Kelly Ripa is the kind of celeb mom who comes off as wackily, refreshingly real. She wouldn’t be out of place at your kids’ Scouts meeting, school bake sale or a family dinner at Olive Garden (though she’d probably pass on the breadsticks).
In a frank interview in this month’s Good Housekeeping, Kelly talks about her parenting techniques, the moments she treasures, being the mom of a teenager (son Michael is 14 now; daughter Lola, 10, and youngest Joaquin, 9, aren’t far behind) and the one big question her kids keep asking her. Here are some highlights:
Her parenting philosophy: “I kind of feel I’ve done my job right if they’re mildly embarrassed by me.”
Her discipline methods: “[Husband Mark Consuelos is] more apt to dole out discipline, but my punishments are real. I’ll take away my son’s iPod if he’s fresh. [If the kids don’t keep their grades up,] we don’t let them watch TV during the week anyway, but [if we need to punish them], we’ll take that away on the weekends. [Or] we’ll take [the computer away] – which is like taking oxygen out of my daughter’s lungs.”
On the difference between raising boys and girls: “For one thing, parent-teacher conferences are like night-and-day experiences. We sometimes say Lola’s parent-teacher conferences are what get us through the boys’.”
On the one time she truly “lost it”:…
“Not too long ago I came home late, I hadn’t had dinner, and…a riot broke out – they got out of bed, Lola and Joaquin were hitting each other and screaming…and then Lola wanted me to read her a story, and Joaquin said, ‘If you read her a story, you have to read me a story!’ And Michael’s like, “Mom, can I order a movie on iTunes?’ I just broke down crying in front of them, which I had never done before.”
On having a fourth child: “That’s the one constant discussion in our house. The kids are always asking, ‘When are you going to have another baby?’ I don’t want to gild the lily. We’ve been so lucky….I’m 41, and they start giving you the ‘advanced maternal age’ warning at 35, so it scares me. I think about adopting. There are so many children who need homes. Then again, I think about the best-case scenario – not just for us, but for my children. I want to make sure my preteen daughter isn’t taking care of a newborn because I’ve got to take Michael to a track meet.”
The secret she keeps from her oldest: “This year, he said, ‘I’m the only kid at school who gets dropped off and whose mother picks him up. I don’t want that anymore.’ I said, ‘Fine.’ Now when the bus comes, I wait on the opposite corner, across the street, and I watch him walk home with his friends. He doesn’t know I’m there. He’s never seen me.”
On couple time: “After the kids go to bed, we have a couple of hours when it’s just us. We either talk about our day or watch one of our favorite TV shows. Otherwise, there’d be no time. We used to go away, just the two of us, for two or three days to celebrate our anniversary every year. I can’t remember the last time I did that.”
Her biggest “mom-brain” moment: “Taking my kids to the Bronx Zoo, I put the purse on the hood of my car and I drove off; didn’t realize it till I had to pay to get in.”
For more Kelly tidbits, read the interview at http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/celebrity-interviews/kelly-ripa-at-home.
[Photo: courtesy Good Housekeeping]
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