Leading lady Connie Britton has played more than a few memorable roles over the years — from “Mrs. Coach” Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights to her current role as Rayna Jaymes on Nashville. It’s her role as mom to 4-year-old son Eyob “Yoby,” however, that reflects her brightest work.
She recently sat down to talk with SheKnows about motherhood, the upcoming holidays and why music is such an important part of her son’s life.
There’s no rule book
She adopted Yoby in November 2011 from Ethiopia and has been raising him as a single mom since. While she believes in love and hugs each and every day, she admits the gig isn’t easy.
“The most challenging part of motherhood is the unknown,” she said. “There is just no rule book, and even if there was, you’re dealing with an individual that is like no other individual in the world… with his or her own agenda and own desires, and you’re suddenly trying to make this other human being fit into your life. What I’ve noticed most about motherhood that I didn’t expect is the feeling that, pretty much every day, that I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Is there a mom out there who can’t relate to that? We think not.
When it comes to the holidays, more than anything on a list, she says she’s excited to experience the magic of Christmas with Yoby. She shared a special tradition she’s planning to begin this year.
“This is sort of the first year he’s super excited about Christmas,” she said. “If I can have him blow on the Christmas tree lights — like blow them to turn them — that’s going to blow his mind. I did that when I was little, and I was old by the time I figured out what was actually going on.”
We totally plan on stealing this one!
Kids and music
While music is very much a part of her life on Nashville, it’s also very much a part of her “real” life and Yoby’s as well.
“He loves to sing, and… how could he not, because he’s been surrounded by it his whole life,” she said. “I’m always singing to him, and he’s always on the set of Nashville and always surrounded by musicians and instruments That’s important to me. In Africa, music is a big part of the culture, and that’s one of the things I want to really maintain for him.”
For years she has maintained ties to Africa through her involvement with the African Children’s Choir, which she calls “the best-run charity she’s ever seen.”
She saw them perform during a trip to Africa while on hiatus from Friday Night Lights years ago, and has been involved since, including an appearance she makes in the film Imba Means Sing (available for digital download today), which tells the story of three young Africans selected to participate in the acclaimed choir and the power music has had in their lives.
It’s a powerful and inspiring film, perfect for this holiday season.
As for her notoriously amazing hair, she takes no credit.
“I wish I had some kind of magical secret, but I really, really don’t. I don’t wash my hair that often, which I’m sure probably is even more frustrating, and frankly I have a lot of great people who help me. I can barely handle a brush much less a curling iron. I think I was just very fortunate through good genetics to be given a good head of hair, and then I have a lot of good help.”
Damn, we were hoping for the magic secret, but good for her. Good hair couldn’t happen to a nicer woman.