Sometimes you speak to a person and it makes you a better woman and mother. So was the case when I spoke to Nikki Deloach the day before her new film,”Perfect Catch,” which premieres on the Hallmark channel on April 22nd. In the podcast below, I talk to Nikki about her 3 year old son, her current pregnancy and the insane judgments hurled on us by other parents. We also spend much of the interview discussing what got her through her own struggles with postpartum depression and how the challenges associated with this mental illness helped her become an even better actor.
At the young age of 12, DeLoach became a member of The Mickey Mouse Club, alongside Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling. DeLoach spent several years in Los Angeles pursuing acting where she starred opposite Mark Wahlberg and Bill Paxton in the movie “The Traveller,” and played Anthony LaPagilia’s daughter in “The Jimmy V Story,” and TV series like “Misery Loves Company.” DeLoach most recently starred on MTV’s #1 scripted and critically acclaimed series, “Awkward.”
We chat about the new film and I can’t wait for my viewing party tomorrow! Jessica Parker (DeLoach), a single parent to an eight-year-old son, runs the local diner. When Jessica’s former high school boyfriend, superstar baseball player Chase Tanner (Walker) returns to town, Jessica finds the inspiration to reinvent her struggling diner and revisits the past to find something even better for the future.
“Perfect Catch” premieres on the Hallmark channel on Saturday, April 22 at 9pm pst, 6pm est.
Here’s the transcript of our chat:
Jill: Hi, Nikki. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with Urban Mommies.
Nikki: Oh, hi, Jill. I love your site and I’m a fan. So, thank you so much for having me.
Jill: Oh, that’s amazing. Thank you. And you are a mom as well.
Nikki: Oh, yes, girl. I am a mom. Capital M-O-M.
Jill: Well, we have something in common as well because my youngest son is Hudson.
Nikki: No way. Really?
Jill: Yes. Yes. And he just – we just.
Nikki: Oh, that’s so cool.
Jill: So we just got back yesterday from Barcelona where we has playing in a big soccer tournament. So. What about your son, does he likes – does he likes sports?
Nikki: Well, you know what, he just started. So he’s three, so how old your son?
Jill: He is nine now.
Nikki: Wow. That’s so cool that he could do that. That’s amazing. Yeah. My son is three. So he just started in. He’s actually into two sports classes. One of them is straight up soccer. And it’s on Wednesday. And I’m actually like, kind of in love with this whole soccer group of people. I’ve become obsessed. Like, the whole group, the mommies and the daddies are all so great and wonderful. And the – and the coach is amazing. And he’s just such a great teacher and my son loves it and then they all go and play in the park. Like, afterwards, next week, we’re going to one of the parent’s houses to have pizza. And it’s really fun because – when you’re – especially when you’re a working mom. You don’t really get to do a lot of that. You know what I mean? Or you miss out on those things. And – but this is one of those things like my Wednesday afternoons with him. Like when work stuff comes up, I’ll be – I’ll say it like, yeah, he got to change it to another day. Unless I’m filming but if it’s press or anything, I’ll be like, I have to – I got to do it a different day because I got to take my kid to do soccer class.
Jill: That’s amazing.
Nikki: And the he does – and then he – I know – and then he does a sports class on Mondays. And every five weeks, they rotate a different sport which is really fun and he loves it. But some people say, like, it’s too young to get them involved in stuff like that, but you know what? I think every kid is different. My kid needs the activity.
Jill: Well, and I think kind of moms to do.
Nikki: I mean, he kind of need to learn structure.
Jill: For moms too. I think you need the camaraderie and I feel myself that sometimes motherhood is quite isolating and I think probably – I don’t know as in – as a celebrity. Do you find it even more isolating or do you need the camaraderie from the sports team to really be more connected to other parents?
Nikki: You know what? I’m just a tribal person by nature. I grew up in a small town with a huge community. Where everyone knew everyone and if you ever needed anything, somebody was there, I mean, I probably got picked up from school by every single person that lived in our town. And – or taken to dance or picked up from basketball practice, my dad, like, would drive around the basketball team and drop them all off at their houses. So, I grew up at a community where like, everybody just work together to make things work. So, [inaudible 0:04:35] I’m like, “Listen. Find your tribe. Utilize your tribe. Find a way to make it work for everyone.” Because you can’t do it by yourself then, that was a hard lesson that I really learned after, like, I had really, really good friends, always and I’ve been so fortunate to have great girlfriends but when I had Hudson, I went through sever postpartum depression and I kind of had to relearn that lesson because I’ve never – that was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life. And I felt such shame and I – I just felt so tremendously isolated because how do you tell people the thoughts that are going on in your head. How do you tell people that, like, you were thinking of ways to kill yourself. How do you tell people that really dark stuff that you go through when you have postpartum and I didn’t – I didn’t know how to do that because I just don’t have a skillset for it and I really learned after that. I was like, “Okay. I got to get people in place.
I need my support system. I need to reach out. I need to – you need to have that.” And so, like, now, I’m going in to baby number two and if something like that were to happen, the second time around, like, I know exactly who to call, I know exactly what to do. I have – you know what I mean? I know exactly which friends I need to get on my – get on the phone. They would be at my house in five seconds. So you live and you learn as you go through this but being a mom is – it really is the hardest job in the entire world and with the least amount of praise. And it can be extremely extraordinary isolating. So, for me it’s all about that tribe. Like, it’s all about my female friends. And the more that I utilize that. The easier it is and the happier I am. And the happier my child is, actually.
Jill: Wow. Thank you so much for opening up to me about that. I’ve also been through quite a bit of depression and it’s one of the most challenging things in the world because it’s really hard – I think for other people to be around us during those times. What would you say where the best things that other people did for you when you were going through that? Was it bringing food or was it calling all the time or was it not calling? What helped you the most?
Nikki: Oh, man. First of all, I’m so sorry that you also struggle with that. It’s – it’s like a special women’s club that like, you really don’t want to belong to but then if you – if you get to be one of the chosen ones. That like, you have to go through it. You do find the sense of, like, me, like – we’re just talking over the phone and I already know you. I feel like I already know your journey because I know that about you because – unless you’ve been through it, you just have no clue what that’s like, you know what I mean, and I think the greatest thing that people did for me, it all came down to my girlfriends, really. Making me laugh when I really needed to laugh, texting me, just during the day just to say, “Hey, I’m thinking about you. What do you need?” Or my girlfriends, I have a really good girlfriend, [inaudible 0:08:18] saying, “Hey. I’m coming over.” It’s just coming over. Yeah. Just like, not giving me options, just like, kind of pushing her way in and saying, “I’m coming over.” And I think that that was the step that got me through because I couldn’t – I couldn’t – I reacted really terribly to medication. So we would try to get me on medication and then I would react in this very severe way to it. So then we would have to get me off the medication and then we – we went through that dancing. So, it kind of set me back for a while and so I really and truly, all I had was like, myself to lean into, my face to lean into and my friends to lean into. Because even during – you’re going through that, like, your husband doesn’t know how to deal with that, I mean, I don’t know about you, but like mine was just paralyzed.
Jill: And also it’s – when it happens with your first child as well. I think that’s a double whammy because you’re also trying to navigate this new role that you never had before and it’s doubly paralyzing.
Nikki: It is. It’s Doubly paralyzing and your husband is like, at work all day, thinking like, is my wife okay? It’s like, he’s like saying it’s going to be okay. You know what I mean, like, so he’s like paralyzed with fear so he doesn’t really – he doesn’t really know when I’m thinking situations like that. That’s when like women really are important and female friends are because we know what to do. When our girlfriends are down. When our girlfriends are going through it, like, we know when to get pushy and we know when to back off. We just like, innately as women, know how to nurture in that way. So, that’s why I’m like, such a – that’s – also I love your site and I love – I love sites that like, really talk about motherhood, because I feel like, the more we’re honest about it and the more we talk about it, the more women feel like they have a tribe out there. People to lean into and it really helps along the way.
Jill: Oh, thank you so much. I found – when I first had my first son who’s 11. That every time I went on the internet to figure something out. It was judgy and preachy and you’re doing this all wrong and I can’t believe you’re not doing this okay.
Nikki: Oh, of course. You only press that [inaudible 0:10:53] you’re a terrible mother.
Jill: Yeah. He’s crying because you’re eating gluten and it was.
Nikki: I mean, seriously.
Jill: I know. It just – and it made me – it made me feel really, really down and I wanted something that was smart and well researched. And not preachy or judgy. So, thank you so much for that. I found also when I.
Nikki: No, thank you for what you do.
Jill: Now, do you find that your postpartum depression actually enhanced your skills as an actor?
Nikki: Yes. Yes. And here’s why. You know, as an actor, my actual – the technique that I work with, really doesn’t pull from my personal experience because sometimes, like, I kind of use a lot of imagination and we use a technique – I use the [inaudible 0:11:49] technique. It’s the same technique that’s used by Amy Adams, Kyra Sedgwick and a lot of like, really incredible amazing actors and it’s imagination based and you kind of create these characters however, I will say, going to postpartum, it – I sunk down so deep and I went so dark as a humans, and at the end of the day, I was able to pull myself out of that. Like, really, really and truly, I pulled myself out of that. And so, as a – as an actor who’s taking risk, I’m not scared to take a risk, I’m not scared to go, like, really dark and really deep. Because I know that like, I can trust myself to hold that space in a very safe way. So it did change – it did change me as an actor, it changes me as an actor – it changed me forever as a human. I had someone – oh, you know who it was – I – it was the first – I did a movie – I did a movie called Christmas Land and because I’m having complete pregnancy brain right now. She was – oh, gosh. I can’t wait – she was on the Brady Bunch. Maureen McCormick. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that I just like, that’s just me with pregnancy brain. Maureen McCormick went through really bad postpartum depression and she – we’re sitting at hair & makeup truck and he said – and she said, “You know what? I went through it and it was very sever too and it ended up being one of the greatest gifts that I’ve ever been given.” And I was like, “Gift?” I just wasn’t there yet. And I was like, “How so?” And she was like, “Honestly, if I can get through that, I can get through anything.” And I really was – I was thinking about that for a very long time and I thought, “You know what? I am, like, that’s true. Like, I am stronger.” It’s like that saying, you’re stronger than you ever knew or you’re stronger than you believe. I’m stronger than I ever know I could be because I came out the other side of that and so, in a way it is just like great gift and it does inform you and it does – it does really – as a creative person, it really does allow you to kind of like, go to these really dark places and trust that you’ll come out of it just fine.
Jill: You’re giving me so many tingles, I could almost, I could just help you. Thank you so much.
Nikki: You’re welcome.
Jill: [inaudible 0:14:38] work and you have another film coming out on the Hallmark Channel. Tomorrow.
Nikki: I do. I do.
Jill: You didn’t tell me. Oh.
Nikki: Oh, yay. It’s called The Perfect Catch and it’s a movie that, it’s airing on the Hallmark Channel tomorrow night at 9:00 Central. You know what, it’s just a really sweet movie, it’s fun. It’s kind of a two hander with me and my co-star, Andrew Walker. So, there’s something for the guys and there’s too – and a lot of the Hallmark movies are really like, heavy on the female character. But this one, it has a really cool journey for him too. And for the two of them, it’s really kind of about – both of them experiencing a comeback in their life. For him, he experience fame and success and all the great stuff and except for this fall from grace and he’s kind of come back home for this small town to look [inaudible 0:15:40] and kind of figure everything out and for my character, Jessica Parker, she – nothing ever really went right in her life. She’s took over her family’s business and it’s suffering, she’s a single mom, trying to be mom and dad to her son and that’s struggling. So nothing’s ever really gone right for her and they both – they were both high school sweethearts and they – and he comes home and they see each other again, and they – it’s Hallmark, so of course, they’re going to – there’s going to be some fireworks and – but in the end of the day, the lesson that I really love is that, it’s never too late to find happiness and they both kind of teach each other that, it’s never too late – to go for your dreams and to have your best life and it’s just – it’s really sweet, you’ll laugh, you may cry a little bit and it’s a fun movie.
Jill: I can’t wait. I’m going to have a viewing party here.
Nikki: Oh, that’s so sweet. Thank you.
Jill: Before I let you go, I know that you’re very busy. But I just – as a mom and being also expecting, what are your two or three favorite baby products that you just couldn’t live without? Baby or pregnancy.
Nikki: Oh, whenever he’s a new – oh, when he was a newborn, when Hudson was, more like, well, because – I mean, it’s been – let’s see, Hudson’s three years and some six months, some change, I’m sure that there’s been some stuff that has changed.
Jill: Even his – the toys. What is he into now?
Nikki: Oh, what is he into now. Well, right now, it’s all about trucks and cars and anything with wheels and I mean, like, the little – there’s little like, the little toy cars, those are amazing, like, I’ll take a handful of those and on a plane with me. And he’ll sit there and he’ll just play with them and “Vroom, Vroom, vroom.” For an hour.
Jill: You know what, I got a tip and tricks for that.
Nikki: Oh, cool.
Jill: If you take painters tape. Painters tape and then you can make roads on the – on the seatback tray.
Nikki: It’s a great idea.
Jill: And it’s really good too and playing for the stick tape all over your kid, and like, they’ll spend an hour trying to get the tape off, their laps and their feet and everything else and it’s a great time to work.
Nikki: Oh my goodness, that’s literally like, one of the best things I’ve ever heard in my life. I have to tell, I did a Home And Family, I did Home And Family, the show on Hallmark and there was just – man, that was on there and he – you have to watch it today. It’s actually, is that, 10:00 AM, hold on, I’m just going to text my husband right now. And tell him to please record for me. I’m like, wait a second, I didn’t even record the show. Anyway, he – he had a trick for bathing his kids, which I thought was genius, some kids, like, just don’t want to get in the bath, I mean, I’m lucky because mine loves the water but he does fight me really hard on the soap around his head and around his face. And so, anyway, he had these three tricks and one of – two of them I found to be – one of them was hilarious. So, one of them is really smart and he have this like, this like, friendly – environmental friendly glow sticks then he would put inside either the shower or the bath and the kids, like, he would dim the lights and like, turn on music and it would be like a club, like, a fun party in there and his child went from like, screaming, like, “Ahh.” Like, didn’t want to take a bath, to like, “I want to get in the bath. I want to get in the bath. I want to get in the bath.” Because she wanted to go find the glow sticks and play with the glow sticks.
Jill: That is brilliant.
Nikki: I know. Isn’t that brilliant and the other.
Jill: It’s absolutely brilliant.
Nikki: And he recorded, he made home videos of all of these and it was amazing and the other thing he did which you actually have to watch, is he created a Slip ‘N Slide outside and he used bath soap with the water and he had his kids do the Slip ‘N Slide to bathe with the soapy water. So that, the water, like, pools at the end instead there was all the soapy water at the end. And the kids maybe in the – like, slipping and sliding on this state. Where like, all soap up all over their body and he would just rinse them off and send them inside. I died laughing, like, he has a whole video of in – video of it, I thought it was just like, one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in my life, I was like, you must be from the south because that is the stuff that my mom would pull out. And he was Tennessee but anyway, it was just really, really fun. I love hearing about those things, like, different mommies or daddies come up with because, you’re just like always looking for a way to like make your life easier.
Jill: Oh, that is absolutely brilliant. I might have to do – I might have to feature that on one of my TV stations.
Nikki: Oh, you really do. And actually, you should like, you should contact him, he’s super funny and like, just to have like a male voice in there. Who’s like really involved in his kid’s life and he’s so funny and he’s a gigantic bald man, like, you would never think of this man, he’s like, trying to come up with clever ways to make his life easier as a parent when he’s stuck with a child. And he has three kids and it’s just – it was really fun to watch and the other thing was like, he had, which – I didn’t love this as much because I’m trying to incentivize my kids less. Less bargaining, less like, all of that, but it was still, if you really have to like, if all else fail, there is like a bar of soap and it had money on the inside of it, so, when you use the bar of soap, you would find, like, a dollar or like five dollars on the inside of the soap, and so his boys became obsessed with like, being in the shower and soaping themselves down because they wanted to get to the money on the inside of the soap.
Jill: That is insane though. And so much safer than – when my mom used to put coins in my birthday cake and you would like, take a bite and break your teeth.
Nikki: Yes. Or swallow it.
Jill: Yes, I know. It’s like, oh, that’s in the ‘70s.
Nikki: Listen, me too. I mean, I completely hear you. I – it’s – I think about that sometimes, though. Because like, when I start to get so, protective or my husband will be like, you need to give him space, like, you got to let him like, fall down, you got – and I forget it, like, I don’t know that my parents were around.
Nikki: Like, you know what I mean, like, my parents are just like, doing their thing and I survived. I like, I figured it out and I have to try to find that balance. Like, I really have to work on it and try to find – it’s harder in the city like Los Angeles than it is like, in South Georgia, obviously. But, I have to find that balance because I think, me as a child, really learning to like, fend for myself, and get – figure out what I was going to eat and when I needed to come home and like, all of those things that I did as a kid, having the space and the freedom to do that, it shows up in my adult life, it gives you the confidence as an adult to be like, oh, I’ll figure it out. I don’t know. I’ll just figure it out.
Jill: I think you hit the nail on the head at the beginning of our call. After you went through postpartum depression, you realized you could – you could get through anything and I think those lessons, it’s letting our kids fall down or letting our kids fail, teaches them that early, so, you must have had amazing parents.
Nikki: It does.
Jill: To allow you to get through something like that and really come out striving.
Nikki: Yeah. No, I did. Because I will – I just have like, altogether great. A great family. I mean, they’re crazy. They’re nuts. Just like everyone else’s family but they love me. And I think at the end of the day – that’s the thing, like, I was talking to a mother, because people do get really judgy. Especially when it comes to issues, like, breastfeeding, drugs or no drugs during birth and like, stuff like that and I was talking to this one mother, who breastfed her child for like, two years and Hudson didn’t want to breastfed pass. I got him about seven months and he just would not – he wouldn’t take my boob. He didn’t want to do it. And so like, that was it, and I was telling her and she was like, oh that’s so terrible, that’s so sad, and it was like this kind of like, judgy thing going on with it, and I said, I got to – I just have to stop you and say, my sister – she has three children and her two oldest, my nieces are seven and eight and they’re two of the most respectful, polite, well-mannered, kind, responsible children that you will ever – that I have ever met in my entire life. Ever. And she’s a teacher, a school teacher and administrator. She didn’t have the ability because of her schedule to go into her office every two hours and pump, she didn’t have that luxury to be able to do that, so she breastfed her kids and so she went to work and then she stopped. Her kids weren’t breastfed for two years or a year or however long. And her kids, are just the best kids that I ever met in my life. So, I said to her, it’s – you breastfed two months or not at all or one year or two years or whatever, that’s a personal choice but I think like, the thing that we really should be focusing on is, are you raising a healthy child and by healthy, I mean, kind, considerate, thoughtful, that child. The one who’s going to be a good human in the world. And he’s going to be good to other people. Of course, like, we want them to like, have all the good stuff and have breast milk and have like, great organic food but at the end of the day, like, what are you teaching your child. That’s what we should be talking about. And I kind of like stopped her for a second because I think that, we always kind of focus on those other things and then like, turn to someone else and be like, “Oh, I did it longer than you did.” You know what I mean and it’s like, first of all, let’s stop doing that, everybody’s trying to do the best that they can and just support every mother wherever they’re at.
Jill: Oh, I could just hug you and more tingles. Absolutely. Thank you so much for your words and your wisdom and your parenting style and I wish you the best of luck in this pregnancy and I can’t wait to Perfect Catch tomorrow night on the Hallmark Channel.
Jill: 9:00. That’s it.
Nikki: Thank you so much.
Jill: And I just wish you the best and I thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today.
Nikki: Oh, you’re – I’m the one who’s grateful. Thank you so much for taking the time, I really appreciate it. And we’re part of each other’s tribes now. So, how cool is that?
Jill: Yes. We’ll shoot hugs and congratulations on tomorrow and on Hudson and on the little one inside you.
Nikki: Thank you. Thank you so much.
Jill: Bye, Nikki.