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Vanessa Lachey Wants More Moms to be Selfish

Taking time to yourself is not a negative thing.

Vanessa Lachey, no doubt, has her plate full. The TV personality has a starring role on NCIS: Hawai’i, hosts the Netflix shows Love is Blind and The Ultimatum, and is a mother of three. So, as you can imagine, it can be difficult for her to find time for herself. But that’s why the 41-year-old hopes to break the stigma of the word “selfish” and encourage more mothers to take the time they need…regularly.

In fact, this message of treating yourself is one of the reasons Lachey partnered with Dairy Queen for the return of Miracle Treat Day. On July 28, when fans purchase their favorite Blizzard Treat at participating DQ locations, one dollar or more will be donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals – a longtime charitable DQ sponsorship. So, you’re able to treat yourself with something and help others.

As part of this partnership, SI Swimsuit spoke with Lachey to find out how she chooses organizations to support and turns down opportunities that don’t speak to her values and ways she’s proudly selfish.

Why did this DQ partnership mean something to you?

“The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals are one of my favorite organizations, and Dairy Queen is a longtime sponsor. So, it just clicked for me. And what’s great about the partnership is that you can give back to your community and treat yourself. I think it’s a beautiful way to continue making our community strong, doing good for each other, especially those who really can use the help and need the help. I get to share with you.”

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Why is the Children’s Miracle Networks Hospitals an organization you’re passionate about?

“I have three kids [Camden, almost 10; Brooklyn, 7 ½; and Phoenix, 5 ½], and I’ve been to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Honolulu when I had two scares with my oldest son. It was incredible to see the care firsthand and know it’s helping children with much more serious problems than I did.”

How do you go about vetting partnerships that speak to your values?

“I’m not only a woman, but also a minority woman, and a mother of three, and in a position to make a change, which will hopefully cause a ripple effect to encourage people to do the same. When I spoke to my team, I continued talking about organizations supporting families, specifically children. And, even more specifically, children in the military because that is who I am and was. Of course, I would love to help every organization, but at the end of the day, I feel my worth is better if I focus on a few that are organic to my heart and family.”

Have you ever turned down an opportunity because it didn’t align with your values?

“Yes. I always talk about it with my husband; I can’t do something that doesn’t speak to me. If I were to speak about something that isn't true to me, I would feel like I was lying to all of them. We’ve gotten opportunities, and I just say, ‘I’m sorry; I can’t fake this.’ I understand why they want someone like me or Nick [Lachey] because of the notoriety of the shows we’re doing. But, again, if it’s not something that aligns with my values and my family, I will say no.”

Well, part of this campaign is about treating yourself. As a mom, that can be a struggle. How do you practice self-care and treat yourself?

“You have to force it. For example, I am right now in Los Angeles, and I was supposed to fly out today on a late flight, get in at midnight and then go to work at 5 a.m. So I would have had four hours of sleep. I said to Nick, ‘I don’t think that’s going to be good for me, my work, you or the kids. So if you’re O.K. with it, I would love to go on Monday and get in at midnight on that same flight. Then I have Tuesday; I can do the press I need to do. And then I have a day to relax and go to sleep at a decent time, get room service and fill my cup 100%.’ He said, ‘Absolutely.’ It’s about knowing that you’re not being selfish.”

That mom guilt can be intense!

“I think for the longest time, that word—selfish—makes us think of something negative. But it’s not selfish to take a minute to yourself. It’s more detrimental to plow through it and be short with everyone.”

Are there ways you practice self-care daily?

“Yes, it doesn’t always have to be flying somewhere a day ahead. Like just staying in my room in the morning. I text Nick, and I say, ‘Are you O.K. out there?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, the kids are eating breakfast. They’re fine.’ And if they don’t know I’m up, I stay there for about 15 or 20 minutes and start my day calmly. A big part of it is my spouse, but it’s also knowing that you’re not being selfish.”