Jessica Capshaw is in her happy place: She just signed on for three more years of Grey’s Anatomy (clearly we aren’t the only ones who can’t get enough of Dr. Arizona Robbins), she’s managed to turn off the running to-do list in her head (for now), and is currently on vacation with her family in an idyllic beach town.
But no, it isn’t always that perfect, and the LA-based actress and mom of three – she and husband Christopher Gavigan, Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company co-founder, are parents to Luke (7), Eve (4), and Poppy (3) – snuck away from her book (The Nightingale if you must know) to get real about the less-than-perfect moments… and how she deals.
We immediately fell for the way she’s redefined balance to fit her lifestyle – after all, “When I try to do everything equally, I don’t do anything well!” – and the down-to-earth reasons she loves LA for the whole family. Read on for some super-honest mom talk and great perspective on this crazy parenting road. Meet the charming and refreshing Jessica Capshaw.
I’m in a very sweet spot at the moment and can honestly say I’m not stressed out about anything. I happen to be on vacation at the beach, so there is no set schedule, and all 3 kids are in camp… so for the first time in years, I have the mornings off – it’s lovely. I’m very into having a lazy mind right now – there are no to-do lists going on in my head for once.
Night Night, Sleep Tight
Vacation days are filled with nature, new friends, and camp. The kids went out surfing with some local kids they met, and they came in at the end of day so tired but exhilarated and with red eyes from so much time in the ocean and sun. There was ZERO haggling over bedtime, which is such a relief!
Raising LA Kids
LA’s mild weather lets kids do so many outdoor activities year-round – they can always run around outside. And it’s nice for kids to have space. And culturally there is a lot – LACMA is incredible. I think it’s lovely for kids to grow up in a place that can feel both stimulating and urban and bucolic.
Christopher and I love to go for a walk after we put the kids to bed to relax and catch up. We also love to binge-watch TV shows together. We just finished Bloodlines. Christopher watched an episode without me one night, and I was horrified! I’ve always been a bookworm, but now I only have time to really do it on vacations. I just finished The Girl on the Train and started The Nightingale.
1. Shopping sites are my guilty pleasure: I love that Net-A-Porter has a selection that feels partly aspirational with options that are totally doable.
2. I have taken to the visual stimulation of Instagram, but there are certain people who always seem to be on vacation… how are these people in Paris one day and Egypt the next?!
3. Twitter is an incredible way to engage with fans of the show and to get messages out there.
Honest is launching beauty in (hopefully!) September. Christopher recently went through my makeup drawer and plucked out anything that was toxic – it was horrifying! Now I have been testing some of the Honest makeup and have to say I love it – fantastic, thick lip pencils, velvety eyeliners in great pigments. I also love Tata Harper products, especially the body oil. And RMS Beauty has great colors.
For me, it’s unrealistic to ‘balance it all’ – there are times when I have to put my head down and climb a mountain in terms of work. I have to decide the parameters I’m okay with – how much time away from my family and for how long? One week I work 15-hour days, and the next week I am room parent at my child’s school. I’m always pivoting. Same thing with relationships. There’s always compromise – you have to be understanding and check in with your partner constantly.
Biggest Parenting Challenge
Being patient can be hard. Thankfully I actually have great amounts of patience, which has built up over time. I never knew how hard playing a board game as a family could be – turns out really hard.
In LA, you can really get away with wearing workout clothes all day long – it’s totally acceptable to still be wearing them at dinnertime. Definitely not the case in NYC! I’ve been very into Nike lately: They’ve put more attention on design, and it feels like it caters to all types of people. It’s making me quite happy!
3 Hours Alone
I would have lunch (and rosé!) with girlfriends at Gjelina!
Zimmermann has such cute summer resort-y transitional pieces. I bought myself a dress that I just love!
When my youngest daughter was 11 months and it was time to eat, all attention had to be on her, or else she would scream her head off. I took all 3 kids to a restaurant by myself, and when the food came, the screaming started. It was so loud, intense, and hectic, I felt my temperature rise 10 degrees in 10 seconds. Luke said, “Mom, I don’t have a fork.” and I screamed, “I don’t care if you have a fork!!!” Then I stopped and said, “Yes, sweetie, I do care. I just need you to give me a minute.” It was not my proudest moment.