Rebecca Romijn: Why We Don’t Want Hired Help

07/02/2013 at 09:11 AM ET

Rebecca Romijn Redbook Cover
Courtesy Redbook

Two kids were always in the cards for Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell.

Despite battling infertility, the couple planned for a future as a family of four — and were doubly blessed when they discovered that not only was Romijn pregnant, but they were expecting twins!

And while tackling twins is tough, the couple are taking on the task alone — without the help of a full-time nanny.

“We’re each other’s assistants. We pick up each other’s slack. Whoever is less busy helps the busier one: ‘Can you go pick up this for me?’ or ‘Can you book my flight?'” Romijn, 40, says in Redbook‘s August issue.

“That’s what real life is. Once you start paying somebody else to do the grunt work, who are you?”

Adding to the difficult job of managing multiples is Romijn’s work commitments. With the King & Maxwell star shooting on location in Canada, O’Connell is on full-time daddy duty, bringing daughters Charlie Tamara Tulip and Dolly Rebecca Rose back and forth from their Los Angeles home to Vancouver to visit their working mama.

But, due to the couple’s “very different” approaches to raising their 4½-year-old girls, watching O’Connell step up to the parenting plate hasn’t always been easy. Fortunately, Romijn has realized handing over the reins isn’t always a recipe for disaster.

“It’s hard for me to not make suggestions when I’m not on duty. For example, 10 days ago when he was bringing the girls up to Vancouver, I was like, ‘Oh, God, he cannot forget their jackets. I have to remember to tell him to bring rain boots,'” she says.

“Then I told myself: ‘He knows what the weather is like in Vancouver.’ Meanwhile, he showed up with one pair of shoes each, two pairs of pants, two T-shirts, a sweatshirt and no jacket! This was my worst fear and we were … fine.”

Still, the actress admits jugging both her personal life with her professional career is a constant challenge. “Sometimes I do get a little teary. Jerry and I will see the girls running ahead of us and say, ‘Look at them, they’ll never be this little again — not even 10 minutes from now,'” she says.

It has been almost six years since Romijn and O’Connell tied the knot — later welcoming their daughters and settling into their family routine — but a big part of the former model’s previous marriage is still a popular topic for the public.

Rebecca Romijn Redbook Cover
Courtesy Redbook

“Oh my God, it happened to me last night!” she says in reference to still being called Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.

“You know, getting through all that was a lot, and when I was finally Rebecca Romijn again, I thought, ‘I’ll just stick with this for a little while.'”

But not so fast, says Romijn — her surname is still subject to change sooner rather than later.

“At a certain age I think it’ll be my girls who ask, ‘Why is your last name different than ours?’ Once it matters to them, it’s going to start mattering to me. And also for Jerry,” she says.

“My girls have this funny thing that they always do when it’s the four of us — they go, ‘See, here we are, all together, a family,’ over and over again. I think ‘O’Connell’ will play a big part in that.”

— Anya Leon

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Showing 58 comments

Sska1020 on

Aww my girls say the same thing when we are all together. It’s rare because one of us is usually working but then we just appreciate the time we are together even more.

I love this family and the fact that they do it on their own. That’s the way it should be.

Lina on

oh.dear.lord !!!

NO boots, NO jackets !

Heaven help these poor children with such an incompetent father. Because there are NO stores in Vancouver. Why do women publicly emasculate the father of their children??

lola on

Being a parent is not a perfect job, Lina. People make mistakes, forgot important things and so on but that doesn’t mean ur not a good parent!! So what if he forgot to bring the jackets? *rolls eyes* They do have baby stores in Canada!! Its not like he forgot one of them on a plane!

Sierra on

Do you not see the 100% sarcasm in that comment lola?

lola on

Is that what Lina told u Sierra? My interpretation clearly wasn’t the same as yours I guess.

tracy on

Lola, Lins was obviousily being sarcastic. I thought the dame thing when i read the article. She makes her husband sound incompetent. Very sad.

shannon on

I think she was being funny lola .. you on the other hand.. need to chill out

another mother on

Lina, she was admitting that her need to be in control was silly. He didn’t pack the boots and jackets, she didn’t remind her husband, and it all turned out just fine. The lesson was hers, she figured out that her husband was perfectly capable without her help.

Leslie on

Good grief Lina…chill out !!!!!!

KT on

Wow. What a super refreshing article about a Hollywood family. It is wonderful to hear that they work together and share tasks, and do it all on their own. I love the quote she shares at the end. They seem like a wonderful family!

Mallory on

Love them! Nice to hear about a normal family in Hollywood!

And Lina, seriously, relax.

Charli Mabriel on

Wow, what a lovely article about a lovely family! Plus I love her pics – refreshing to not “see it all”.

WooHoo on

I thought the comment about the clothes in Vancouver was funny and real. Seeing as they do have the budget to shop for whatever, whenever I think its refreshing.

Mgarrity on

It’s refreshing to hear celebrity parents taking care of their own kids! Kudos to them:)

Lisa on

Jeez Lina, did you even read beyond that sentence? She said it was her worst fear, then admitted they were FINE in spite of it.

Linda on

@ Lina…my God, lighten up! Somebody pee in your Cheerio’s this morning?

valeskas on

Maybe no nanny, but help to clean.

Jennifer on

What a refreshing piece. It’s nice to see there are still some normal famous couples!

Poppy on

Notice the specification there is no “full-time” nanny? I’m sure they have help.

Michelle on

I love when dads are in charge. 🙂 The funniest things happen. I always wanted to get my niece and the little girls I watch the “Daddy did my Hair” shirt. 🙂

lola on

this lady is great! her children sound normal and healthy. her marriage sounds healthy and intact. good for her for not hiring help even though they can probably afford too. what a solid couple and a solid family. an inspiration to many!

itznia on

What a great, honest article!!! EVERY dad is like that!! I told my husband to take the baby to the doctors office and he went to the office that had been closed for well over a year – calling me saying “the doctor is gone!!”

lola on

Ok Mrs PhD :-/

ecl on

It’s so weird that women think that to have a family, you all need to have the same name. It’s just a cop-out and kids really don’t care. You can also take the time to explain it to them and they can learn to think through complicated gender issues. Here’s another shocking idea – men can also change their names!!

Shawna on

I love how celebrities act as if they deserve some type of award for raising their own children. I have 3 children and my husband and I have never had anyone helping us. It should be the norm to raise your own children, not the exception.

noly on

Everyone does this, because there are two different parents? I always kid around that the kid’s father is the mother because he worries more than I do and I”m really the father, our styles are so different..which was her whole point, something that you completely missed.

Callie on

Does she not realize that it’s summer in Vancouver? The icebergs don’t appear as soon as you cross the border. Ugh, so naïve.

noly on

Never fails..there JUST has to be someone negative.

melissa on

I’ve always liked this couple. Now I love them!

josh smith on

he’s a stay-home dad; there’s your “hired help.” besides, what’s wrong with a husband and wife having some free time that they can spend together? that’s crucial to any healthy marriage.

Anonymous on

Their perceived financial status should not be an issue on how they raise their children. If the article stated, “oh well, we just went out and bought the clothing that was not brought”, I feel an issue would have been made of that comment. Many monied people are careful and thoughtful about what happens and/or is done with their monies.

m on

I don’t believe her. She can tell me that she doesn’t have a nanny, personal assistant or a housekeeper. There’s no way. I’m not wealthy but I do live in that circle of life and I know what goes on in an upper class household where one or both of the parents are celebrities. She would never get any sleep, if she doesn’t have any help.

lola on

Its ok if u don’t believe her but u can’t assume that just because she is wealthy then they must have a nanny. You’ve been to every wealthy person’s house right? And even if they have a house keeper or a personal assistant doesn’t mean they take on the roll of nanny. Maybe she does have help with the kids like all parents do from time to time wen they attend events together or have to work at the same but maybe she doesn’t require a full time nanny service like other celebrities. Maybe she raises her kids like most people do :-/

Tiffany on

“That’s what real life is. Once you start paying somebody else to do the grunt work, who are you?”

I love that. My beliefs exactly.

lola on

But I believe her point was that they were ok dispite the mis-hap :-/ I’d be pissed too but I’d get over it.

Marguerite on

wow finally a real family. they treat each other as a team instead of pawning it off on hired help. i bet in the future their children will be much more normal than most celeb kids.

Charli Mabriel on

Poppy, are you saying it’s wrong to have a date night/get a sitter now & then?

What about people that put their kids in daycare 6 a.m. – 6p.m.? That’s “help” IMO.

pinkrockstar on

The story is cute & so is the family 🙂 Lighten up on Lina, she viewed the jacket incident kind of like me lol It’s no big deal if he forgets a jacket! They have stores in Vancouver. It’s not like they can’t afford to pick one up. You can get a jacket for less than 15 dollars in a cheaper shop.

Jenb64 on

She said they don’t have full time help. That doesn’t mean if they were both working they wouldn’t hire someone to help during that time. Or have someone that cleans. Hell, half of my friends where both the spouses work now have maid service a few times a month. I know if I could afford it, I would have someone do my laundry and cook my meals and grocery shop for me. That would free myself up so much. Especially if I had little kids. I just think it is great that they rely on each other first before bringing in strangers to help them with their kids. People, don’t you use babysitters when you each have something important to do???

rubblebubblecake on

itznia: No, EVERY dad is NOT like that. When my kids were little and I left them with my husband, I knew they were in good, responsible hands. No “I’m the dad, and I’m dumb and know nothing about my kids.” There are many dads out there that know exactly how to take care of their kids without having mom peer over their shoulder telling them what to do.

Leslie on

How refreshing to hear of a Hollywood couple actually raising their own children! Too many times the parents profiled have a night nanny, daytime nanny or a nanny for each child. I respect the fact that despite the fact that they could hire live-in help, they realized the importance of raising the girls themselves. Kudos to them for setting a wonderful example of family first!

Megan on

Natalie on

Only in US culture is a woman not changing her last name a huge thing. Around the world millions of women do not change their last name to their husband’s and no one is traumatized. It’s amazing in 2013 this is still a hot topic.

Natalie on

It was nice reading about Hollywood parents that want to do the grunt work. It’s tough but it’s also the stuff you remember most when your kids aren’t little anymore.

KiKi on

Wow, wish more famous people use the philosophy this couple does! Way to go, very impressive!

Colleen on

Why are some people so hell bent on judging others? Worry about your own life. You aren’t going to get a medal for your own parenting choices so stop looking down on others for their choices. It’s so sad. Every article on this site a know-it-all has to come out and try to bolster their own low self-esteem by attacking others.

Emry on

I love that they do it on their own like most working class families. If u can afford to hire help good for you, i would rather do it myself, me and my husband both, we enjoy that time we spend with our daughter, always learning together, its stressful sometimes, but thats what being a parent is.

Gigi on

Great article! She is awesome!

Sandy on

PLEASE can’t you just call the girls Charlie and Dolly? Must you say all three names for each girl???

KRS on

I don’t think it’s a big deal to not have the same last name as one’s husband, but I definitely wouldn’t want a different last name from my kids. I chose to change my name when I got married, but if I didn’t I think I might consider giving my girls MY last name instead of his.

Anonymous on

Nobel baby prize should go to the couple for being selfless enough to raise their kids!!!

SAR on

They’re such a cute family. They remind me of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner: very down to earth and devoted to their kids, and realistic about marriage and parenthood.

molly.two on

I love this couple. They are so refreshing- funny, self-depricating (sp?), sweet but also so honest about raising kids. They truly love their family and know how to live in Hollywood and keep it down-to-earth!

Summer on

I love this family! People on here can be so pathetic. She didn’t say she deserved an award for raising her kids. She was interviewed and answered the questions they asked her. And so what if she DOES have a part-time nanny (as some have implied)? A sitter watches our kids during the day while we work. Nothing wrong with that. And I didn’t change my last name. Many accomplished women don’t, particularly if they have built a client base (like me) or a career (like her) on their name.

Sharon on

Love this couple! Got a kick out of reading all the comments. She never said they didn’t have help – she said they don’t have a full-time nanny. I had daycare – what’s the difference? They both have busy careers and need help. I hope this one lasts. It sure would’ve been hard to leave John Stamos, though (ha)!

Lauren on

Megan, that was over two years ago…she said they don’t now.

Xan on

I kind of agree with Lina. As long as we keep alive the idea that fathers are inherently lesser parents than mothers, that vein of thinking will persist. It’s classic psychology: tell someone that they won’t be good at something before they even do it, and they will live up to that. Works the same in reverse.

I’ve been learning to let go more, and to just hold my tongue, and it’s been working very well. Kids a little cold because dad didn’t bring a jacket? Don’t say a word, and let dad draw his own conclusions. It’s better than scolding him and just doing it yourself next time.

Megan on