The Punky Brewster actress is all grown up -- and talking about sibling rivalry, her famous birth coach, and her LA kids' store.
Soleil Moon Frye may be a 32-year-old mama of two, but to us she'll forever be the freckle-faced orphan of Punky Brewster fame. Although she still acts, she spends most of her time at her LA organic children's store, The Little Seed, and parenting daughters Poet Sienna Rose, 3, and Jagger Joseph Blue, 6 months (get this: both were delivered with the help of birthing coach Demi Moore). Soleil talked to Parents.com about motherhood the second time around while her infant slept nearby in her Los Angeles home.
Parents.com: How's it going? You have a lot on your plate these days!
SMF: I'm great! (laughs) It's been a crazy day juggling these two kids. But it's amazing. It's such an adventure every day. Every time I look at them playing together I think, this is what it's all about.
Parents.com: How was this pregnancy different from your first?
SMF: It was different because the first pregnancy I was reading all the books and calling my doctor 100 times a day. I'd be like "I have a pain in my knee. What's wrong?" This time I was so busy with the store and running after Poet.
Parents.com: Didn't you sort of know what to expect?
SMF: You know I had such an incredible delivery with Poet that I was so nervous the second time. But it wound up being equally as beautiful. I had the most incredible births in the universe.
Parents.com: How long were you in labor?
SMF: Sixteen hours and it was a vaginal birth. I did have a partial epidural both times to take the edge off!
Parents.com: So Demi Moore was your birthing coach! How does that happen?
SMF: She's incredible and she is one of the closest people in our lives. My husband [Jason Goldberg] and her husband [Ashton Kutcher] are partners and she happens to be a brilliant birthing coach. She must have been a doctor in a past life. She was everything you could ever need or want in a coach.
Parents.com: Do you also seek out her advice on parenting now?
SMF: Definitely -- I think she is such an incredible mom. She has raised these three beautiful daughters so she has definitely done something right.
Going from One to Two
Parents.com: How is Poet handling being a big sister?
SMF: She is loving her little sister. Of course there are the moments where she is like, "Wow, the baby really is here to stay!" But she really loves it. I am really trying to make time for the both of them.
Parents.com: So how do you deal with it when she has those moments of jealousy just like every sibling does?
SMF: Some incredible advice was given to me: When she is having a hard time, express that when she was once a little baby I held her in the same way, and that this is the time when the baby needs us most. It allows her to have an understanding what's going on as opposed to reacting to everything.
Parents.com: Internet blogs went nuts discussing Jagger's name. What do you make of that?
SMF: (Laughs) Jagger was a name we loved from the very beginning. We all have unique names: Soleil, and my brother's name is Meeno, and Poet, and my nieces are India and Mette. We've always had a household of interesting names so for us it was important to have a unique name. Joseph is my godfather, who is my second dad, and we really wanted to honor his memory. Blue was a name we always loved and she came out so calm and sweet, and it fit. We had no idea it would create controversy, but we think its great our kids will have a story for each of their names.
Parents.com: Is it harder to lose the baby weight this time around?
SMF: I'm still on my mission! The second time your body is like 'Hmmm I like being voluptuous!' I'm running after the kids like crazy, and trying to fit in exercise when I can.
The Little Seed
Parents.com: Your organic kids' store is a big hit. Do you have plans to expand beyond Los Angeles?
SMF: Our dream is to go global and to have Little Seeds everywhere. When you see the same faces over and over, you really feel like you are doing something right. It's such a warm feeling in there and we would love to be able to recreate that feeling in other cities across the globe. We feel so excited to be making our little difference. None of us are perfect but we are just trying to do our little part and it feels really good to have something you can be really proud of.
Parents.com: And you are also sending this great message to kids?
SMF: I think we are raising the next generation of activists because this is the only planet we have and we have to treat it well. I love that my daughter is aware of recycling and has an awareness of the planet already.
Her Parenting Philosophy
Parents.com: What kind of mom do you think you are?
SMF: It's funny because I have always been such a free spirit and I thought I'd be like the most laid-back mom in the world but I'm the one who is overprotective. My husband is super laid-back, so we really balance each other out.
Parents.com: Do you think that's just the mom instinct rearing its head?
SMF: I just want to protect them and love them and nurture them and I know sometimes I can be a bit much. But I love them so much and I am trying to let them be individuals and be who they want to be. I'm learning also so I'm not afraid to make mistakes. One of the greatest gifts you can have is to know that we are going to learn from everything we do and to learn from our mistakes is part of being a good parent.
Parents.com: Are you strict with Poet?
SMF: No no (laughs). Protective, yes, but strict, not so much. It's funny to have an organic kids' store -- and then when my daughter wants a cupcake, my heart melts and I buy it.
Parents.com: Do you try to stick with organic food?
SMF: We have as much organic as possible but it's also okay to treat your kid on occasion. In our household we try to find a balance. Today my daughter was so excited to put on her princess dress and spin around in it and then she will have her eco-friendly toys to play with.
The Punky Years
Parents.com: How would you feel about your kids going into show business at an early age like you did?
SMF: I think if they were determined I wouldn't really have a choice in it. Poet is always performing and I'm like, "Oh wow, trouble!" But whatever she wants to do I want to be as supportive as possible to help them make their dreams come true.
Parents.com: Did you feel like you lost some of your own childhood by working so young?
SMF: I started when I was 5. I begged my mom to help me get into the business. I was so shy and I think it really helped me come out of my shell. I had a great time -- my playground was running around sets and I wouldn't change anything about it.
Parents.com: Do people still ask you about "Punky"?
SMF: Yes! I think Punky had a place in people's hearts and they still hold the character close to them. I certainly hold the character close to me. It's really great when someone will come up and share an amazing story about growing up watching the show. I think she will always be a part of me. Poet is starting to ask to see it. I'll have to pull out a DVD one of these days.
Love and Marriage
Parents.com: How did you meet your husband?
SMF: We worked on a movie together. I was on a break from college. I was 18 years old, we fell in love and we've been together ever since. We are coming up on our 10th wedding anniversary.
Parents.com: So what's your secret?
SMF: We never go to bed angry. That's our number one rule. We're a team and we really stand by each other's side. As we grow as individuals we try to grow together too. We also try to find time for ourselves. Once in a while we go out on a date.
Parents.com: Has having children changed the dynamic of the marriage?
SMF: Now the weekends are spent going to the park or whatever as a group. Before we could do whatever we wanted. I do think making that time to connect now is what's really important. If you just make the focus your kids and not each other then sometimes it's easy to lose each other. Sometimes if the kids are sleeping, I make dinner and light some candles... until one of them starts screaming! At least making that effort is very important for us.
Parents.com: So you are focusing more on the store than on acting right now?
SMF: For the first two years it was really important for me to be able to spend time with my kids and look in their eyes. So having the store is great because I can bring them there and we can hang out. Poet helps me pick out the products and she loves to test out what she has picked out.
Parents.com: Has your ambition changed since having children?
SMF: My focus on family is so much stronger now. I have always been busy and loving life, but I think my children have really taught me to stop and enjoy the moments in between. It all moves so fast. I can not believe Poet is 3! I have full conversations with her on the phone now and it's like "How did we get here?"
Copyright © 2008 Meredith Corporation.