If you think, from this photo, the Ziering family seems like nice people to talk to, you’d be right! I chatted with former Beverly Hills 90210 star, Ian, and his wife, Erin, and I couldn’t get enough of their warmth and enthusiasm. They talked excitedly about their adorable two-year-old, Mia, and the second child they’re expecting in May. Ian got candid about the challenges of being a dad — and how it’s changed him forever.
The Bump: Congratulations to both of you on Erin’s second pregnancy! How are you feeling, Erin?
Erin: I feel great — unbelievably great, compared to how I felt [when I was pregnant] with Mia. This has been just the greatest pregnancy, like I would seriously have like four more pregnancies because of this one… I’d need four more bedrooms though!
Ian: Erin had so many issues with the first baby. She had diabetes, a raised heartbeat.
Erin: It wasn’t preeclampsia, but I had an extremely elevated heart rate, where I couldn’t work out. I could't walk too far. I ended up on modified bed rest at 32 weeks. I had rashes the entire pregnancy and had to get steroid injections. I was very sick with Mia.
TB: Ian, what would you say is the most challenging part of being a dad?
Ian: Yeah, I have trouble multi-tasking! I think the most challenging thing is keeping the stress level down during the times when the baby is inconsolable. But I understand that this is all a part of the work, that this is what I signed up for, and that it’s bond-building. And in spite of the fact that it’s challenging, it’s really rewarding. I know that the view from the top is worth the climb.
I have a lot of friends who have families and I have always wanted what they have, and now I am building my future with Erin. And it’s really the best job I have ever had.
TB: What are you looking forward to the most the second time around?
Erin: I’m looking forward to enjoying having a baby with a lot less anxiety. I felt like, with Mia, I was always so nervous about everything, making sure I was doing everything perfectly and reading every book. I think this time will be nice because I know what’s going on and I will be more relaxed and enjoy it more.
TB: And what about Mia — is she looking forward to the new baby?
Erin: She is so excited. She talks about it more than we do.
Ian: She kisses the baby — you know, Erin’s stomach. “Mwuah! Mwuah! Mwuah! Baby! Mwuah! Mwuah!” It’s ridiculous.
Erin: We went out to a nice restaurant on Sunday night and with another couple and she made me pull my shirt up so she could lie on the baby and give the baby kisses in the middle of the restaurant. She just wanted some time with the baby, and she likes to snuggle with the baby, so she has a lot to talk about.
TB: Erin, you look fantastic! What are your best tips for staying fit and healthy while you’re pregnant?
Ian: Are you ready for this answer?
Erin: I’ve been pole dancing. After Mia [was born], I think I got so wrapped up in the motherly world, I was looking for something to make me feel more womanly, more myself. I was out with a group of girlfriends that were moms as well, and one of the women there was pole dance instructor. She was telling us that it will make you feel better about your body. It makes you feel more self-aware, and more confident, and that it helps with a lot of issues that happen after you have a baby, with the way you feel about your body and the changes you’re going through. I told her I was already pregnant again, and she said, “Don’t worry, it’s all safe. Just talk to your doctor [first].” So my mommy friends and I started doing this class and I loved, loved it!
It’s a great exercise. I go once or twice a week, and it’s girl time with my friends. We go out to dinner afterwards. It’s been a great experience, and it kept me in great shape during my pregnancy with a lot of extra energy. Ian loves it, too.
Ian: I had some apprehension for Erin to be involved with that because, um, somewhere in my past I’ve seen pole dancing. [laughs] And I was concerned that a pregnant woman shouldn’t be doing those kinds of things, but Erin is not spinning upside down. Erin’s approach to it is really from the workout perspective. But there’s is a side benefit. It helps her get in touch with her sensuality, with her femininity, and with her sexuality, and this is great! It helps her stay positive, when she starts to feel [bad about her body]. Being like, “Yeah I might be pregnant, but I’m making it look good!” And she comes home, and it’s kind of like an attitude adjustment, and I like that. And on top of that, she just gets a little sexier! I think it’s great, and I’m really benefitting!
This is something I think every relationship could use. I went to the class, and I watched and was really blown away — I had never seen Erin move like that!
TB: Ian, how would you say that you’ve changed since becoming a dad?
Ian: My why has changed. Initially, my why was simply that I was young, single and having fun! Now, my why is Erin and Mia. And they’re why for everything. Ask me any question [about what I do] and it’s because of them, that’s why.
As an actor, I do everything I can to be in front of the camera and behind the camera. I’m always pitching concepts for TV shows ideas, and working with some web content. On top of that, I started working in a completely different business on an endorsement deal with an anti-aging company that has really been fantastic. I’m building a business in another area. As a father, you can’t let a stone go unturned. I am doing everything I can to provide for my family. It’s a game changer, being a dad. It really lights a fire under a man’s tush. I want to make sure that my family has everything, if not more than, what I had growing up. So, life is a little less fun but a lot more joyous.
TB: You have a lot of celebrity friends. Have any of them given you dad advice?
Ian: Oh, of course! Jason [Priestley], Luke [Perry] and Jennie [Garth] all have. I’ve sought them out in times when I needed some advice, when I couldn’t reach my brothers or other family. We’re still very good friends. They’re like family to me after working closely for so long. These are relationships I’ve had for more than 20 years.
TB: Would you say that the two of you have similar parenting styles, or is one of you more laid back than the other?
Ian: We both benefit from growing up in very loving nurturing environments. We come from similar upbringings. We approach it with a similar style. Because Erin is a nurse, there’s a lot of credibility to her perspective of raising the baby that I really can’t argue with. She’ll say, “I have looked into this,” and explain it, and I say, “Okay! You really have your finger on the heartbeat of childrearing,” because she does! We go with it.
Erin is really doing her research and a lot of reading. She doesn’t just follow one person’s ideals; she takes from everybody, and we make these concepts organic, we make them our own. And we raise our child, bathed in love and support and always making her feel safe, and trying to turn most things into learning opportunities.
Erin adds an educational perspective to things without diminishing the fun aspect. I really love that Erin is the best mother in the world, and that my daughter is going to be a super genius. [laughs]
TB: And Mia is going to preschool in the summer? Tell us about that!
Ian: Yes, we just enrolled our daughter in a preschool, and that was a pretty amazing experience because here in Los Angeles preschool is a private entity. There are only a handful of quality ones, and there are only so many chairs available for each class. 16 seats for ours. But meanwhile, there are hundreds of people trying to get their kids into these preschools. They charge an exorbitant amount of money! And what I didn’t expect was to be interviewed when I _was going to interview _them. So I kind of feel like I’m trying to get my daughter into college. She’s going into preschool!
Erin: Mia will go to school for a couple hours in the morning, and it will be a nice transition for her. She’ll be able to socialize, learn and be in a safe environment while I’m having bonding time with the new baby. We’re looking forward to that.
TB: So are you ready for baby #2?
Erin: It’s not as easy to plan for a baby when you have a toddler running around. Time seems to be going faster during this pregnancy. I could be pregnant longer, and it would be okay! I’m so excited to have a second baby, but I’m not necessarily prepared for it.
TB: It sounds the second pregnancy is so pleasant, maybe you’ll do this again?
Erin: I don’t know — we never know! We planned on two, but you never know where life could take you.