Happy chaos reigned at the Soleil Moon Frye’s book launch party yesterday in Beverly Hills, with kids tumbling through the backyard, covered in glitter and frosting.
The bash, which was hosted by Target, had countless activity stations set up for little ones – they could decorate cupcakes, glitter-paint picture frames, tie-dye t-shirts or put together wooden boats to sail around in the swimming pool. There were even a few “kid” activities that were fun for adults, like the henna tattoo tent and the hair feather booth.
But the star of the show was Soleil, who is as vivacious and funny in person as the famous little girl she once played. Surrounded by family and friends, the woman formerly known as Punky Brewster radiated warmth and well-being.
First of all, she is truly one of the nicest people in the world (and I can tell you from personal experience, she gives great hugs!). She also has a huge circle of friends, including stars like Demi Moore and Rebecca Gayheart, who came to celebrate and support her.
So how does she do it? Not only is Soleil a Target Mommy Ambassador and a social media maven, but she balances her work with raising two kids under the age of 6 and finding time to spend with her adorable husband, Jason Goldberg. Oh, and she just finished writing a book.
Luckily, her book gives parents some insight on how she manages the madness. In Happy Chaos, which comes out on August 23rd (but you can pre-order it here), Soleil encourages modern moms to stop trying to be perfect. ” As a new mom, I would look at these parenting books, and so many of them made me feel bad,” she says. “I would feel like I wasn’t doing it right or I should be doing this or that, and I had so many questions and so many fears about whether I was doing everything ‘right.’ And then I realized – just embrace the chaos, embrace the happiness and the joy and the messiness.”
And while her two little girls, Poet and Jagger, tried their best to get messy painting their handprints onto the Target Dream Wall, I had a chance to sit down with Soleil and chat about the book, her kids and her experiences as a modern mom.
She explained that her own parenting style developed after she let go of the idea that she had to do everything the “right” way. In fact, she has a whole chapter in the book called “Eating Dessert First,” and tells a story about the time she let her daughters order and eat cupcakes before breakfast at a restaurant.
“My friend just sat there shocked, as literally, they went on to eat their entire breakfast,” she said. “You know, I tried to do the whole routine thing, and then I had a daughter that had severe reflux… So I guess my whole thought process of doing it perfectly – like, I’m only going to give them veggies and fruit – everything went out the window, when I had a kid that had all this colic and reflux and at that point, I thought, I will do anything for a healthy baby. So with Jagger, I try and just give myself a little freedom. Certainly she’s not eating a bag of M&Ms before bed, and at the table I encourage them to eat, but I’ve embraced the fact that I’m not perfect.”
I asked her about the best parenting advice she’s gotten, and she shared some words of wisdom from her friend Jane Buckingham, the author of the Modern Girl’s Guide To Life. “I was going through a hard time and we were having some struggles with my oldest. And she gave me the best advice, she said – confident parents make confident children.”
Soleil explained that when she had to go out, she would apologize to her kids for going to work and express a reluctance to leave. “But Jane said – if you teach [your kids] that you are doing what you love and share how much you love it, then they can see that and they don’t feel sad and anxious that you’re leaving,” she said. “So my whole perspective changed in that moment. From then on, I would be happy and say, ‘I’m going to work today, and I’m going to miss you, but I get to do what I love, and I want you to be inspired to do something you love!’ And something shifted, and just like that the confidence changed.”
And as for the advice she would give to future parents:
“People told me over and over – cherish the moment, because it goes by so fast,” she says. “But those first few years, I didn’t really feel like it was going by so fast. And then literally it hit me, and it was right before Poet’s fifth birthday and I felt like I was hit by a Mac truck. It was like, oh my gosh, they’re getting so big and I can’t slow down time. So truly, cherish the moment and write it down and take those photos because it does speed up, and that Mac truck is going to happen to everyone.”
Want more? Here’s a clip from the interview –