Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, 34, is a successful actress, an advocate for such causes as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the wife of Pete Sampras and a fully involved mother at her two young sons’ cooperative preschool. The Oregon native first captured public attention when she won the Miss Teen USA pageant in 1990; she then graced screens, small and big, first on the soap Santa Barbara, and in such movies as Unhook the Stars and The Wedding Planner. Along the way, she managed to become a bit of a singing sensation in Japan, crooning such radio hits as “I Only Want to Be with You,” and “Gimme a Kiss.”
Bridgette and tennis champ Pete married in 2000, and now make their sons, Christian, 5, and Ryan, 18 months, the center of their lives. “Putting my family and kids first,” Bridgette says, is her number one priority. “I work a lot less acting wise, but the jobs I do take mean something to me.” Today, Bridgette can often be seen performing her favorite role: helping toddlers eat their mid-morning snack. “I’m pretty involved at my co-op,” she says. “I love it.” She talked with Modern Mom about making time for workouts, romance and a guilty pleasure or two.
What’s your definition of a Modern Mom?
A Modern Mom is a woman who has the ability to put the job of “mommy” above all yet still find time to take care of her own body and spirit. I work out every morning before the kids get up and it helps me tremendously throughout my day—I’m a better mom for it! I also have a “girls’ night” every once in awhile to nurture my girlfriends, who I love and treasure. And very importantly, I schedule a regular “date night” to keep our love as a couple strong so we as parents are even stronger!
What’s your secret to balancing career and family?
I balance family and career by doing what makes me the happiest! That for me, without question, is putting my family and kids first. Therefore, I work a lot less acting wise, but the jobs I do take mean something to me and my surrounding support system knows it. They work extra hard to help me during those times! Pete takes on more, and my mom will travel with me on location. I’m blessed to have the best of both worlds, but I do believe its because I work to nurture both.
What did your parents teach you about parenting?
My parents taught me the gift of giving love, as well as the gift of receiving it. I’m a “giver” by nature but it took time for me to learn how to accept those gifts of love given to me. I learned by watching my parents be great at both.
What do you want teach your children?
I hope to instill in my children the importance and gift of a “family unit.” I hope to teach them to trust themselves and their own hearts and I hope to encourage and inspire them to not only have dreams, but live them, too!
Who do you admire the most?
I admire the men and women in my life who taught by example, who taught unconditional love and gave it. My parents, my Grandma MaryAnn and Grandpa Larry and my Great Grandma Marcie. The strong foundation I have from these keys figures in my life is why I am who I am today. I admire their willingness to put family first and do it with love, love, and more love!
What’s your favorite family activity?
Hmmm, anything with all of us together is great—anything involving lots of hugs and cuddling even better smile
What is your greatest achievement?
Giving birth to two beautiful, healthy, happy boys –and picking the right man to do it with.
What products can’t you live without?
Amazing Cosmetics undereye concealer, lip gloss, and bronzer. Also, my Lumene face lotion, my Innovative Skincare face soap, and Aquaphor for all things baby. Also, we are way into Bare Naked Yogurt these days. That’s our guilty pleasure. We crawl into bed and eat yogurt and catch up on our Tivo’d shows! Could I live without it? Yes, but it’s yummy!
What do you do when you’re feeling selfish?
I wouldn’t use the term selfish. I would say I am trying to be “self-full”. I will get a massage or have some girl time and get a pedicure with my sister.
What’s keeping you busy these days?
I’m a part of a co-op preschool that requires a fair amount of involvement. I love it. That, and my boys, keeps me busy. I also just finished working on the biopic Phantom Punch: The true story of boxing great Sonny Liston. I had the most amazing time working on that movie. What a treat it was that it came into my world! Life is good.