When it comes to juggling a beyond-hectic life, Hilaria Baldwin certainly has her ducks in a row. She's a mother to three sweet kiddos — Carmen, 4, Rafael, 2, and Leo, 1 — and has a fourth baby boy on the way. On top of her parenting duties, she maintains a crazy-busy work schedule and just released a new book called The Living Clearly Method: 5 Principles for a Fit Body, Healthy Mind & Joyful Life. Throw in the fact that she's married to Alec Baldwin, and we're tired just thinking about what her day-to-day schedule looks like. POPSUGAR caught up with Hilaria to chat about her brand-new book, what it's like having three little ones running around, and how to make time for you partner. Let's just say you should grab a pen and paper, because you're definitely going to want to take notes on what she has to say.
On not sweating the little stuff . . .
"The most important thing is having a sense of humor about [parenting]." Hilaria explained that unless her kiddos are truly being mean, she tries not to get too worked up. "I start to get really strict when they hurt somebody's feelings. Carmen's just getting to the age where she repeats things that she hears and I'll ask her if she knows what she's saying even means. Of course, she'll reply no. Then I tell her to always, always ask me what a word means before she uses it, and if it's not nice then don't use it at all!"
On staying sane in her day-to-day . . .
And when it comes to her clothes, she knows that little kids have superhero-like capabilities of making a big mess, so she doesn't bother wearing her nicest duds around the house. "I make it a point to be practical and wear clothes that I'm not worried about getting messy, because at this point in my life I keep getting snot rubbed all over me," she joked. "I'm in that phase and it's that time of the year."
"We've come to the brilliant place where we don't necessarily child-proof every little thing, and we teach our kids how to take care of stuff."
The same train of thought applies to how she furnishes her home — the more practical, the better. "We've come to the brilliant place where we don't necessarily child-proof every little thing, and we teach our kids how to take care of stuff," she said. "But at the same time, I use indoor/outdoor fabric so that if something spills it's not the end of the world. Doing those two things has really helped me lower my stress level. We used to have a nice wooden table that the kids would bash on, and I just got this more durable top and it's lovely. That gives you the freedom to just teach them how to be kids. I still tell them how it's not polite to bang on the table, but there's not that extra worry of 'Oh my gosh they're going to destroy this or that!' Little by little, I'm learning how to do away with things that will stress [me] out more."
On asking for help every now and then . . .
"Even though both Alec and I don't have family close by, asking for help with the kids once in a while is a big part of not being stressed," she explained. "For some people, their reality is that their mother or friends live next door or they have a babysitter. I definitely think there's an element of 'It takes a village' when raising kids." She's also points out that everything's a balancing act in parenthood and that means having help around the corner isn't an excuse not to be a good parent. "I'm there for my kids. If they wake up in the middle of the night I'm there for them. I go to every doctor's appointment and I'm with my kids all the time, but it's definitely OK to ask for help sometimes."
On taking care of yourself when you're pregnant . . .
"It's one of those things you start to feel a little bit guilty [while you're working out] because you're thinking 'Oh, this is time I could be spending with them, but I need to take 45 minutes to go to the gym.'"
"The most important part of taking care of yourself is consistency. It boils down to making yourself do it and finding time to actually work out. I know I worked out a lot more with Carmen than while I was pregnant with either of my boys because I didn't have children yet. It's one of those things you start to feel a little bit guilty [while you're working out] because you're thinking 'Oh, this is time I could be spending with them, but I need to take 45 minutes to go to the gym.'" And while many mothers know exactly the type of guilt she's talking about all too well, it's important to push past that and take care of yourself. "My message to moms who have a more traditional 9-to-5 job is that taking care of yourself is extremely important when you're a parent. You're going to be a better mom because of it. And you have to realize that it's not just about spending time with them now, it's also about you being around when your children are 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years old. Invest in yourself now so you can spend more time with your kids in the future."
On getting some alone time with Alec . . .
"We put the kids to bed around 7 or 8 p.m. and then we spend time together every night," she said. What's even sweeter? "Alec doesn't take jobs that make him travel, so unless it's a weird week we're together every night. We spend a ton of time together and we really thrive on that. All relationships are different, and that's just the way we've constructed ours."