Why Vanessa Lachey Put Her Son in Preschool: A 3-Year-Old in School ‘Sounds Crazy’
Family comes first for Vanessa Lachey.
“I think one thing that keeps me sane and grounded is to always remember what my number one priority is, and everything else falls into place,” Lachey told PEOPLE Wednesday at the Truth Be Told event in Beverly Hills, before her appearance on the 2015 Paleyfest Fall TV preview panel for her new show.
“For me, that number one priority is my family. When I put them first, then everything else finds a way to work itself out. Then, I at least know which direction I’m going.”
And with two little ones at home, Lachey admits when it comes to choosing projects, if it “pulls me away from my family … then I’m not going to do it.”
“If it’s five days a week in Los Angeles with mornings, nights and weekends off like a regular job, that sounds right for me because I’m putting my family first,” Lachey, 34, explains.
She adds, “I want to be there to wake them up in the mornings. I want to be there to tuck them into bed at night. I want to have the weekends to go to the park, and sit around and watch Saturday cartoons.”
And the mom of two seems to have found the perfect fit. She is starring in NBC’s upcoming comedy Truth Be Told.
“I’m so grateful and appreciative … It is the icing on the cake because if it hadn’t come and it wasn’t meant to be for me, I was pretty content where I was,” Lachey explains. “The fact that I could have this icing on the cake and the cherry on top, is that much more.”
As for her two babies’ most recent milestones?
“Today was Camden’s first day of 3-year-old preschool,” the proud mama shares. “[He goes] for a few hours a day, a few days a week.”
“I think it’s great for his [emotional intelligence], social interacting, delaying gratification, and understanding how to make friends and be patient — that’s why I wanted to do it,” Lachey explains. “Because right now he’s the oldest kid and for a long time he was the only kid.”
Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort
Lachey admits that before, she “would have never thought to put my 3-year-old in school. That sounds crazy to me.”
But now that she’s a mom to a toddler, Lachey says it “makes sense.”
“Social skills are something you can’t really teach, you just have to experience [it],” she explains. “It’s a couple hours a day that they get social interaction with kids their age.”
She adds, “At 3, they know how to process things, and manipulate and appreciate situations.”
“It really is a cheesy epitome of a mother going, ‘I love you both equally, but differently,’ ” she explains. “I want to squeeze both of them until the end of the day — and in different ways, they pull at my heartstrings.”
Truth Be Told premieres on NBC on Oct. 16 at 8:30/7:30 central.
— Mariah Haas