The actress, author, and mom of four shares her smart take on handling work and family.
Brooke Burke-Charvet, actress, author of The Naked Mom: A Modern Mom's Fearless Revelations, and mom of four—14-year-old Neriah, 12-year-old Sierra, 7-year-old Heaven and 6-year-old Shaya—shares her best parenting advice, her secret to strong post-baby abs and more.
You're raising four kids while running a website, ModernMom.com, teaching fitness classes and more. How do you balance it all? Four kids often feels like 20! [Laughs] I've always said that I don't strive for balance. I take it day by day. Some days are more about the kids, and other days I need to take time for me. When I was in my early 30s, I was last on the totem pole. I believed moms came last and kids came first. Now in my 40s, as a mother of four, I realize we're all equally important.
Think back to the delivery room, and to those first few months of being a parent. Any words of wisdom? When I had Neriah, my first child, I was also the first of my friends to have a child. I didn't have a community. Now, with what's happening on the Internet—social media and all of these great parenting sites and outlets—we have access 24/7 to other women in the world going through the same thing. That's really helpful. Take advantage of that. But at the end of the day, when it comes to making decisions about your kids, go with your gut.
Your abs are amazing! How is that humanly possible after four births? A belly-binding wrap really is the best way to get back in shape after pregnancy. Women in other parts of the world have been using them for years. In Europe you're supposed to bring your compression garment with you to the hospital when you give birth. Originally I found one from India and it came with all of this mud you were supposed to use with it and I was like, Oh my god. So I went to work and developed my own, called Tauts. Wear it for 40 days and nights immediately after delivery and it helps retrain your abs.
And now your oldest is 14! As your kids grow up, what's your best advice for moms? The most important thing in any family is dialogue. Talk to your kids, and learn from what they have to say. My children educate me every day. They really, really do.