Bethenny Frankel is one of those working moms who’s always getting asked “how do you do it?” She’s a busy lady: running her Skinny Girl empire, hosting her own daytime talk show, raising a child and going through a very bitter divorce from ex Jason Hoppy.
This week, the host invited several bloggers to a taping of her talk show and gave them the chance to sit down with her after the show and ask some candid questions on childcare, being a single mom, corporal punishment and divorce.
Parents magazine: “What is your best advice for single moms?”
Frankel: “Prioritize. You don’t really have a lot of free time, so you have to be organized and efficient and quality time is the most important thing with your child. You have to sleep, because when your kid gets up at 7 o’clock … I don’t have a nanny, so the minute I get up it’s game time until 8 o’clock when it’s bedtime, so I try to get sleep so I feel good all day and it’s quality time and we do great things together. I’m lucky, because I only work three days a week; it’s intense, I get here early, but I leave at 3:30. I do two shows a day, which is really difficult, but I cram it all in so the other time is free time. That’s why you really have to rest, because the minute I stop working I don’t get to to relax. There’s no manicures.”
Momtastic: “What is your tactic for disciplining?”
Frankel: “Just consequences. If I say no, and my daughter disobeys me or she cries, it’s okay – you can cry. People cry. Let her go through it. You can’t take the path of least resistance. Because a lot of times when a kid’s crying a parent just wants it to stop, so they’ll just give them a toy or give them a treat. I’m willing to sit through it, even in a restaurant, even if someone else is there. Not like a crazy tantrum because I’m not going to ruin someone else’s meal, but I’ll let it go for a second and then it does end. You have to be patient about it, I think.”
Health magazine: “How do you teach your daughter about positive body image?”
Frankel: “I don’t think it’s a teaching thing, it’s a living, breathing thing. I hear moms saying ‘I look fat in these jeans’ or ‘I was bad’ or ‘I’m going on a diet.’ All of those are cues children hear from a young age. There’s none of that in my house at all. There’s no noise about exercise or working out or any of that stuff. [My daughter] just eats what she wants. Kids and eating is a stressful thing.”
Health magazine: “Yeah. There was that mom Dara-Lynn Weiss who wrote about putting her daughter on a diet …”
Frankel: “I happen to be lucky that my daughter isn’t someone who is obsessed with food. There are children who are starving and their moms are going, ‘You just had a cookie, you just had four doughnuts,’ and parents get stressed out, but that’s about not having all that stuff in your house. If you have manufactured processed foods and they get used to that, that’s the slippery slope.”
Bethenny also talked about divorce in the sit down. And while she didn’t name her ex specifically, everyone knew who she was talking about:
“Divorces are like ice cream. There are a lot of different flavors … some can be amicable, some can be very peaceful and easy, and some can be really brutal. And I honestly did not have any idea how difficult, to say the least, it could be. Doing it in the public is very frustrating in ways, because people don’t know the whole story. I’m pretty straightforward, [but] people probably know about 10 percent of the story. And I can’t share the story, and it’s intense, so that can be a little frustrating, ’cause I’m the one who’s out there, and I’m the one who can be polarizing. But not everything is what it seems.”
J-Connection: Bethenny Frankel is Jewish.