We all know that the best moms out there have capes hiding under their regular clothes. They are gifted with the ability to do it all, while still making sure their cherished children are smiling. Molly Sims’ world revolves around her three kids, yet she manages to thrive in various careers simultaneously, from modeling and acting to starting her own jewelry line and getting involved in philanthropy. We asked her to give us the rundown on her professional and personal life, and how they seem to coexist so seamlessly.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your personal background? Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
Family is the most important thing to me. I grew up in Kentucky with my mom, dad, and brother in a very close-knit family. My brother and I love to get our families together with our parents. We do this frequently because our time with each other is very precious. Everything my parents taught me, I instill in my own children. My mom taught me to love unconditionally, and my dad taught me to never give up.
2. When did you enter the modeling world? How were you discovered and what were your first impressions of the industry?
At the end of my sophomore year in college, a girlfriend who had experience in modeling suggested I take some photos with a fashion photographer she'd worked with in Memphis. So I drove myself down to Memphis, took my first ever modeling pictures, and sent them off to the New York agencies. When a few agreed to meet me, I flew out with my mom and I was signed with Next Model Management.
3. Can you share any anecdotes for what it was like being a model and whether or not you felt supported by the industry or industry mentors or not? Were there any specific challenges you had to overcome/lessons you learned?
The number one thing you have to accept in the modeling industry is hearing the word “no." You're never going to be the tallest or most beautiful girl in the room, but you can be the most determined. I had to learn to accept this and never give up my determination to succeed.
"My brother and I love to get our families together with our parents. We do this frequently because our time with each other is very precious. Everything my parents taught me, I instill in my own children. My mom taught me to love unconditionally, and my dad taught me to never give up." Photo courtesy of mollysims.com
4. Please share a bit about what life was like for you as you as an actor. What were some of the highlights/challenges?
Acting for me was a dream come true. I feel so lucky to have had my experience on the show Las Vegas. It ran for five years (which was practically unheard of) and that cast became my second family.
"My son has always been affected by eczema, not crazy bad, but it flares up where we need hydrocortisone. I found [ProCure] and it uses coconut oil and is very emollient. It doesn't sting or burn, and it makes his eczema feel so much better"
5. Do you have any advice for balancing motherhood and marriage? Do you have any go-to philosophies or life mottos?
You have to take each day at a time. Being a mom is my greatest joy. My family, or my "tribe of five" as I like to call us, is my entire life.
6. What advice do you give for women who have a really bad day/month/etc? What has helped you dust yourself off and put yourself out there after a set back?
Never let a bad day get you down. This industry is tough and it will knock you down, but if you want to succeed, you can never stop working. It's easy to look in the mirror and critique yourself, but you have to remember you are beautiful and strong, and that if you believe in yourself, you will accomplish your goals.
7. Can you speak about your experience in business and entrepreneurship, including launching your own jewelry line? What was that like? Can you share the challenges/high points?
I launched my signature jewelry line called Grayce with HSN in 2010. It was a great experience learning how to put myself out there creatively in ways other than modeling and acting. I have my own sense of style, so I wasn't sure if people would appreciate what I found stylish. It truly was a great experience that kickstarted everything else I've done.8. How did you get involved with ProCure? Do you use it personally? Can you share what it does for you? How do you work with the brand?
Being a mom of three you have to be organized at all times. It started when I created travel kits and first-aid kids for each of my kids. My son has always been affected by eczema, not crazy bad, but it flares up where we need hydrocortisone. I found [ProCure] and it uses coconut oil and is very emollient. It doesn't sting or burn, and it makes his eczema feel so much better. So that's ultimately how I got involved. I try to use things that are paraben-free and as organic as possible. It really takes any itch, burn, or pain away.
9. Can you talk briefly about the philanthropic causes that you champion? Please share why these are your passion projects?
Giving back is so important to me and it's something my entire family cares about. I'm passionate about Baby2Baby and everything they do for low-income children. At my son Brooks' sixth birthday party we just did a backpack drive for Baby2Baby. Instead of bringing gifts, guests brought backpacks to donate.
10. Any fun summer plans? Can you share any tips for navigating family vacations while still looking cool, calm and under control?
We always spend summer in the Hamptons. It's such a great getaway from LA and gives us a chance to slow down and be together. While traveling with my babies can be tough, I always keep my big bag of tricks with me. We've got snacks on hand, legos, bottles...anything you could need!
11. Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Definitely Sarah Jessica Parker. She'd add a little glam, a little humor, and a lot of style.
12. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
The first thing I do in the morning is get myself and my children dressed and ready for the day. Although getting kids up and dressed can be the most challenging part of the morning, I make it a priority to prepare ahead of time and pick out all of our outfits the night before. This is the best way to get the morning started on the right foot.
13. What is your biggest beauty secret?
My biggest beauty secret is skincare. When your skin is fresh and flawless you can tackle anything. I love serums, moisturizers, face masks, eye patches...you name it. I'm currently loving the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask created by Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores Ireland. It's the best for travel, and as a busy mom I'm always on the go.
14. Please name something that is always in your purse.
In my bag I always have Wet Ones (I'm a mom, so that's an obvious one), some type of moisturizer, a pair of sunglasses, and snacks.
15. What is your go-to karaoke song?
If you know me, you know I'm a huge karaoke fanatic. Give me a mic and I will sing my heart out. I love a good, upbeat song.
"There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before." -Willa Cather
A logical fallacy called bifurcation (yes, it sounds like a disease) is used to make people believe that they can only choose between two extreme choices: love me or leave me, put up or shut up, etc. In relation to my career and my love life, I was once stricken by this crazy malady.
I spent over a decade in and out of love relationships that undermined my career and drained my creative energy along with my finances. The key problem was that I was convinced that I had two options: be a kickass, and powerful professional who scares off any prospective mate or surrender to that deep and profound love such that my ambitions blow away in the wind. For years, my psyche ping-ponged between these two choices like that was the only game in town. But why?
Turns out we women are often programmed into thinking that we can't have love (at least that good, juicy heated kind) and any sort of real career. This is not actually that surprising given the troubled history that America has with women in the workplace. Post WWII, women were supposed to quit their jobs and scurry back home and leave the careers for the returning men. And if you think we've come a long way from making women feel they don't belong in the workplace, consider Alisha Coleman. In 2016, she was fired because her period leaked onto a chair!
But try to keep a good woman down, and well, you can't (Alisha sued her former employer). Given enough information we will always find a way to overcome our situation. As we teach in my practice, Lotus Lantern Healing Arts, we are all our own gurus. The light in the lotus just offers a way to illuminate your path.
So what was I missing so many years ago when I kept struggling between two suboptimal choices? The answer is the understanding that if I wanted to have it all, I had to start living right now as if I could. For me to be with someone who supported me having a fantastic career, I had to believe that that was actually one of my choices and start living that way.
Of course that is easier said than done (like most life lessons). So once I made that realization, here are the three key changes I made (and no they didn't happen all at once):
First, I stopped apologizing. Why the hell do women always feel the need to apologize for everything! (Sorry for swearing! Jk.) In particular, why do we have to feel bad about time away from the homefront? Remember Don Draper stopping off at the bar before heading home? I took a Madman lesson from him and stopped apologizing for my free time and let go of my usual rush to get back. Instead I focused on enjoying the transition, which was often needed to release the stress of work. Whether I was slow-driving listening to my jams and singing at the top of my lungs or stopping off for a pedicure, a little ritual went a long way to making me feel like a real human when I walked through the door.
Second, I let go of perfection in order to be present. I stopped stressing over a work deadline and instead rescheduled it to tend to my love life or postponed a romantic dinner because a juicy work opportunity appeared. In this way, I did not force an unnatural choice or one I did not want but really paid attention to what felt right. Instead of feeling subpar in each realm, I end up getting the most out of my time in both places.
Third (and perhaps most significantly) I began to welcome and expect encouragement from the most significant person in my life. I made it clear to my partner that I wanted insight and not criticism. And since I knew I needed understanding and not saving, I said, "Please help me look at my career woes from a different angle instead of offering me advice." Ultimately, I only accepted partners that truly supported my dreams and didn't let me play small.
Today, some of the most exquisite pleasure I feel comes simply from my partner witnessing me. Having a cohort who really appreciates my struggles, helps me integrate work and life, and enjoys the wins together can be mind-blowing. Likewise, when the shit hits the fan (again, not sorry!), it's really important to have a partner that can hold space for you and help you remember those wins.
It's a constant battle. Our culture still perpetuates the myth by pitting love and career against each other (ever see Fatal Attraction?). Men don't always get this message, but then we don't need to wait for them to get it. All we have to do it start living right now in the way we truly deserve and bring others along with us. When my friends see me and my partner together separately killing it in the career department and fiercely loving each other they say, "Your relationship gives me hope."