The raven haired veteran actress is best known for her most recent role as Susan Mayer, the sexpot mom you’d totally want to befriend if you lived in her cul-de-sac, on ABC’s long-running dramedy Desperate Housewives. In real life, Hatcher is a single mom on a mission. She’s hoping her latest Web endeavor, Get Hatched, will provide moms with an opportunity to be reborn (hatched if you will) and regain familiarity with their pre-diaper identities. Babble sat down with Hatcher to get the scoop on her newest project, mothering 13-year-old daughter Emerson and the secret to her fabulous – though couldn’t be more than a size-two – figure. – Melissa Chapman
What inspired you to team up with Disney’s Family.com to create an online portal for women?
Women do a lot these days; we make money, take care of our children, spouses, and communities, we carpool, we bake-sale, but sometimes we forget about ourselves. And for some strange reason, we often still confront feelings of not being good enough, and its high time there’s a shift in that attitude. Other strong women have inspired me, and I wanted to build a community where we could all learn from each other.
What do you hope Gethatched.com will impart to women?
Women are a force to be reckoned. Collectively, we have a lot of know-how, and we can share that. But we’ve created patterns and habits that often have us spending more time feeling less than our ourselves, and being competitive instead of sharing and laughing about the commonalities of aging or homework and feeling lonely. [Women] often nurture everyone else, but when it comes to ourselves, we find faults rather than rejoicing in our beauty. And as moms, wives and breadwinners, many of us are overwhelmed by daily to-do lists and forget how to find the fun in a day. The site will offer straightforward and hopefully funny insights on everything a woman might struggle with, from laundry to cooking to style to relationships. All of our content will be wisdom wrapped up in humor, sort of like cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto – laugh while you learn something.
What’s it like being a desperate housewife, and how has it changed your life?
Well, I’m not a desperate housewife; I just play one on TV. I’ve been blessed by a job filled with new friendships and memories and the freedom to not worry – quite so much – about college tuition and mortgages. As a single mom, there’s always a nagging feeling that this celebrity [status] could go away in a poof. You have to be conservative and smart; no Ferrari for me.
You’ve given moms a reason to feel like they can be sexy and seductive over 40. What’s your secret?
Well, thank you! I want to do everything I can to make women feel good about themselves and the unique, powerful qualities they have. Everyone is sexy and beautiful – the biggest challenge is feeling that way when you’re bloated and exhausted. I try to give myself a break and encourage other women to be kind to themselves – not just everyone else. My biggest piece of advice: Eat right and do eat, breakfast especially. I also drink lots of water and eliminate processed food.
What’s your parenting philosophy?
Don’t try to be perfect. Life isn’t; no one is. Use mistakes and mishaps as opportunities to grow tolerance and to teach. There is such a thing as happy accidents. And love, love, love and listen, listen, listen.
How have you dealt with public tantrums?
Fortunately, I’ve never had to. I know, hate me. But seriously, [tantrums] happen because we put our children in situations we have no right to. We push them when they are tired; we create a behavior reward system with everything from food to stickers to toys. That will always backfire. Children need to behave appropriately because it’s the right thing to do, not out of fear of time-outs or cookie rewards. My advice: Deal in the boundaries of expectations of what a three-year-old should be able to do without a tantrum.
What’s been your biggest parenting challenge?
Having a social life of my own. I’m not sorry for it, but I have sort of let that go. My daughter’s old enough now that it’s easier, more guilt-free [to have a social life], but there have been some lonely nights. I wouldn’t change that, nor do I regret it.
What’s your favorite meal to make for your daughter?
Green beans, broccoli, mushrooms, and diced chicken in olive oil over a little linguini.
What do you do for “me” time?
Not enough! I hit golf balls at the range. Kills a lot of birds with one stone – but I don’t mean literally!
If you could teach your daughter one life lesson, what would it be?
Life’s short – don’t waste time on things that are trivial. Get off your cell phone, travel, laugh.
What’s the last great book your kids read?
What shocked you the most about parenting?
That there’s an endless, tireless well of love in me.