The actress, 40, and her screenwriter husband sat down for a chat with Fair Playauthor Eve Rodsky forHarper’s Bazaar, where Philipps posed with daughters Cricket Pearl, 6, and Birdie Leigh, 11, for an accompanying photo shoot.
In the interview, Philipps and Silverstein, 48, open up about how their 12-year marriage has evolved since they became parents including how divorce was once on the table when Philipps wasn’t happy with the division of labor concerning parenting duties.
“Marc was like, ‘I’ll do anything.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, then do everything. Because I have done it all, all by myself, and I’m done, dude,’ ” the Cougar Townalum says of how her husband reacted to her threatening to leave.
“I was fully out the door,” Philipps admits. “I wasn’t expecting anything from him, but what we ended up doing was creating our own system.”
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.
Silverstein agreed to some changes, and as Philipps remembers, “He made the call: He should be the one to stay home with the kids.” He was suddenly in charge of meal preparation, Birdie’s bedtime routine and more.
“He now loves his mornings with the girls,” says the actress. “He’ll make my Bulletproof coffee and bring it into the bedroom while I’m still sleeping, and then leave to take the kids to school. He has conversations with them that I’m jealous of. The closeness he now has with these girls, it’s really special.”
“Sometimes I’ve wondered about Marc taking over Birdie’s bedtime. I’ve thought to myself, ‘Is this the right thing for her?’ ” Philipps adds. “But I’m not going to call him out on what I think is right or wrong because he’s doing it!”
“Marc literally spends so much time with the girls that they accidentally call me ‘Dad’ sometimes. Like when did that ever happen?” the This Will Only Hurt a Littleauthor says elsewhere in the interview.
Silverstein admits that he likes “being good at stuff,” and “stayed away” from more domestic responsibilities initially because he didn’t feel like he was skilled in that area.
“I realized that deep happiness comes from my family,” he says of the wake-up call his wife gave him. “And once I figured out what I could bring to the table, things changed. I wanted to do more.”
“Once Busy said, ‘I need you to put Birdie to bed every night,’ I owned it,” Silverstein explains. “And I was good at that. I started with one thing and it grew from there.”
“[In a partnership], you have to decide what works for you,” Philipps notes. “And you have to think about your children. I want everything for my girls, but the only way they’re going to believe it’s possible for them is if they see me have it.”