Jenna Dewan Reveals the Best Thing About Going from 1 Kid to 2
Jenna Dewan only recently began posting her two kids’ faces on social media, but she’s never shied away from speaking about her experience being a parent to 9-year-old Everly (nicknamed Evie) and 3-year-old Callum – both the struggles and the joys.
In an exclusive interview with POPSUGAR while promoting Dewan’s Easter partnership with Lindt Chocolate, the actor and dancer had more to say about the positives of motherhood than the tough times. “Being a mom is my absolute favorite thing,” she gushed. “If I could have 50 kids, I would.”
For more about Dewan’s thoughts on parenting, including her favorite parenting products and her stance on sugary holidays like Easter and Halloween, read on.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
POPSUGAR: We’ve been here today talking about Easter baskets, the Lindt gold Easter bunny, and other holiday traditions. But I think families have so many everyday traditions. What are some smaller routines your family has that you love?
Jenna Dewan: We do a Friday night movie night every week, where we alternate who picks [the movie]. So it’s like one week, mine, then it’s Evie’s, and she lives for it. I mean, she’ll cancel plans with our friends and go, “I can’t do some Friday night because it’s Friday night family movie night.” We’ve sat through some of the craziest movies, but we also showed her “The Goonies.” We showed her classics. It’s fun.
And this is so random, but one thing Evie and I have done since she was really little, is when we take any sort of road trip or go anywhere that’s longer than 10 minutes away, we do one song, her song, one song, my song. So we go back and forth. It’s a bonding thing, and she’ll learn about music that she wouldn’t have otherwise learned about – and then she only listens to Celtic music, so I could tell you every single Celtic artist that’s happening right now.
Even if she hates the song, I’m like, we have to listen to the whole song through. Recently, I played – I think it was Madonna – for her. And she was like, “Oh, can we get to the good song?” I was like, “Oh my gosh, no, no, no. You’re listening to it and you’ll appreciate the legends.” So it’s kind of turned into this tradition. It’s the little things like that that you realize mean a lot.
PS: How did she get into Celtic music?
JD: She’s an Irish dancer. But even before that, she’s just my little maverick. She’s so unique, and marches to the beat of her own drum. I think it was when we first showed her a “Riverdance” video. Then she kind of got into the YouTube music culture of this dramatic, almost fairytale-like music, which then led to Irish folklore and Celtic music. We went to the Celtic Woman concert and it was better than Beyoncé for Evie. It was big.
PS: What are your parenting must-have products?
JD: I feel like less is a little bit more with kids. Like with Evie, I had the whole plethora of what I thought I needed, and I used maybe 10 percent of it. So I feel like it’s the basics: the diapers, wipes, a changing area – doesn’t have to be a table. I also had this basket that literally looks like an Easter basket, that I would carry with me and rotate around the house.
One thing I would say is to try to have little stations set up throughout your house, because [you’ll] have times where you’re like, I’ve got to change this diaper but I don’t wanna walk all the way upstairs or all the way to the other room. Also, having a little “to-go bag” packed in the car ready to go is helpful too.
When they get a little older, I always have a snack bag in the car; a portable potty is also good. I’m very on the go, so these little things helped a lot.
I was also a big baby wearer. So the wraps and the slings are so helpful to keep your hands free. And they just sleep on you and get the bonding, which is really nice.
Being a mom is my absolute favorite thing. I love it so much. If I could have 50 kids, I would
But I don’t know, you have a baby and they’re just like, “Okay, bye.” And you’re just like, “I’m responsible for this? But I haven’t taken any courses! What do I do?” And you figure it out.
PS: What about tips or advice? I know you have two kids. Was there anything big that changed going from one to two?
JD: You know, the “one is one, two is 10” is actually very, very true. It definitely got a lot crazier and more chaotic with scheduling with two kids. I saw this funny video the other day that was like, before you have kids, you have these grand ideas, like they’re never going to see a screen, they’re never going to touch anything that’s been processed. And then you have a kid and you just have so much empathy for like, we’re all doing the best we can. Your rules sort of bend a little bit here and you find new rules.
Also, with Evie everything I did was like, “Ah, am I doing it right?” And when I had Callum, there was a lot less of that because you just realize that we’re all doing the best we can. That mom guilt sort of starts to ease a little. But it’s definitely always something you’ve got to work with.
PS: I love that. You get such positive feedback from people for being honest about some of the struggles of parenthood and the struggles of motherhood, and also being really open about what you love about it, which is something I love. Because I do think it’s almost scary. You can hear negatives and be like, “Oh my gosh, why does anyone do this?” And you’re very balanced.
JD: You know, I remember when I was having my first with Evie, everyone was like, “You’re never going to sleep and just say goodbye to it for the rest of your life!” And while that is partly true, your normalcy bias changes, and you learn to do these things that were so crazy. Because human beings naturally adjust. So just have faith and it’ll all be okay.
With Evie everything I did was like, “Ah, am I doing it right?” And when I had Callum, there was a lot less of that because you just realize that we’re all doing the best we can.
And being a mom is my absolute favorite thing. I love it so much. If I could have 50 kids, I would; I just love being a mom. Even the hard parts, you know, when you’re exhausted, there’s still nothing like it. There’s nothing that compares to that love, and that unconditional love that I feel; it’s the best. And you get baby snuggles, which is so great.
PS: You know, Easter is coming up, I know you love Easter baskets. For candy-heavy holidays like Easter or Halloween, do you do anything with your kids in terms of managing their sugar intake? Or do you just kind of let it ride?
JD: They eat pretty good for the most part, but I’m also not the mom who’s going to bring carrot sticks to the birthday party and be like, “You can’t have the candy or the cake.” I want them to enjoy and have the chocolate bunny.
Although on Halloween, it’s funny – Evie’s friend started this thing called the Switch Witch, and I started doing it too. They pick like 20 pieces of candy or something, and then they give the rest to the Switch Witch. And the Switch Witch exchanges it for a little something [else]. This year she wanted a Squishmallow, so she got that. We started it when she was little, and she’s really kept with it. But I’m also like – go for it. Eat your candy, you know, enjoy your life.
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