She may be best known for her role as D.J. Tanner on the wildly popular family sitcom, Full House, but Candace Cameron Bure’s list of accomplishments since the series wrapped in 1995 is nothing short of extraordinary. After marrying professional hockey player Valeri Bure in 1996, Candace went on the have three children, Natasha, now 15, Lev, 13, and Maksim, 11. Candace prides herself in being able to drop off/pick up her children at school each day, prepare regular, home-cooked meals, volunteer for her children’s school field trips and parties, and manage their hockey and tennis schedules. In addition to the roles of wife and mother, Candace is an actress, a New York Times bestselling author, a philanthropist, a blogger, and a devoted Christian.
Candace recently appeared in the Hallmark original film, “Let It Snow,” and the successful ABC Family series “Make It or Break It,” which aired from 2009 until 2012. Following the success of her first book, Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness, Candace’s much anticipated book, Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose, is set for release on January 1, 2014.
Candace was kind enough to discuss her work and life experiences with Working Moms Against Guilt, and how she “balances it all.”
WMAG: It’s a busy time of year! Do you and your family have any traditions or exciting holiday plans?
CCB: We will be staying home in L.A. for Christmas. My family and I have a Christmas morning tradition of taking breakfast to local homeless shelter. Then, we go back to our house and open presents. My brother (actor Kirk Cameron) hosts a family Christmas dinner later on in the day. It’s a fun time with lots of family. We sing Christmas carols, exchange funny gifts, and eat great food. It’s all about friends and family.
WMAG: What do you enjoy most about being a working mom?
CCB: I love the work that I do, that is why I work. I have been acting since I was five years old; it has been such a big part of my life for so long. I am blessed to be in a position where I wouldn’t have to work if I didn’t want to, but I’m passionate about what I do. Work fulfills a part of my spirit. God made me a creative person; it is part of my genetic make-up. If I tried to smash those things down, and go against how I was made, I would be an unhappy person.
WMAG: Many working moms struggle with “working mom guilt.” Do you ever experience it, and if so, how do you fight it?
CCB: Sure, I’ve definitely experienced it, not on a regular basis because I enjoy what I do so much, and because there are lulls in the entertainment industry, but yes, I have experienced it. At times, I’ll work really hard for three or four weeks, and be away from my family. I am sad to be away from them, but I enjoy what I do so much. I can’t say I really do anything to fight the guilt.
WMAG: As a blogger yourself, do you have any favorite blogs?
CCB: Sure I do! I actually wish I had more time to read them; there are so many good ones out there! I’m only able to follow a couple, but, some of my favorites are Peak313, a fitness blog, The Better Mom, a great site for parenting advice, and Women Living Well.
WMAG: You’ve been married for 17 years and appear to be happier than ever! How do you maintain your relationship while managing your career, your children’s schedules, and responsibilities around the house?
CCB: It can definitely be tough. It’s a juggling act, and that’s what my new book is about. It’s so easy for priorities to get out of balance and out of whack. It’s about prioritizing and re-prioritizing on a daily basis. My husband and I both travel for our jobs, so sometimes we’re like two passing ships in the night. There are times when we’ll realize we haven’t had a date night in months. We can both feel it. So, we’ll get out our schedules and see what can be moved and/or changed so we can spend more time together. Like everything in life, it’s all about priorities.
WMAG: You wrote in Reshaping It All that movement and portion control are important for both losing and maintaining a healthy weight. What would you say to moms who say they don’t have the time and/or are too tired to exercise?
CCB: If you have an infant or a toddler, don’t worry about the exercise. Let it go. You do not need to be going to the gym for an hour a day, and you don’t need to be in perfect shape. It’s about taking care of your little one. But, if you do have young children, you can still make healthy eating choices. For women with older children, like me, it’s all about priorities. If working out is really important to you, you can make time for it. I get up at 4:45 a.m. three days a week to work out at the gym. I don’t do it because I like to get up early, or because I’m a morning person. I do it because I feel better throughout the day if I’m consistently active. On days, I don’t go to the gym, I try to squeeze in a quick run or jog.
WMAG: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned over the years about trying to “balance it all”?
CCB: Every one of our lives is unique. My life was not the same as my friends’ growing up, and it isn’t now. I had to learn to stop comparing myself to others. When we strive to be like others, or do what they do, we can become unhappy. I strongly believe that comparison breeds discontentment. We all have different situations and circumstances. Our lives can’t be compared. I’ve learned to invest in the things that are valuable to me.
WMAG: What can readers, working moms in particular, gain from reading your upcoming book, Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose?
CCB: It is possible to do it all, but doing it all does not mean we’ll be perfect in all aspects of our lives. We need to give ourselves a break. It is okay to let the balls drop. Within life, some things need to take precedence over others. Allow yourself the freedom to be who you are. There may be times when “the balls drop,” and that’s okay.
To learn more about Candace, her philanthropic and ministry work, or to read her personal blog, Practically Speaking, visit her website.