Published on Mommy Tracked (http://www.mommytracked.com)

Ricki Lake

Since the wrap of The Ricki Lake Show [1] in August 2004, Ricki Lake has continued to act in various film and TV projects. In addition to being the mother of 2 boys, ages ten and six, she would say that the project she is most proud of is her latest film, The Business of Being Born [2].

Director Abby Epstein's controversial documentary takes a hard look at America's maternity care system, juxtaposing hospital deliveries against the growing popularity of at-home, natural childbirths that many expectant parents are now opting for. Ricki Lake was inspired to serve as executive producer on this compelling exposé after a dissatisfying birthing experience with her first child left her with many unanswered questions. Not only does Ricki give birth on screen but she poured her heart and soul into the filmmaking process.

The Business of Being Born is in theaters in limited release and will be available on Netflix [3] on February 26, 2008.

MOMMY TRACKED: You have been very busy promoting your movie, The Business of Being Born [4] &mdash how have you been handling the travel?

RICKI LAKE: It has been really tough. We have been on the road for 2 weeks and we are stopping back in Los Angeles but then I need to get right back on a plane to head up to Seattle. I am divorced and the boys have been with their father for part of the time and with their nanny of nine years for the rest of the time.

Do your sons know how important this film is to you?

They know that it came about from me becoming their mother. And they certainly know how important being their mother is to me. I tell them as often as I can that I am so glad they chose me to be their mom. We have also talked about how important this film is for other moms and moms-to-be around the country. My ten year old hasn't seemed all that interested or impressed. But his teacher told me that he had been talking in class with real pride about how his mom went to speak to the UN about something really important. I had been asked to speak to a United Nations panel about the issues raised in the film and I was nervous and excited about it. He must have been paying more attention than I realized.

Have you ever turned down work because of your kids' schedule?

I have worked really hard to make sure I don't make any professional decisions that would disrupt their lives. Now they have their own social life and it just doesn't seem fair to pull them away from it. I just can't have the kind of career where I am always on the road. It has been a rare case &mdash like promoting this film &mdash that takes me away for more than a few days at a time. We have talked about doing a follow up project to The Business of Being Born [5] about birthing practices around the world. But I can't imagine taking on that much travel so it probably won't happen.

As a working mother trying to find the right work/life balance, like so many of us, what would your perfect schedule be?

I'm not sure. I think that changes as they get older. When I was doing my show, it was full time, but I had my son on the set and that was great. But that wouldn't work as well now that they are in school. I did a pilot recently and brought the boys to the set. It was really important to me that they see me working. I wanted them to know exactly what I was doing when they are at school.

Do your sons have any understanding of your celebrity?

I think they do. They know that I have been on magazine covers. I am not sure that they really understand the media focus on my losing weight. But they understand that I am an actor and that I helped produce this film that is getting a lot of really positive attention.

What has been the most challenging aspect of working motherhood for you?

The worst part is always feeling like you are not giving everything you full attention. Right now, I feel like I am riding this amazing wave. The movie is getting a great reception. But I am still always feeling like I am stretched beyond belief and like I am never giving enough.


If you enjoyed our interview with celebrity mom, activist and filmmaker Ricki Lake, don't miss our interviews with other super successful multitasking moms, like actress and AIDS prevention advocate Sheryl Lee Ralph [6] and actress, director and natural skin care line inventor Melanie Mayron [7]!

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