Help, Please: Soleil Moon Frye

Our editors find out how other moms parent

For girls of the ’80s, Punky Brewster was a smart, spirited, DayGlo-clad role model. Now that the cult sitcom’s pigtailed star, Soleil Moon Frye, has two tweens of her own (and a third child on the way), she’s still inspiring women with her honesty, sense of humor, and aptitude for color — this time via social media (she has 1.5 million Twitter followers), Moonfrye (a DIY crafting app), and Let’s Get This Party Started (her new family entertaining book). We asked about the evolution from Punky to professional mom.
q&a!Obviously, you could have made a lot of career choices. Why this path?
So much has evolved naturally. I love to share with people and connect on a regular basis; I also love being a hands-on parent and being able to do both. I am constantly juggling, but I love the fact that I get to follow my career dreams while also being a parent.

How did you go from “Hey, that’s a great idea” to a full-on business with Moonfrye?
As a new mom I had so many questions about being a parent, and I started sharing through social media. Twitter and Facebook became my parenting group. … When I met Kara [Nortman], we really connected around our families and wanting to bring both the digital and physical worlds together in an innovative and creative way. [It] has really evolved into a wonderful DIY and crafting community and is growing every day.

The company motto is to support the parenting journey. How would you describe your journey so far?
For me, so much of parenting is about being in the moment and being present with your loved ones. I try focusing on the process as opposed to just the outcome. I feel like our company is really about enjoying those messy, chaotic moments.

Tell us about Let’s Get This Party Started and your favorite chapter in the book.
All the chapters are my favorite. My kids and I are constantly coming up with fun party ideas and we absolutely adore crafting and cooking. It was a total family affair, and the book is filled with lots of our friends and family.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
We love celebrating Christmas Eve and bringing family and friends together. We do lots of cooking and we look forward to it year round.

soleil moon frye!

What was your “Whoa, I’m a parent” moment?
Every moment I’m a parent, in the back of my head I am a little surprised.

What’s surprised you about yourself as a parent?
I’m much more protective than I thought I’d be.

What was your last big parent fail?
I have my moments where I am certainly imperfect. I think we all do. It’s how we learn from them that makes us better parents.

And your last big parent success?
My girls told me last night that I was a really great mom and that they never wanted me to change and they gave me lots of hugs and kisses. It’s moments like these that touch my heart. Just tonight, Jagger came home from school talking about Nelson Mandela and the effect that he had on the world, and Poet has come up with a baby-sitter club where she wants to give donations to charity. It’s all these moments and many more that make me constantly feel proud as a parent.

What bit of advice do you tell your friends without kids?
Having children is one of the best things you can ever do. They teach you how to love unconditionally in a way you could never imagine, and they force you to be your best self.

Is there something you’ve learned from watching other parents?
Patience. My husband has so much patience; it’s incredible. I try to harness more patience from watching him with the girls.

The rule you never break: My husband and I try to never go to bed angry.

soleil moon frye!

Your biggest vice: Right now, soda. I’ve been craving carbonation throughout this pregnancy.

Thing you miss most since having kids: Sleep!

Favorite bedtime book: The Giving Tree.

Go-to baby gift: The Little Seed, of course. We make such incredibly colorful baskets full of soft, ecofriendly, and adorable must-have clothing and goodies.

Gourmet dinner when you have time: Chicken gumbo.

Favorite restaurant: My good friend is the most amazing chef, and he has two awesome restaurants that we can never get enough of: Animal and Son of a Gun. We also love taking the kids to brunch at Gjelina in Venice.

Favorite spot for kids: The beach.

App you love: Our Moonfrye app! It’s fun for the whole family.

Bookmarked websites: Target, Moonfrye, and CNN.

TV shows you can’t live without: Scandal and Homeland.

On your bedside table: A special Buddha, books, and water.

Last-minute party essentials: Flowers, candles, and burlap.

Photos: Courtesy of Soleil Moon Frye