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Mothers & Sons

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Molly Sims, 39, & Brooks, 10 months

When it comes to raising Brooks, “I’ve gotten great advice to really let him be a boy and let him explore,” says Sims, who lives in Beverly Hills with her son and producer husband Scott Stuber, 44. “He loves playing with his trucks. This morning we were in water puddles. We get down and dirty!” Which goes against Sims’s nature. “I’m trying not to be such a germaphobe,” she admits. “I have to be careful about being overprotective. I have a system on my phone where I can see his room. I can be obsessive.” But Brooks looks out for Mama too: “Even when I’m holding him, he turns around to make sure it’s me.”

Anne Heche, 43, Homer, 11, & Atlas, 4

For Anne Heche, raising two boys “has taught me to reconnect with my soccer, football, baseball and basketball self!” says the star of the new NBC series Save Me. “All the things that I never owned the skills for—they are teaching me. My life is an activity every day!” Heche, who recently launched Tickle Time, a line of kid-friendly sunblocks, also savors the flip side of all that energy—the “incredibly loving embraces” the family shares on Saturday mornings. As her husband, actor James Tupper, 47, makes coffee, Heche nestles in bed with Homer (whose dad is Heche’s ex Coley Laffoon) and Atlas— “one under each arm,” she says. “They say, ‘I want to be here and cuddle all day.'”

Garcelle Beauvais, 46, Jax (left) & Jaid, 5

Though they’re twins, “I do one-on-one stuff with them,” says the L.A.-based actress. “I take one of them out for a half a day and then switch so they can have alone time.” As a result, each is his own little man. “They are sweet but they are different,” says the White House Down star, who shares custody with her ex, agent Michael Nilon, 46. “Jaid likes being roughed up and tackled. Jax not so much.” One thing her sons (she’s also raised Oliver, 22) have in common is a love of sports. “Being a mom of all boys took me out of being a girlie girl,” says Beauvais, who also wrote the children’s book I Am Mixed. “I have watched more football than ever before! The other day I said, ‘Where do you guys want to go for vacation?’ Jaid said, ‘Minnesota.’ I said, ‘Minnesota?’ And he goes, ‘The Vikings, Mom!'”

Minnie Driver, 43, & Henry, 4

Driver is the first to admit that sometimes she’s envious of moms of girls. “I remember sitting in the hair salon and feeling actively angry with the woman sitting next to me with her daughter, who was sitting for an hour just playing and reading,” recalls the Oscar-nominated actress. “But I’m very outdoorsy. I would much rather be at the park collecting sticks.” So would her son Henry. Before school starts near their L.A. home, “we walk our dog [Bubba, a Labrador],” she says. “In the afternoon it’s karate, football, piano lessons or going for a hike. Every day is an adventure.” But everything doesn’t have to be a production. “He has every toy under the sun, but he will make the paper-towel roll into a telescope. And rolling up balls of newspaper and chucking it in a bucket can be an hour and a half of extreme hilarity,” says Driver. “Henry finds the extraordinary in ordinary things. It can be very fun to turn anything into something else.”

Cat Cora, 45, & partner Jennifer, 42, with (from left) Nash, 3, Zoran, 9, Caje, 7, & Thatcher, 4

The celebrity chef’s brood spends quality time both in and out of the family kitchen in their Santa Barbara, Calif., home. “All of the kids want to make eggs with us and season everything,” says the Food Network star, who is launching a shoe line with Mozo. “Or we love to pack a picnic and just go down to the beach.” That’s only when Cora and her partner of 14 years, Jennifer, aren’t juggling the boys’ various hobbies, such as chess for the “soulful” Zoran, music and art for Caje and Thatcher, and soccer for the “full-throttle” baby of the bunch, Nash. “When I was pregnant with our last one, I thought I was having a girl,” says Cora (Jennifer carried the first three kids). “But I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I’ll get a daughter-in-law down the road.” One who will appreciate the men Cora hopes to raise. “They are definitely going to know how to wash their clothes and sew a button,” she says. And, of course, “cook a great meal!”

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