"Mom Brain" podcaster Hilaria Baldwin, the mother of four young children with actor husband Alec Baldwin, has found that substituting new routines for old helps when self-isolating with kids due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Like, 'Nope, you're not going to school. Yes, Mommy is going to homeschool you.' And I don't know how, but I'm figuring it out!" Hilaria Baldwin, 36, whose first name is pronounced ee-LAH-rhee-uh, tells People magazine. "It's been, 'No, you're not going to your gymnastics classes,' and, 'You're not going to your dance classes,' and, 'We're not having playdates.' "
For the children — daughter Carmen, 6, and sons Rafael, 4, Leonardo, 3, and Romeo, who turns 2 next month — "All of a sudden, we are in a very different routine," Baldwin says. "And finding that routine was difficult, also, because it was ever-changing at the beginning. It was like, 'How serious is this?' "
She told the children they would be "creating a new routine of, 'We're gonna be cooking at home every single day, and we're gonna be spending lots of time together,' " adding, "And it's wonderful because spending time with family is so precious, but at the same time it is a lot and it's a big shift."
The single most important thing, she advises, is "to keep it varied … I find if I try to have them do an activity for too long, they start to glaze over." Additionally, "People will joke about how kids are always asking, 'Why?' Why this, why that, and they want to go down this whole rabbit hole of why things are, why things could be a certain way. Go down that rabbit hole with them."
On Saturday, Baldwin posted an Instagram photo of the children and her Amityville-born and Massapequa-raised husband, who turned 62 on Friday, posing happily on a sandy beach, wearing cold-weather gear. While People did not specify the family's location, the Baldwins have a home in Amagansett, where Emmy Award winner Alec Baldwin is active in Hamptons community life.
Hilaria Baldwin herself learned a lesson from their daughter, she says, after she and her husband found themselves grousing about the self-quarantine.
"Carmen was asking about it and I said, 'Carmen, nobody wants to be doing this right now. It's frustrating for us all to have to stop our normal lives.' … And she's like, 'I don't know what you guys are talking about, I love this. I love spending time with you. All I want to do is spend time with Mommy and Daddy and my brothers.' "
That, Baldwin says, "kind of stopped us in our tracks and our mouths were open and we were like, 'Okay, let's go with that mentality, because that sounds so much better than complaining, which is what we've been doing!' "