Vanessa Lachey knows she’s got it better than most and she’s not here to bitch about how rough it’s been. But even when you’re wealthy and famous, raising three kids during a pandemic while retaining shreds of your sanity requires copious quantities of wine, humor, and ingenuity. Lachey, who has sons Camden, 7, and Phoenix, 3, and daughter Brooklyn, 5, with singer husband Nick Lachey, gets it. She really, really gets it.
“I got masks that match the kids so mine looked just like theirs. So we can have that connection. Phoenix has had to understand the normalizing of masks and he watches his older siblings when we go to the grocery store — I can’t always just go and leave all three so I have to bring one or two or sometimes all three,” she says.
She’s no Pollyanna but Lachey doesn’t let herself wallow — at least not in front of the kids. “I just try to keep it positive. That’s our job right now, to try to keep it positive for them so they can have that good experience,” she says. “It’s about not getting overwhelmed and just staying on the right path and, and knowing that you’re doing your best. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. That we even think about mom guilt means we’re doing a great job in recognizing that.”
The host of the absurdly addictive reality show Love is Blind is also getting some work in when she can. She’s the spokesperson for the new Rice Krispies Treats limited-edition “Love in Case of” kits, which let parents write encouraging missives on the snacks.
“I find opportunities where I can I can work and still be with them or do things that are in line with being a mom. But it was nice to tell them this morning and I was like, ‘Sorry, Nick, you’re gonna have to feed them all breakfast because mommy has to work today,’” she says.
When she “left” for the office on the morning of this interview, it was to walk down the hall to her husband’s sports room, where she took down a framed Ken Griffey Jr. jersey. Just the fact that she doesn’t need to work out of her kitchen, with kids underfoot, is a thing. Lachey is fortunate; she’s got a sweet house and one very sick inflatable water slide to keep her three entertained. And she’s used the months at home to reconnect with her kids; in the spring, she supervised Camden’s remote learning and got some insights into how her son’s mind worked and helped him with his emotional development.
Being cooped up with your spouse, on the other hand, requires some finessing of schedules.
“This has been challenging for Nick and I. It’s been definitely a roller coaster for us. But it’s been really educational for us as a couple who are trying to take our relationship to the next level,” says Lachey. “I mean, we’ve been together for 14 years. We’ve been married for nine years. And it’s just redefining how we can be and how we prioritize what’s important to us.”
At the top of the list is alone time. “We’ll have dinner with the kids but what we do is we feed them dinner, we sit with them and we feed them dinner and we talk. Then Nick and I have our time we’ll have dinner together. We’ll watch a show together. We’ll talk — we’ll go sit outside and have a glass of wine.”