America Ferrera Talks About the Challenges of Working From Home With Kids
The actress said it can be "overwhelming" to work from home with son Sebastian, 2, and daughter Lucía, 7 months.
America Ferrera gave birth to her daughter Lucía Marisol in May and is adjusting to life as a mom of two. The 36-year-old actress, of Honduran descent, also has 2-year-old son Sebastian Piers. The Superstore star spoke to People about the pressures of working from home with her two little ones during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Oh my goodness, it's a world's difference. Everything's been so compounded by the pandemic and by quarantine, and truly not being able to have the extended network of family and friends that one would normally have when you bring a new baby home to hold the baby and give you a break or to help," she said. "My son went everywhere with me. I went back to work when he was only 10 weeks old and I would hand him to like a camera grip. I'd be like, 'You hold him. I've got to go over here.'"
Staying productive and balancing family life has been challenging and "can be overwhelming." "Working from home is particularly difficult as mommy because if he or she smell me — and they smell me anywhere in the vicinity — then it's just, 'Mommy mommy mommy,' " she said. "That's all they want, regardless of them having Dad or when we're lucky enough to have someone helping us out. If Mom's anywhere near, they just want me, so it can be difficult when I actually have to do work and get things done. I'll lock myself in my bedroom because it's the only place I can talk without my daughter hearing my voice and hearing her screaming for not holding her."
The slower pace of quarantine has also allowed for deep bonding with her kids. "I could never have imagined that we would be growing the family in this circumstance, but it's also been wonderful because it has forced us to to really just spend time as a family of four and really get our rhythm of just being our little family," she explained. "As challenging as the year has been, I think there will be a lot of fond memories of this time of really having to slow down and take the time to be together and sink into family life."
This year, she and husband Ryan Piers Williams are planning "super simple" holidays. "This is [Lucía's] first Christmas, which she'll never remember, but it's my 2-year old's first Christmas really getting excited and having an understanding about the holidays and celebrating," Ferrera shared. "Luckily, he doesn't know what he's missing from any other year, but we're going do our best to just celebrate and make it feel special even though we can't be with all of our family and friends."
Giving back is also a priority for the actress, who teamed up with with Estrella Jalisco on their Holiday Lights Program to help people light up their houses for the holidays by giving free holiday lights and covering their electric bills. The busy mom said she looks forward to one special holiday ritual: "I like to watch Love Actually and wrap my gifts. To get to sit down in front of the movie and wrap my Christmas gifts, it's been my own little tradition forever!"