The Life As We Know It actress talks about the adjustment period after she and her husband Josh Kelley adopted baby Naleigh from South Korea last year.
“The first thing she said was, ‘Dada,’ and then she’d call everybody else she loved ‘Dada,’” Katherine reveals. “She actually attached to Josh (Kelley) much faster.”
The former Grey’s Anatomy star admits she felt a little left out, but of course Naleigh soon added ‘Mama’ to her vocabulary, too.
“Naleigh learned with me that the word ‘Mama’ was synonymous with kisses,” she explains. “So when she first started saying, ‘Mama,’ she would also make a little kiss sound … She started saying it maybe a month or two ago. I would come into the room and she’d go, ‘Mama!’ And it was like, Thank God.”
Katherine adds that, as a working mom, connecting with her new daughter wasn’t easy.
“I had a lot of complicated emotions about it because I chose to go back to work,” she says. “I love what I do and – this isn’t just making excuses – if I weren’t fulfilling this thing in me to perform, to live out my passion, I don’t know that I would be the mom I need to be.”
Looking back, the actress says she experienced the same anxiety a lot of new moms feel.
“There’s this thing where, as a new mother, you’re just constantly going, Am I doing this right? Am I handling this right? Am I playing with her enough? Should I be talking to her more? You’re just nervous, so you’re almost creating more drama than is necessary.”