For many of us, Tiffani Thiessen is almost like a lifelong best friend. She started acting at the age of eight and, by the time she was a teenager, she was scoring roles on shows like Charles in Charge and Valerie. Soon enough, she became the girl we wanted to be, dating the boy we wanted to have when she starred as cheerleader Kelly Kapowski on Saved By The Bell. Two decades later, after dropping her middle name and adding dozens more credits (including 90210), Thiessen is still, in many ways, a relatable girl.
Just like many of us, she juggles working a full-time job on the set of White Collar and life as the mom of three-and-a-half year-old Harper. Thiessen admits being a mother has definitely changed her. Harper is her first priority now. She works a lot harder at not being bogged down in living up to Hollywood's idea of perfection.
"I don't ever want my daughter looking at me like I'm stressed and like I'm really putting too much pressure on myself because I don't want that for her," Thiessen told us. "I try to just lead by example. Just be myself and be healthy and do all the things that make you beautiful from the inside-out."
Spoken like a true parenting veteran. So, what advise does she offer to all her fans and celebrity colleagues who are all set to become mothers?
"Take it in," she offers. "I remember my pregnancy was slow at the beginning and then it was fast. And then you have these beautiful babies and they turn into teenagers before your eyes. I remember just trying to live in the moment."
When it comes to parenting, Thiessen is also a major advocate of reading to your youngsters. She's even this year's ambassador for Jump Start's Read for the Record campaign. The program encourages parents and guardians to take an active part in their kids' learning by beginning to read to them as early as possible.
"It's very close-to-home for me to have a pre-schooler. Reading to your child, it already shows you how much it really does get them prepared to go to school and kindergarten," Thiessen said. "You know, we read to Harper every day. She's so interested in books and it's a bonding thing for families. So, it's an initiative to get people out there to read to their children as much as possible."
Aside from working on Read for the Record, Thiessen also takes an active part in The Trevor Project's campaign against bullying. It sounds like this mama has a lot on her plate! We're so glad she took the time to chat with SheKnows and we can't wait to catch her on the next half of the White Collar season.
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