Back in May, when Molly Sims posted a photo of her three children tied to a banister as she sat in front of them drinking wine and smiling, we thought: This is the mom hack we need in our lives right now. If no one is going to solve how to work from home with children, we’ve got to grin and bear it. That’s why we jumped at the chance to speak to the model, actor, and beauty influencer this week. If anyone has a way to smile through the nerve-wracking Choose Your Own Adventure of 2020’s back-to-school season, surely she must!
It was kind of a relief to hear that even in her gorgeous home in the Hamptons, Sims was also battling nerves about the multiple Zoom calls and meetings she was having with teachers for her children, Brooks (8), Scarlett (5), and Grey (3). But being the multi-hyphenate pro that she is, she was also able to share some coping strategies with us. (And btw, she’ll be sharing even more in an Instagram Live session with clean-beauty entrepreneur Nyakio Grieco, who is also a mom, on Friday at 2 pm/ET, in partnership with PayPal.)
SheKnows: Hi! Are you in-between back-to-school meetings?
Molly Sims: My little one was meeting his new teachers over Zoom. He’s in preschool.
SK: Are your kids going to do distance-learning or in-person classes this fall?
MS: Partly distance and partly in-person. Preschool is going to go in person pods of 10. And then in terms the state of California… right now [my older kids] are going e-learning. I’m trying to make the best of it. … I woke up yesterday with such anxiety. I’m like, “Oh, my God, how am I going to do this? Are we going to manage this?” My husband works from home. I work from home. With all three kids it’s just a lot, but I try to take a deep breath and be like, “OK, we’re all in the same boat.” I think the stress of planning it is probably going to be worse than what it actually is.
SK: That’s such a good way of putting it. The planning meeting for my son’s school last week took years off my life.
MS: I know. We had it yesterday, and we have one at 10 tonight, 7 in L.A. I just got so anxious, because one of the mothers was like, “OK, so what if your kid gets a lingering cough?” It started making me really freak out.
SK: Do you have ways you cope with that?
MS: I ended up getting a new credit card, and I am addicted to Paypal … I find myself doing more things like that. I find myself getting organized in so many different ways. I literally went through my wallet today. I’m like, “OK, my AAA card is now expired. My other credit card expired. I got the new one.” Those kind of things that I’m doing. It’s the weirdest thing in the world.
SK: I get it. You need to have control over something! How did your oldest, Brooks, do with with distance-learning in the spring?
MS: My husband and I did really well. We graduated from first grade! … We have great teachers and it’s just as hard on the teachers as it is on the students. They’re having to learn a whole different way of teaching. They’re having to be animated, and it’s very hard to keep a first grader still and focused. I have a lot of respect for teachers, and I have a lot of respect for the kids. They try really, really hard. It’s not easy for me to be on Zoom for two and three and four hours a day, much less these kids.
SK: Do you have a nanny or babysitter helping you out?
MS: We do. I finally flew someone in. She’s helping me this month because it just got to be overwhelming with the time difference, because L.A. doesn’t start until 1 o’clock here. Tonight, we have a meeting at 5, 8, and 10. It’s hard.
SK: What kind of COVID-safe measures did you put in place for her and the rest of your household?
MS: We get tested. It’s only people who I trust [here]. I’m crazy. I haven’t even gone to a restaurant. I went to one lunch with my daughter outside because she had to go to the dentist. … Everyone takes risks, right? You go outside, you get in your car — it’s a risk. You go into the market; it’s a risk. We wear our masks.
SK: How has it been getting your 3-year-old, Grey, in a mask?
MS: Grey can keep his mask on for at least an hour at a time. He’s gotten that good, because you are made to wear your mask here in New York. Poor little masks — by the time they’re done, they’re literally wet with slobber.
SK: Do you have a pod of people you socialize with?
MS: We’ve all been kind of quarantining now here for six weeks. It’s my two best girlfriends. One of my girlfriends is staying with me, and the other one is going back and forth from her mom and dad’s. My goddaughter is coming in with her little siblings at 6 tonight, driving in from New Jersey.
SK: Do your kids get to socialize with other children?
MS: We do a lot of outside stuff. I have soccer here with my godson and my goddaughter. We have lacrosse. [My kids] get to see a few kids that they’ve known for years, but everything is outside, which is great.
SK: What has been your favorite thing to do together as a family this summer?
MS: Go to the beach, have barbecues, have bonfires, walk, talk, play games. We’re pretty tight; let me tell you something. We’ve been together for, like, 184 days straight.
SK: But who’s counting? What do you do when you want to be alone?
MS: I hide in my closet, and I have a glass of wine. I hide in my pantry, and I have a glass of wine. We don’t do a lot. I exercise. I’ll do at-home beauty treatments like what Nyakio and I are doing on Instagram. I know a woman, Georgia Louise, who will walk me through it: I get a big thing of hot steaming water. I put my face over it. Then she’ll walk me through with the roller, and through NuFACE with the radio frequency. Then she’ll walk me through doing my own massage, and before I know it, I’ve done a mask, radio frequency, cleansing, toning. It’s good.
SK: It sounds kind of like a guided meditation. [At this point in the interview, Sims had to pause to put one son on another Zoom call with a teacher.]
MS: You see what I mean? It’s constant! We’ll get there. I think I’m really praying for that vaccine. … I have had a hard year. My mom ended up passing away. My dad got COVID. … People are constantly judging: “I do this, you should to do that.” We really need to rein that in and take care of ourselves. People do things that maybe you wouldn’t do, but that’s OK. You have to take onus in where you are with your family, because what works for my family wouldn’t work for another family.
SK: So true.
MS: And then you have to have your self-care moments, like having your own facial or drinking a glass of rosé in the closet with your girlfriend.
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