Molly Sims on being a 'very involved parent' and dealing with 'bored' mom shamers

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  • Molly Sims
    Molly Sims
    American actress
Molly Sims opens up about her life as a mom. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)
Molly Sims opens up about her life as a mom. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Welcome to So Mini Ways, Yahoo Life's parenting series on the joys and challenges of child rearing.

If anyone knows the keys to multitasking, it’s Molly Sims. The supermodel, podcast host, actress, wife and mother of three youngsters (daughter Scarlett and sons Brooks and Grey Stuber) says she’s never not juggling at least two things at once.

Recently, she teamed up with Claire’s to promote CDrop, a new subscription service featuring the best of Claire’s accessories and jewelry — plus new limited-edition products. Molly and Scarlett were the first to receive the boxes from Claire's and loved them. (“I found Claire’s before they found me,” Sims says, noting that she shopped there as a girl with her own mother.)

Last year, Sims lost her beloved mother, Dorothy “Dottie” Sims, and recently cleaned out her childhood bedroom in her parents' Kentucky home, digging up troves of magazine covers, clippings, and nostalgia Dottie had saved — including Sims’s own Claire’s jewelry from childhood.

We caught up with the supermodel mama after a nostalgic weekend in Kentucky and talked about podcasting her way to the top of the charts, her mom network and the daily chaos of being a mom to three kids.

What’s your approach to parenting?

Work hard and play hard — that was my mom’s approach. My mom was a very involved parent and I’m a very involved parent. She made sure we studied and were well-read; culturally, she exposed us to as much as she could in Kentucky. In that way, I do the same with my kids — and open them up not just to L.A. and the west side. I’m also very structured — I may fall into helicoptering — but I’m an advocate for my children. 

My husband and I work, and I have no family nearby, so I have help. I was telling my aunt back home that I wished she lived near me. But I am involved and most importantly, I like it. I would be sad to be on a set, in a trailer, missing those moments. I love being a mom — they drive me to the brink of insanity — but I love them [laughs].

Is there anything that blew your mind about parenting?

The depth of how much you can care. With modeling and acting, being in a business that’s all about how you look and how you sound — taking that focus off and putting it on someone else [is] great. It sounds odd, but I don't have time to care about the things I used to care about — nor should I have cared about it at that moment. That’s also coming from a person in her 40s who’s reflecting on what matters. I was glad that I lived and I’m glad that I don't have FOMO. When I was home, my friend pointed out recently that I’ve had nine lives — and I really did. I had a very fulfilling 20s and 30s, childhood and teens. It was interesting to look back on all that I accomplished.

Given that, what advice would you give young people who are just starting out?

Say yes more than you say no. Change — and don't be afraid to change. That can take you far!

Last time we spoke, you said you’d never let your daughter model. Has that changed?

No, that’s not changed. She’ll never model and it’s not going to be her focus. Her focus is on going to school, having friends, having a life and traveling — but also not being shipped off at a young age.

What have you learned from having a daughter?

You deal more with the emotional side. [Scarlett] is differently sensitive than her brothers — they’re thin-skinned compared to her. She has a thick skin and she really responds to me getting down on her level and letting her be heard. They all want to be heard! Like me, she’s half tomboy, half princess. She’s an incredible athlete but she can also host a tea party and do our makeup.

And what have you learned from your boys?

I’m less dirty when I’m with my daughter [laughs]. They’re very different but they’re also the same.

You recently cleaned out your childhood home. Did you keep any of your old stuff?

I did keep my Cabbage Patch kids and I’ll never give up my Smurfs. I had a lava lamp from Spencer's Gifts and my old jewelry from Claire’s. [Kids] can spend hours in that store — that’s what’s great about the subscription boxes: someone else picks it out!

Do you have any advice when it comes to tuning out parent shamers?

I’m a big believer in building [other] moms up; my mom was that way and I’m that way. I have good friends who are great moms and we have open communication; sometimes people listen and sometimes they don't — but I don't come from it in a hateful or shaming way. It serves nothing at all. I think sometimes the moms who shame others are bored — they have nothing better to focus on. It’s the antithesis of how I was raised. I love my mom network, which is great for the podcast.

Speaking of your podcast, Lipstick on the Rim is taking off. Are you still having fun with it?

It’s been incredible! t We were number two or three on Apple’s chart; I couldn't believe it! I was shocked but I love it — I love connecting people, learning and having that sense of community, especially as a mom.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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