Thursday, April 12, 2012

Live with Kit Hoover

Kit on the set of Access Hollywood Live
Kit Hoover juggles being a mother, wife and, dare I say it, the spunky half of the morning talk show Access Hollywood Live with co-host Billy Bush. Kit brings that every-day, every mom’s point of view to the show.

Abbey and I with Kit
At twenty-five years old, she made her TV debut in 1995 as a cast member of “Road Rules: USA the First Adventure.” Flash forward to 2012, she is a mother of three (two girls-- Campbell, 9, Hayes, 7, and a son, Crowley, 4) and a wife of 13-years to husband Crowley. She keeps it all together with her southern charm… and an occasional glass of wine (as she is not afraid to tell you).

Kit is our first celebrity mom featured on our blog. And she jumped right on board, enthusiastically lending her time and thoughts! I met with her in her AH Live dressing room. She greeted me with her energetic smile and a heartfelt, welcoming embrace. As I looked around her dressing room,I could see that her kids are never out of sight or mind. She has pictures of them all around her vanity mirror.
Her schedule is tight, so we had to get right into it. We begin with, what else, but breastfeeding… and how she would plan some of her feeding times.

"I use to plan my breastfeeding around whatever show I wanted to watch. Like, I loved Rosie and she was on at 10am, so I started feeding at 7am"

- Did you make a conscious decision to breastfeed?

"No, I kind of didn’t know what I was going to do and it was my first so I wanted to do everything right. I breast fed the first one [Campbell] for six months. The second [Hayes], I started a show on ESPN right after, so I only breastfed for a month. For the third (Crowley), I did a colostrum at the hospital and went straight to formula and that was the best thing for me. It was too much, because I had so much going on. I was scared that they weren’t getting the best nutrients from me because I was so worn down. So, with the first it was great because I had a great milk supply. But as I wore down ...  I went six months [for the first], basically a month or two[for the second], and then just in the hospital."

- Is there a difference between having one child and having three, in regards to breastfeeding?

"My whole rule of thumb is happy wife, happy household. Would I have liked to have breastfed the third, absolutely, but it was too stressful. My girls are really close in age and they really needed me, so that was too much. That made me a better mom. The formula they make is great stuff. I still had the guilt through."

- Every mom has an issue with feeding. Was it different between the three kids?

"I was fanatical with a schedule. When they were babies I did this book called Baby Wise and all three of my kids slept through the night starting pretty early. So the baby feeding… I was [super strict] with this thing. It was feed, wake, sleep, and it worked for me. So, I loved the schedule. As far as feeding goes, it’s funny, I’m a southern woman, so I don’t get caught up on things. My kids had sugar early and they did whatever. And it is interesting now they are 9, 8 and 4 and they have no food issues. They'll eat a cookie and they’ll eat broccoli. I don’t make anything a big issue. My big thing now is we always have a good breakfast. I mean they have waffles, but maybe I will do whole grain. I don’t get too “thinky.” Also we always sit down for dinner. We do macaroni and cheese night, taco night. Just don’t get too “thinky,” because then they will have issues. Especially females, I don’t want them to have any weird food issues. I grew up with an Oreo jar and we could take anything we wanted, and I think I look fit. I eat sweets, broccoli, I work out… just moderation."

As we're talking about feeding from nursing to solids, we must move from her dressing room to the stage for Access Hollywood pre-tapes (all those intros you see her do on Access Hollywood at night). Instead of waiting on the side lines, Kit has me in the middle of the action. There I am asking her “mommy” questions, while her hair is being curled, her make-up is being touched up, and stylist Nicole Allowitz is making the final wardrobe decisions. This is pretty normal for Kit-- balancing her Hollywood job and motherhood.

- What are your must haves when going anywhere with your children?

"A must have for every mother out there is wipes. Always keep wipes in your purse. Whether it’s for the“boogs,” whether for the clean hands, wipe down the airplane tray, whether it’s where you are sitting at dinner, always have wipes. Those [restaurant] tables are nasty." 

- Did you work out while pregnant?"

"When I was pregnant I couldn’t really work out so I made it all about the babies. I don’t get to “thinky” about motherhood... I like being with the kids. I enjoy motherhood! This job is great though."

- Is there a balance between this job and being a mom?
"For me I think this is the perfect job. I never worry about work, but I get anxious when I am not with the kids and missing something. I need to get out at 9 and be a full time mom. It’s the best thing. It works for my schedule and I am not missing anything."

- Kit used to get up at 5 am to go for an early morning run with her father and brother. How does she bond in the same fashion with her children?

"Every weekend we get donuts. That is our ritual. My mom and dad said they enjoyed every moment of my and my brothers childhood, and I want my kids to have that same feeling. Whether it’s playing, throwing ball… we have a trampoline… I just like to be with them."

- With so many books, shows and information available, what do you think about all the resources for mothers?

"Here is the deal with being a good mom-- be flexible. It’s the same thing with having a schedule, be flexible. Things are constantly changing. Don’t be so hard on yourself, be flexible and laugh along the way. My mother always said to me, 'this mother thing has no finish line. You’re a mom forever so enjoy the ride.’ Sometimes you take the wrong turn, sometimes you’re doing great, sometimes you need to make a U-turn, but just keep driving."

- How about teething... I blame everything thing on teething… What did you do for that?

"I felt so bad when my kids were teething. You really feel so helpless. I tried the southern thing-- bourbon, because that works great. I tried Orajel. I gave them constantly popsicles, anything cold. They say adults cannot handle the pain of teething. That is how bad it is."

- You've gone from reality TV, to sports TV to Hollywood. Which have you enjoyed most?

"Definitely Hollywood. My husband and I laugh because I did reality TV and that is like teenage boys, I did ESPN… it's all middle age, I did Real Simple and now I feel, I hope, I am representing the moms out there. I’m a true stay at home mom. When they hired me they said they need a real mom and then I show up the first day with my beat up Volvo with McDonald’s falling off the sides, and they were like, “woo a little too real.”

- How is it balancing motherhood, work and a marriage?

"I have so much guilt. I don’t care what people say, “balance” is a four letter word. There is no such thing as [being balanced]. Sometimes I’m better at being a wife, sometimes I’m better at being a mom, and sometimes I’m better at my work. In general you do the best that you can at balancing, but it’s never equal. And I do think now at 41 I need to work on, to focus more on my husband. I focus more on the kids before him because I have the work guilt.” [She turns to her hair stylist]. “So, Tommy (hair stylist) will focus on my husband. Hey, it takes a village…. hahaha"

- Have your kids seen you on TV?

"They don’t care. The other day the show was on and they said, “this is so boring.” I said to my daughter the other day, 'you could be anything you want to be when you grow up… like a hostess, a talk show host' and she said, 'Oh mom that is so boring' (laugh). You’re not cool, your mom."

- Have you been star struck yet?

"Julia Roberts. I was very star struck with her and I liked her as one of the best. She is so grounded. She is cute. I feel like we would be good friends because she is a good mom. In this business, someone who is a real mom has to have no ego, because kids don’t care who you are. They just want you to be with them. They don’t care what your job is."

- Have you finally joined Lisa Rinna's mommy club? [Kit has been gunning for an invite more than once, when Lisa fills in as a guest host of the show]

"Oh no. They asked me to do it, but as a typical mom I couldn’t do it that night. One of my daughters had a practice and one a game. Kids always come first."

As we wrap-up our interview Kit is about to race home to her most important job…as “mom.”

“I never knew what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to be a mom. I’m so fortunate that I got a really fun morning gig."
She left with one last piece of advice… She and her friends would take turns watching each other’s kids. There were four moms. So, on Monday they would drop their children off with one mom, then Tuesday another, and so forth. It equals to three days they had covered for babysitting. Three mornings she knew she could work out, go grocery shopping, or do whatever errands needed to be done. They all looked forward to it, including the kids who could play with their friends. Kit learned it from her mother, who did it when she was little. 

“I hope if the moms watch they get what I got when I use to watch Rosie. While a stay at home mom, I breastfed around her show. It made me feel as if I were a part of something. I felt good watching it. And I hope we give people that.”