Vanessa Lachey is currently in Cincinnati, living like, well, a normal person. “It's amazing how much house cleaning and laundry and organizing the closets that I have done while I'm here,” she says. (She’s in the Queen City with husband and “hometown boy” Nick Lachey while he promotes his recently opened restaurant there, Lachey's.)
Less routine is the reason we’re on the phone today: to talk about her involvement with Procter & Gamble’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) non-profit, which provides clean water to families in over 75 countries that don’t currently have access to that basic necessity. “We're fortunate as Americans [to have clean drinking water],” says the mother of son Camden, 3, and daughter Brooklyn, 1. “As a mother, I couldn't imagine worrying about that every day for my kids' whole life. I'm worried about them dating a crazy person or running into the corner of a table, let alone are they going to drink the wrong type of water today and not make it to tomorrow.”
On May 3, P&G delivered its 10 billionth liter of clean water, and to celebrate the milestone, is offering a 10-1 match where for every dollar donated through May 31, P&G will donate $10 (up to $1 million) to help save the 1,000 children who die each day due to diseases caused by contaminated drinking water.
Below, Lachey talks about the cause, how she spent her Mother’s Day, and why she now understands the need for “mom” jeans.
How was your Mother’s Day?
"Perfect. Nick always does a good job of making it simple and easy. I even got in the kitchen and cooked, because that's what I wanted to do. I'm like, 'Is this weird that on Mother's Day I want to cook a cozy beef stew and not order out dinner?' Nick was like, 'No, and selfishly I'm happy you want to do that!' I did make sure to get him to get me my seconds and clean up afterwards, and then to bring me ice cream, though."
You're involved with a few charities already, so what appealed to you about this one?
"Nick and I both try to pick and choose what we are involved with because we don't just get involved with things just to get involved with them—we want it to be something that really means a lot to us. I've worked with P&G for, gosh, almost 10 years now. I love everything they stand for. If you've never seen a P&G Mother’s or Father's Day commercial that didn't make you cry, then you're not human. When they asked me to help raise awareness for this non-profit initiative, I was all about it. As a mother of two, the more that I got to understand what's going on internationally with contaminated water and children, the more I wanted to spread the word and encourage everyone to open your eyes and your ears and understand what's going on."
You have another new role too, on the upcoming NBC sitcom Sebastian.
"This one is amazing because my TV husband is based on the real life Sebastian Maniscalco. He's a stand-up comedian, and he is gut-wrenchingly, cry-your-eyes-out, wet-your-pants funny. He breaks the fourth wall, and what I mean by that is he actually looks at the camera with everything around him simultaneously going on, and does a bit of his stand-up sketch. We're all oblivious, and then he comes back into the scene. All of his stories come from his true life. Upfronts are soon and now it's in the hands of fate, so we shall see."
How has your style changed since becoming a mom?
"The first word that comes to mind is layering. I am 35, and I feel like I am in a constant hot flash, and I don't know if that's because I literally never stop. In fact right now I'm sitting here, but I'm twirling in a desk chair."
What are some of your favorite pieces at the moment?
"Mom jeans are in. I made a joke to someone, like, 'Oh now I understand why they call high-waisted jeans mom jeans, because it sucks everything in.' One-piece swimsuits are also in, so it's so fun right now to be a mommy."
What’s the first thing you do once the kids are in bed?
"Nick and I both pour a glass of wine and we sit out on the porch and we put on some music; sometimes Louis Armstrong, sometimes Miles Davis, sometimes Massive Attack. It's just nice to reconnect at the end of every day and remind ourselves why we're doing this together and what got us here in the first place. It's important to maintain the relationship of husband and wife, instead of just mommy and daddy, otherwise your world becomes the kids and you lose why you guys decided to have kids in the first place."