Busy Philipps: “Get Outside And Spend Good Quality Time With Your Kids!”

The sun is shining and families everywhere are kicking off summer—including Busy Philipps and her brood! Cougartown actress and mom of two young girls, Busy lives up to her name by packing the season with tons of fun activities. She’s teamed up with Banana Boat to make sure she and her gals stay protected from the sun, and Parents chatted with Busy about her daughters, Birdie, almost 5, and Cricket, almost 1, her penchant for arts and crafts, and the parenting problem she grapples with every day.

P: You’ve teamed up with Banana Boat for the Best Summer Ever campaign. Why did you want to get involved?

BP: The whole idea behind having the best summer ever is helping moms. Summers can be long. Look, let’s be honest: You need some help thinking of new activities to do with your kids. You want to be outdoors and encourage outdoor play and you want to limit the time watching television and playing video games and sometimes you need an idea or two to get you through.

P: A lot of families choose to sign their kids up for camp to keep them engaged. Cricket is a little young, but does Birdie go to camp?

BP: Cricket goes to sleep away camp. She’s 1 [Laughs]. No really, Birdie goes to day camp in the summer. We have a two-week Frozen dance camp.

P: Sign me up!

BP: Yeah! We’re all in that one together [Laughs]. She’s going to kindergarten next year, so she’s doing a little getting ready for kindergarten camp at her new school, which I feel like a lot of kids do during that transitional summer. She’s doing one of my favorite camps called Magic in the Forest that two women run in Los Angeles. It takes like 12-15 little girls, although there are occasionally some boys along for the ride too, and they explore for fairies in the park. Honest to God almost makes me tear up talking about it. Every year it’s a different story—what’s happened to the fairies and what they have to help the fairies do. It’s magical.

P: What—aside from fairy camp—is the key ingredient to the best summer ever?

BP: I think that what makes summer so special, even if you’re a working parent, if you’re able to take a week off to really spend that time with your kids and be focused on them. Let’s get out—and that’s where the sunscreen comes into play obviously because you need to remember to be protected. Coming up with fun activities even if you only have a Saturday with your kids that they’ll remember and cherish.

I read this book called No Regrets Parenting and there’s this statistic in it. It’s like you have only 900 Saturdays [P: 940 Saturdays] I’m gonna start crying—940!—from when they’re born to when they’re 18. When you consider that so many of those Saturdays are birthday parties and soccer games and Little League and all these other things, why aren’t we spending these Saturdays just loving every second of it? Especially in the summer. Put your phone in your back pocket and don’t check it for three hours. The world is not gonna end. I do this myself. Get outside and spend good quality time with your kids.

P: What are some fun outdoor activities you like to do?

BP: For Mother’s Day this year Birdie and I did a tie-dye project in the front yard. She made me a tank top I could wear to work out. I made her a sweatshirt. We both collaborated and made Cricket a onesie and little pants and my husband a T-shirt that he could work out in. It was so easy and it was the perfect 2.5 hour activity from start to finish.

P: Obviously you’re very crafty. What’s the craft of this summer?

BP: We haven’t come up with it yet. I feel like Birdie really loves sewing and she wants to learn how to crochet. That might be a good thing for us to kind of do at the beach. She and I just started doing a cross-stitch together and that’s hard for me even. We might do some good scavenger hunts when we go to the beach with her cousins in North Carolina. I haven’t been there since I was on Dawson’s Creek. It’s gonna be weird, but I’m excited to go back.

P: Summer is big for family events because of so many birthdays in your household. Cricket’s first birthday is coming up. Any big plans?

BP: So many birthdays. I feel kind of strongly that first birthday parties should be sweet and small and with family. We don’t have to Martha Stewart it up. They’re 1. Let’s be easy on ourselves. You’ve raised a baby and she’s made it to 1. That in and of itself is a triumph. We’re doing what we did with Bird: a small park party with a few friends and family obviously. And Cricket loves Elmo. She’s never seen Sesame Street. We just had some leftover Elmo dolls from Birdie and Cricket loves him so much. So I’m gonna make Cricket an Elmo cake. Her mouth will be red!

First Birthday Cake - Part One
First Birthday Cake - Part One
First Birthday Cake - Part One

P: With two girls, are there any moments where Birdie or Cricket does something and you think wow, she is such a mini-me?

BP: [Birdie] asked me the other day if she could buy clothes online like I do. Like, if that was possible for little girls. “Can I buy clothes online like you do?” Not saying that I’m setting the best example, but that is so me. Also, the personality traits and [mannerisms]. She was shaking her head the other day and she goes “you know I got that from you.” She knows: The shaking her head she got from me.

P: Is there anything about parenthood that still continues to baffle you?

BP: I think the guilt and the worry that you’re not doing right by your children or that you’re not doing enough or you should be doing better or you should be calmer or you shouldn’t have been so upset. I think that’s the one thing that I have the hardest time with is going easy on myself. Giving yourself a break. But, if you’re not worried about messing it all up, then you’re probably messing it all up. Right? If you think you’re nailing it, you’re probably not nailing it. Like all moms who are trying to do a good job, feel like they’re not doing a good job or that they could be doing better.

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