Star Mom: Soledad O'Brien

Luckily, no. If anything, I was over 40 weeks with all of my pregnancies. As a mom, I felt like their message on preventing birth defects and premature birth was so important to share and an easy one to get out there.

Do you volunteer as a family?
My kids are mostly still too little. When you volunteer with small children, you become a much less helpful volunteer! My oldest daughter was very interested in helping with Katrina. When I would go to [fund-raising] events, she'd hand me quarters from her piggy bank. For [the kids], understanding what I do and how we help is important. If I have to go to an event at night and won't be there for bedtime, I explain why.

As a news anchor, you must see so much that's difficult to watch. How do you help your children stay optimistic when they see you covering so many things that are not?
Every story has its sad side, but in the aftermath, you see the optimism and tenacity. The people who open their homes, their lives, their checkbooks... if you can't be inspired by that, you have a heart of stone.

As a grown-up, you shape the information the kids get. After Katrina, my oldest daughter would ask me, "Did any babies die?" and "Do they have enough water?" When I went down to visit, she was really worried about my not having enough water. When she asked "What if you run into somebody who needs water?" I told her that you stop and you give it to them. Everything is an opportunity to teach.

You've said that, because of your work schedule, you're able to take the kids to doctor's appointments and to make dinner every night. How do you stay balanced?

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