decision to take her off of life support.

But there’s one more thing you should know about my cousin, and that is that she was a truly generous person, and has quite literally given the shirt off her back to someone in need. Maddy was so generous, that when she first got her driver’s license, she immediately signed up as an organ donor. The rest of that terrible day was filled with final goodbyes and the paperwork for Maddy’s final, most generous gift. Late in the afternoon on February 13th, Maddy was prepped for surgery, and the process for her soft tissues, bone marrow, and internal organs to be harvested began.

Through her donations, Madison was able to help improve research into life threatening diseases and changed the lives of over 10 people. The most poignant maybe, being her heart, which was successfully transplanted on February 14th, Valentine’s Day.

Please consider becoming an organ donor and one day, through tragedy, you might save someone else’s life.

Visit Donate Life for more info.

More of Madison’s story can be found at Prayers For Maddy.

GUEST BLOGGER: Chelsea Heptig

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-FlickstersChelsea lives in Southern California where her main goals are to perfect her flip flop tan and avoid traffic on the 405. She’s a self proclaimed Jill of all trades and was a nanny for 10 years, as well as a wedding cake baker, organic gardener, elderly care giver, restaurant manager, teaching assistant, and swim instructor. In her free time Chelsea enjoys drinking wine, cooking, reading, and taking naps on the beach.

Featured image via.

When I met my, then, future-in-laws, things went pretty well. It wasn’t until after my husband put the ring on my finger that everything changed. I mostly have had problems with my mother-in-law. My friends and family say it’s her loss, but it still stings.

I feel like I’m Annie, from the movie Bridesmaids, to her Helen Harris. It doesn’t matter what I say, she seems to always try to one up me. Or she seems to undermine me. For example, when I told my in-laws how excited I was to be writing for What The Flicka?, my mother-in-law just looked at me in stone cold silence. Nothing.

During one of my in-laws more recent visits, we were saying our goodbyes when my mother-in-law pulled me aside.

She reached into her purse and told me she had something for me. Immediately I felt horrible for the mean thoughts that go through my mind when I’m around her. Maybe she wasn’t so bad after all. That’s when it happened; my mother-in-law pulled out a picture of me, back when I was 20 years-old and pre-baby. I wasn’t sure what to make of it when she handed it to me, but I said thank you.

That’s when her claws came out.

She told me I needed to lose some weight and went on to say that she brought the photo to show me how I used to look and that there can be improvement. I stood there stunned and just plastered a smile on my face, when my internal dialog was saying “that f*#$@%& b*&%$.”

Fortunately, my in-laws live in another state, but they still visit us 3 or 4 times a year. What’s unfortunate is that my husband doesn’t see his mother’s passive-aggressive ways. So to keep the peace, I just try to keep that smile on my face or hide upstairs in the bedroom to get breaks when they visit.

They’re due for a visit in the next month and I always think “this time will be different.” It never is and I’m beginning to accept the fact that my relationship with my mother-in-law will most likely never change.

Join the discussion:

The holidays are here which for some of us means having to face the in-laws. What are your best ‘worst in-law’ stories? Spill it in the comments.

Posted by What The Flicka? on Thursday, December 17, 2015

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I’ve invented a new drinking game. Here’s how to play: If you’ve had a miscarriage, take a shot.

If you’ve had more than one miscarriage, take another shot.

Three or more miscarriages, take another shot, and try not to blackout under the table.

So. Are we all drunk enough to have a real, honest talk about miscarriage? Good. Because it’s time.

I’ll start.

In the fall of 2011, I accidentally got pregnant. How it happened, aside from the actual biology stuff, was a total cliche. We attended the wedding of a good friend, I got totally wasted thanks to the top shelf open bar, and five weeks later I was face down in my toilet praying that I just had food poisoning. Ten positive pregnancy tests later led me to believe that I was, in fact, in the family way.

READ MORE: SEASONS OF DEPRESSION

As I’ve mentioned several times here on the ol’ blog, I was not exactly gung-ho about having kids. I was still very involved in pursuing a dead-end career in stand-up comedy, and we were so broke that the first of every month usually had us scraping together spare change to come up with rent money. It wasn’t exactly the ideal situation for parenthood. Nevertheless, I figured that 35 was a little bit past the acceptable age for the Planned Parenthood route (side note: shouldn’t it really be called Unplanned Parenthood?), and I resigned myself to impending Motherhood.

Eight weeks later, exactly one day after announcing our joyous news to our immediate family, I had a miscarriage. I’ll spare you the details – it started with horrible cramping and ended with me dressed in a paper gown sobbing in front of an ultrasound technician – but it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad experience. Except for one thing: I never would’ve realized how much I really wanted kids if it wasn’t for that miscarriage.

What I wish I’d known back in 2011 is how common it is to have a miscarriage. Oh, I read about the statistics, and my OB told me that they happen all the time, but I only knew one friend who’d experienced the same thing. Whenever I did try to talk to other people about what happened, people reacted with horror, and attempted to change the subject, as though by mentioning my experience I might somehow infect them with my bad genes or faulty uterus. One friend even sat across from me at a restaurant and, while nursing her newborn, told me that the reason I had a miscarriage was because I was too skinny and didn’t have the right body for “bearing precious children.” Don’t worry, I made her pay for lunch.

READ MORE: PRODUCING PAST CANCER

Since then, I’ve met so many women, mostly fellow Moms, who’ve also had miscarriages. We’ve shared our war stories, and talked about how we all despaired of ever having children, and how scared we were when we did get pregnant again. There’s no talking in whispers, or placing blame, but rather a frank and honest discussion about what happened and the emotional toll it can take on a person and a relationship.

I think, finally, the tide is turning, and people are being more open about miscarriage. Maybe it’s all due to Mark Zuckerberg, though if that’s the case, the feminist in me feels rather indignant that it’s only thanks to a man that it’s no longer a taboo subject. Whatever the reason, be it Mark Zuckerberg or Maker’s Mark, let’s keep talking and sharing our experiences, so that no one else feels alone or at fault for what essentially amounts to a genetic roll of the dice.

Maybe someday talking about miscarriage will be as run-of-the-mill as mentioning what kind of car one drives, or whether or not someone has any pets. Until then, there’s always alcohol.

This post was originally featured on Anna Lane’s blog, Misadventures in Motherhood. Featured image via.