Actress and producer, Patricia Heaton, describes family life in three words: hectic, frustrating, and joyful—mostly joyful. With the support of her husband of 23 years, actor-director-producer David Hunt, she’s a working mom who has earned two Emmy Awards while raising a family.
“I’m the only woman in the house. Even my dogs are boys. I don’t have anyone to go shopping with or try on clothes.”
A mom of four boys ranging in age from 14 to 20, she reflects on her first pregnancy. “I’ve never felt more powerful. I had this life that I was protecting and bringing into the world. It was a miracle.”
Amid the joy of motherhood and the miracle of childbirth, the Ohio-born entertainer acknowledges the reality of parenting toddlers. “Sheer physical exhaustion. If you are working outside the home, or if you are working fulltime in the home as a mom, it’s very tiring.”
Life often prepares us in advance for the roles we will play. In her most recent film, Moms’ Night Out, Patricia plays Sondra, a pastor’s wife with a teenage daughter. Other characters include a mother who is pregnant again and adjusting to bringing a newborn into the family (Andrea Logan White), and another mom knee-deep in toddlers (Sarah Drew).
Moms’ Night Out tenderly and humorously depicts different stages of motherhood. Anyone who watches the movie or is a parent will empathize with the reality of parent fatigue.
“Being tired can discolor the lenses through which you’re experiencing everything,” Patricia shares from experience. “I think part of the issue is all of us striving for perfection. This movie talks about striving for appreciation as opposed to perfection.”
A True Cliche
Moms’ Night Out is a comedy with a message for mothers that Patricia appreciates.
“It’s such a cliché, but when you’re in the middle of parenting, the minutes seem to drag by just getting through one more day of constantly cleaning, cooking, supervising, and watching kids’ shows with those high-pitched voices singing those kids’ songs. Yet now, what I wouldn’t give to have one hour back to cuddle and hug them. It’s a tough time, but you just have to take time, stepback, and appreciate the gift you’ve been given. Don’t worry about being perfect. Appreciate this miracle.”
As a woman of faith, Patricia encourages moms to find their true identity through faith and hope. “There’s pressure to have a perfect house and clean, perfect children, who behave well. Not that you don’t want to try your best and be a good mom, but at some point, you need to let go and let God [lead].”
One way she lets go is through Scripture reading. She admits to reading through the Old Testament and getting stuck in the prophets. Another way is through her prayer life.
During a busy and hectic period when her boys were small and she was making “Everyone Loves Raymond,” she was listening to a sermon by Tim Keller about having a prayer life and actually called him, confessing that she was struggling with taking the time to pray, “I have a tendency to put pressure on myself in whatever situation I’m in. Whether it’s my spiritual life or my career, I’m sort of a driven person. That’s my challenge.”
Patricia believes you have to hand it over to God every day.
“If you are going to grow spiritually, there are certain things you need to do, or you’ll stagnate.”
The Most Important Thing
Patricia’s most important concern for her boys is their spiritual development. It was easier to bring them up in church when they were young.
It’s tough to keep things going the way it was “on Sunday mornings when you could take them to Sunday School, and they would get animal crackers and juice and use the felt board.” Now that they’re teenagers and their weeks are busier, it’s sometimes hard to get them out of bed.
“When you’re competing against an Xbox, it’s tough to make church seem exciting or relevant.”
Sometimes it can be difficult to balance family, career, parenting, and faith.
Moms’ Night Out is about balance. It’s also about what happens to a group of ladies who plan a long-needed, grown-up evening and what ensues. This endearing, true-to-life family comedy is rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action. Celebrating parenthood, the movie opens Mother’s Day weekend, just in time for mom to enjoy a night out.
Article courtesy of Home Life Magazine
Follow up the Moms’ Night Out movie with Beautiful Mess: Motherhood for Every Moment—a new Bible study that helps each mom discover (or remember) that she is the mom God chose for her children, and she is beautiful and capable of her calling.