Molly Ringwald

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Yes, she plays a mom in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. In fact, her recent pregnancy with her now 10-month-old twins was written into the show’s story line. At 42, this mother of 3 is also the author of a new book.

Interview by: Bonnie Siegler
Photo by: Fergus Greer

The biggest lesson in parenthood… is learning your capacity for love. I have Mathilda who was an only child for so long and everything revolved around her. I couldn’t imagine I could possibly love another child as much as I loved her; and then your heart expands.

My mom was always… really amazing at having dinner on the table and having the entire family eat altogether, no matter what. I’m trying to do that with my family as well; I think that it’s very important.

For “me time”… I really like closing the bathroom door and taking a nice, long bubble bath. Sometimes I just need to take the time for myself. Or I’ll read something by the poet Mary Oliver. Her poetry helps make my stress level go down immediately.

Most of my friends… are ones I’ve been close to for a very long time. They know me really well—the best and the worst—and love me anyway. A lot of my friends have their own children at various ages and it’s easy to be with them, but I also find it’s more difficult to keep in touch when people have kids and families. One of the advantages of being a bit older is that you know yourself better and you can embrace your differences rather than trying to fit a mold of what you can offer in a friendship.

I’m very active with my family… but I also work out. I recently took up running and never knew I was a runner before. I started at 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, and finally worked up to 30 minutes. I feel great afterwards. I also like yoga because of the whole spiritual aspect of it.

Age is just a number… but I definitely would not want to be 16 again. I really enjoyed being 33—I met my husband and was looking and feeling great, so that was a great age.

Prettiness… is a state of mind. It’s a way of looking at things, of looking at yourself. It’s the part of you that knows what you really want, that takes risks. On a deeper level, it’s about learning to take care of yourself again and find that inner self confidence. It takes a certain amount of self-examination. I think my own prettiness is centered around self-confidence and trusting my inner voice.

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