Sure she’s done a little bit of acting here and there, but it’s her kids that have been the #1 priority in her life and kept her going through the years.
In an interview with Celebrity Baby Blog she talked about her family life, the kids and the effect of Rodney Jr.’s autism on the family.
CBB:What’s a typical day like for your family?
Holly Robinson Peete: It starts off with a little mayhem, because we have four kids to get ready for school. But the day really starts the night before, when I pack lunches. That’s the last thing I do in the evening. I try to use a lot of avocados — we have them out all the time! The kids love it in guacamole, as a bread spread, in salads and in sandwiches. I try to put together the healthiest lunches possible.
In the morning, we get them ready, and it’s a little crazy in the Peete house! But we get them in the car and out to two different schools. Then we take a deep breath, and go on with our day. We pick them up at the end of the day, although they all have different activities and tight schedules. Then we get our homework on. Sometimes we’ll bribe them with American Idol — that’s a great bribe! — so they’re allowed to watch if everything is done. Then we get them in bed between 8:30-9 p.m.
We try to have dinner together as much as possible. It doesn’t happen every night, especially with the kids’ schedules and their ages, because they have different interests. But we like to sit down and get that meal in. Family dinners are the time where we get most of our information! It’s like a secret code of silence. We’re able to get into our kids’ heads and learn about what’s going on in their lives. I also find that that’s when we eat the healthiest, too.
Do you see a difference between raising boys and girls? Twins?
Between the boys and my daughter it’s a difference of night and day! I find that the boys shrug off the drama and move on, but my daughter holds onto it. It becomes Days of Our Lives! I’m happy just having the one girl. She’s all the woman I can handle in this lifetime.
The twins get along well. She’s an advocate for him in terms of the autism — she always has his back. She connects with him well now, which is wonderful because she couldn’t connect with him as well early on when he was non-verbal.
Do you plan to have any more kids? Girl, I am done at four! I was at the house of a friend who has five kids, and I’m just glad my husband wasn’t there because he would’ve been like, “See, we can do this!” He wants another one but I don’t think I can do it. I’m 45! Maybe we’ll adopt, I’m definitely open to that, but as far as creating another one? Nah.
Do your kids understand that their mom and dad are famous?
(Laughs) I was walking down the street with my daughter, I think it was in New York City, and someone walked past and was like, “Hey Holly, how are you doing?” And I was like, “Hey!” And a minute later my daughter asked, “How does she know you?” And I was like, “Girl, your mama was a big deal in the ’90s! I was on TV!” So it’s big for them when random people are saying hi to me — they look at that and think it’s funny.
The same goes for their dad. The littlest ones weren’t around to see him in the NFL, so they like to watch the old tapes of him playing, and pretend it’s happening now. They fight over whether it’s happening real-time, or if it’s actually recorded! But regardless of what Rodney and I have done, they’re regular, well-balanced kids, and I’m so proud of that.
As it turns out, Mark Curry (Holly’s Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper costar) has kids now, and they go to the same school as some of mine, so we see each other every morning!
How has your family coped with Rodney Jr.’s autism diagnosis?
I’ve evolved over the years. There was the diagnosis, which was really hard. I was so angry, wondering, “Why me?” Then there was denial. My husband and I went through a lot to cope. But now, it’s been over a decade, and he’s made great strides. His nutrition is really important, and that’s why I do public service announcements like this. It’s important that these kids eat well, which is why I’m thrilled that they even like avocados because of the nutrients.
It’s hard to get kids to eat healthy, particularly kids with autism. All kids have to watch their health, but for kids with special needs, healthy diets can be even more helpful. With our son, he was a super-picky eater when he was younger, and now he’s eating better, more diverse foods. We really feel that he loves certain things, and those help him function.
If you’d like to read the rest of the interview click here