HGTV's Erin Napier on Embracing the Simple Things as a Parent

The mom and star of HGTV's Home Town shares her favorite things to do with her 3-year-old and latest parenting wins.

HGTV's Home Town star artist Erin Napier portrait
Designer Napier has a knack for seeing possibilities in any building. Photo: Courtesy of Erin Napier

On HGTV's hit Home Town, artsy Napier and her woodworking husband, Ben, modernize neighbors' houses in Laurel, Mississippi, often using found materials and creative solutions that fit each home's history. On this spring's special Home Town Takeover, they restore 12 spots in Wetumpka, Alabama, including an entire downtown street. Next up: a baby sister on the way for their 3-year-old, Helen.

Recent parenting win

Helen has been totally potty trained for several months.

Recent parenting fail

She watched Band of Brothers with Ben. (But! She did cheer for the good guys!)

My parenting superpower

Knowing when Helen's making bad choices because she's just tired, not because she's misbehaving

My parenting kryptonite

Giving her what she wants because she says, "I love you so bad, though, Mommy"

Best time of day

When she wakes up in the morning wanting kisses

Worst time of day

7 p.m. if there's been no nap that afternoon

Meals I make that the fam loves

Fried rice, spaghetti and meatballs

Meal I tried that the fam rejected

Ben rejects nothing. Helen hates mashed potatoes, even homemade ones.

I feel like a cool mom when

Helen asks to watch videos of bluegrass bands or Russian ballet.

I feel like an uncool mom when

Helen asks me not to sing along to the songs she likes.

Best trait my kid got from me

Creativity and imagination, like when she makes up elaborate background stories for all of her Peter Rabbit figurines and plays with them by herself for an hour, uninterrupted

Unfortunate trait my kid got from me

A very sensitive nose

Kid activity I love

Long walks collecting flowers and leaves to show off to her grandmothers and nanny. She gathers them like prizes and keeps them in the basket of her stroller for a few days before emptying it to start all over again.

Kid activity I hate

Going to the doctor! She's always so afraid, and in the time of COVID-19, only one of us can be there to comfort her. It would be so much easier if Daddy could be with us.

At least I have this down

I can talk with Helen about anything, even mermaid hair and invisible friends. She feels understood.

I am still figuring this out

When to worry, when to let it go

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's June 2021 issue as "The Highs and Lows: Erin Napier." Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here

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