Her Hollywood career and The Honest Company empire may be next-level, but many of the things Jessica Alba is dealing with on the daily (think: two out of three kids at home distance learning, a home that sometimes feels like it’s overtaken by toys and finding time for self care) are all too relatable. We spoke with Jessica mom-to-mom as she revealed her gift picks, her family’s holiday traditions and the no-fail hack that makes dinner cleanup a breeze. Read on for some of the highlights from our conversation.
The best holiday gift she’s ever received:
Definitely pictures that my kids have drawn for me. Cards that they’ve customized for me and my husband had some really nice personal gifts made. The best ones have been when they’re really personal and handmade by the fam.
Jessica’s favorite items to give pregnant women or new moms:
The Sweet Mama Gift Set (pictured above). It’s great because it gives mom the self-care vibe. We have beauty products and products for the body in there. It’s the ultimate pampering gift for a new mom or for someone who’s pregnant.
The most memorable parenting advice that’s actually stuck with her:
Letting go of perfection and letting go of how things were before you had kids. You have to understand that there’s no right way to do it. As long as you can survive to see another day you’ve won. I had all these ideas of how my life was going to be even when I had my kids. It all really just went out the door when you’re in survival mode—when taking a shower or making a meal and eating it instead of eating your kids scraps is a luxury.
Another piece of advice is that my house just looked like kids exploded into all of the spaces so finding baskets to put things in helped and a playroom where they can have their chaos in has been great. I can shove things in a playroom instead of letting it take over the whole house.
Basically, letting go of some of the things I thought my life was going to be. And, I’ll say that it’s much easier with one kid. It’s night and day. Good luck being your version of organized or clean in the same way with two or three kids!
The Honest products Jessica is most excited to gift this year:
All of the different curated kits. Even Honor and Haven put together some kits of their favorite stuff. I have my night time routine and being able to curate these moments and have that available for people to purchase straight away is amazing.
We’re on the go and during COVID we have masks and they match back to the diapers. We have a pattern called Ya Herd?!, and mom and me and dad and me masks, and diapers. We bring it all together during the holidays with thematic prints.
Jessica’s family’s holiday traditions:
I have a pretty big family and we do a sit-down dinner with 70-80 people for Christmas every year (obviously we aren’t going to be doing that this year). It’s always been that way because our extended family lives in Southern California. The kids love it. When I was growing up we were sitting on the floor eating off of styrofoam plates but it was still that many people. My husband’s family tradition is that you sit at a table and say grace and it’s a bit more formal. So we combined both of our family’s traditions and it’ll be fun to do that in normal years.
I got my way last year and I got a tree that’s really chic. The kids called it a large Charlie Brown tree. This year we’re doing a fluffy tree. The kids like the tree thing with the scent and all of that. We’ll be doing our normal Christmas decorating—it’s a big deal for the kids and we’ll do it all sooner than we normally do.
Jessica’s must-have Honest Beauty products that should be on every tired mom’s holiday wish list:
Honestly Bright Eyes Tinted Eye Cream. It comes in two colors and it has pigments so it counters your circles under your eyes and it’s the most life changing thing ever. You also need a cream blush just because you’ll look flushed and healthy. You also need the Gloss-C Lip Gloss—it’s just a lip treatment and gloss all-in-one. You can get it with no color at all or you can have a little bit of a color, which I think always helps make you look more awake. I do a mask every morning called Prime + Perfect Mask which is like a smoothie on your face. It smells really good and gets your face awake and ready for the day. These products make your skin look hydrated but not oily.
Jessica’s advice for female entrepreneurs looking to start their own business:
Just having a good idea for a product is probably 30% of it and 70% of it is execution. And it’s really helpful to not be so attached to the idea of what you think it’s going to be. Be open to making mistakes, learning from your mistakes and keeping it moving. Trusting your gut and surrounding yourself with people who have strengths where you have weaknesses. And you really have to understand your business inside and out. You have to understand the business because you’ll be either taken advantage of or people won’t feel good about investing in you if you don’t understand your own business model. You have to understand the white space or the opportunity you’re going after. And, when you run into issues you need to learn from them, move on and not let them paralyze you.
What Honor and Haven’s homeschooling setup looks like:
I got them desks so they each have a desk in their room now. My kids are horrified if I’m walking in while they’re in school zoom. They have to have their cameras on, they have to be on mute and they have to participate.
Jessica’s favorite parenting hacks:
I made self care something my girls wanted to be a part of. When I was doing self care and they weren’t a part of the situation then they were constantly bothering me during my “me” time. So I said, during COVID we are all going to do baths together and it’s going to be fun and they started to get into it. So we’re all doing self care and Hayes’ little baby bath will be next to ours. Instead of not doing my self care at all, I incorporated the kids into this.
Prior to COVID, I pick out the kids clothes and my clothes the night before so we aren’t screaming to figure out what we’re going to wear. Everything from the underwear to the socks are laid out on the bed ready to go. So I’m not thinking about what we need to wear so there are no freak outs and we can get out the door that much faster.
Lastly, my husband got a timer so after mealtime we set a timer for 5 minutes and they see how quickly they can clear the table and wash all the food off the dishes. We started at 10 minutes but we got it down to 5 minutes. You can do it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We figured out how to make it a competition and make it fun.
—Erin Lem and Megan Harper