Hilaria Baldwin gets real with us about being a mom to four under five and her passion for healthy living
Hilaria Baldwin is a busy mom. How can you not be in New York City? She is married to actor Alec Baldwin, mother to four kids under five years old, and a hustling entrepreneur with multiple businesses and passion projects.
There is a reason why Hilaria has more than half a million followers on Instagram: despite her glamorous lifestyle, mothers everywhere can relate to her. She isn’t afraid to be honest and raw about the joys and challenges of parenting, documenting the less glamorous side of motherhood on social media. By peeling away the layers of glamour, we see a mother who is willing to be transparent. She helps parents feel that they are not alone when their kids start screaming in public or refuse to eat their vegetables at dinner.
Hilaria has recently extended her authentic, transparent approach to more painful subjects. On April 9th 2019, Hilaria shared that she had experienced a miscarriage, thanking her social media followers for their support by saying, “Thank you all for listening, for your support, and for sharing your own personal stories. We are stronger together…I hope this conversation continues to grow and that we stick together through both the beautiful and challenging moments in life”. For her followers who have experienced this heartbreak, many thanked her for her bravery.
According to a recent Op-ed she penned for Glamour, Hilaria felt it was important to share her experience to destigmatize the experience of miscarriage. Despite the fact that miscarriages are common (10-25% of pregnancies are estimated to end in miscarriage), discussing them remains taboo.
As her career goes stratospheric, Hilaria ensures she makes her health a priority. With her background as a dancer, she has always been active, and after discovering the benefits of yoga, she trained as a yoga teacher, and then co-founded the New York chain of yoga studios, Yoga Vida.
We caught up with Hilaria to chat about her daily routines, how she manages her brood of kids while keeping her marriage to Alec strong, as well as her popular podcast with Daphne Oz, Mom Brain, by Gallery Media Group.
You are a busy woman—neither you nor your husband have the typical 9-to-5 job—how do you juggle this along with having four children?
I will have days where I work really hard, but then I have days that I can stay home with [the kids]. It is a very luxurious way to work as a mother because it allows you to be really present with your kids, and I realize that it’s quite special that I get to have that. In some ways there is a different balance in that we don’t always have the predictability where you know what we are going to be doing in a month which is kind of nice. If you have a typical 9-to-5 job, you know what May is going to look like. [For our schedule] it keeps it exciting, different, and allows us to be with our kids.
With your hectic schedule, what are some simple ways that you stay connected to your husband?
I am a big believer in staying connected to your body, practicing what you preach, and spending time with my husband. Once our kids are sleeping, we spend time together. This is really important for us because you hear so often how relationships (especially with so many kids) can get really disconnected. We talk a million times during the day, and as you can see, he has come in twice during this interview! When we are not talking on the phone, we are texting. We are very yin and yang, you can’t find people who are more different than the two of us.
With a full household, what is a typical day for the Baldwins?
The beginning of the day is the same where I bathe my kids morning and night. My children mostly eat together, but I will be there and pick at [the food] with them because I heard that it is very important to have your kids feel like you are eating with them. At this age they are so small, so you can’t really sit down and eat because they need to be fed, but we all sit around the table for breakfast and dinner. Then it is getting everybody out for their school and their activities. And at night time, it is dinner, bath, and then stories and bed.
As an advocate for healthy living, are you teaching your children great habits from an early age? Any advice for those of us with picky eaters?
It can be very stressful and challenging, but I think the most important thing is to start with the perspective that they eventually start eating more things. You can’t underestimate the power of talking to your kids. When my daughter was 2 years old she just was so talkative. I was asking for different parenting tips and tricks and it was suggested that I just talk to her. I felt so silly in that moment, and I was mind blown because I just needed to talk to my child. Whether it is something at school or picky eating, it’s best to just talk with them and keep it consistent.
We had the pediatric nutritionist, Jill Castle, recently on our podcast. She said that it takes almost 50 instances of presenting food to a child to get them to want to try it. She said to make it fun. She gave the example with broccoli that one day you could roast it, and the next day steam it, the next day make broccoli soup. I also put the food in the middle of the table, and the kids get to put it on their plates because one of the things with picky eaters is that it’s a question of control. Especially as someone who has recovered from an eating disorder myself, I don’t want to just tell them, “hey you have to eat this.” If we go to a birthday party and they had cake, we talk about how they feel after. If they say, ‘my tummy kind of hurts,’ it is probably because we ate these things that we don’t typically eat.
Tell us more about why you decided to launch a podcast with your friend Daphne Oz?
Daphne Oz, my friend and co-host, is about to have her fourth child, and I have four children. We had a lot of children in a short period, and it was new for us that all of a sudden we couldn’t sleep in on the weekend, we couldn’t just walk out of the house, we had to have child care. So we would just sit and chat for hours and hours.
We were saying for a long time, wouldn’t it be fun for our mommy group to be bigger. As we discuss topics on our podcast, you see in the comments that listeners are developing relationships between themselves, giving people support when times are hard, or exciting — it really becomes this nice community. Also, one of the things that makes it very special is that we don’t do a lot of preparation. Both Daphne and I have experience in television where there is a lot of prep. There are questions that you are supposed to ask, lines you are supposed to read, and podcasting isn’t about any of that. If we were in my home and we were sitting on the couch, what would we be chatting about? I think that is one of the reasons that it has become so popular because it is really authentic.
How did you end up launching your yoga studio, Yoga Vida?
I was a dancer looking for something healthier for my body but I was afraid to try something new, even though my body was suffering. I had heard about yoga, and I decided I was going to try it since there was a studio nearby. I finally developed the courage to take a class. I loved it immediately and started teaching very soon after that. After a few years, one of my students asked me if I would open up a yoga studio with him. We wanted it to be yoga for everyone, so we kept the price point low.
How does yoga help you navigate your everyday life as a mom?
Everybody should do a little bit of yoga every single day. Stretching and focusing on your breath helps with stress, overall health, and circulation. Doing yoga as a mom helps me take a moment before I lose my cool if my kids are driving me crazy. If you are aware of your body, you notice when your shoulders start to scrunch up. If I soften my shoulders, I am less likely to lose my temper.
Yoga is about practice, it is not about perfection. I always tell my students that it is like learning to touch type. Little by little you start to learn with muscle memory where the letters are. Then you can make words, sentences, and then your thoughts just flow through your fingers.
Tell us about what inspired you to write your book: The Living Clearly Method?
I struggled previously with an eating disorder, anxiety, and just trying to figure out what the ‘good life’ is that we’re all struggling to achieve. I developed The Living Clearly Method method, which helps me to feel I am a grounded and a happy person. It all starts with perspective. Then the next step is the breathing. And then you start to notice your ‘grounding’. A lot of times when we get stressed out we are not present in our bodies. When we bring our awareness to our bodies, we are in the present. Next, I focus on my core, and then finally breathing.
The techniques that are part of The Living Clearly Method help me to deal with small situations, like being late, but you can also use them for bigger things, like when you’re considering who am I going to marry? Should I stay in my marriage? Should I take this class in school? It takes practice, but little by little, you become an expert. I also have exercises and recipes in the book.
Hilaria believes that when parenting, you have to do what works for you. She lives by being present for her children and partner, pursuing her personal endeavors, and including yoga and deep breathing into her everyday routine to take on life’s inevitable obstacles. Hilaria told us that yoga is a practice, there is no perfection. The same thing is true for motherhood. There is always something new to learn and it’s not going to be perfect. Stay open and honest, but trick your kids into eating vegetables!
Around the city with the family
Favorite place to grab a bite to eat with the kids? Knickerbocker
(9th St. & University). This is a New York legend place where you can get everything!
Favorite ice cream/cookie/treat place? At Amorino (multiple locations) they have these really tiny cones that are 2 inches tall for the kids. So I bring those home and make bite-sized ice creams for the kids
Favorite spring activity with the fam? We love being outside, and especially exploring piers near the water