I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the staggeringly beautiful actor, mother, wife, and author, Brooke Burke. At first a bit intimidated, chatting with her immediately revealed some of her greatest qualities and eased my mind for a fun and fabulous gabfest:
1) Do not let her hot mama factor fool you! She is a brilliantly smart and articulate woman. Talk about the full package!
2) Just like all of us moms outside of the limelight, she also has her struggles with the chaotic demands of family life.
3) Brooke made the interview feel more like a mom's night out than just another Q&A. I would toast cocktails with her to the good mommy life anytime!
To be totally cliché, Burke is not just a pretty face. She is a TV personality, model, dancer (winner of the 2008 season of Dancing with the Stars and now a co-host for the program) mommy blogger, and author. Her first book entitled The Naked Mom: A Modern Mom's Fearless Revelations, Savvy Advice, and Soulful Reflections was released earlier this month. It features her views on motherhood, Hollywood, romance and the challenges of running a blended family.
When other women found out I was interviewing Brooke, their immediate response was to ask her how she stays in such amazing shape after four (it's not a typo, yes, four) children. Astonishingly, Brooke told me that she simply does not have time to hit the gym every day (did I mention how much I love this woman?!) She believes that 90% of maintaining a healthy weight is watching what you eat and portion size. She follows the 'Eat Less More Often' advice and has five small meals a day (I knew that Elmo character would come in handy someday). She loves to cook and tries to eat clean and healthy foods. On top of the cardio workout of just being a working mom, she only reserves a couple days a week to hit her fave Pilates class.
Brooke believes that there is no real formula for work/life balance. "Balance is bull, it's about managing chaos" says Brooke. "This has been a crazy, fabulous wave this year with Modernmom, Dancing [with the Stars], and the book. I love what I do professionally. I love being a mother. I'm so lucky, the kids travel with me and I can take them to work but I'm not willing to lose my sense of self." Wow. Did you hear that, moms? We need to be a little selfish sometimes! What's the old saying: 'If momma ain't happy, nobody's happy?' That is a central message in Burke's book. Being a mother doesn't mean you lose the things that are important to you or sacrifice what you love, for the sake of your children. This includes life in the bedroom, ladies! (Bow chica wow wow....) I know if I had Brooke's body, I would definitely be more in touch with my inner sex goddess. Hell, I would wear a bikini while driving carpool.
Regarding the overhyped "Tiger Mom," Brooke is definitely not one. She and her fiancé, actor David Charvet (also ridiculously good looking, natch) try to instill kindness, respect and generosity in their kids. With two children together and two from Burke's previous marriage to LA plastic surgeon Garth Fisher, the blended family is on the same page about their disciplinary philosophy and principles. The kids have chores, which include making beds, helping cook, setting tables, and cleaning their rooms.
The Naked Mom is part memoir, part LA insider and part 'holy crap, I'm totally sleep deprived with a newborn and my toddler's tantrums might kill me.' It's refreshingly honest and a great, fast read. There are no cupcakes, lollipops and rainbows veneer of the life of this celebrity LA family. Being a mom is hard, not perfect, often messy, but overwhelmingly heartwarming. Will Brooke have any more children? "I'm sooooo done," she says. And how about David? "No, he's not done if you can believe it." We'll be interested to see how this story develops...
The Naked Mom is available at bookstores everywhere. You can keep up with Brooke on ModernMom.com and check her out on the new season of Dancing with the Stars, débuting March 21st on ABC.