good at playing it bad as Sami Brady on Days
of Our Lives, and serving as host of the popular TV reality show The Biggest Loser – actress/mom
Alison Sweeney has recently taken on another role: advocate for allergy
Having been plagued by seasonal allergies all her life, she
knows firsthand how challenging it can be to juggle a multi-tiered career with
‘mom duties’ – but when pollen counts soar it can be devastating.
“I do my best to
avoid my allergy triggers, but sometimes it’s just impossible,” says Sweeney.
“I don’t want to give up things that are important to me like playing with the
kids outside or going to the park, so I just keep my allergy/decongestant
medicine with me so I’m prepared.”
To help others
with their allergies, Sweeney has teamed up with the American Pharmacists
Association (APhA) to get the word out, an effort that includes access to a new
online resource, www.BTCcenter.com,
featuring Sweeney’s personal tips, treatment information and an interactive
tool to help determine if allergies are responsible for their nasal congestion.
Here’s how life
as a mom goes for her.
At Work: Days of Our Lives actor-director;
host of The Biggest Loser; author of All the Days of My Life (So Far),
a memoir tracking her experiences as child actor and her struggle with weight
At Home: Los
Angeles; mother of two: son, Ben, 4 and daughter, Megan, five months; husband,
David, a California Highway Patrol officer.
Q. What is your favorite
activity with your children?
AS: I love playing with Ben... seeing him use his colorful
imagination. We go for great family hikes at a nearby park, play tee-ball or
just Legos in his bedroom. Megan is at the age now where she recognizes our
face and voices. She's constantly smiling and trying to talk. I love to sit with
her and read stories, and laugh.
Q. What is the most important
lesson you try to impart to your children?
AS: I guess the most important thing to me is to give Ben a
solid sense of self, good manners, and to laugh. He has such a kind heart and
is always smiling (well almost always!). I love to see him interact with Megan.
He wants to help take care of her, and share his things with her.
He even did this before she was born! We would play a game,
and Ben would say, "This color [game piece] is my baby
sister's." We would have to take a turn for her too.
Q. Who was your greatest
child-raising influence and why?
AS: My mother definitely has influenced how I raise my
children. She had a career and family, which can be a difficult thing to
balance. It is inspiring to know that she was able to manage a household,
career, husband and three children in a time when this was not the norm for
women. I also rely on my sister-in-law and friends. There are some things in
life that are just easier to talk about and ask advice on from a girlfriend
over a glass of wine!
Q. What is your approach to
disciplining your children?
AS: My husband and I feel strong about presenting a united
front to our children. Communicating the rules – and the consequences for
breaking them – is very important, therefore we set both together and there is
never a misunderstanding, "Mommy said...or Daddy said..." Also, Dave
and I were raised with a firm belief in the importance of manners AND being
well behaved. This can be tough with a four-year-old because they are always
pushing the boundaries, and learning to exert their independence. For us, it is
really important to set those limits right from the beginning while respecting
the need to develop a sense of independence.
Q. What was a memorable
AS: Last summer my family vacationed in Martha's Vineyard.
We stayed at a wonderful inn. Cars aren't really allowed on the island so we
rented bikes. It was a small town with little shops and restaurants and the
beach. For that week we were able to slow down! We walked and biked everywhere,
spent lazy days on the beach, and caught up on some great books. It was
fabulous to be away from the fast pace and just simply enjoy some good
old-fashioned family time.