Denise Richards blew up the tabloids after her highly-publicized divorce with Charlie Sheen, the father of her two daughters, Sam, 6, and Lola, 5. Then there was her reality show, Denise Richards: It’s Complicated, which garnered more attention for the controversy surrounding it than the show itself. These days, Denise wants to put all of that behind her and focus on the role she’s most attached to – Mom – and she seems to be navigating the single parent waters quite nicely. – Andrea Zimmerman
What’s your parenting philosophy?
I let my kids be kids. If they put together an outfit that’s mismatched, I let them wear it. To them, it looks good and I love that. I believe in having somewhat of a schedule – we eat dinner at the same time and they go to bed at the same time (I make exceptions when it isn’t a school night!) When they do something to hurt each others’ feelings they have to apologize.
How do you balance motherhood with your career?
I’m definitely a hands-on mom. I need extra help when I’m working, but at the end of the day, I’m raising my girls. I’m still working on balancing it all. For me it’s about priorities, and my girls always come first above anything else. I look at it as having a harmonious house more than balancing. It’s never quite balanced!
How are you similar to your character in Mothers Little Helpers?
My character in Mothers Little Helpers is very entertaining; she’s always got a cocktail in her hand, loves a good time, and isn’t happy in her marriage so she goes elsewhere. I don’t care how bad things are in my relationship – I would never have an affair. That’s the ultimate betrayal. I’m a bit of a free spirit and love life, and I think that’s what my character and I have in common.
What’s your biggest parenting challenge?
Dating is very challenging. I won’t introduce [my kids] to anyone I’m dating unless it’s very serious. And balancing everything – my daughters always come first. I will never get these years back with my girls!
What’s your favorite meal to make with your girls?
Homemade pizzas! We cut up all the ingredients, roll the dough, and make individual pizzas.
If you could teach your daughters one lesson, what would it be?
A lesson that my mom taught me: You’re stronger than you think.
What shocked you the most about parenting?
Being a parent is love on a whole different level; my daughters truly complete me.
What’s your most embarrassing parenting moment?
My daughter Sam and I were at an event and she told me she passed gas. She said it quite loud! My girls are always saying funny things. They pick up a lot when I think they aren’t listening. The other day Lola said I looked “spectacular,” which I thought was funny for a 4-year-old.
What do you do for “me” time?
I work out at 5:30 a.m. so I can have that quiet hour before waking the girls for school. I recently went with a couple girlfriends to a hotel. We had massages, ate dinner, spent the night, then had breakfast and headed home – it was awesome! My dad watched the girls so I didn’t have to worry. Little things like that make a difference.
What’s the last great book you read with your kids?
We just read a very sweet book: My brother, Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete.