The supermodel shares her tips and tricks for managing motherhood in her new book.
If you’re a mom, you probably have a lot in common with Molly Sims. Well, except for being a supermodel and successful actress. Or the whole “being a New York Times bestselling author” thing. But it didn’t take long for us at Guideposts.org to see she faces challenges like all moms do.
Less than ten minutes into our original interview, Sims had to postpone. Her baby was running a fever. As all moms know, when that happens, everything else goes out the window. Sims had to quickly shift gears from promoting her new book, Everyday Chic -- full of recipes, organizing tips, and assorted life advice -- to calling the pediatrician and getting her son worked in for an appointment.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
Once her baby was on the mend, we caught back up with Sims to talk parenting tips, positive thinking tricks, and how to snap the perfect family photo – she’s got plenty of experience after all.
GUIDEPOSTS: So, you started down the wife-and-mom path in your late thirties and did everything in rapid fire. You got married in 2011, and you now have a 5 year old, a 2 ½ year old, and a 9 month old. How do you even have enough breath to talk to us today?
MOLLY SIMS: Well, that would explain the bags under my eyes, wouldn’t it? It just worked out that I found my Prince Charming later in life, at 39, and we had three kids in four years. I like to call it my happy mess.
GUIDEPOSTS: How do you think things might have been different if you’d started earlier and/or spaced all of it out a bit more?
MS: Honestly, I think I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. When I was single, it was all about me, but as a wife and mom, I have certain responsibilities. And I’m now mature enough to realize that there’s no such thing as perfection. I think now I’m able to focus more on what really matters, which is building successful relationships.
GUIDEPOSTS: When you were a jet-setting supermodel, I understand that you did use your oven…but not for cooking. Can you tell us about that and how things have changed in that regard?
MS: I used my oven for storing sweaters! I always lived out of a suitcase, and I also lived in major cities where real estate was very expensive, so my apartments were small. I stored anything I could anywhere and everywhere. It’s funny how full circle I’ve come. I now use my kitchen all the time to actually cook. I just made a whole batch of sweet potato and broccoli pureed baby food. We make cookies, meatballs, Moroccan chicken. It’s all about cooking for the family. I tell my single girlfriends with no kids, ‘If you can cook big on one day, you can be set for the whole week.’ You can avoid takeout and spending too much on coffee or going out to eat just because there’s nothing in the fridge. I have a chapter in my book about how to cook once for the entire week. It’s life changing.
GUIDEPOSTS: What’s your favorite thing to cook? And will your kids eat it?
MS: I just love my Moroccan chicken, and my kids love it, too. The recipe is in the book. I also love mixed berry cobbler because it’s good and super easy. I hate picky eaters, so I tried early on with my children to say, ‘This is what we’re having. I’m not a short order cook.’ I always have one thing on the plate I know they love. I serve avocado with every meal because it’s a good fat and good for the brain, but my kids have been eating it since they were six months old.
I’ll sometimes sneak things into smoothies—broccoli, spinach, apples. Seasoning also helps. That being said, [my son] Brooks ate eggs every day for a while and now won’t touch them. So you do the best you can.
GUIDEPOSTS: All parents know how important it is to pick your battles. For you personally, in which particular battles have you raised the white flag?
MS: I’ve come to realize that sitting still is extremely difficult for a toddler. So I never demand more than about six minutes, unless we’re on a plane or something. We do not use iPads to entertain the children unless it’s an emergency. But it all depends on each particular family and what their needs are.
GUIDEPOSTS: How do you stay positive as a busy mom?
MS: I have a great village! One of my girlfriends called me this morning in a funk, and we just talked it out. You do get in funks and you do feel overwhelmed sometimes. I think it’s very important to give yourself a break and for women to be one another’s best friends. Women are so hard on other women, but we should instead be supportive.
Still, it’s hard to stay positive all the time. Sometimes you have to embrace the fact that you’re going to have a hard week. I also think staying as organized as possible cuts down on mom stress. And not hoarding. Getting unnecessary stuff out of the house can be like therapy. And taking care of yourself is really important, too. I’m a better mom if I do. I read somewhere that the average mom gets about 13 minutes a day to herself. Sometimes you have to find more time.
Another trick that has really helped me is changing the word ‘have’ to ‘get.’ Instead of saying, ‘I have to pick up the kids,’ say, ‘I get to pick up the kids.’ Instead of ‘I have to cook dinner,’ think, ‘I get to cook dinner.’ It’s such a simple word swap, but the change in perspective is powerful.
GUIDEPOSTS: We loved the section in your book on how to take good family photos. Have yours always gone perfectly?
MS: Not at all! The Christmas before last, [my daughter] Scarlett was teething and just couldn’t keep it together for photographing a holiday card, and I was like, ‘I am so sorry, but we need to reschedule.’ Other times, though, bribes work! Kids love something they can unwrap, like a lollipop. Or you can let them play with the props. The main thing is to keep going as long as you can and shoot as many frames as possible—more than you think you need. Then take a moment and regroup. But no matter what, when you have three kids, count on the fact that one of them will be crying at all times during a photo shoot!