Brooke Burke Talks Parenting With CBB

You know her from Wild On…, as the host of Rock Star, entrepreneur and owner of and as the woman who shimmied her way to the top of the seventh season of Dancing With the Stars. But on top of it all, Brooke Burke is a mom — a busy mom! — too. Recently, Brooke took some time out to chat with the Celebrity Baby Blog, and now, we’re sharing everything she had to say with you! She was sweet enough to talk openly about raising four children — Neriah, 9, Sierra Sky, 7 this week and Heaven Rain, 2, and Shaya Braven, 1 — staying in shape and maintaining a happy marriage and busy career.

In Part One of our three-part interview, Brooke shares stories about her parenting practices, and the best advice she received from her mom.

CBB: During our call, you’re in your car going to pick up your older daughters and take them to karate and then rushing home for dinner with the whole family. It sounds like even though you’re a celebrity mom and have help, you’re still doing the same kind of things “regular” moms are always doing.

Brooke Burke: I think I’m a really hands-on mom. I always have a lot of different stuff going on, but fortunately I do well on overdrive. I’m just leaving a huge Internet meeting right now and rushing clear across town to pick up my kids, because it’s important to them, and they love it. We have karate after school today and I try to do as many things as I can that mean a lot to them.

What are other things that you know your kids enjoy having you there for?

I love to cook, so we have dinner every night together as a family. I grew up with that same concept. I try, no matter how busy I get, to finish my day by a certain time so we all get a chance to sit down, talk and enjoy that time together before homework starts and the bedtime routine and all that other stuff. On the weekends we try never to schedule too much so we can have good, quality family time on the weekends. The challenging part is that I have two little ones in diapers and a 6 and 8 year old who have their own life and agenda at school, so it’s a matter of scheduling time where we can all be together as a family and still trying to fit on all the activities that are individually important. It’s hard with all four at different ages.

What kind of activities do the kids enjoy doing together?

Well I have a 1-year-old, a 2-year-old, a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old! They all have different interests. But we love being at home and we have a backyard that’s very peaceful. We love jumping on the trampoline together – even Shaya loves to sit on it and be bounced around. We love to take walks in our neighborhood and go feed the horses. Maybe one of my daughters is on her bike, one is on skates and the other kids are in a stroller; whatever it is, we figure it out. I think we’re a really close family, and it’s important to schedule that time to keep us close.

I have to say, I used to think I could do everything, and now as a mother of four, I realize that I do need help just so that the kids aren’t compromised in the sense of their own activities, because I can’t be everywhere. With two, I could do a lot more than I’m able to do now with four because they’re all on schedules.

When did you figure that out?

I think three was great, number four kind of rocked my world and I realized, “OK I need to delegate. I need to not feel guilty and I need to just accept the fact that I can’t do everything.” And I always tell other moms to give themselves a break and ask for help, and accept help when you need it. Otherwise everyone gets compromised.

Can you tell the difference in your parenting styles throughout your parenting career, with your different children?

It’s totally different! It used to be just Neriah and me, and we traveled around the world: We had 40 stamps on her passport by the time she was 2. When I got pregnant with my second child I unpacked my bags and said, “I can’t travel around the world with two babies anymore.” By the time I had Rain, she was totally with me or David, hardly ever with a caretaker; it was just always us on top of her, because she was the baby in the house. Now there’s Shaya, who’s number four, and he’s like, “Can I get a pacifier?” It’s a totally different experience with each of the four children. I think I’ve always been a very relaxed mom, and pretty mellow, but I don’t know if I’m more mellow than before.

I do think that when you have your first child, you are the playmate. I mean, there are only so many voices you can pull off! When you have the second, they can play together, you know they have each other. For me, by the time I had three or four, we were kind of raising our family together. My daughter, who’s almost 9 now, is an amazing little mommy. And I still make sure that I let her be a little girl – I try not to give her that responsibility, but she plays an incredibly helpful, important role in raising our family. We all help each other. But Shaya is so much more independent because he doesn’t get all the attention; he’s number four!

How do you and [fiancé] David Charvet share the parenting?

I’m pretty blessed. David’s really hands-on and he’s a great dad. And because we have two little ones that are very needy and two little ones that are diapers, when I’m doing the nighttime routines with my older ones, like homework, he’s putting Rain or Shaya to bed. Or if I’m putting Rain to bed he’s giving Shaya his bottle. We really, really share all of those responsibilities. You have to in a family as big as ours.

My older girls help too. They’re amazing big sisters. They read to Rain, they help me prepare things, they take a bath with Rain and love to do that. It’s a lot of sharing.

Come back next week for Part Two of our interview, when Brooke shares her advice for getting your body back after baby!

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