Jillian Michaels: Having Two Kids Is Chaotic – but Magical

09/21/2012 at 06:00 PM ET
Tina Kaawaloa/INF

As any viewer of The Biggest Loser knows, Jillian Michaels is a stickler for hard work and discipline, but no amount of preparation could have gotten her ready for life as a mother – especially after welcoming son Phoenix — whom partner Heidi Rhoades delivered — and daughter Lukensia — via adoption — in the same month.

“It’s been hectic, chaotic, confrontational – all the things you imagine it would be,” she tells PEOPLE, “but it’s also been magical, meaningful, and rewarding.”

One such instance has been incorporating her children into every aspect of her lifestyle, including her commitment to fitness.

“I like to take Phoenix hiking in a Björn, or Lu for a bike ride in the sidecar or out with me on the paddle board,” Michaels, 38, says.

“I take them for jogs with my jogging stroller, and we love to play on the beach. I do everything I can to be active with my kids.”

Lu, 2½, and Phoenix, 4 months, also regularly accompany mom on her work trips, such as this weekend’s Sweat AC festival in Atlantic City, N.J., where the trainer will be teaching an “Extreme Makeover Workout” class.

“I hate being away from them, especially overnight,” says Michaels, whose Bodyshred line of classes will now be taught at Crunch gyms. “We travel as a little brood and the new executive producer on The Biggest Loser is a woman, so she is particularly sympathetic and very open to the kids being on set.”

But before embarking on a new season, the new mom is happy to simply relish in her children’s growth.

“Lu is having a ‘language explosion,’ as her preschool teachers like to say,” Michaels says. “It’s so cool to listen to her express herself, tell us what she wants, how she’s feeling, what’s on her mind.”

“Phoenix is super aware, babbling constantly,” she continues. “He is able to sit up, roll over, hold his bottle. It’s so amazing watching him gain control of his body and seeing how proud he is about it.”

— Kiran Hefa

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Margo on

LOVE Jillian!

I’m so glad that she’s back on the Biggest Loser but is still able to have the family she’s always wanted! 😀

Betty on

I am so glad Jillian will be back on the biggest loser I was going to stop watching after half way thou last season. Lets see what the new season brings. Glad you have your family .

stacey on

two kids chaotic…give me a break. t wo kids is a walk in the park.

Jill on

Really, Stacey…..not necessary to be negative. Maybe two kids were a “walk in the park” for YOU but to go from her lifestyle to instantly having two children, with one being 2 already, probably was and is chaotic….especially with her career. She’s saying it is chaotic but she loves it.

So Stacey, can you honestly say that you never felt like your house was chaotic when your children were that little? Moms, please support other moms, already. Jillian is just like the rest of us. She loves her kids and is doing what she can to juggle a career and be a good mom.

Becky on

I agree! I have a ten and two year old and Chaos is the name of my house!! I don’t really know any household with kids that is not chaotic at times. But it’s (mostly) tons of fun. I am glad Jillian got the family she wanted. 🙂

alicejane on

Stacey, why can’t she feel like it’s chaotic? If you consider two kids a breeze great, but Jillian went from no kids to two kids instantly – I’d say that’s a huge, crazy change.

Anonymous on

Oh shut up already Jillian!! I have three kids and gave birth to all of them. Just do your job as a mother and stop talking to the press.

Holiday on

I love having two kids for many reasons but seeing the bond between siblings is what I find the most magical! My 2 year old daughter adores her big brother and he feels the same way about her.

Erika on

Her kids are so beautiful and she seems like a great mom. I’m also glad she is back on Biggest Loser. It liked it way better when she was on the show.

Stacey- You really have to consider the fact that Jillian pretty much went from 0 kids to 2 kids in a week. Combine a newborn with a toddler that is from a very different part of the world, learning a new language and way of life, and you will get chaos.

I’m glad you find 2 kids to be a breeze (although I think most would disagree) but I’m guessing you probably haven’t been in the same situation, so you probably shouldn’t judge.

Anonymous on

Yeah it can probably get very hectic when the nanny, babysitter, and personal assistant are all bumping heads. Magical, meaningful and rewarding when you don’t have to do any of the dirty work but are just handed your accessory child to “play” with. I admire that she adopted a child but I prefer to hear celebrities actually admit they have help as opposed to acting like they are doing it all which they are not.

:) on

…Yes, children are a handful and worth it. Luckily, I assume you have help and I’m sure having money makes things easier. Just spend time with them…that’s all they want.

2blackcats on

This woman is very scary. Her manner is combative, surly, and hostile. Not sure what happened to her in her formative years, but I feel very sorry for her children. They are probably scared to death of her. Notice she used the word “confrontational”? Odd choice of words when describing your children.

PAT on

sounds like a great idea until the paddle board makes it’s entrance. positively nutty to be a responsible parent sharing a paddle board with a child that age.

Jane on

love her. so happy she’s doing well with the big transition into motherhood!

the negative comments are horrifying – this is exactly the kind of celebrity who *should* be speaking to the press about parenting. She is a great role model for other gay and lesbian families, and it is wonderful to see her beautiful family getting attention so that the world can see how loved those children truly are.

& btw, with the right safety precautions & equipment, paddle boarding is totally safe with a 2.5 year old in a controlled environment. i hardly think they’re in the ocean, sheesh!

Dawn on

Well interesting article and comments …. I agree as a mother of three things can be crazy my little ones are 28 months and 6 months…. what I did find weird or at least very advance is her four month old is already sitting up and holding the bottle (I feel that’s quite young).

anyway more power to her if she has hired help because at the end of the day if she doesn’t put in the time the children will know….

Anonymous on

Anonymous- Actually, there ARE celebs out there that don’t have help (at least not of the professional variety!). About two months ago, for example, Jenna Fischer spoke at length about people assuming she has all sorts of help when she doesn’t. You can read it for yourself here: http://celebritybabies.people.com/2012/08/01/the-office-jenna-fischer-fiber-one/

My point is that, for all we know, Jillian may not have a nanny (perhaps her partner is a stay-at-home mom, or maybe they have a grandmother or aunt watch the kids when they’re working or out for date night or whatever).

And even if she did, I fail to see how that would be any different than a “regular” person putting their kids in daycare while they work!

2blackcats- If you click on where it says “life as a mother”, it takes you to an article with a recent picture of Jillian and her kids…neither of whom seems to be scared of her in the slightest (especially smiley Lu!)! 🙂

Anonymous on

Dawn- She didn’t say whether he’s doing those things alone or with assistance, though. It’s not uncommon for four month olds to be able to sit with assistance, and the bottle holding could be as simple as him gripping it while they feed him (i.e., they’re the ones holding the bottle, but he likes to “help”!).

Anonymous on

I also meant to say in response to anonymous’s (September 21) comment about celebs not admitting they have help that some do. Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Garner, and Sarah Jessica Parker are just two examples of celeb moms who have admitted that they have nannies, and therefore have it easier than most working moms.

So if you want to hear celebs admitting they have help, all you need to do is look at more articles. 🙂

PMW on

FYI… Jillian has indicated she has help, but it’s not there all the time. Heidi’s twin sister is their nanny, but I believe she indicated that in the evening it’s pretty much her and Heidi. In regards to the paddle board, pretty sure it’s in the ocean but she said on the podcast all her neighbors were standing ready if anything went wrong. Jillian says over and over, she’s not perfect she’s just doing the best she can. I honestly believe she loves the kids but going from 0 to 2 in one week – wow! 1 baby/toddle would cause chaos in anyone’s life. It’s a major change!