Sitcom star Patricia Heaton knows plenty about motherhood. As the mom of four boys in real life and a TV mother on two separate comedies for nine seasons, Heaton knows firsthand about the rigors of child rearing.
In her 2002 memoir, the Everybody Loves Raymond star wrote a heartfelt chapter on hardworking mothers that included moms from all walks of life.
Patricia Heaton on motherhood and the Midwest
Married to David Hunt since 1990, Heaton has four sons – David, John, Joseph, and Daniel. Between her role as a mom of three on both Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle, Heaton portrayed a very relatable mother as Frankie Heck on the ABC sitcom.
“I think all moms have the same kind of feelings regardless of where we live or the circumstances,” Heaton told Parade in 2014. “We worry most about our kids or doing the right thing as moms, giving them what they need, and hoping we don’t make too many mistakes. In that sense, Frankie is ‘every woman.’”
Heaton also understood Frankie’s geographical connection to the Midwest due to her being a Cleveland, Ohio native.
“I really relate to her sensibility in that I didn’t start making my living in Hollywood until my 30s,” she shared. “It’s not like I grew up around this. I still feel more attuned to my Midwest roots and I really understand her. I really do love her.”
‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ alum compares TV to reality
As a mom on screen and off, Heaton previously revealed the perks that come along with sitcom motherhood.
“When you’re playing a mom on TV, people think you’re funny and smart,” she said, according to Today.com. “They bring you water and they bring you food. If you don’t like the food, they take it back and they change it for you. And they do your hair and makeup and they give you choices of wardrobe and if you need a car, they’ll come and pick you up.”
The Emmy winner described a sharp difference on parenting in real life, where you don’t have access to the benefits of a celebrity.
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Made a lovely paella for @laurajudithcollins birthday! Started with cooking the chicken, shrimp and lobster. Then made the sofrito base with green peppers, tomatoes. Throw the meat and fish back in, then add paprika and chicken stock. Next comes saffron,and when it comes to a boil, add the picada (a paste of garlic, toasted almonds and parsley). Then comes the rice! Another eighteen minutes and voila! Didn’t quite get that delicious crunchy soccarat crust on the bottom but I’ll keep working on it! Thanks to the cookbook La Paella by Jeff Koehler @jeff_koehler ! #paella #sofrito #picada #saffron #rice #soccarat #lobstertails #garlic #parsley #almonds #shrimp #chicken
“When you’re a mom in real life it’s the exact opposite of that,” Heaton explained. “You bring everybody else food. If they don’t like it you make something else. You drive everybody else around. And, yeah, nobody thinks you’re smart or funny at home, even if you’ve won Emmys for your incredible humor, they don’t think so. … But that’s the difference and it’s a good balance, so it keeps everything in perspective.”
‘Motherhood & Hollywood’
In her 2002 memoir Motherhood & Hollywood: How to Get a Job Like Mine, the Everybody Loves Raymond star commented on how stay-at-home moms are often undervalued. Mothers on the home front provide significant help to schools and in their neighborhoods in addition to caring for their own kids.
“These moms do such an invaluable service for the whole community, but it’s the type of thing that you can’t have give a dollar value to,” Heaton wrote. “Which seems to be the only way society knows how to judge the worthwhile-ness of something.”
Noting the importance of working mothers as well, Heaton maintained that stay-at-home moms needed to be appreciated for their vital role.
“This is not to say that women shouldn’t work outside the home,” she wrote. “But they also should not be considered invisible when they opt for full-time motherhood.”
She ended the chapter with a sweet shoutout to mothers of all vocations. “God bless all moms out there,” Heaton shared. “The stay-at-homes, the working moms, and especially the single moms. … Know that all your efforts are affecting not just the lives of your children but the direction of the world.”
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