Though Brenda Song and fiancé Macaulay Culkin don't have a nanny for 9-month-old son Dakota, the actress admitted that they would be lost without the help of her mother.
"My mom has been here with us since my son was born. When I was working, my mom would bring him to set so I could breastfeed and see him during the day," the Disney Channel alum told The Cut. "People tell you a lot about labor and pregnancy, but not about the fourth trimester. To my girlfriends that are pregnant I say, 'Make sure you have help.' Because your instinct is to want to do it all and you physically can’t."
Since the pair do have an extra set of hands around, the Dollface star didn't take a very long maternity leave — something she has mixed feelings over.
"I had no idea what I was doing. I went back to work so early," she confessed. "It was harder than I thought. I pride myself on always being first on set. So to be like, 'Hey, I need 20 minutes to pump' was difficult."
Song called "being away from her family" the "biggest challenge."
"There were so many long days where I’d get home and my son would already be asleep," she shared. "I put a lot of pressure on myself to keep pumping and breastfeeding him while I was working. I pumped throughout production."
"Learning my own boundaries while trying to take care of my son and my family — that was hard. But I had a great support system and knew my son was taken care of; I just had FOMO," she acknowledged. "Missing those hours with my newborn son, it pains me, but at the end of the day, Mama’s got to put food on the table. You’ve got to make those sacrifices. Hopefully he’ll understand."
Culkin, of course, has a busy acting career as well, so the two split duties when it comes to household chores and childcare.
"I think when you and your partner have kids, especially the first few months, you don’t have the patience to be polite with each other. Being communicative when you need help is so important," she noted. "Instead of having set duties, we just feel each other out. I’ll be putting my son down and my partner is like, 'Let me feed the animals and get dinner ready.'"