Marie Osmond, America's Favorite Mom
"You think of Donny and Marie and Mother's Day and it's like saccharine sweet," says Marie Osmond
, describing her initial hesitation over hosting America's Favorite Mom
(Sunday at 7 pm/ET, NBC). But she quickly changed her mind for the chance to honor stand-out moms in five categories (single moms, working moms, stay-at-home moms, unconventional moms and military moms) — one of whom will be crowned "America's Favorite" and win $250,000 in cash. Some might say Osmond deserves her own award after the year she had in 2007. We spoke with the twice-divorced, single mom of eight kids about her ups and downs.
TVGuide.com: What's a perfect Mother's Day for you?
Osmond: I love a nice quiet day with my children.
TVGuide.com: We hear you are working on a syndicated talk show for 2009.
Osmond: I want it to be a show where we find out really what matters most — a sisterhood/chitchat with a lot of humor and a lot of fun.
TVGuide.com: You've hosted shows before, but always with brother Donny. How do you feel about doing this show solo?
Osmond: I think if I was going to do it with Donny it would have to be a two-hour talk show because he's so slow. [Laughs] I'm teasing. It's going to be a fun show. There's [already] wonderful women out there talking, [but] I think I bring a different perspective — I have eight children, I'm single, I'm a working mom and that's not out there right now. That voice isn't being heard. I don't have bazillion nannies. I know what it is to do the car pool, I know what it is to shop and I know how to cook for very large numbers.
TVGuide.com: What else is coming up?
Osmond: I have a book coming out next year for Mother's Day. My house burnt down and I was really sad. I lost all my journals over the 40-plus years — amazing stories, great life-learning things, funny things my kids do. So I started writing it up with my friend Marcia [Wilkie] who wrote my other book with me. It's very Erma Bombeck-ish — it's going to be that kind of thing to make women laugh and find hope in the middle of chaos and insanity.
TVGuide.com: Any advice for getting through tough times?
Osmond: Finding the humor in things really helps. My mom taught me that that's one of the best survival skills. When my dad died while I was doing Dancing with the Stars and then my son and everything else —yeah, that's painful, but we found humor. You've got to find the joy and the wonderful little daily miracles.
TVGuide.com: Is it hard to deal with the interest the public takes in your personal troubles?
Osmond: When I was a teenager, it kind of bothered me a little, but you get used to it. The thing that is hard is when [my] children, who didn't choose to be in show business, are affected. Nobody would have reported about my son [16-year-old Michael, who entered a rehabilitation facility in November] if he hadn't of been my son, so it was hard on him. But my kids are terrific — they are my rock. I learn from them daily. I'm impressed by the magnificent people that they are.
TVGuide.com: As a former teen idol yourself, do you have any motherly advice for young stars like Britney and Lindsay who seem to be having some difficulty?
Osmond: I was blessed with the perfect stage mother. She was there for every stage of my life. It's very hard to be a kid in the entertainment business now. When I was growing up we had the No. 1 television show in the world, and I would come home after 17 hours of work and my mom would say, "OK, go clean the toilet," or "It's your turn to make dinner." There were times when I thought my parents were tough but you cannot buy self-esteem for your children, you can only help them work hard and earn it themselves. You have to help them to feel good about the things they do. And instead of saying, "I'm so proud of you," you need to say, "Wow, aren't you proud of yourself?" It's hard….We don't get manuals on being mothers, do we? [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: How do you balance being the mother of eight with what seems like a super-busy schedule?
Osmond: The hardest thing is boundaries and consistency, and I think it's hard for any working mother. The best thing you can do as a mom — I think I've learned the hard way — is really, really listen.
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