The extremely likeable Jennie Garth – who may be best known as Kelly Taylor on 90210 – has another life-changing role on her hands: that of super-mom to three daughters, Luca, 12, Lola, 7, and Fiona, 3. We recently caught up with the pretty actress at the Hidden Valley Garden Party to talk about her Twilight hunk husband, Peter Facinelli; her old-fashioned parenting style; and why she wants another baby. – Andrea Zimmerman
What’s your parenting philosophy?
Consistency. Kids need routine – have a bedtime, stick to it, do your homework before you turn on the TV. I’m very old-fashioned.
Who’s the good cop – you or your husband, Peter?
I run the show, and he’s the main attraction. When he walks in the room, everything breaks loose. All of my rules go out the window, but they love their daddy and they love to jump on him and have a great time.
Peter said that as much as he loves being the man in an all-female family, you’d like a boy.
I just want another baby. I love a big family. I’d love to have a little boy because I’d love to have a mini-Peter (laughs). I’d want to dress him in a little wife-beater like a little Italian boy, but who knows what will happen? One second [Peter’s] on board with it, and the next he’s like “maybe,” because three girls in one house is intense. There’s a lot of emotion in my house, which can be exhausting.
How do you talk to your girls about body image, coming from a Hollywood background where the pressure to be thin is intense?
My weight goes up and down. [My girls have] seen me thin, they’ve seen me heavy, but they don’t even notice because it’s not something we focus on. My first daughter, Luca, is twelve and an Amazon. She’s so athletic and fit in every sense of the word. Lola is seven, and I think she might be a little more affected by people’s perceptions of her. We focus on making her feel beautiful all the time. When she was younger, we put her on steroids to battle her juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which affected her weight, so it’s something she thinks about. But I wouldn’t want my first-grader to think of herself as anything but beautiful or perfect.
If you could teach your girls one life lesson, what would it be?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. None of it really matters.
What shocked you the most about parenting?
How it’s so not about me anymore. I’m literally the last person on my list of people to deal with in the day. I actually have to remind myself at the end of the day to do things for myself. So it shocked me that I would be able to put someone else so far in front of my own needs – and love it.
What’s been your biggest parenting challenge?
I run the household so when I’m on the computer or in the kitchen, I may seem distracted to my kids. I’m RSVPing to birthday parties, making the grocery list, or scheduling the tennis lessons. I focus so much on orchestrating everything that sometimes I have to remind myself to step out of that and get down on the floor and play puzzles, or give hugs.
What’s your girls’ favorite meal that you make for them?
Spaghetti. I hide boatloads of vegetables in there, and they don’t even know it. But I think my oldest is onto me.