In the Zone with Alyson Hannigan
How I Met Your Mother star and mom of two is spreadin' some smiles. She fills us in on her parenting scene and what it's like to be in the zone.
When Alyson Hannigan had her oldest daughter, she experienced teething hell for the first time. It was “the worst thing ever,” she says, and all she wanted was to bring back her baby’s smile.
Fast forward four years, and the How I Met Your Mother star is spreading that smile with Tylenol’s Smiling It Forward photo campaign, which benefits the Children’s Health Fund. Here veteran actress talked to BabyZone about her role as a mama to Satyana (born in 2009) and Keeva (born in 2012)—and what it’s like to be in the zone.
What’s your golden rule of parenting?
If you can, whenever possible, try to do things with humor or fun. Try to find the smile in it all. A meltdown takes much longer than laughing and being silly. It takes the stress of whatever the situation down a notch. Lately, the 4.5-year-old has been very into competition. We’re not big on making things into a competition, but if she wants to tie her shoe faster, then alright, we can make it a race on who ties their shoes on the fastest. She can beat me all she wants.
Describe the best moment of parenting so far.
There are so many. You can’t really describe them. And they’re so overwhelming: The love and sweetness; the sisterly bond. They crack each other up. They play games with each other. It’s just so sweet. I think that my proudest moments are when they are just showing each other so much love and affection. They love each other so much, and you know all is great in the world.
And the worst?
Their dad was out of town, and the 4-year-old is really sensitive. We’re a very close-knit family, so when he goes out of town, she misses him a lot. It was only for a few days, but still a lot. She was having one of those extra sensitive days and everything was harder. I told her we’ll have a special mommy and Satyana date night. So I took her to her favorite restaurant, thinking this will cheer her up, make her feel better. So we’re sitting at dinner, and I started talking about school, and then I brought up that her best friend is going to another school. And I kept thinking, why did I mention that? And she was all, “What do you mean she’s going to another school? I want to go to that school!” I told her it might not happen and kept thinking, Oh this is terrible. I’m screaming at myself: Worst. Parent. Ever! It was such a dumb move, a disaster. What was I thinking? Luckily, the friend’s family is still going back and forth on it.
Best advice you ever got?
It goes by so quickly, cherish all the moments. It does help you in the really tough moments. You’re going to be driving through all these big milestones in a heartbeat. I can’t believe (Satyana) is only 4.5 and she’s all grown up now. She was just a baby yesterday, it feels like. Even in the really hard moments, this is all going to be a blip in such a short time. It’s an awesome roller coaster.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
It’s not quite the holidays but it’s something about celebrating. I guess I can say holidays but not a specific holiday. I just love occasions and traditions, and I love establishing that with my daughters. I just love that it brings us together for different projects like crafting. Maybe the one thing I couldn’t live without is crafting with them. Them first. I can’t live without them. But as a family we love to craft together.
Finish this sentence: You know you’re in the Baby Zone when…
You reach into your coat pocket and find a diaper… luckily a clean one. Once, it was the wrong size diaper, but I was very glad it was clean.
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