Hilaria Baldwin describes herself as "very open and outspoken," but there was a moment in her life when she temporarily lost that quality.
"I met Alec [Baldwin] and I got very intimidated by a world I hadn't been in before," Hilaria recently told AOL Entertainment. "It was very scary and invasive. I pulled back a bit, but then I learned to deal with things the way he deals with things. But that's not necessarily my personality, so then I said, 'I have my own relationship with the press,' and it was one of the best changes I've ever made in my life."
"I feel like I'm back to being myself," she continued. "I'm more open again."
While speaking with us at the L.O.L Surprise! Pets launch at Toys"R"Us, Hilaria was completely at ease as daughter Carmen Gabriela, 4, squirmed in her lap, reached for the new toys ("She loves them!") and adorably chimed into our conversation with her own thoughts. It's clear that Carmen is a total ham, and her mother told us that she isn't the least bit surprised that her daughter is the way she is.
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"Alec and I are both pretty gregarious," she said of her husband of five years. "We both talk a lot, and there's something about that that she has really taken on. She loves movies, and she loves watching things like her dad, so she's very, very like Alec in that way. She loves Shirley Temple and knows all of the words and hand movements."
"She loves performing," she said with a laugh.
But allowing Carmen -- as well as her two sons Rafael Thomas and Leonardo Angel -- to watch movies and TV and play on their iPads is something that Hilaria is extremely cognizant of. In 2017, finding a balance when it comes to children and technology is something that seemingly all parents have to navigate, and Hilaria admits that she finds it "tough."
"I grew up with no TV, and I never had a TV in my entire life until I met Alec," she told us. "When you marry someone who’s on TV -- then I start doing TV -- it was very strange for me. We don’t really watch TV at home. We have one TV in our apartment that’s in that one room that we never go into. They have iPads, though, and we’re very conscious of what they’re watching."
"They like to watch YouTube, but sometimes Mommy says you can’t watch something," she said, turning to Carmen.
"But I still watch it!" Carmen interjected.
"And then I catch her watching it," Hilaria said with a knowing eye roll. "She’s like, ‘Mommy! I’m learning how not to behave!’ It’s tough, but you have to embrace it instead of shelter them too much. Then you just need to be present to explain to them what’s good and what’s not good. I don’t pretend it’s not there because I realize if I do that, then they’ll go hide with it in other places."
Another way that the yoga and wellness expert makes sure that her children aren't spending too much of their times staring into screens is by taking them outside and encouraging them to be active.
"Anytime we can go outside, we do," Hilaria explained. "She takes dance and gymnastics. Rafa also loves dance. We're always trying to choose an active and fun activity."
Not only that, but she has also created an open dialogue with her children about eating healthily, while also making sure to make fun and kid-friendly.
"We also talk about eating vegetables, and you have to be really creative," she told us. "We put spinach and kale in 'chocolate' pancakes, and we also eat a lot of kale chips and have other special treats. She loves lollipops, but we talk about how we can't have it all the time."
"It's all about finding that balance," she said. And it seems as though Hilaria has most certainly found it.
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