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ABC news anchor Amy Robach has become a familiar face in many households, drawing people in not just with her positive personality, but her very relatable life. Navigating a second marriage, being a mom and stepmom to five kids, and even openly sharing her story as a cancer survivor has allowed her to easily connect with many moms.
Known over the past four years as an anchor on Good Morning America, she is now focusing her talents on 20/20, and says that the biggest change for her has been the simple fact that she doesn’t have to get up at 4 am every morning!
“I’d call it a shift, but not a complete one,” she tells Babble, assuring us that viewers will still see her on Good Morning America, as the two shows often collaborate.
Considering all the roles that she is playing both in her professional and personal life, however, the obvious question is how she makes it all work.
“Work and home life balance is a constant struggle,” she confesses. “It’s gotten easier as the kids have gotten older.”
When asked what a typical day is like in her household, she laughs.
“There’s actually no such thing as a typical day these days!” she says. “Somehow, we always figure it out, even if it’s at 10 pm the night before.”
Raising stepsons Nate, 22, Aidan, 20, and Wyatt, 15, along with her daughters Ava, 15, and Annalise, 12, Robach says they are only “missing a Marcia” to complete their Brady Bunch family.
“We really are the Brady Bunch,” she says. “Love and structure are the cornerstones, and I’m constantly working to do better at listening to my kids and validating their feelings. I definitely don’t have all the answers. I just try to be loving in the moments of struggle.”
Even though her family’s union has been a pleasant one, Robach admits that being a stepmom has still proven to be more difficult than any position she’s held on TV. In fact, she says even eight years later, she is continuously growing in her role as a stepmom and learning new things.
“I have opened my heart bigger than I thought possible, and have had to open my mind to the fact that my parenting style isn’t the only way to bring up kids,” she admits.
Through it all, however, Robach says that she has come to understand that family is about more than just DNA. Rather, it is defined by who you love — and who you can count on — most.
“On days I have to travel or my husband does, we just pick up each other’s slack,” she explains. “All of us have such busy schedules, but we always try to sit down for a family meal at least three times a week, sometimes more, and be present with the time we have together.”
Still, that’s not to say that being able to support each other is always easy. Openly admitting (and at times, advocating) for couples to consider marriage counseling, Robach says she believes that for her family, learning effective communication was key.
“We learned how to talk about hurt and pain in a loving way instead of an accusatory, ‘It’s all your fault’ way,” says Robach. “We use the tools we learned in therapy every single day.”
This lesson was driven home when Robach was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. Faced with what she describes as “real fear,” Robach says she and her husband Andrew had to discover a deeper level of trust in one another, as well as learn to express their feelings instead of hold them in.
“Burying feelings is an easy defense mechanism for fear, and that is what we initially did,” says Robach. “Eventually we learned to lean on each other in a way we never had before.”
These days, Robach is happy with how her work and family life have meshed together. Explaining that she doesn’t have time to be a helicopter parent, she says she enjoys seeing her kids thrive in their own independence — but that’s not to say they don’t indulge in their share of family activities!
“We love to hike, travel, camp, run races, garden and cook together,” says Robach. “When we’re all on a mountain together with a common goal to get to the top, I’m at my absolute happiest!”
Unsurprisingly, when you really get to know Robach, you see that she’s like any other mom — just climbing that mountain each and every day, hoping it all works out. Yet, even in the face of challenges, she still describes parenting as “the most beautiful experience in the world.”
“Sure, it’s messy and complicated, and sometimes it feels like you can’t do it anymore,” she says. “But when you remember that it’s better to be loving than right, you can steer your family back in the right direction.”