Looking at Cindy Crawford’s radiant cover pic for the September issue of Redbook magazine, it’s hard to believe the model mom is 43 years old! In the interview, Cindy proves she’s much more than just a pretty face. A devoted wife to her husband of 11 years Rande Gerber, a hands-on mom to their beautiful kids Presley, 10, and Kaia, almost 8, and an entrepreneur to boot, she’s recently partnered with JC Penney on a new home collection called Cindy Crawford Style. The busy beauty opens up about some of the joys and challenges of motherhood.
On making a house a home: “The most important thing is comfort. I want my home to look good, feel good, and smell good. I want it to be inclusive, to reflect the people who live there…. Each year I frame one of the kids’ drawings or paintings. It’s amazing that when you put it in a frame — it doesn’t have to be expensive one — it becomes art. In the kids’ playroom, I have all of those pieces, one for each year, together on one wall. When you put them all together, they tell a story.”
On a typical night in the Gerber-Crawford home: “I like doing homework with the kids. Not because I like homework but because they don’t like it. So I feel that’s my responsibility. We eat dinner together nearly every night, and we do sit down at the dining room table…. My kids are so great. They don’t need a big production. One night, we sat on the couch and my son had taken off his socks, and we ended up throwing the socks at each other like Hot Potato for 20 minutes. We also like Cranium games. They’re fun and about getting to know other people.”
On minimizing stress: “My goal is to be present. In whatever I do. If I am with the kids, I don’t want to be typing on my BlackBerry under the table, and if I am talking to someone, I am not feeling bad because I am not going to Chuck E. Cheese’s with my kids. I schedule my life in a way that I can do that. If I am overscheduled, I never really feel good wherever I am because I am thinking, I should be here doing this”…. There’s another pressure, especially in L.A… I think I look good for my age. I am not 25; I am 43. That feels like a big pressure, especially when the National Enquirer is dying to get a picture. I am so aware that I don’t want to change the way I live because of that kind of attention. So you say, ‘Screw it. I am wearing this bikini, and I am not putting on a cover-up.’ You just brace yourself for a bad picture.”
On finding alone time with her husband: “We do have date nights. It sounds a little cheesy, but that’s what it is — time for the two of us…. The kids go to bed at 9, and we also have that hour and a half at night before I go to bed, although in the summer the kids want to stay up later. I remember being a kid in summer and having the whole summer ahead of you. I want them to be able to stay in their pajamas all day if they want. That’s what summer is for. But we’re still figuring out bedtime, because I want that time alone with my husband.”
On the joys of motherhood: “I always thought it was such a cliché that you have this little baby and you fall in love and people say, ‘Wait, it gets better.’ And you think, How can it get better than this? But it does. I like hanging out with my kids. When we went to Disneyland, they wanted to go on the same rides as I did. You get to re-experience all the fun things through their eyes. You realize how jaded we can become as adults. Just watching them when they get excited and their whole body is shaking and they can’t even contain it — as adults, how often do we get that excited?”
On what she wishes she’d known before she had kids: “I had kids before I had dogs, and when I got a dog, the trainer said, ‘You just need to establish yourself as the leader.’ [Laughs] God, I wish I had known this before I had kids. Now, even though I want the kids to be part of the family and have a voice, we have the last say. We build them up so much that sometimes they think they have the last say.
My mother will say, ‘I feel so sorry for you.’ Like she’ll hear me say, ‘Now, Presley, that is not an appropriate way to speak to your sister.’ And I can tell my mother just wants me to say, ‘No. Don’t.’ Sometimes I lose it and do raise my voice, but I try to do my best, as most parents do. These days we are so worried about being PC perfect mothers. We are so overly involved. It’s trying to find that balance between helping your child be successful and also wanting them to be independent.”
On her son the future Navy SEAL and her daughter the model/actress/teacher: “I hope they are kind and respectful and can function in this world and still be individuals, not necessarily leaders but not followers. I hope they can incorporate what they’re passionate about into whatever their job is. Presley has an adult friend who is a Navy SEAL, and right now he wants to be that. My daughter says she wants to be a singer and a dancer, but — and the way she said this was so cute — she might model first because you don’t have to have any special skills. And then she wants to end up being a teacher. That’s an interesting career path; we’ll see how that works out for her.”