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Audrina Patridge has seen both struggles and triumphs as a single mother.
In her new book, Choices: To the Hills and Back Again, Patridge chronicles her rise to stardom on MTV's landmark reality series The Hills, which ran from 2006 to 2010. But the 37-year-old also delves deeper in the memoir, chronicling the alleged emotional abuse she endured during her troubled relationship and subsequent marriage to BMX biker Corey Bohan. The former couple are parents to 6-year-old daughter, Kirra, which has required some careful navigation through the complex world of co-parenting.
"Kirra’s with me full-time," Patridge tells Yahoo Life's So Mini Ways. "She sees her dad from time to time. So as far as co-parenting goes, that’s done through an app called Talking Parents. I keep it strictly about our daughter only, and that’s it. It's almost like business. I just try to keep it only about visitation and anything about Kirra and that’s that."
She and Bohan got married in Hawaii in 2016. Pregnant with Kirra at the time, Patridge was hopeful Bohan would quell his partying ways once the baby came so that they could emulate her own supporting and loving parents and create a stable environment for their daughter. Still, she recognized the unlikelihood that things would work out, sharing in her book that she was preparing herself to be a single mom.
"I prepared myself, mentally, to have and to raise this baby alone. I was still going to marry him — raising our little girl within a traditional family was that important to me — but I started to see that he wouldn't be there when I needed him," Patridge writes.
Today, Patridge says while she does regret getting married to Bohan so quickly, she has "no regrets" about the relationship, since it brought her Kirra, "the greatest blessing in my life." (The couple divorced in 2018.)
But raising a 6-year-old these days means confronting some of the more difficult aspects of childhood, like schoolyard bullies.
"Sometimes there are bullies and she comes home crying, and I never thought about having to deal with that. As a parent, you get so upset that a kid isn’t nice. There's some new phases and situations that we’re entering now that she’s 6 that I didn’t even imagine having to deal with," says the reality star, adding that her daughter has come to work through her issues with one former bully. "She handles herself very well. She's a leader."
As someone who has had trouble being assertive in the past, Patridge is determined to teach Kirra to stand up for herself.
"When she gets frustrated from a game or something she’s going through with her friends, I teach her to use her voice to put those emotions and feelings into words and communicate them," says Patridge. "We’re so close, so I know instantly when her energy is off. I say, 'what’s going on? You want to talk?' You have to pay attention and ask questions and help them understand why they’re feeling the way they are."
Much of what Patridge is working to instill in her daughter are the same lessons she had to learn herself. The former MTV star says she's done "so much healing in therapy," which is why it's nice to help Kirra learn to express herself from a young age. "I'm helping her navigate through these hard times that when I was younger, I held it all in," she explained.
These days, Patridge has found a greater sense of peace. She's back living in Orange County, where her parents are close by. Still, she'll never forget what she's been through.
"My daughter is my priority — her safety and her happiness and making sure she's going to have the best life I can possibly give her. Sometimes when things get so bad and there’s no change, you have no choice because it's going to start affecting your kid, and it’s not fair. Fighting or acting out or saying things about the other parent in front of the child is very unhealthy," says Patridge, who advises writing down your goals, as well as asking for help. "You need your core inner circle that are going to help you through it and give you strength. You can’t do it alone. Isolating just makes it harder. You gotta be honest with yourself and have someone you trust help you through it."
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