TV personality, winner of Dancing with the Stars, mompreneur and mother of four – Brooke Burke is one of the busiest moms in Hollywood. In an exclusive interview with Celebrity Baby Scoop, Brooke talked about her four kids – Neriah, 9 ½, Sierra, 7 ½, Rain, 2 ½ and Shaya, 1 ½ – and her passion for sharing and learning through the social media, how she juggles her career and family life and her thoughts on our obsession with celebrity babies.
CBS: How DO you do it all with four kids?
BB: “I ask myself that daily. How and why do I do what I do? I’ve got four kids and they’re all having birthdays soon. For me it’s about being really organized. I don’t believe in total balance, it’s about making the most of everyday. It’s about listening to your children and your family. It’s about finding your own way and I’m feeling pretty confident in the decisions that I make. I learn as I go. I’m very flexible. I have my priorities set in the right order. And you know, I always knew I was going to be a mom and have a big family. I’m fortunate enough at this point in my life with Modern Mom that I work from home a lot. I work on The Doctors too. I’m doing things that are do-able for my family. So as crazy as it sounds, you know, somehow I manage it all. It’s not about perfection, it’s not about balance, it’s about getting organized. And it’s about loving what you do, and you know, I love what I do.”
CBS: How do you discipline 4 children that span 9 years in age?
BB: “The funny and interesting thing is, and I’m starting to write a lot about this, what works for one child fails for another. We have access to so much research and to so many different discipline tactics. There just isn’t one way. I think as a parent we have a responsibility to look at the different personalities to find something that works for each individual child. If your child is not responding to you over and over again, it’s not the child’s fault, it’s your responsibility as a parent to figure it out and try a different style and discipline. I’m probably the hardest on my oldest, my son is the baby and he’s a boy so he’s divinely spoiled, my 3-year-old is confident and tough and independent and my 7-year-old is a completely different personality. So really it’s about structure and it’s about consistency, and it’s about change when there needs to be change. You know, just when I think I have it figured out, I have to change it. So what do I know,” she laughs.
CBS: What would you let slide that David wouldn’t.
BB: “David is French so manners are divinely important to him. I think that shyness and certain personalities affect social skills. I expect appropriate behavior, which I define by age. Some parents have a strict set of rules that is not flexible. I think that puts a lot of pressure on a kid. I also think sometimes you have to let your kids have control of certain things. It’s a touchy subject but we break the rules sometimes. But the kids know what I expect of them. I have strong personalities in my house.”
CBS: Do your kids know what you do for a living?
BB: “My younger ones for the longest time thought I was a dancer because of Dancing with the Stars. My older girls see me in magazines and TV and they come to my office with me a lot. They see me work on Modern Mom so they know I have an internet business. A funny takeaway story is one day my daughter asked me why I’m on the big picture in the sky which was her interpretation of a billboard. And when I was on Dancing with the Stars my youngest daughter would come home and say ‘everyone is saying you’re a dancer, but you’re not a dancer, you’re my mom!’ So they get little bits and pieces of it. There were times when my daughter didn’t understand why I wasn’t talking back to her through the TV. But now they get it.”
CBS: Have you talked to your older kids about appearing nude in your earlier modeling career?
BB: “Too young for that. We haven’t needed to cross that bridge yet. And I have no regrets about anything that I’ve done in my life. It’s all about choices and why we make them. I’m not concerned about that issue at all.”
CBS: What do you think about celeb baby websites like ours? Why do you think people so obsessed to see celeb babies?
BB: “I think people are obsessed with celebrities in general. They want to look inside. They want access to what they don’t see on the big screen or on TV. They want to see a real side that the entertainment industry does not offer them.
It’s very controversial. Why do we allow our children to be public? I have very strong thoughts about it. I feel it isn’t about exploiting them. It isn’t even about exposing them. I feel like because I live in LA in a paparazzi-infested place, my kids are out there. And my commitment in the role that I’ve taken in the social media and even to Modern Mom is that I’m sharing that side of my life. I have a responsibility as a celebrity to be really protective and really careful with my children. But that doesn’t mean to shelter or hide them from the public because I can’t do that in L.A.
And I think people are obsessed with babies in general! It’s not just celebrity babies. People are obsessed with babies! And people want to dissect everything: are we normal, are we not normal, what are they wearing? It’s not just the kids, it’s us too! I really feel you can just take the celebrity out of it because people are obsessed with babies!”
CBS: Are your kids OK with the paparazzi or are they get scared by them?
BB: “My 7-year-old hates to have her picture taken and it’s only because of the paparazzi. So I really try to protect her and I allow her to not be part of certain things even if we go to entertainment events. She has the choice to never walk the red carpet. My 9-year-old thinks it’s fabulous and would like to stop and pose for everyone she sees! And my 3-year-old just doesn’t quite get it. But it is what it is and they’re used to it. And you know, I should be more worried when they stop taking my picture. And we deal with it. We have privacy at our home and we pick our spots.”
CBS: Tell us all about The Doctors and your role as “Mommy Correspondent” on the show.
BB: “I’m really excited to be on the panel! I’m the liason between the moms and the MD’s and my goal is to get answers to the questions that we sometimes feel uncomfortable to talk about or feel embarrassed to ask. It’s just like the message on Modern Mom – we talk about very real issues and mommy moments. The Doctors offers me the perfect platform for me to do that.”
CBS: Can you give us some examples of the topics you talk about on the show?
BB: “We’re talking about decreased libido after pregnancy, fears of labor, challenges of being a mother, breastfeeding versus not breastfeeding. I even did a field piece with a stay at home dad to help him get more organized. Really, it’s anything that women are looking answers for – to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. We cover not only the controversial issues, but the real mommy moments that people want more information on.”
CBS: So you do some house calls?
BB: “Yes, I do some house calls. We also have guests in our audience. I’m hoping to do a very large Modern Mom outreach and take some callers on the show – we’re developing that right now. Fortunately I have access from that community [Modern Mom] and I know that women are searching for more information than what is out there. We’re kind of making it up as we go along to meet the needs of the audience. My next show airs November 17th. The show airs 5 days a week and I’ll probably be on one day a week.”
CBS: Tell us about Modern Mom.
BB: “Modern Mom is a social network for moms and women around the country. Our audience really isn’t the frazzled mom who opens up the can of soup for dinner. It’s a pretty together mom and our goal is to empower her to make the most of motherhood. We talk about everything from parenting, to relationships, to getting pregnant, to fashions, to really wanting to make the most out of the mommy experience. What I think differentiates Modern Mom from some of the other mommy sites that are out there is that it has soul. There’s a real voice there. It’s content-created by women, for women. There’s a very strong focus on the woman behind the scenes. It’s not all about the children and the family – although that certainly is the priority. It’s a place that women can go to get tips and tricks and share and have a social conversation, read blogs. We have experts, we have real moms writing articles, we have real-mom bloggers. There’s really a little bit of everything and it all comes from a very real and uncensored place. And I do blog almost every day as well.”
CBS: Tell us about BabooshBaby as well.
BB: “I started BabooshBaby two years ago since the internet was my best avenue to get some of my best tips along the way to other women. I created a fantastic product called Tauts which is the concept of wrapping your post pregnancy belly. It’s been around for thousands of years. I perfected the garment, brought it to the United States. Now BabooshBaby is the e-commerce inside Modern Mom and it’s actually full of a lot of products that I love; some of my own and some products that I use that are manufactured by other people.”
CBS: Where did this incredible business drive come from? Did you go to business school?
BB: “I actually did study business advertising but I’ve always been a business woman. For me, it’s all about maximizing every opportunity. This is the first time in my life, though, that I’ve been able to do something that is so authentic and I’m so passionate about. I live and breathe this, so having an opportunity to run Modern Mom and to take advantage of the social media opportunities and the community that I never had access to when I was a young mom. It’s a different time now. I think that shared experience is invaluable for women, especially for mothers.”
CBS: What was Dancing with the Stars like for you?
BB: “It was probably one of the most life changing experiences I’ve ever had. I learned a lot on that show. I learned a lot about me. I really learned how much I desperately missed being with my family because it was such a commitment. And at the same time it was such an accomplishment. It taught my older girls about discipline and sacrifice. It was very exciting and an incredible lesson to actually see it through and win. I had just had my youngest so he was with me quite a bit in the studio. That commitment is like night and day to what I do now. I’m able to create and manipulate my schedule now. On that show, it was a 7-day commitment for 3 months. You know, everybody missed mommy and mommy missed being at home. So it was an incredible time yet I was so happy to see the end. It was a challenge on many levels. In fact I just came from visiting Derek and Joanna in the studio.”
CBS: So you’ve kept in touch with Derek?
BB: “Yes, you know it’s such an intimate experience. We spent 3 months of our lives together every day and we went through something really challenging. We had a great time together.”
CBS: Any last thoughts?
BB: “With Modern Mom, the thing that feels the best is that it feels really authentic. I really feel that the social media and a community for women is super important and I learn so much every day from other women. That’s the motive and that’s the tool we didn’t have access to 10 years ago.”
CBS: What’s the best way to get started on Modern Mom?
BB: “It’s a matter of exploring all the different areas and find something that really resonates with you. And then there’s forums and chat rooms. It’s an opportunity to get involved. It’s not just about getting information – it’s also a place to share and to find other women that are going through the same things that they are. And that’s really comforting. And Modern Mom is changing every week – I’m really excited about the future.”