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CELEBRITY MOMS TALK ABOUT THEIR FAVORITE ROLE.

Susan Sarandon is trying to save the world, but this morning she's starting small. Her cause is breakfast. Jack Henry, 6, and Miles, 3, want toast. Eva, 11, doesn't want anything.

Sarandon may be an Oscar-winning actress who has played several sirens on screen, but today she is simply Mom.One might think Sarandon stayed up late last night poring over a pile of scripts. Nope. Her kids convinced her to buy a family puppy who has been named Jangle Rose.

"Oh, I am so exhausted," Sarandon says, walking into a hotel room for an interview an hour late.

"I was thinking about what I want out of 1996 and here's the list," Sarandon says. "I want the Rangers to get another Stanley Cup. I want to be more pleasant in my life. And I want my kids to get through a month with no one even having the sniffles. Is that too much to ask?"

It isn't when you're a working mother. And that's what most celebrity moms call themselves these days. In honor of Mother's Day, here's a look at what some of today's leading actresses have to say about motherhood.

ON BEING PREGNANT

Kathleen Turner: "Frankly, if someone would have told me that I would have been carrying a watermelon for the last few months, I would have said, `No thank you.' I know women go on about how wonderful it is to be pregnant, but I hated looking so fat.

"Seeing my little daughter Rachel's face made it worthwhile, but I'm not sure I'd ever do it again."

ON GIVING BIRTH

Whitney Houston: "Giving birth was the most incredible thing I've ever done. I'm telling you that, about halfway through delivering Bobbi Kristina, I was screaming, `I want to change my mind. Excuse me, can we not do this today?'

"Then I started screaming, `Give me drugs! Give me all the drugs you have!' "

ON ADOPTION

Rosie O'Donnell: "Frankly I'm the only woman in America who could adopt a little boy and gain weight. I've checked with Guinness World Records and they confirm that this is a first."

ON HOW BEING A NEW MOTHER CHANGES YOU

Nicole Kidman: "Two years ago, Tom (Cruise) and I adopted Isabella and recently we adopted Connor. Motherhood changed me. It makes you more sensitive. It gives you depth and a selflessness that you don't have as an actor.

"It also means a lot less sleep. I'm exhausted all the time. I'm so tired now that I swear I'm in a time warp."

Whitney Houston: "I can only tell you this. You start living for your child and you stop living for yourself.

"I look at (Bobbi Kristina) and she moves me. She motivates me. She makes me say, `Ahhh, forget about all the stuff in my life. Let me do what I have to do for my child.'

"I'm not some movie star or singer. I'm just a mom. I'm a regular person. I'm a hands-on mother like my mother was for me."

ON BEING THE BIONIC WOMAN

Demi Moore: "With three kids, two houses, a husband and a career, I have days when I wish I were the Bionic Woman. I have many 18-hour days.

"By the same token, I have the luxury of being in a profession where I can take chunks of time off. I'm working now, but I'm going to take the summer off. My husband is going to take the summer off.

"The percentage of working mothers is very high, and they end up with two weeks off a year to be with their children. They don't have help. I don't know how they do it. So I certainly cannot complain."

ON COMBINING CHILDREN FROM PAST MARRIAGES

Kate Capshaw: "I have this brood now. Steven (Spielberg) and I have five kids around and some are from other marriages and some are bio children.

"It's not like I mix up the mac and cheese for dinner and dole it out saying, `Here's something for a bio child.' I don't say, `Oh, a bio child needs to be picked up from soccer practice.' They are all my children."

ON KIDS SAYING THE DARNDEST THINGS

Kathleen Turner: "The other day I was rolling a ball to my daughter and she missed it and yelled, `Ha!' I was taken aback as I watched her arch her little eyebrow and say this word.

"Finally I had to say, `Honey, `Ha' is Mommy's line and you can't have it.' "

ON LIVING A NORMAL LIFE

Annette Bening: "I was visiting my girlfriend in New York City with my daughter Kathlyn when a photographer jumped out of the bushes.

"This scared my daughter. She felt me protecting her and saying, `Please don't bother my child. She is a little girl.' This isn't fair.

"Then the other night, Warren (Beatty) and I were walking outside in New York and my daughter looked around and said, `What - no photographers?' "

Nicole Kidman: "While Tom (Cruise) was filming `Mission Impossible' in London, I met him over there with the kids. We spent our mornings in a little park like a normal family. I sat there talking about diapers and preschool with the other moms.

"Every once in a while, a tabloid photographer would show up and the other moms would start screaming, `Leave them alone!' "

ON BEING A WORKING MOM

Michelle Pfeiffer: "When I adopted my daughter Claudia, I honestly thought, `Will I ever want to work again?' Now I'm calming down a little bit, but I'm feeling so much lighter about everything.

"I know that in the end I wouldn't feel balanced if I didn't have my work as well as motherhood. For a long time I thought I'd only have my work. People told me, `Michelle, now is the time to work.' So I thought, `I guess that's what I'm going to do.'

"Now it's just different. Now is my time to have a life."

Meg Ryan: "When I was filming `French Kiss' in Paris, I brought my son. Now that we're back in New York, he will see a large telephone pole and scream, `Look, Mommy, the Eiffel Tower!' "

ON HAVING IT ALL

Annette Bening: "I always wanted to be a mother. Always. I would not be a happy person without my children. I gave up roles as Catwoman and in `Disclosure' when I found out I was pregnant.

"I'm torn like any working mom is torn. Yes, it's a struggle. There are times as an actor when I feel insecure and know I want to work. I must keep up my craft. Then I feel like I cannot leave my children. It's a problem with no solution."

Mare Winningham: "I am choosy about work that will take me away from home because I have a 14-year-old, a 12-year-old, a 10-year-old, an 8-year-old and a 7-year-old. I used to be very obsessed and competitive about my work, but no more.

"Now all I want to do is the breakfast dishes and find one or two good parts a year."

ON THEIR SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

Meg Ryan: "For Dennis (Quaid) and me a really romantic night involves a videotape and my son going to bed a little earlier. I long for a Blockbuster night."

Nicole Kidman: "Tom is a fantastic dad. He really gets in there and has a relationship with his children. He is great on diaper duty.

"When I'm working, Tom will stay with the kids and take them off to the zoo or the park. He's Mr. Mom. I come home and he has baked me chocolate-chip cookies."

ON WORKING WITH THE KIDS

Demi Moore: "I have competition from an excellent young actress named Rumer Willis who is in `Striptease' with me. All I can say is that she's a quick study. It was her idea to be in the movie.

"It's not something I wanted. She beat out eight other little girls to get the part. Of course, Bruce and I wanted to keep the kids out of the public eye. But my daughter has been in my world. I felt working together was a way for her to understand what I do.

"This might be an isolated thing. I'm not going to encourage her to act. It has been a lovely experience. It has been wonderful to have the time with her."