Here’s what Kristina Kuzmic knows: Perfection is boring. Parenthood is messy. We might as well embrace the chaos. In her funny and compassionate videos, the vlogging star — who has over two million Facebook fans — slams the notion that mums and dads should be loving every minute of raising kids.
She gets real, addressing the oh-so-familiar parenting hangover, the unpredictability of teenagers, and her stance that her kids are not her friends (“If you’re 30- or 40-something, and your best friend is an eight-year-old, that’s just weird”). Kuzmic gives us a look into her daily life.
Name: Kristina Kuzmic
Location: Los Angeles, California
Job: Content Creator
Family: Husband, two sons (ages 15 and four) and one daughter (age 13)
Tell us a little bit about your family and your career. Did life happen mostly as planned or were there surprises?
My life didn’t go as planned at all! I’ve been through many lows I wasn’t expecting — divorce, depression, poverty. And many highs I wasn’t expecting either — getting remarried a wonderful man and creating a successful career that I love.
What’s your best trick for getting out the door in the morning?
Music! I hate mornings. Despise them! So blasting fun music helps the kids and I wake up easier and not leave home grumpy.
How much outside help do you get as a parent? Who or what can’t you live without?
My mother-in-law lives less than a mile from my house and she’s amazing! Always willing to help out if I need her. I think every parent needs to build some sort of support system. Raising humans is hard and asking for help doesn’t mean we’re inadequate, it means we’re normal.
What does your evening routine like?
Some days, I’m really good about prepping dinner ahead of time so that evenings are calm and semi-easy, but many days at my house, evenings are chaotic. Everyone is trying to finish up their homework or someone forgot they needed to buy something for a school project so we’re running to the store. It seems like something unexpected always comes up.
For those types of nights, I like to have easy, healthful dinner options in my fridge or freezer — either frozen stews I made ahead of time (if you’re making anything that freezes well, make a double batch and freeze half for a hectic night), or veggie dogs.
With parenting, it’s always good to be prepared for anything because the calmest night can turn into chaos in a split second.
How do you decompress?
If I ever get a chance to nap, I take it! I never feel fully rested so regular naps would be my ultimate fantasy. I also like to decompress with friends, over some good food and a glass of wine.
What are your proudest moments as a parent?
When I see my children going out of their way to be kind and considerate of others. It’s more important to me than anything else they achieve in life.
What moments are you least proud of?
When I lose my patience or get into a back-and-forth with my moody teenager. Parenting, just like childhood, is full of growing pains.
What do you want your kids to learn from your example?
To appreciate everything they have, to find something good in every day, and to know that with a kind heart and a feisty spirit, they can get through any challenge life throws their way.
What are your family rituals?
We celebrate half birthdays with half a cake and half of the Happy Birthday song (we sing every other syllable).
Is there anything about the way you were raised that you’d like to adopt?
My mum taught me, by example, to always help those in need. I try to come up with various family activities where we get to volunteer or help someone in need.
What’s the hardest part about being a parent?
The emotional exhaustion. Trying not to worry constantly and trying not to feel guilty about silly things we shouldn’t feel guilty about.
What’s your favourite part of the day?
After dinner when the day is winding down and I check in with each of my kids. I love our one-on-one time, whether it’s going out for a quick treat or just chatting.
Has anyone ever given you a piece of parenting advice that has really stuck with you?
Pay attention! Listen to what your kids are telling you. Don’t dismiss them. Don’t talk at them — talk with them.