Naya Rivera is taking a break from her acting career to focus more on the most important job of her life, being a mom. The former Glee star opened up in an interview with Self magazine about the ups and downs of raising her toddler son Josey, whom she shares with ex Ryan Dorsey.
“I’ve been really lucky that I’ve been able to pick and choose my projects. I’m not on a full-time show right now, so I don’t have to be away from him for 16 hours,” she says. But even spending more time at home doesn’t put a full stop to the “mom guilt.”
“I feel mom guilt all the time. You want to be everything to your child,” Rivera told the mag. “If you’re not there and you feel like you’re missing out on something, it’s totally natural to feel that.”
She continued, “I have other mom friends who work full-time Monday through Friday and sometimes the weekend, and they tell me how hard it is. So hats off to every working mom.”
Her group of fellow moms including former Glee costar Heather Morris, helps to get her through all the tough experiences of giving birth and raising a child. “We all went through the process together and having that support system is very important,” Rivera says.
So when her hair started falling postpartum, her mom buddies were there to comfort her. “I didn’t get this awesome, luscious mane of hair that everyone says you get when you’re pregnant,” she says. “After I had my son and breastfeeding, I saw that I was getting breakage and it was sort of thinning at the ends. [My hair] was sad looking, and I didn’t feel really confident. It threw me for a loop.”
She also stressed the importance of taking care of one’s self, offering tips to fellow new mothers struggling to put themselves first from time to time.
“It really is important, and I think the whole mom guilt thing is too real,” she told Self. “You’re always going to have mom guilt—forever. But I would tell a new mom: the first six months is the safe zone.”
She added, “Go out and get your hair back right, get your nails done, go work out because the baby is not going to remember. So you don’t have to feel guilty about taking care of yourself.”
Naya tries to take some time (during Josey’s longest nap) to schedule what she calls “maintenance”, a blowout, manicure, and a facial.