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Kimora Lee Simmons: Be Proud of Your Parenting

03/26/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Reality star and Baby Phat CEO Kimora Lee Simmons has a message for women everywhere struggling to lose the baby weight: Ease up!

“I’m not the Hollywood mom that says you have to be a size two by tomorrow,” she tells MomLogic.

“I don’t think what you see in the magazines is what you should strive to be like, because all those images are heavily retouched.”

Simmons, 34, adds, “It’s more about your mental, emotional and spiritual stability … You should be comfortable at any size or any age. Whatever you have, you should be proud of yourself, because it’s not easy to be a mom.”

Making that job more manageable, however, is Simmons’ steadfast devotion to making lists.

Admittedly “very OCD” both at work and at home, she make no apologies for her tendencies!

“I have three kids, so I want to know what’s going on,” Simmons points out. “I want to write everything down so I don’t miss anything.”

Case in point? New addition Kenzo, 9 months, will someday have a diary of “every food [he] put in his mouth, and how much,” Simmons says.

“I’m going to show him that when he’s 18 years old and talks back. I’m going to be like, ‘Excuse me? I wrote down your first pear!’”

With Ming, 10, and Aoki, 7 ½ — her daughters with ex-husband Russell Simmons — Simmons takes a slightly different approach.

“I hang little schedules on the doors,” she explains. “That’s another tip: Write everything down on a calendar and post it in the kitchen, so everyone knows what’s expected and where they’re supposed to be. It’s very important to document things.”

At the same time, Simmons says she is careful not to look too far down the list. She advises moms to “do what’s in front of you and knock it out of the way,” instead of worrying “so much about the future that you can’t focus on what you’re doing.”

The ability to multitask is crucial, Simmons notes, and she is quick to point out that she has “a great team.”

“I feel like you should have a great support system … your coworkers, your friends, your family, a great babysitter. Maybe your mom can come over and help out for a little bit … And you need to take time for yourself, whether it’s a bubble bath or a candlelit dinner. It’ll have a big impact.”

Kenzo is all boy, Simmons reports. “He’s very unafraid — he’ll just leap off of your lap! He’s got a very strong, fearless personality.” Ming and Aoki, by contrast, are “very girly” and hands-on when it comes to caring for their younger brother.

“They are kind of like young moms, or mommy’s helpers,” Simmons reveals. “They want to pay attention to their baby brother. They can help feed their brother a bottle or change his diaper. They’re very, very supportive.”

They’re also growing up fast! “I just got used to the fact that my girls don’t want to call it a ‘playdate’ anymore,” Simmons confesses. “They say, ‘No, Ma! We want to hang out. We don’t say ‘playdate’ anymore.’”

Adding a third child to the mix has been eye-opening for Simmons, who initially thought, ‘What’s one more?” but who now concedes “it’s a little extra-stressful to have a new baby come in.”

Regardless, “there’s a lot of happiness in the house right now,” Simmons says, revealing that she and husband Djimon Hounsou are “practicing every day” for a fourth child.

“I don’t know if it will happen right away, but one day soon-ish … not in a month, but soon like in a year,” she clarifies. “If it happens, it happens. I’m very comfortable with the working-mom thing. That, I have down. So it doesn’t matter if I have one or more kids. I have that part of my life down and can juggle things and multitask. I’m used to it.”

When asked to look even further into the future, Simmons says her “greatest hope” is that all three children will grow up “to be independent and have their own sense of self-expression.”

To that end, Simmons says that she takes a hands-off approach.

“I don’t really push them in any direction, but at the same time I feel like there are so many opportunities open to them, and I’d like them to embrace everything. So far, they’re very much into the performing arts.”

Thus far, the girls are showing a preference for theater, museums and fashion — designing pillows for charity and making their own costumes for plays — leading Simmons to predict that “they’re headed” towards a career in the arts. All the same, “they’re very practical thinkers” according to mom, who adds,

“So maybe Aoki will be a performer and Mingie will be a lawyer or a business manager. I try not to put too much pressure on them. I want them to take the reins within safe life boundaries. But within that, I want them to be able to feel like they can make their own decisions, choices and suggestions about their own well-being.”

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m-dot on

Love Kimora. Her kids are the cutest and clearly always remain her top priority.

Working Moms on

Thank you Kimora Lee Simmons for sharing and appreciating the work and struggle of every mom. Thank you also for the advice that surely many mother will follow. Very effective post.

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