Psychologist Luz Towns-Miranda, actress Elizabeth Gutierrez, and TV personality and author Rosie Mercado sat down with People en Español for a discussion about motherhood, self-care, and the lessons they've learned in 2020.

Por Lena Hansen
Julio 24, 2020
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On Friday, powerful moms Luz Towns-Miranda, Elizabeth Gutierrez, and Rosie Mercado discussed how motherhood changed their lives in a panel for People en Español's virtual summit Inspírate. "I think maternity is everything for a woman," says Mexican American actress Elizabeth Gutierrez. "The responsibility of having children and raising healthy, good kids that can achieve their dreams — that's my biggest life project. It's wonderful and gratifying, it's an unconditional love, and only mothers know that feeling." Gutierrez's biggest inspirations are her 10-year-old daughter Kailey and 14-year-old son Christopher, with actor William Levy"They are humble, they have this amazing heart," she says. "They are super-focused on what they want. They teach me every day how to be a better person."

The telenovela star — who took a break from television to raise her children — says she feels ready to return to the small screen. "I took a pause because I became a mom and that's my priority," she explains. "I think now it's time to return. That's a passion of mine, I will always be an actress. I would love to do a new series. Also so that [my kids] can be a part of that, because they don't remember Mommy acting. I want them to live that experience with me."

Elizabeth Gutierrez, Rosie Mercado, and Luz Towns-Miranda
Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images (2); Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images para People En Español

Gutierrez recognizes that moms are the center of the home but says it's important to ignore "mommy guilt" if you take time away to go to the gym or have lunch with a friend. "Your attitude changes the tempo in your home, so it's important not to feel guilty and take time for you."

"I always knew I would be a mom," says Puerto Rican psychologist Luz Towns-Miranda, the mother of renowned actor and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda. "I would take care of my younger siblings and for me it was like second nature to have kids." She says the fact that she and her husband Luis Miranda both studied psychology helped them in raising Lin-Manuel and their daughter Lucecita as strong individuals who fulfilled their professional and personal dreams. "We had our careers but our kids were our priority," adds the Planned Parenthood board member. "They have both gone on to raise their own families and are doing a beautiful job. Grandchildren have been an incredible delight."

She recognized Lin-Manuel's exceptional talent since he was a child. "If you start me talking about him we may never stop!" she jokes about the Hamilton star. "I realize just how unusual he was as a gifted little boy. From the time he was two he was already doing amazing things, like knowing the alphabet and being able to recite songs." The expert on mental health says that finding a strong support system is essential for working moms during the pandemic: "Getting help doesn't mean we are weak."

Mexican American TV personality, model, and author Rosie Mercado also talked about becoming a mom to two-month-old Emiliano after reuniting with her high-school sweetheart. "We have a big blended family. My kids are really strong and opinionated and I'm thankful because of that," she says. Mercado's children have become strong through her own successes and failures. Mercado has been open about overcoming obesity and an abusive relationship before finding happiness. "They have been my strength, they have been my inspiration to continue being better," she says about her kids. "I feel that our children are our teachers."

She emphasized the importance of self-care and taking a break from the many roles that professional moms take on. Taking a nap while your newborn sleeps is more important than having an impeccably clean house, she says. "If my husband sees me stressed out he takes the baby," she continues, adding that it's crucial to learn to ask others for help. Taking a bath or listening to music can help tremendously in times of tension. "You have to learn to breathe and let it go. Your body is your temple."

Mercado says learning to love and respect herself after overcoming depression, failed relationships, and economic hardship has been the best lesson to teach her kids. In her book The Girl With the Self-Esteem Issues, she talks about her many life experiences and will also be sharing self-improvement tips on her new podcast. "You have to be strong yourself," Mercado says, "so you can be there to lift your kids up."