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Why Anna Farris wants her son to be a good cook might inspire you, mama

Anna Faris is one successful mama. She's been in a ton of movies, is currently starring in the CBS sitcom Mom, wrote a hilarious memoir, and hosts a podcast, Anna Faris Is Unqualified, that is heard by millions.

With this kind of success comes a certain level of privilege, not just for Faris, but also her son, 6-year-old Jack.

Let's be real: Anna Faris doesn't have to cook or clean, and that means neither does her son (at least at this point in his life). But she is making sure that he knows his way around the kitchen and the laundry room because, to her, instilling those life skills is a measure of parenting success, something her own mom taught her.

"I grew up without a nanny or somebody to come over and change my sheets or whatever. It's really important to me that he becomes self-sufficient," she tells Motherly.

Like most parents today, Faris cooked and cleaned as a kid, but she's in the minority when it comes to passing on these skills. A national phone survey by Braun Research found 82% of respondents said they regularly did chores as children, but only 28% percent expect their own kids to do them now.

At the same time, other research suggests doing chores in childhood is linked to professional success later in life, so it really is in our best interest to have our kids pitch in around the house.

As a #boymom, Faris is making it very clear to Jack that she expects he'll have to look after himself someday, and that everyone needs to know how to make a stirfry and work the washing machine.

"I see it as sort of a gift to whatever future partner he may have that he knows how to clean a bathroom and that he appreciates how to do his laundry and he knows how to cook. It's just very important to me because he does have a lot of help with things," Faris explains.

Cooking together is a family tradition 

When Faris was growing up, cooking with her mom Karen was a time to chat and enjoy a shared activity. Jack's grandmother started cooking with him when he was just two-and-a-half, so the tradition continues.

"My mom is an amazing cook and that was our bonding time when she would get me in the kitchen and we would cook together. I love to cook, I'm not nearly as good as she is. I mean she used to work with a catering company and she taught bread making classes and she loves what she's doing. She's won like eight pie competitions, but it was our time to really bond and talk," says Faris, who is happy to relive the experience with her son and her mom.

"He's learning, although he doesn't realize it, about not only life skills and self-sufficiency but, also math skills, oddly, like measuring and the chemistry of cooking," says Faris, who adds that Jack is more likely to try a new dish if he's helped make it.

"A couple of nights ago, we made curry with Uncle Ben's basmati rice and it was delicious. I've always loved curry but that was something Jack wouldn't have necessarily tried if he wasn't involved in cooking it," Faris tells Motherly. "I didn't make it very spicy, I put a lot of cream in there, butter. So it was delicious."

Photo Credit: Uncle Ben's. Anna Faris has partnered with Uncle Ben's to support the Homework Pass Challenge, where kids swap homework for cooking healthy meals with their families, like Faris and her mom are doing here.

Helping Jack eat healthier 

Even as a grownup, Faris still loves cooking with her own mom, who is helping Jack expand his palate a bit by finding new ways to get him interested in healthy food as he grows.

"My mom, in a stroke of genius, got him for his last birthday—which was in August, just turned six—my mom got him a little pair of kid's chef knives and an apron and a cookbook and an adorable chef's hat. And so he's more excited, he loves vegetables now because I let him chop vegetables because he just wants to use the knives."

Faris is totally on the right track here. One study by Britain's Children's Food Trust found that kids who learn to cook before age 8 are 50% more likely to have a healthy diet later in life.

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Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.


This article was sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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