Many fans of Michelle Stafford know her best from her time as Phyllis Summers on the CBS soap opera, The Young and the Restless, or from her current role as Nina Clay on ABC’s soap opera, General Hospital.
However, if you look closer at Stafford’s life, you will see someone who has worn many hats, chosen a path less traveled and has made her mark as a trailblazer in every sense of the word.
Her career as an actress in enviable. She has won two Daytime Emmy awards, starred in a variety of both film and TV shows and even created her own web comedy series in 2013, called “The Stafford Project“.
In addition to her work as an actor, Stafford is a mom. A single mom. And that’s really where Stafford’s passion is evident. After welcoming her daughter Natalia Scout Lee in to the world via surrogate at the age of 44 in 2009, Stafford was not only older than most first time moms – she was also doing it solo.
When asked how she came to the decision to make the leap in to motherhood on her own, Stafford doesn’t mince words.
“Everything I’ve done in my life was not an overnight decision. I mean, having my daughter wasn’t an overnight thing. But I’m not afraid of change. Change happens every second and I’m not afraid of it.”
It’s her absolute willingness to do things on her own terms that has led her to take on projects outside the scope of acting, such as her podcast “Single Mom a Go-Go”.
“Everyone has podcasts today,” Stafford quips. “But I thought why not put it on video for people to watch?”
And it’s extremely entertaining. Stafford invites various celebrities on her podcast to talk candidly about a variety of topics. Invariably she will mix in her own life experiences with little filter – such as her discussion about circumcision.
Stafford recently become a mom for the second time with son Jameson Jones Lee, who is now eleven months old. She relays an incident in which she was told by her physician that she would have to massage his foreskin when he got older, due to the extra foreskin he had.
“I’m not doing it, I’m just not,” says Stafford laughing at the camera, with blushing guest, Emme Rylan.
It’s this candor that has made her podcasts so successful.
“So many women talk about how perfect everything is, how wonderful it is. That’s bullshit. I want to talk about it openly. There’s so much guilt for me about the baby phase. I don’t love it. It’s hard. I also have a hard time dating as a single mom.”
“With twitter, I have 140 characters. It’s about making comments and promoting what I’m doing. I get more comments on General Hospital and Young and the Restless on it. I talk less about being a mom there. But on Instagram, it’s a picture. It’s more personal, and I really like that.”
When asked how she looks so amazing at the age of fifty and has a body that looks better than most eighteen year olds, she readily admits her body hasn’t had to undergo the birthing process.
“Look, let’s face it, I didn’t give birth. I don’t want anyone looking at my body and wonder why theirs doesn’t look like mine. I had a surrogate for both my children. They are both mine, but I didn’t carry them.”
Stafford also jogs every day and eats healthy.
“I am an active woman. But I think if everyone just does something active 15 minutes each day, it’s a good start.”
Stafford cares about what goes into her body. After her sister’s scare with Stage 3 Cancer a few years back (she is currently in remission), it made her take a closer look at everything that went in to her food and on her skin.
It prompted her to create Skin Nation, a skin care line that uses only organic and natural ingredients.
“I’m really proud of this skin care line. There are nine products so far, and I created each one. I worked closely with an organic company in Oregon to create this line. It’s very personal to me. But you need that in order to take this on.”
The reviews of the skin care line both in social media and on the Skin Nation website, have been extremely positive, with many women thanking Stafford for creating the organic line.
So how does she do it? So many different things, and yet, she appears to have a handle on all of them.
“I have a great job,” Stafford says laughing. “I get 18 weeks off a year with General Hospital, so I can spend time with my kids. I also have a great babysitter, which allows me the time on other projects.”
What advice does she have for women who want to change something in their life and are afraid to take the leap?
“Don’t wait. Just go for it. I mean, look at me. I thought to myself, why would I wait for the perfect guy to have children? Why would I miss out on that? You need to take care of you.”
As someone who lives in L.A now, she has traveled extensively in her life.
“I’ve lived in Italy and Tokyo. It was my first time away from home, when I lived in Tokyo. My favorite places to travel are Paris and London. I could live in London. I feel at home there. Brits are super fun.”
So what’s next for the woman who is continually on the go?
Writing a book, of course. Stafford says she plans to talk about the funny side of becoming a mom, and is currently working on having it out for next year. Stay tuned…