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Amanda Seyfried says childhood with OCD and anxiety changed how she parents

The actor talks about the importance of being "whole" for her kids: "It’s so easy to get lost in motherhood."

If you drop by Amanda Seyfried's house on any given night, don't forget to bring your boogie shoes.

"We do glow stick parties," the actor tells TODAY.com in a sit-down interview.

"We turn out all the lights," she says. "We'll put on Rihanna's 'Dance in the Dark' and then we'll go with our playlist – we have a Lady Gaga playlist that the kids just love."

Then, by the light of glow sticks (and a light bulb that doubles as a disco ball), Seyfried, Thomas Sadoski, her husband of six years, and kids, Nina, 6, and Thomas, 2, get down.

It's no surprise that their home, a farm in the Catskills, is filled with music given that Seyfried's iconic roles include belting out ABBA tunes with Meryl Streep in 2008's "Mamma Mia" and playing Cosette opposite Hugh Jackman in the film version of "Les Miserables."

Seyfried's vocal chops will once more be on display in her turn as Thelma in the new musical adaptation of "Thelma and Louise" coming to Broadway this fall.

"The idea of not being with my kids throughout the week is hell on Earth. I'm going to be doing something I never thought I could do — and I'm going to do it," Seyfried tells TODAY.com about the upcoming role.

Amanda Seyfried playhouses
Make It Cute founders Anne Hoehn, Maureen North and Amanda Seyfried.Courtesy Winnie Au

For the moment, however, the Emmy-winner is focused on her latest project, Make It Cute, a children's brand she recently launched with best friends Anne Hoehn and Maureen North.

Their first collaboration is a line of indoor, sustainably-made playhouses.

"It's entirely made in the U.S., because that's so important, we need to make things here as well. And it feels really good because it's a business, but we're still taking care and being conscious of our environmental footprint," she explains.

Along with being recyclable, Seyfried says that like the name, the playhouses, are "really cute" and help parents "reclaim" their homes from the inevitable spread of toys and kid clutter.

"The house can sometimes become a junkyard and, to speak for myself, my psyche, I want to feel some sense of peace and I still feel like it's my house too," she says.

Amanda Seyfried playhouses
Courtesy Winnie Au

Having a sense of self is important to Seyfried who says it can be easy "to get lost in motherhood.”

"(Parenthood) inundates your life in a way that is so wonderful, but it's a lot of work and it leaves so little room for your old life," which is why she says maintaining a sense of personal agency matters.

"I don't see that as a selfish parent. I see that as somebody who wants to be whole for their kids, because your kids deserve full parents."

Given the challenges of her own childhood, including grappling with OCD and anxiety, Seyfried says that she doesn't want her kids to feel the kind of fear she experienced growing up.

"I couldn't sleep at night for a whole summer when I was 13 because I wasn't talking about my anxieties. And I didn't know that I could," she explains.

"If I had known that I had OCD, the things I would've felt capable of that I didn't ... I didn't feel like I could talk."

When it comes to parenting her own children, she leaves the door open for them to "say anything they want with no judgement."

"I just want my kids to know that they can come to me no matter what. Embarrassed, fearful, anxious, excited, whatever they’re feeling, if they let it out a little bit, it's liberating."

And, in turn, Seyfried says she's also benefited.

"It just feels like I've been a bird let out of a cage with parenthood and I'm parenting myself, too, by going to therapy."

It's also helped her feel more comfortable being open with her mother and Sadoski, whom she married in 2017.

Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, CA.
Amanda Seyfried and husband Thomas Sadoski in 2018. Presley Ann / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Prior to Sadoski, Seyfried says her experience with some of her previous relationships was that there'd be unresolved conflict, ultimately leading to a break up.

"But with marriage, it's not that easy. You don't just break up, you fix it," she explains.

"Then when you do come back together, there's a strength, it's a reinforcement. And when you have enough reinforcement, the fragility becomes less and less.'

With several projects on the horizon, including "The Crowded Room," an Apple TV+ thriller starring Tom Holland, and her return to Broadway later this year, Seyfried says she's not looking forward to leaving "the farm," but also recognizes that it's important to challenge herself.

"I'm going to go out there and I'm going to sing on stage every night. I really can't wait."

As for the song the "Mamma Mia" sings to help her get into the zone?

"Any Kelly Clarkson song," she says. "But in the shower, more recently, it's been 'Hamilton.'"