Busy Philipps confesses she's 'an all-over-the-place, doesn't-have-a-plan mom'

Like the rest of us, she's just trying to do the best she can.

Busy Philipps confesses she's 'an all-over-the-place, doesn't-have-a-plan mom'

If you follow her on Instagram you already know, Busy Philips doesn't pretend to know everything about parenting. Like the rest of us, she's just trying to do the best she can (although, unlike the rest of us, the actress is doing it in front of more than a million Instagram followers).

"I call myself the all-over-the-place, doesn't-have-a-plan mom. Is that a parenting philosophy? On a daily basis, I'm just trying to hold it together," Philipps tells Parents in the magazine's November cover story.

Mom to 10-year-old Birdie and 5-year-old Cricket, Philipps says she's essentially winging it when it comes to big parenting topics like sleep, sugar and screen time. She does what works for her family when it works for her family. "Our family has no absolute rules about screen time or sugar or anything. I mean, Marc and I were raised that way, and we turned out fine," shares Phillips.

Phillips may not have a plan when it comes to parenthood, but she does have a plan for adding more female voices to late-night TV, having just sold a show to E! (Busy Tonight premiers October 28.) Phillips says the network first offered her a one night a week show, but she pushed for more, pointing out that the men of late night do it all week long, and so can she.

Studies show that mothers are often underestimated, looked over, or pushed to slow down in the workplace, and Philipps isn't having it. "I'm just over it. Smash the patriarchy. Seriously. I'm done," she tells Parents, adding that while one night a week certainly would have been more manageable for her, it's not fair that a mother should get a quarter of the opportunity offered to male counterparts.

If Colbert, Kimmel, Fallon and Myers can manage to balance parenthood with shooting a late-night talk show, so can she. (After all, the only other woman with a late-night show right now, Samantha Bee, is also a mother, with three kids close in age to Philipps'.)

In her wide-ranging chat with Parents, Phillips says she is keen to take on the challenge of her own talk show, but admits that saying yes to (or rather, making the network say yes to) a full work week means she's had to say no in other areas. Although that little word is something a lot of women struggle to say, Phillips is finding power in it. She hopes other moms can also recognize when there is just no room for a yes to something.

"I'm an overextender. I agree to everything. But now, with my own TV show, I have to learn to say no," she tells Parents. "I was signing up to be Cricket's room mom at her elementary school because I knew it would make her happy, and then it occurred to me that that would be a truly insane thing to do. You can't volunteer for everything, and that's okay."

It is okay. We can only be in so many places at once, doing so many things. As moms, we can't always make everyone happy at all times. We can only do our best, and part of that is making sure we are happy (at least some of the time). Phillips says she's prioritizing her own happiness and mental health as much as anything else.

"I live to make sure everyone is happy, but I also make sure I'm taking care of my own mental health. I see a therapist. I work out almost every day because cardio knocks out my anxiety. It makes me happy when I spend time with friends and see bands, so I do that. Occasionally, I watch TV, but even that can feel overwhelming. I can't keep up with all the new shows. That's why I stick with Friends and Seinfeld reruns. They soothe me."

Perhaps her new show will be the soothing wind-down for other mamas at the end of a busy day. Late night TV is a hard game, but Philipps is coming to play.

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In This Article

14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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