When it comes to talking about the challenges of raising two girls, Busy Philipps isn’t holding back.
The host of E!’s Busy Tonight took on several emotional subjects that most moms will relate to in her cover interview with Parents magazine for the November issue — namely, her parenting-while-drinking philosophy, struggling in her marriage to producer Marc Silverstein and teaching her two daughters Cricket Pearl, 5, and Birdie Leigh, 10, to have a healthy body image.
To start, Philipps shared that her approach to parenting is actually rooted in not having one clear approach at all. “I call myself the all-over-the-place, doesn’t-have-a-plan mom. Is that a parenting philosophy?” she told the magazine. “On a daily basis, I’m just trying to hold it together.”
“Our family has no absolute rules about screen time or sugar or anything,” continued the former Freaks and Geeks star, 39. “Marc and I were raised that way, and we turned out fine.”
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It’s perhaps not a common attitude in today’s parenting culture, but there’s a lot about motherhood that Philipps isn’t down with. A pervasive mindset that bothers her is needing alcohol to deal with your kids.
“This may be controversial, but I’m just going to say it: I’m so f—ing over the culture of mommy wine and glasses that say ‘Mommy juice,’ ” she shared. “You go to a preschool birthday party at 10 a.m., and it’s like, ‘Does anyone want a wine cooler?’ Um, no, girlfriend. I want to make sure my daughter doesn’t fall off this play structure. It’s such a weird thing!”
The Dawson’s Creek alum added that it’s not drinking per se that upsets her, though, because “If you know me at all, you know I love a good margarita. I just don’t think the two things need to be tied together. I’m the best mom when I’m sober.”
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And if that wasn’t honest enough, Philipps got super real about how she felt her husband failed her after the birth of their first child. “He was not understanding how to be a dad and, in fact, didn’t try. I was parenting by myself,” she recalled. “When I told him I wanted to have a second child, he said, ‘Fine, but it’s all on you.’ That was so heartbreaking.”
She continued, “Marriage is always hard, but especially when you have kids … You’re going to go through periods when you’re not into it, but there always has to be one person willing to fight. I went to Marc several times and said, ‘I cannot do this anymore. Something has to change, and it’s you.’ “
“We’ve had a lot of serious discussions and counseling, and he’s incredibly participatory now in a way I don’t think he could’ve imagined before. We’re a work in progress but trying our best, and that’s the most you can do.”
Philipps also revealed that she disagrees with the idea that she’s supposed to be proud of how her body has changed after having kids.
“I’m able to intellectually appreciate the fact that my body has done a truly incredible thing, but I don’t love the extra skin,” she said. “People say, ‘Wear it like a badge!’ Um, yeah, that doesn’t speak to me. I’d rather have a flat stomach.”
Still, the actress stays down to earth about her body for her daughters. She explained, “I want to lead by example. Weighing myself wasn’t helpful for my mental state, so I stopped doing that a couple of years ago.”
“Now, I just try to make healthy, balanced choices and don’t call any food ‘bad,’ ” Philipps said. “My girls see me exercise, but they also see me eat nachos. I think both are important.”