Celebrations are the strong suit of Emmy- and Golden Globe –winning actress and kitchen maven Valerie Bertinelli. And this Mother’s Day, she’s sharing her secrets to honoring all the moms in our lives. Keep reading to learn Mother’s Day life lessons from Valerie Bertinelli, plus hear her tips for making your sweetest memories yet.
Valerie Bertinelli on Motherhood
Valerie Bertinelli has worn many hats in her life, including actress, chef, TV personality, and acclaimed author. But this Mother’s Day, she says being a mom to her son, Wolfgang Van Halen, is her best role of all.
“I adore him!” she gushes to Woman’s World of her son, who, following in his late father Eddie Van Halen’s footsteps, released his debut album, Mammoth WVH, in 2021. “I love what a kind, thoughtful, funny human he is. It’s weird that I have a 32-year-old adult son — life goes by in a flash!” For the 63-year-old, that life has had its share of ups and downs, from the loss of her ex-husband and friend, Eddie Van Halen, to her recent divorce from Tom Vitale, and struggles with self-acceptance.
But through it all, Valerie has stayed strong, which she attributes to the women she honors each Mother’s Day. “I come from a long line of incredible women,” she says. “My great-grandmother was on the poverty list in Italy, but earned enough money with her gelato cart to come to America. And my mom came from nothing. She left home at 16, married my dad at 17, and started a family.”
Though her mother has passed, Valerie’s memories of her live on. “She was so smart, funny, and talented, and I loved making her feel loved. I would look at her and say, ‘I love you and appreciate everything you’ve done for me.’” Keep reading to learn exactly how the light of her mother’s memory has helped Valerie achieve self-love and find joy and peace in all of life’s seasons.
Pain doesn’t last.
“This last divorce knocked me on my butt for sure!” Valerie confides. “I felt so out of control. I was blindsided at every turn. But I’m on the other side now, and my good days are so much better. We as women are stronger than we give ourselves credit for, but that strength comes in being vulnerable. Like author Brené Brown says, ‘Strength comes in feeling those feelings and knowing that they won’t last forever.’ Feeling the grief, the pain, and the betrayal and knowing it wouldn’t last: That got me through.”
Love your heart.
“You are not your body,” Valerie says. “Your body is just a vessel that your beautiful soul and heart walk around in. No matter what size you are, you are lovable. And everything starts with loving yourself, your heart. You are already enough, and what your body looks like is only the years that have been put into your body. Whatever heartbreak, whatever joys you’ve gone through, appreciate and celebrate your body. It is beautiful just the way it is.”
Celebrate the little moments.
“Mother’s Day was always family time if Ed wasn’t on the road,” Valerie reminisces. “I hold so many memories close from that time — the sweet, funny little gifts and time together. We’d go to dinner or Ed would make something — he was really good at reheating frozen burritos and making hot dogs, which I love! But those little gestures don’t have to be for a special day. It can be out of nowhere. Us moms, we just appreciate being appreciated!”
Embrace Mom’s life lessons.
“Soak up the wisdom of your mom — or any women who are ‘moms’ in your life — while she’s with you,” Valerie counsels. “I remember little things, like my mom holding her feelings in, was not good, so I’m trying to express mine so I don’t use food or whatever I may use to suppress them. Memories can be a great lesson.”
Walk away stress.
“Taking my dog, Luna, for a walk, just moving my body, is the best stress reliever,” Valerie says. “Sometimes, it’s just as simple as sitting up and shaking my body all over, just releasing that energy and even writing about it, journaling. I don’t journal every day, but when I do, it really feels good to get it out and on paper. But walking, moving my body, definitely helps — and it’s helped me get into a smaller jean size!”
Lean on faith and friends.
“Faith and hope,” Valerie cites as the two things that give her strength. “Faith in the universe, faith in God. Also, I have a girlfriend named Faith Ford. She is always that phone call that comes when I feel my darkest. The woman and the actual emotion of faith are big backbones in my life.”
Want more Valerie? Don’t miss the last season of Valerie’s Home Cooking!
“I’m sad that this will be the last season! ” Valerie says of her Food Network show, Valerie’s Home Cooking. “The crew works so hard to make this show as beautiful and as inviting as it is, but when one door closes, another door opens. I’m writing a cookbook right now called Indulge. It will be out next year and is about living life, indulging and knowing you’re already enough. Just enjoy, eat and have fun!”
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.