Mario Lopez Says ‘Hardest Part’ of Fatherhood Is Leaving for Work

07/20/2014 at 11:00 AM ET

Mario Lopez Lady Windridge Miami Beach Bonefish Aaron Davidson/Getty

Extra host Mario Lopez is having a sporty summer with his two young children!

Between swimming every day in their new pool and heading to local parks in Los Angeles with biking and jogging strollers, the doting father spends his free time introducing his kids, daughter Gia Francesca, 3½, and son Dominic, 10 months, to the great outdoors.

“We just got our pool finished so when Gia is not in Montessori school or at ballet classes, I get her to go swimming with her little brother, who has learned to swim before walking,” Lopez told PEOPLE Saturday, while hosting a party aboard the Lady Windridge yacht in Miami Beach to promote Bonefish Grill‘s new menu.

He adds, “We all love summer because we can be outside and get a lot of exercise while having fun.”

Gia is also learning how to speak Spanish, play the piano, do gymnastics and enjoy theme parks.

“When we have time on weekends, I take Gia to Universal,” he says. “She loves the Despicable Me Water Park Playground and Minion Mayhem. She is very active and has a great time experiencing new things.”

Lopez, 40, believes robust outdoor activity and healthy eating should be a fitness priority for children and adults, which is why he starts each day by having breakfast with his wife Courtney and both children.

“I have to admit that I smother my kids — it is the best part of being a dad,” Lopez says of his parenting skills.

And while he’s busy with his radio and TV schedules, he balances it all with his daddy duties by making sure he is home for dinner, baths and plenty of play time before the kids go to bed.

“No matter what drama I deal with at work, when I get home and hear them scream, ‘Daddy!’ I forget whatever it was I was stressed about,” he explains.

When Lopez — whose candid new book, Just Between Us, is out on Sept. 30, (in it he talks about who said no, who his dad locked in the trunk of the car, and how many nude scenes he has done) — has to be out of town for a day or two, he talks to the children on the phone and on Skype.

But if the business trip requires more than three days away, he arranges to take the children along.

“The hardest part of my new life as a dad is leaving for work in the morning,” Lopez says. “These kids have totally changed my life. They are simply fantastic!”

— Linda Marx

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FILED UNDER: Mario Lopez , News , Parenting

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Showing 29 comments

lisa on

He forgot to mention the hardest part for him is staying faithful to his wife

Lisa on

Ah. I had guessed that it was only sleeping with their mother.

Lisa on

Ha! Two Lisas, same idea. Different people, I swear.

Sherron on

Like most parents today, the child has way to many activities..

Delancey on

You got that right, Sherron

Librababe on

Lol, hey Lisas — those were the first thoughts that popped into my head too! lmao!

Pfft! on

Hope his children never meet a man like their father. An affair on his honeymoon? That speaks volumes. Loser!

Alisa on

I wonder when the mid-live crisis is going to hit – the poor Mother will be cheated on many times. Hopefully, he thinks about his family and kids before falling back to his bad habits.

hula on

Why does this guy get so much grief for something that happen so long ago? Brad cheated on Jen and I never see these comments when there is a story about Brad or Angie.

Tammy on

Yes and Courtney will take him to the cleaners when he is caught cheating…..nuff said…..

Lisa on

hula – seriously? I don’t think I’ve ever seen an article about Brad or Angelina where people don’t bring it up. Also – Mario cheated ON HIS HONEYMOON. That’s an extra layer of ick. I had a friend whose husband was in the business and they attended an event that Mario hosted. She said that every time it went to commercial he was hitting on women there. Super sleazy.

What? on

Funny thing is everyone is talking about Mario who cheated in his first wife, and at least admitted to it publicly, but yet everyone can forgive Ashton Kutcher. He had a one night stand with Sara Leal. Unbelievable.

Seriously? on

LOL..that’s what I was expecting him to say too, Lisa! Not cheating on his wife now that children are in the picture!

me on

That because Pitt never cheated on Aniston. Aniston, her friends n family all said the Pitt didn’t cheated. That Pitt was honest with Aniston from the beginning telling her about his feeling for Jolie in when he started shooting MAMS. Aniston, her friends n family also said that they had a very bad marriage n tired to give it a last chance but it didn’t work. Aniston, her friends n family said that she knew by Aug 2004 that her marriage was over.

In Jan Pitt n Aniston anouced their split n they were both free to move on with their lives. They did. Pitt went after Jolie n Aniston went after Vince Vaughn.

Almost 10 years later. Pitt n Jolie are together n have 6 kids. Aniston after a few men is engaged with Justin Theroux. The End.

me on

*Jan 2005

Guest on

Not to be this person… But what about the people that work normal 9-5 hours & don’t live in a mansion? What’s the hardest part for them?

Carol on

He didn’t cheat on his 1st wife on their honeymoon. It was on their honeymoon that she FOUND OUT he had cheated on her at his bachelor party & had actually been cheating on her all along. So as soon as they got back, she filed for an annulment based on fraud/deception (2 weeks after they had gotten married).

Curlyemma on

he is faithful to his wife. right
he doesnt even mention her going away three days with the kids

Britt on

With all this hate you’d think he cheated on YOU on your honeymoon. But no, I doubt any of you fat wh0res have had a boyfriend, let alone been married.

Karrina on

He barely mentioned his wife at all. Like she was an after thought. I don’t think the marriage will last.

Tamarin on

The hardest part for him is the effort to keep it in his pants and not shatter his kids’ happy family.

radio on

He peaked on that cool talk show with Danny Bonaduce and Dick Clark. I liked that show. I can’t fathom why this guy is everywhere. He is handsome, yeah, but his radio show is….well, he’s not the brightest light, and his wife is soooooo stuipd!!!! eeeek!
His children are VERY attractive.

Melanie M on

I don’t trust this guy and neither should his wife.

Nikki on

He is just sooooooooo into himself..yeah his kids are cute, he manages to take them along with him alot….a free bee? and courtney is a bit of a show off, he has her co host with him alot…seems like he travels alot with E..dont know if i would like my hubby gone so much..but he says he is home at nite..soooooooooo..idk

Kimberly on

I’m not the type of person who usually posts negative comments on these sites but I just have to agree with most of the posters here, Mario is just self absorbed and I just don’t like the guy. His kids are cute but he just seems more into himself than his family. I find him annoying as a dj on the local radio station and anywhere else I see him. Ugh!

jayne steiner on

He has been a good loyal husband and wonderful father, give him a break

Anonymous on

jayne steiner- Very well said! People DO grow up, and that appears to be the case with Mario. And really, if he wasn’t into his family, he wouldn’t take his kids with him whenever he has to be gone for three days! 🙂

Lacey on

I like that he enjoys being a father. So no snarky comments from me.

GT on

Saw his wife on TV with him once, the way she was talking kinda stupid.