Poppy Montgomery with son

As star of the new hit CBS show Unforgettable, Poppy Montgomery plays a woman who taps into her remarkable memory to solve crime. Here, she chats about being a "tough cookie," her unconventional time management skills and the daily to-do's she forgets about so she can spend time with her son.

 

One memorable mama

SheKnows: You were a stay-at-home mom for two years before going back to work as an actress. What's been the hardest part of juggling motherhood and your acting career?

Montgomery: Time management! I work incredibly long hours on Unforgettable, so I'm frequently up in the wee hours of the morning and don't get home until well after Jackson's bedtime. It's hard not to be able to spend the day playing with him or feed him breakfast. I relish the time we do get together and try to make it extra special.

SheKnows: As a working mom, people frequently tell me, "Don't work too hard; you'll never get this time with your kids back." Have you gotten any flack for being a working mom, or noticed that people in the industry treat you differently now that you have a child?

Montgomery: If anything, people are more understanding! I have found everyone to be wonderful about motherhood and extremely supportive in this industry. That support was evident during my pregnancy and when I had a young infant, and continues now. When I needed to take a break to nurse on the set of Without a Trace or at a photo shoot, I never had a problem.

SheKnows: I read that you work as much as 20 hours a day while filming, but you're still a very hands-on mom to your son Jackson. How do you stay on top of your schedule and find time for the things (and people) you love?

Montgomery: I try to be as hands-on as possible, but I'll admit -- I have help! I come from a large family and everyone was always pitching in. Adam (Jackson's father), my cousin David and my assistant Ashley all help me to juggle the demands of working and being a mom. I'm lucky to be able to ask someone to help me pick up groceries or drop off the dry cleaning so that I can spend that extra hour reading with Jackson or taking him to the park.

SheKnows: In Unforgettable, you play a woman with a remarkable memory. As a mom -- a.k.a. in real life -- is there anything you frequently forget? (Me: making regular pediatrician's appointments for my two kids.)

Montgomery: Are you kidding me? My memory is crap. I am the person who runs around the house looking for her sunglasses and then realizes they're perched on top of my head!

SheKnows: As a parent, what's the one thing that makes your life easier?

Montgomery: Sleep! No joke. When you and your kids are well rested, everything seems to run better.

SheKnows: What are your top 5 must-have/can't live without beauty products?

Montgomery:

  • Spray tanner (because everyone looks better with a little bronze glow)
  • Rosie Jane cheek gloss (this gives the perfect blush and you can also use it on your lips)
  • Sunscreen (I'm a red-head, I have to be diligent about SPF)
  • Individual false eyelashes (these make a huge impact when you're doing a red carpet or photo shoot)
  • A good moisturizer

SheKnows: What's in your handbag?

Montgomery:

  • Salt Vargas Honey Gold Aviators
  • Love Quotes Scarf
  • Mason Pearson Boar Bristle Hairbrush
  • Jo Malone Vitamin E Nourishing Hand Treatment
  • Avene Moderate Protection Spray SPF 20
  • Herban Essentials Lavender Towelettes
  • Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick
  • Chanel Nail Colour in Vamp Leila Lou by Rosie Jane Fragrance (leilalou.com)
  • Rosie Jane Cosmetics Cheek Gloss

More on balancing family and work

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How to balance career, family and self
Balancing work and motherhood

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