UpClose with Candace Cameron Bure
by Susan Besze Wallace
The bubbly oldest sister from “Full House” still has the same friendly, earnest voice, the same room-warming grin. But Candace Cameron Bure is 33, all grown up, married to former hockey player Valeri Bure for 13 years, and the mother of Natasha, 11, Lev, 10 and Maksim, 8. Her eight years on a hit television series is a far cry from her current “full house” of carpools, homework and striving to maintain date night. Candace says her faith and her family propel her forward and give her strength in all things. She chatted with MOMSense columnist Susan Besze Wallace between her kids’ appointments.
Tell me about your 20s versus your 30s, so far, as a mom.
I’ve grown so much in patience. I was married at 20, had kids when I was 22, 23 and 25. You’re still learning who you are as person then. In your 20s your life is about you. Having children made it about them and marriage. It was hard having kids young, but we wanted to have a family right away. I love being a young mom, and I‘m glad to have the energy to keep up with them. Most of the time, I’m the youngest mom in my kids’ classes.
I understand you’ve been party mom for all three of your kids’ classes at once? Ever think you say “yes” too much?
It was crazy. I want to be so involved, but I have had to learn how to say no, still learning. Now that I’m working again on a new show, I guess the schedule is what it is. I signed up for everything for all three kids, but e-mailed the class moms and said I wanted to do as much as I can, but I have a changing schedule so have me as a reserve person. So far it’s working great. I feel involved, and I am, but it’s OK to say no. I love reading in the classroom. It feels like acting. I get to be someone else!
Has your faith changed as you’ve mothered?
Once I had Natasha, my first, I started thinking about how we are created, who made us, how did this all happen? It made me start questioning and wanting to know more. I considered myself a Christian, but I wasn’t living for God and, frankly, I didn’t know what the Bible said. I had to ask, ‘Do I own it, or am I believing it because my parents told me it was right?’ Now it’s the most important part of my family’s life.
I have to ask, do you keep in touch with your “Full House” co-stars?
I do. Almost everyone. I am very close to (TV dad) Bob Saget ... Dave Coulier (Joey Gladstone), who introduced me and Val at a hockey game. We have dinner. I still talk to John Stamos. And I also Facebook, Twitter and e-mail them.
What kind of role does TV play in your house?
Our rules change as the kids get older and homework gets harder. We don’t have the TV on during the week, except for Friday night, and they have movie night if they want to. They each get two hours on the weekend, split however they want. When I would tell them to turn the TV off, there was so much whining and complaining, and their attitudes after watching were bad! For two weeks they asked and asked and then it stopped. The hardest part for me was sticking with it. A couple moments – wow! I really see the benefits of it now though.
Your brother, Kirk, starred in the movie “Fireproof.” How do you fireproof your marriage?
I’m so proud of my brother for that. People tell me all the time what “Fireproof” has done for their marriage. For me, I had to gain a true understanding of what God’s blueprint for marriage is, what my role is. My husband and I weren’t always on the same page about God. I desperately wanted to be, but I learned to shut my mouth and just work on trying to be the woman God wanted me to be.
There was a time I wanted to read Bible stories to my kids, and Val wanted to read Dr. Seuss, because the other bothered him. My mom prayed for my dad for over 35 years before he came to know God. God has given us a promise for that situation in the Bible, if you’ll trust it.
These days, Val and I definitely are on the same page. We try to have a date night once a week. It’s when we go through the week, organize our schedules and love on each other. We’re big food fans, so it’s usually dinner. We just moved from Florida back to Los Angeles, so we have a lot more help and family now. We don’t have nannies, never have. My husband and I just do it, and we get a sitter.
What did your parents do right?
They were very moral people. Family came first. They really taught us about materialism and that all the stuff in the world isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. I knew they were always there, whether I liked it or not. I knew that decisions were made out of love. Time is the best gift you can give. So now for me, even when Val and I go out together for dinner, we still sit down as a family at the table while the kids eat an earlier dinner.
You work hard at focusing, then?
You know, I’m working again, and lots of my stuff is done by computer, and it’s difficult because I can be in the room with my kids, but if I’m on computer I’m not with them. Just because you are there doesn’t mean you’re present. So now once the kids get home from school, my computer goes off until they’re in bed. It really helps me focus. My attention is with them. You find what works for you.
So you went from stay-home mom for ten years, to now working mom, on a new show “Make It or Break It” (ABC Family). Tell us about the decision.
It was appealing because it’s a large ensemble cast so I only work two to three days a week. A lot of factors play into what I’ll choose to act in, as well as my speaking events. If my family is not moving along well, nothing else will either. Foremost, I have to pray about any decision. Both my sisters work from home. I hear moms say, “I need to work,” and yet putting kids in daycare takes everything you make. I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it weren’t for my husband. He runs our home incredibly well.
Have you ever struggled with your identity as a mom, after such a clear identity as an actress?
It was very much a struggle in the beginning. I came off the show, did five TV movies, and then moved to Montreal from LA where I couldn’t work (legally) if I wanted to. I became a hockey wife and a mother after being totally rooted in being an actress. So many days I felt like: Really? This is what I’m doing? I didn’t see the value right away. But when I saw my work in God’s eyes, and saw that I had the most important job … It didn’t get easier for me until I got right with God. Once I surrendered to motherhood, I was thrilled about it. It became a true joy. Nothing’s more important than my family.
A Minute with Candace
Who’s on your iPod? Phil Joel’s “Deliberate Kids,” Jimmy Needham, Jonny Lang, Toby Mac, Natalie Grant, Matthew West, Third Day, Chris Tomlin, Duffy
Phrase most often said to your kids: “Can you pick that up and put it away?!”
Must read: Way of the Master, by Ray Comfort. Really opened my eyes to seeing my need for Christ.
Disney World or Disneyland? Gotta go with Disneyland only because I grew up in LA and spent SO much time there as a kid. My mom’s best friend was Tinker Bell, who flew during summer night fireworks shows.
Favorite food indulgence: Hands down - ice cream! And it's got to have chocolate in it.