"People are always really surprised because my character on the show seems perfect, she has it all together, and I'm the opposite," Cross, 49, tells Scholastic's Parent & Child magazine.

By peoplestaff225
Updated December 02, 2020 02:39 PM

Mother-of-two Marcia Cross has perfected her Desperate Housewives‘ role as the always-perfect Bree Van de Kamp; The actress’s ability to manage it all offscreen, however, is still a work-in-progress.

“People are always really surprised because my character on the show seems perfect, she has it all together, and I’m the opposite,” Cross, 49, tells Scholastic’s Parent & Child magazine.

“I struggle like every other mother, and I’m constantly trying to figure out how to do it better or cut myself some slack when something’s not exactly right.”

With the show in its eighth and final season, Cross is excited to soon be concentrating her efforts on her 4½-year-old twin daughters Eden and Savannah — and their future classmates!

“Since my girls will be going into kindergarten next year, I’m happy that I’ll have more time to be there for them when they make that transition,” she says. “I’m looking forward to being a classroom mom!”

As the girls get older, their budding — and contrasting — personalities continue to shine, much to the amazement of their mom.

“Though twins, they’re completely different! One of them recently started karate and watching her first tournament blew me away,” she shares. “The other one is into dance. You have to be open to the different directions they take.”

And much like she allows her daughters to creatively express themselves, Cross, who has her masters in psychology, is also learning to take a step back and cheer her girls on from the sidelines.

“Eden was talking to me one day, sounding like a teenager. Something was bothering her. Like any other mother, I was thinking, ‘How do I handle this?'” she reveals.

“I said, ‘You know, I’m having the same problem with a person at my job. What do you think I should do?'”

Eden’s smart solution? A snack!

“It was so cute because she said, ‘Well, you could take a deep breath, you could go have a snack, you could talk to your friends,'” says Cross. “By helping me, she was seeing what she could do for herself. It’s a little twisty thing I use to teach without always telling what to do.”

Cross will also continue to focus on her charitable commitments, including her work with Feeding America, and hopes to slowly incorporate Eden and Savannah into her projects.

According to the proud mama, engaging her girls won’t be a problem.

“A trip I made to Children’s Hospital Boston was eye-opening for all of us. They were too young to go with me … but when I brought home a beautiful book the hospital made for me about my visit with the kids there, Eden and Savannah became very curious,” she recalls.

“We looked at the book together and one of the girls said, ‘Mom, I think you should go to the gift shop and get them all presents.’ And I said, ‘Oh, honey, that’s a wonderful idea. That’s exactly what I’m going to do next time.’ My heart was exploding.”

— Anya Leon