Brooke Burke Talks 'Dancing,' Divorce and David Charvet
When you look at Brooke Burke, you might think to yourself, "Celebrities -- they're not just like us!"
But you and Brooke have more in common than you might think: she's a working mother with four children (Neriah, Sierra, Heaven and Shaya) who, like us, is trying to juggle it all.
In addition to co-hosting "Dancing With The Stars," Brooke is also the co-CEO of ModernMom, an online community for mothers, and the spokesperson for the appetite-suppressant supplement underWAY. If this all sounds overwhelming, Brooke doesn't think so. In fact this famous mom gave ParentDish the scoop on how she does it all with flair and survived a public divorce before finding love with actor David Charvet.
ParentDish: How do you find time for each kid, alone time with David and still have a few minutes for Brooke?
Brooke Burke: I try to carve out one-on-one time with each of my children because that is so important, especially when you have four kids. As for David, we really try and schedule a date night, too, because that is important as well. Although it might not happen every week because of our schedules, we do make it a point to spend time together after the kids are asleep or meet for lunch while the kids are in school. As for me, time for any woman is crucial and unfortunately that tends to go away when you have kids. But I make it a point to get my me time in when I am working out, taking a hike or going to Pilates Plus. My one hour of fitness is what I call me time and sanity time.
PD: Do you do special projects with each kid or designate a certain day to spend with each of your children?
BB: What I will do is, let's say my 10-year-old is having a sleepover, I will use that time to do something special that my 8-year-old wants to do. What's nice is she tends to want to include her brother and sister, too. I will also do special trips with them once a year. For instance, I'll take my 10-year-old to a place she wants to go. I also switch off years with my 10-year-old and my 8-year-old because it is hard to make that time. Basically I do what I can. The popular things they like doing is getting a manicure, making a trip to the beach, having a a nice, quiet romantic dinner, watching a movie or we crawl into bed and read stories.
PD: How does that routine change when you are filming "Dancing With the Stars?"
BB: It is a great schedule. I can still have breakfast with my kids, do carpool and be at the studio in time for showtime. Since it is a live program I don't have a lot of prep time plus I am done by 7 p.m. It is the dream gig for a mom. I mean, I still make it home in time for bedtime.
PD: What are your kids into these days?
BB: My older girls like to dance and actually got into dance when I was on "Dancing With The Stars" as a contestant. My son loves to paint and play T-ball. Then, as an added bonus, we get together as a family to play video games.
PD: What has been the biggest challenge you've faced as a mother?
BB: Time and making time for everyone. Yes I spread myself really thin because I am a working mother. Then I also need to find time for me and for my relationship. I wish I could have two more hours in a day to get more in.
PD: Speaking of challenges, you have been a public figure for a long time, so how did you explain to your first two children what a divorce was since your relationship was in the media?
BB: It was complicated. It was a really hard subject for me to talk about.
PD: In addition to your two children with your ex-husband, you also have two kids with David. Was it hard to blend both families?
BB: It's an ongoing challenge and it can be complicated. Anybody who thinks it is a piece of cake is in for a surprise because it takes a lot of patience and a lot of love. It is an ongoing situation.
PD: Based on your experience, what do you tell other parents who are also trying to mesh their families?
BB: Communication is key. Talk to a psychologist if you need to and take the high road in your divorce. You have to think about your children first. My other suggestion, compassion is key with everyone involved.
PD: Who is more of a disciplinarian: You or David?
BB: We really share the responsibilities. We all have to discipline otherwise they will get out of control. It is like fish and catch. David is a great parent and what is wonderful for me is David is very hands on.
PD: We've been talking so much about mommyhood, but we should also mention that you are a businesswoman and are the founder of an online store called Baboosh Baby, co-CEO of Modern Mom and were just named the spokesperson for underWAY.
BB: Yes I do that, too! [Laughs.] Actually, I folded BabooshBaby into Modern Mom. I am lucky because I can work from home plus I have help from my mom, who runs the online store. In terms of underWAY, I am excited about it because it has helped me make better choices at the dinner table.
PD: Speaking of eating, what do you teach your kids about proper nutrition?
BB: I love to cook and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I also take my kids shopping with me where they help me pick out foods we can make as a family. I try and educate them now so they will grow up and follow a healthy lifestyle to help their bodies grow. We eat a lot of colorful food like berries, vegetables and lean meat.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.