Christy Carlson Romano and her husband, Brendan Rooney, got the best present of all this holiday season: an adorable baby girl named Isabella Victoria, who was born on Christmas Eve.
Now, the Disney Channel alum is opening up about being a first-time mom, and how the experiences "completely changes" your mindset.
"Your whole perspective completely shifts… For nine months you're pregnant, so you kind of think to yourself, 'I'm a pregnant person.' Like, that's how you identify. But then -- you have the baby," Romano shared with ET's Ashley Crossan. "Then you're a mom! And moms, you realize very quickly, they don't get enough respect."
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Romano said that she's found herself struggling with her identity as a mother, an entertainer and as the independent woman she was before she ever got pregnant.
"Two days after having the baby, I [was] totally guilty of wanting to get back to work," she recounted. "There was this rush of just, 'Oh my gosh, what is my identity? I'm still the old person that I used to be… who am I?' So you have this sort of identity crisis."
"I don't think I’m alone and I don't even feel guilty for having it," she added. "You really do want to maintain who you are, you want to touch base with the achievements that you've had and keep those going. You don't want to just completely throw everything away and you still want to give your all to your child as well."
The 32-year-old former Even Stevens star said that she's been turning to social media to communicate with a network of other supportive moms who have helped her "get through the confusion of being a new parent," admitting that she felt "a little alone" after she and her husband welcomed their little girl, and it helped to be able to "reach out to other moms or other pregnant people and talk about your aches, your pains, and your nausea."
"I had a ton of nausea," she added. "So it was really great to talk to other people who are like, 'Girl, I get it.'"
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Romano also had nothing but praise for how her husband has been handling fatherhood, sharing, "I'm really impressed with who I married. It's great!"
Rooney, a screenwriter and filmmaker, served in the Marine Corps for four years before pursuing a career in Hollywood, and Romano says seeing her husband really embrace parenting has made him even hotter in her eyes.
"It's really great to see him have the pink spit-up cloth and it's very attractive actually to see him so willing to be, you know, into parenting," she said, adding that her husband is proof of the theory that "men are more attractive when they really co-parent."
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While the happy couple have been focusing most of their attention on their newborn daughter, Romano says they still make time to go out and enjoy the occasional date night, which helps them stay closer, emotionally.
"We had a really great date night last week so that sort of extended over to Valentine's Day," she recalled. "When they say that you really need those date nights, as new parents, you really do. It just recharges your batteries."
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As for the prospect of having more children in the future, Romano says she's fairly certain they are going to, but plans on waiting at least a few years.
"That two under two thing, you gotta watch out for that!" she said. "That's definitely not on the table, so I have to wait until after she's at least two years old, I think. Give me a little bit of time just to regroup and continue my career."
Romano said that it's also important for her to give Isabella "the time that she deserves" to be with her parents and to be an only child.
"But, by the grace of God, you never know what happens," she added.
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