Kathryn Hahn Highly Recommends Using Your 'Emotional Calendar' to Parent

The actor, comedian, producer, and mom of two is reflecting on how the past year has shaped her parenting and how she holds herself accountable for self-care time.

An image of Kathryn Hahn.
Photo: Getty Images.

From starring in hit TV series like Disney+'s WandaVision and HBO's Mrs. Fletcher to cracking us up in flicks like Bad Moms, Kathryn Hahn is as inspiring as she is relatable on screen. Turns out the same could be said of her parenting skills. Raising her 14- and 11-year-old kids and trying to stay on top of cleaning through the past year's stay at home orders has certainly come with its challenges. But she's learned valuable lessons that have translated to impressive results.

Parents.com recently caught up with Hahn about how letting go, giving her kids space, and claiming her own space has helped her over the course of the pandemic.

How Letting Go Has Been a Game-Changer

Hahn, who recently partnered with vinegar-powered laundry and cleaning product line 9 Elements, is a big fan of keeping things neat and tidy. "I love a clean space—really love it for my mental health," she notes.

But after over a year of disinfecting every surface imaginable, Hahn is admittedly fed up with bleach and cleaning. "I was laughing about my quarantine wardrobe and most of my sleeves have bleach on them," says the comedian. "I am so sick of cleaning. It's been a year of just staring at the inside of my house. For some reason, everything is getting worse. I don't know why. It looks more and more disgusting."

That said, Hahn has realized she's all for "letting go of some stuff." Instead of tending to every little mess, she and her family "all chip in to clean on certain days."

How the Pandemic Has Changed Her as a Parent

The last 13 months have nudged everyone to grow, evolve, and change in a variety of ways. For Hahn, one of the most noticeable shifts has occurred in terms of how mindful she has become at home.

"This chapter has changed me as a parent in terms of just being present," she says. "It has really forced me to be still, think in quiet, be more present with my family and with myself. I have not really afforded myself the luxury of that. But this has been a really great moment to be still."

Similarly, Hahn has adopted new self-care routines she says she hadn't done pre-COVID like taking baths, stretching, using a foam roller, and taking walks on her own.

The Power of Taking a Hands-Off Approach With Her Kids

A hard lesson Hahn says she's learned in regard to her 14-year-old son Leonard in particular: A laissez-faire attitude can actually encourage responsibility.

"Sometimes, you just have to close their doors and then just let them be," she notes. "You just have to give them their own space after a while. Sometimes you just hand them [a cleaning product] and then let them figure it out."

What Has Helped Her Set Boundaries

Bolstered self-awareness has informed Hahn's ability to give her family a heads-up that she needs to take care of herself. "The older you get, you kind of start to have an emotional calendar," she says. "You start to know when your moods are going to be, so [it helps] being on top of that and knowing, 'Oh, between 4 and 6 is not gonna be the best time to ask Mom.' Maybe that's Mom's time in the kitchen. Or maybe between 2 and 3 is when mom takes a walk."

In general, the comedian has noticed the benefit from checking in with herself and tending to her own needs. She sums it up: "[It's about] just giving yourself a little bit of air when you start to recognize you need some space."

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