Bethenny Frankel: Balance Kids and Career the Best You Can

10/11/2011 at 01:00 PM ET
Lee Clower for Parenting

Bethenny Frankel has let go of her guilt.

Whether spending time with 17-month-old Bryn Casey, her daughter with husband Jason Hoppy, or managing her SkinnyGirl empire, Frankel has learned to live in the moment with no regrets.

“I like to think I’m doing a good job. I’m there for my daughter almost all the time, as much as I can possibly be,” she tells Parenting‘s November issue.

“Sometimes it’s true that I have to travel, and I miss a night with her. When that happens I feel like I’m going to freak out.”

However, instead, Frankel, 40, views her feelings as reassurance of her strong bond with Bryn.

“I tell myself that the fact that I get so upset is yet another sign I’m a good mom,” she explains. “That’s all I really care about.”

Admitting there is no perfect balance between a career and kids, Frankel focuses on finding a solution that works both for her and her family.

“I had to be on a business trip all day Saturday. But I knew it was coming so I spent every minute of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with Bryn, and then all day Sunday again,” she shares. “So really, I only missed one day. I didn’t like it, but I didn’t feel guilty at all.”

Lee Clower for Parenting

In fact, adds Frankel, understanding that motherhood is far from complicated is the trick to overcoming any obstacle.

“You don’t have to do everything right — just be there,” Frankel suggests.

“Bryn’s not drinking enough milk right now, but that has nothing to do with me. It’s not like I’m a bad mom because of that.”

Or because of any mistakes made, says Frankel, adding all mothers experience a few bumps along the way.

“Sometimes I accidentally give Bryn food that’s just a little too hot,” she reveals.

“Or I’ll be turning her around during a bath, and she’ll dunk and get water in her mouth. What can you do? Just say, ‘I’m sorry!'”

Her perspective on parenthood is one she has acquired with age, crediting her dedication to her daughter a result of starting a family later in life.

“For me, I think that having Bryn later in my 30s was a good thing. I’ve had more experience and I appreciate it more,” Frankel says. “I don’t think, at 23, I’d have been the same kind of mom I am now, but I have no idea. I’m sure there are plenty of great 23-year-old mothers out there!”

At the end of the day, Frankel and Bryn are all about having a good time and making memories.

“Bryn and I throw dance parties with our iPod every single day,” she shares. “California Gurls is probably her favorite song and yesterday we had a really fun time with a tune by Panic at the Disco. We love Pink, too.”

Click here for a video of the Parenting shoot.

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: Babies , News , Parenting

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Shelby on

Such a lovely article, Bryn is getting SO big and is the spitting image of her Daddy. I’ve always loved Bethenny and the name she has made for herself.

Having had a mother who traveled extensively as a business executive left a great impression on me. It allowed me to grow up knowing that you can have a successful career and be a mother; of course it took her away some nights but it always awarded me a world of opportunity.

Congratulations to Bethenny on all of her succeses, I selfishly hope they have another baby because I don’t think I’ve ever seen her more settled, in love or happy than when she became a mother. On a complete sidenote, she looks AMAZING on the cover, such a beautiful picture.

Leah on

She is one of the most sensible celebrity moms ever. I like her take on motherhood.

Holiday on

She seems like a good mom. My daughter and her daughter are only a day apart. I get what she is saying on the guilty feelings because I am like that too.

Jess on

LOVE her and love what a down-to-earth mom Bethenny is!! She definitely does not wear her celebrity tiara.

TM on

Wow! That baby is all Jason! Such a doll!

Jodi on

Just my opinion, but I do not think that child is cute at all. But I also think Bethenny is quite weird looking.

chelsea on

I wish they would have another baby.

Holiday on

Jodi that baby is a doll~ how can you possibly think she is weird looking? She is perfect!

Sam & Freya’s Mum on

I think she looks more like a boy, not ugly but not the cutest little girl (not all are) but that’s just my opinion. Like her attitude to parenting. Sounds like a good mom.

Tanya on

She is adorable! I read some comments about her not being cute and I don’t see it at all. . . she is just too thin I think, I love CHUBBY babies! But she is still a cutie patooti!

Ali on

She is ALL Jason, that’s for sure! Not a smidge of her mama in her! I think maybe the fact that she looks so much like Jason might make her appear a little more boyish? All babies are cute in their own ways…even if they aren’t gerber baby-looking…they are still precious in different ways.

Melissa on

Bryn is really growing up! I used to love Bethenny on the Real Housewives of New York but for some reason her current show doesn’t interest me. Please don’t shot me, but it is hard for me to hear her talk about her great relationship with Bryn while she is estranged from her mother. I wish she understood that there are women who wished they had a mother. Mothers are a gift. I understand she said her mother was hurtful and abusive but she did provide for her. No matter how much Bethenny hates it she has a mother who loved her enough to give birth to her and education her. I guess when her mother get ill she will run to see her like she did her father. Maybe this just bothers me…Hopefully Bryn will have a great relationship with Bethenny when she is older.

Kimberly on

I think Bryn is adorable!! My daughter (20 months) loves to dance to California Gurls too! haha.

Casey on

Melissa, I think it is a lot easier said than done to forgive an abusive parent…I don’t think we will ever know the real extent of the abuse, but I feel that Bethenny has every right not to have a relationship with her mother. I think this is going to help her with her parenting and how not to treat her daughter. She visited her father for closure, which I think is very respectable given the circumstances. If she would choose to do the same with her mother, so be it. But if I had a mother that did that, she would not be permitted around my child, and I don’t feel I could ever trust her. I have a wonderful relationship with my mom, but unfortunately, some of us are not that lucky. I give her credit for staying strong and true to who she is.

Indira on

Ugh, I honestly find this woman to be awful. I used to love her show but, now she’s a ham and a fraud.

tori on

That is one ugly kid. I hope she has a good personality when she grows up.

Jessica on

SHAME ON YOU for calling any child ugly. THATS A KID for Pete’s sake. And I think she looks like a fun, charming, hysterical kiddo who could teach you a lesson on what life is all about. Any human’s beauty comes from their morals and good-doing towards others. You obviously are an ugly human being if you dare to put down a baby who cannot defend themselves. On the Internet. Anonymously. Real pretty. My child has Down syndrome with different looking eyes. Different looking ears. Different looking hair. Is she ugly too just because she doesn’t look like a Gerber baby? She’s the most beautiful person that I know as she’s taught me to live this life with a kind heart. For the sake of your children present or unborn, please think twice about being so cruel to people you do not know. The heart of life is good, I challenge you to let it out.

Deborah on

Bethenny has done the correct thing concerning her mom. If you haven’t been in her shoes you would never know.

I had an extremely abusive mom who did things you couldn’t imagine. She was never allowed around my daughters for their safety and I do see her on my terms. They don’t know her and she doesn’t care to know them. If I allowed it she would still beat me and I am nearing retirement age. She has told me that she would have done nothing different in raising us, if you can call that raising up a child. She abused the whole family including my father.You never know unless you have been there. Don’t judge.

Hope on

Wow! I cannot believe some of you are calling that child ugly. What is wrong with you people? How cruel! It is obvious that you all that are posting such comments on here are ugly on the INSIDE.

Kyla Bree on

I’ve always liked Bethenny. It’s too bad she didn’t meet Jason years before, she could have another child by now. I read she had a miscarriage. It’s harder for some older women to get preganant and carry a healthy baby to term. I hope she can have another. Bryn is cute, and she has a sweet personality, from what I saw on TV.