Photo Credit: Don Flood
You probably know Brooke Burke best as the co-host (and past winner) of Dancing with the Stars. But she doesn't spend all her time in heels in front of the camera; she's also co-CEO of a website (modernmom.com), president of an online business (babooshbaby.com) and recently, with the release of The Naked Mom, an author. We asked this busy mom of four how she keeps all the plates spinning...
iVillage: Your book references sneaking down to the kitchen to make paninis at midnight with your partner, David, after making love... how do you have the energy to keep things hot with four kids and a super-busy schedule?
BB: Well let me fess up right now: What the book didn’t say was that was five years ago! One of the most important things is not to lose your sense of self when you become a mom. I’m lucky that I have an extremely passionate relationship with my husband, and we still enjoy our intimate life. And it's rare now, but we do still sneak downstairs...sometimes.
iVillage: Your book title is The Naked Mom. What do you feel most vulnerable about having revealed in the book?
BB: Well, the whole thing was a vulnerable experience, but it was incredibly theraputic. I made a commitment to share my experiences honestly in hope that other women will be able to relate to it. I shared some of my worst mommy moments. I know that we all make mistakes, and I totally believe in community healing, but the whole process is scary.
iVillage: What was one of those worst mommy moments?
BB: Probably the worst one that I never told anyone about and that was scary to write about was the time I left my [second-born] child in the car and actually forgot [about her]. It was a terrible moment in many ways, but in a positive way it was a wakeup call; a reality check that told me to wake up, slow down and tune in.
iVillage: When do you feel at your best as a mom? And what makes you lose your cool?
BB: It comes down to patience. I feel I'm at my best when im really listening -- not reacting -- and connected. I've learned that all my children have different needs, and I need to take the time to understand their language. It's about communication and patience, and I work at that every day. I'm at my worst when I'm stressed and frazzled and I don’t have as much time as I'd like to give them. I think most working moms go through that challenge.
iVillage: Breastfeeding is a hot-button issue for moms. What's your take on the subject?
BB: I wasn’t very successful at breastfeeding, but it was very important to me for the bonding experience. I breastfed one for eight months, one for two weeks. I went through that phase of feeling inadequate, but I think it's important for women to do what's best for them and do what their bodies are capable of doing. So many women feel the pressure of having to breastfeed, and I think that's unfair.
iVillage: What's your favorite, can't-live-without-it parenting product?
BB: For me it was all about babywearing. As a working mom with all my kids, it was easier for me to just attach my baby and go about my business. It was comforting for them and for me. So I used a Baby Bijorn; a Peanut Shell and organic sarong-type wraps.