Monday, March 31st, 2014
Interview by Patty Adams Martinez
All you may know about Alicia Silverstone’s parenting is what you saw in a video that went viral years ago: her feeding her son, Bear Blu (who turns 3 in May) food from her mouth. Well, there’s way more to the actress-turned-New York Times bestselling author than that. She shares her alternatives to the one-size-fits-all way of parenting from her new book, The Kind Mama, which hits stores on April 15.
You let your preschooler sleep with you. I have to ask what moms everywhere are thinking: How do you have sex when there’s a kid in your bed?
If anything it’s extra incentive to get creative. I’ve never been a “it’s the end of the day; let’s go have sex” person. Whoever said in bed at night is the only way you can have sex?
You’ve said that your first 14 hours of labor with Bear Blu were “sexy and amazing and totally blissed out.” Share your secrets!
Every woman’s bliss is different. I was in my bedroom, walking around and feeling completely comfortable. Yes, I had contractions (which hurt!), but there are all of these natural hormones running through you that make you feel amazing. And then it transitions and the real labor starts. It’s called labor for a reason—it’s intense and hard work.
The internet was in a tizzy when you posted a video of yourself feeding Bear from your mouth. Were you surprised?
Yes, very. I wasn’t trying to make a statement. Bear wanted what I was eating—kale or collards—and literally just went for my mouth on pure instinct. It’s not like I was practicing premastication [pre-chewing food for babies], but it is something people have done for years. That’s what women did before there were blenders.
Your son was using a toilet at 6 months, which sounds like heaven for all parents who’ve gone through potty training.
We used Elmination Communication, which is all about being able to read your child’s potty needs. When his whole body tightens up, he acts restless, or makes a puckered face or flirty eyes—those are signals you should take your baby to the potty. Once he walks, he’ll naturally take himself to the toilet. It means fewer dirty diapers: less to wash or thow away, less expense, and way less mess.
Are you and your husband, Christopher Jarecki, always on the same page, or does he ever need convincing?
He thought I was crazy with Elimination Communication at first, but once he saw it worked, he was a believer. I’m the one who does all of the research and asks the questions, and then we talk it out and come to a decision together. We just had this dilemma of what school to send Bear to: one we could walk to, or the school we really love that’s a 30-minute drive. We ultimately decided to go with the magical place that’s farther away. If your kid is going to be spending a lot of time somewhere, you want it to be the best place possible, not just convenient.
What was the inspiration behind The Kind Mama?
What is the book’s lesson?
Be kind to yourself. Being a mom requires every morsel of your being. When you’re better rested, you’re more patient and can enjoy every precious moment of mamaness.
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