Jessica Simpson Talks Her 'Resilient' Kids, Challenges of Being a 'Working Mom' During Pandemic

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jessica simpson/ instagram Jessica Simpson and family

One year after the COVID-19 pandemic took major hold on the U.S., Jessica Simpson is reflecting on her strength as a mom.

Speaking with PEOPLE amid the newly released paperback version of her memoir Open Book, the singer says she has learned "that I am capable of so much more than I thought I was" both in general and when it comes to parenting her three kids: daughters Birdie Mae, 2, and Maxwell Drew, 8½, plus son Ace Knute, 7½.

"I definitely had to multitask on a whole new level this year, between my kids being in school on Zoom and being a working mom, keeping the Jessica Simpson Collection running remotely and pushing through inspired ideas that became endless and so many rewarded all while keeping my family smiling," says Simpson, 40.

Through it all, the star has "been reminded that my faith, God, husband, kids, extended family, friends, health and safety are all to be held with more gratitude than ever before."

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"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," Simpson jokes.

Another lesson she has learned over the last year? "Kids are way more resilient than we give them credit for," Simpson says, giving props to her little ones. "In many ways, they were the peaceful force that made life precious in this trying time."

That's not to say the fashion designer and mother of three hasn't had her tough moments as a mom as of late, telling PEOPLE, "I absolutely had moments where I was just in tears and so overwhelmed, but I got through them."

But for Simpson, "I think the takeaway is that it's not easy and every day presents challenges and blessings," she says. "Life is a blessing to be lived, and the more we overthink things, the more we fall behind on our personal journey."

David Livingtson/Getty Jessica Simpson

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Simpson, husband Eric Johnson and their kids recently celebrated youngest family member Birdie's second birthday at a fun bash filled with some of the toddler's favorite sweet treats: donuts!

"Our Birdie girl turned 2 yesterday and I can't help but share this precious birthday wish making moment that well all reveled in," Simpson shared, along with a photo of her younger daughter blowing out the candles on her cake.

"Birdie you are beautiful, loving, hilarious, cheeky, free spirited, observant, honest, shoe crazy, determined, curious, sweet, chatty, thoughtful, giving, clever, creative, adorable, quirky, intuitive and way more independent than your mom," the star added. "You are knowingly the boss bird to us all. Watching, loving, and learning from you is the greatest gift of my life."

Simpson concluded, "I will forever snuggle all the love you have and always fly right beside you Ms. Birdie Mae."