Fox News' Harris Faulkner Opens Up About Raising Two Biracial Daughters: 'It's a Blessing'
Outnumbered Overtime host Harris Faulkner also speaks with PEOPLE about the challenges of mom guilt and the importance of living in the moment
Harris Faulkner is a little busy these days.
The Fox News anchor is a co-host on Outnumbered, but Faulkner, 54, also runs her own news show, Outnumbered Overtime — currently ranked No. 1 in cable — and still manages to make breakfast for her kids each morning.
Despite her packed schedule, she made some time to chat with PEOPLE about balancing her successful show, her family life and how “it’s a blessing” raising her “biracial babies”: daughters, Danika, 10, and Bella, 12.
“It’s beautiful for any parent to get the opportunity to have those loved ones in our lives. I’m with someone who is religiously Jewish and racially different from me,” Faulkner tells PEOPLE, joking in addition, “We look like a Benetton ad from the 1990s — very colorful.”
With her daughters soon to enter their teenage years, they’re facing the challenges that come along with growing up, but Faulkner is there to offer guidance. “It’s all sorts of issues,” she explains. “Navigating a crush on a boy at school, and ‘Will they like me because I’m different?’ ”
“It is the hair-texture thing: ‘Mom, I think I want to be curly for the pictures this year’ or ‘I want straight hair,’ and ‘Which do you think is more beautiful?’ ” Faulkner adds. “It’s a whole host of things you are dealing with that are, I think, beautiful issues, and challenging.”
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As for how she keeps a connection with her girls, Faulkner has a surprisingly simple tip.
“I see a lot of moms and dads frustrated because their kids have their devices at the dinner table and they can’t seem to get their attention as much as they used to. My kids really still share the one thing that I think is life-changing, and that’s eye contact with me,” she explains. “As they’ve gotten older, I have made it a priority to continue that.”
Faulkner also credits her “forever boyfriend,” husband Tony Berlin, for being a supportive partner and best friend.
“I married an amazing guy. I couldn’t do it without [him],” she praises Berlin, 50.
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Since she works in media, Faulkner is sure to have discussions with her daughters about current events. She’s currently preparing for her latest project, “Town Hall America with Harris Faulkner: Police Emergency,” airing Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox News.
“I want them to understand that we have accountability as citizens of the world, but mainly American citizens, to know what’s going on,” she says. “I don’t have a lot of conversations with the girls right now about tough issues like police brutality, but we have healthy respect for authority in our family.”
Faulkner has talked with her older daughter about police coverage in the news, telling PEOPLE, “She said, ‘Why is this happening? Why don’t people respect the police officers?’ I kept that pretty simple because if you make it too complicated for kids, you scare them or they tune you out.”
“I said that not everybody has the same level of respect for authority and there have been a few bad apples who have worn that authority badge, out of the literally hundreds of thousands of fantastic police officers across America who answered the call of duty with nothing more than ‘I want to help,’ ” she adds.
As a working mom, Faulkner has experienced her fair share of mom guilt, but she tries to be there for her daughters — who play basketball and tennis, and practice gymnastics — whenever she can. “I had guilt because I couldn’t see every game and I missed a competition with Danika, and it was hard,” she says.
Faulkner’s schedule has made her more understanding of other mothers who may be missing events, too, but not everyone is as supportive.
“I’m sure they don’t mean to be hurtful, but [people will] say things that really drive home that guilt, like, ‘Oh, with your job, you must feel like it’s more important to be there than it is to be here,’ ” she shares. “And I have to look for my grace in those moments. I’m grateful for the times that I am there and I am present.”
Whenever Faulkner is with her daughters, it’s all about making their time together count. “I try to own every moment that I’m in because it teaches them that when Mom is with us, we matter most,” she tells PEOPLE.