Celebrity Moms at iVillage.com: Joan Lunden

What's it really like with all those kids?
At our house, we don't need to have anybody over for a sleepover. Our big issue is that when we put a set of twins to bed, for 45 minutes, we just listen to them on the baby monitor talking and talking. It's adorable.

Back when our grandparents were around, nobody thought someone was unusual for having five, six or seven kids. That was the norm. And somehow we got into this thing of having two kids. Everybody looked at me, even before the last set, and said, "She has five children!" In Europe and in many parts of America, that would not be considered something unusual. I now find that we might be having a little bit of a trend change toward having more kids again. I get a sense there's more of a reemergence of family.

What's made being a mom easier today than 10 years ago?
There's a million products out there that weren't there. Everything — from things to keep the wipes warm — has gotten more convenient. They've just enabled you to parent much more efficiently. But I'll tell you the biggest difference... Maternity clothes are really hip and chic now. They were the worst, and I had to wear them on the air everyday!

 

How do you keep a healthy balance among your personal life, professional life and family life with seven kids and about a million projects in the works?
It's organization. I'm one of those people who lives by my calendar, and on there, I have everything that I want to be present for with my kids. I never missed a parent-teacher conference, I never missed one of my child's school plays, I never missed an important game that they were in, I never missed an important horse show that my daughter jumped in. I was there for everything. Even when Good Morning America was bringing me in to be cohost and I was pregnant with my first child, I said, "I'll do this 150 percent, but you have to let me be a parent 100 percent as well." One of the reasons the show had the ratings it did was because of the way people identified with me. Because they know I'm a mom. They know I'm a parent with the same responsibilities they have. They know I'm up in the middle of the night, that I'm changing diapers and that I'm worried about schools and doctor's appointments.

It's not always easy for everyone to stick to their priorities like it was for me, but you need to figure out how you can still be responsible to the job and yet still be responsible enough to your children that you don't feel like you're being torn in two directions. Even with all this being said, every mother will say there are always times when you feel like you should be at home and times when you feel like you should be at work. Sometimes it's a compromise, but you can't compromise the important things when it comes to your children. Otherwise, you won't be happy. There's just no getting around that.

 

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