Jessica Simpson knows the challenges and joys of raising children.
The singer and fashion designer has three kids ― Maxwell, Ace and Birdie ― with husband Eric Johnson. Since becoming a mom in 2012, she’s been open about adjusting to parenthood, having quality time, her changing body image and more.
In honor of her birthday, we’ve rounded up 14 quotes about motherhood from Simpson.
On Having Three Kids
“Three kids is no joke. It is definitely constant, and the biggest challenge for me is trying to be present when I am pulled in so many directions. They are all in such different phases now. ... There is a lot of dividing and conquering going on right now at our house.”
On Body Image
“Raising Maxwell made me realize that I don’t want her to see me beat myself up for things like food choices or numbers on a scale. I don’t want her to learn anything like that from me. Those things don’t determine who we are and instead make us feel terrible about ourselves. I want to teach her to value herself, listen to herself and tune out the world.”
On Welcoming Her Second Child
“Just the way I was with Maxwell, I’m excited to see Ace grow into his own person and watch his personality develop more each day. We see different parts of our family in each of them.”
On Prioritizing Couple Time
“We typically download a movie and order dinner or do something super low-key to just connect. Eric is the greatest motivator and connecting with him on morning walks is the most grounding part of my day.”
“When I was singing lullabies ... I was like, ‘This is not gonna make her stop crying.’ ’Cause it’s like, ‘When the bow breaks, the cradle will fall, and down will come baby, cradle and all’?
So I just sang about America. I sang ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ I was like, ‘OK, she’s crying so loud, and I have some pipes and a set of lungs, so I can be louder than her.’ So I would just belt out ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’”
On Having Two Kids Close In Age
“I felt like I was in eternal new-mom mode! Because I had just had Max, so much was familiar to me and that really helped me through my second pregnancy. Eric and I are calm and supportive. We take parenthood one day at a time, but sometimes we have to reassure each other and say, ‘We’ve got this.’ I can’t lie, I’m happy to be done with pregnancy right now!”
On Her Daughter’s Big Sister Role
“She loves being a big sister. I come from a really close-knit family and we’re always together. Maxwell gets to spend a lot of time with all of us and her older cousin, Bronx. She loves being around him and Ace and sharing the attention. She’s stepping into her own as a toddler, and it’s exciting to see her take on the role of big sister; she loves imitating Mom and Dad.”
On Pandemic Parenting
“They are coping way better than I would ever expect. I’m talking about my two older children, because obviously my 16-month-old doesn’t know what’s going on. She thinks FaceTime and Zoom are a completely normal thing. ...
Normally my son would be at baseball while my daughter is at gymnastics and they would rarely see each other. But through the pandemic, they’ve formed a really unique bond that’s been precious to watch, actually. And they teach Eric and me so much. They are resilient. They don’t have fear, and I don’t know if that’s because Eric and I are parenting OK, but they really do feel safe. And my daughter and I pray every night. She prays for the scientists to come up with a cure every single night. She prays for COVID to go away and for people who lost their jobs. She’s been so amazing through it and has taught me a lot.”
On Adjusting To Parenthood
“It’s so hard to hear your baby cry. Getting in a routine from the start helped us out a lot. You don’t have to wonder what the crying is for, because you know it’s time to eat, change or sleep.”
“I was at a place where I was literally spiraling with the alcohol and I was missing out on moments with my children, and then they were seeing me and they were very confused. ... I just wanted to be present and have clarity and be a good role model for my children. ’Cause I always wanted to be a good role model for the world, so why in the world would I be stuck in this cycle of having to wake up and have a drink before going to one of their school assemblies?”
On Quarantine Activities
“I have also learned just about every project with tie-dye and slime [and] every sport you can play in a backyard, and I have memorized what every single cul-de-sac in my neighborhood looks like.”
“I believe in being completely open and honest and I hope they can learn from some of my mistakes — but more importantly, learn that no life is perfect, challenges give us tools and it’s learning from our mistakes that makes us stronger. There are some topics in the book I don’t think they are mature enough to digest yet, but in due time I will share everything with them.”
On Remote Learning
“Oh my gosh, doing third-grade math nowadays is like doing it in seventh grade. I can’t believe these kids have to do this much at home. But they’re champions. They’re doing a great job. And Eric and I are here every step of the way. Eric does the math part because that’s not my specialty. [Laughs] I’m better with the English part and all the other stuff. I steer clear of math.”
On The Power Of Family
“When I hear my kids cackle, it’s the most healing sound. It’s contagious. My whole family starts giggling together, and it’s like some form of happy laughing therapy. … Family is everything to me. More than anything, I want to teach them morals and values and to keep them safe but not afraid.”
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.