Daphne Oz Opens Up About Being 'Mom-Shamed' & More

tea simon
Michael Simon

Daphne Oz always has a doctor on call for her kids. Well, in general. Afterall, her dad is the famous Dr. Oz. But the 31-year-old is more than the famous doc's daughter. She's a hardworking television host, an author, a chef, a wife, and a mom of two (with another baby on the way). She's also a stong proponent of healthy living and natural foods and beverages. "I'm all about quality, authenticity, flavor, and great taste in my food. To me, having that in my drinks should be no different," says Oz. 

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Fittingly, we caught up with her at the opening of Pure Leaf Tea House in SoHo, New York City, where Oz was sipping her favorites. "I really love the Iced Big Apple Matcha that's made with apple, ginger, lime, and Matcha tea," she gushed. "I'm also obsessed with the Golden Chai! The mixologists literally crush fresh ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon right in front of you to make this glorious drink. That to me is our own tea ritual -- so many cultures have this wonderful time to pause, make yourself a cup of tea, and just sit for a second." 

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Needless to say, we're so on board with a relaxing ritual. Read on for our one-on-one with the Princeton University and National Gourmet Institute graduate about her kids, being shamed by other moms, and things she misses from her days before motherhood.

You have two kids, and one on the way! What milestones have Philomena and Jovan "John" reached recently?

Oh wow, there are so many! Philo is 3½, and I feel like I get to see a new side of her development into a little adult every day. She's obsessed with The Wizard of Oz right now, and I find myself repeating the story over and over again because she really wants to understand every little part of the story -- like the motivation of the Wicked Witch and why she's stealing the ruby slippers, and Toto too! She's so funny. When we told her we were having a baby girl and she'd be arriving around Christmas, like a present for the whole family, she goes, "Oh man, I was really hoping for a dinosaur." It broke my heart, but it was so funny and sincere.

John is almost 20 months, and his humor is getting to the point where he just likes to rip you! He gets on the coffee table and bounces around just because he knows it terrifies me, all the while giving me this adorable grin that I could never be mad at -- but he's doing it to torture me!

It's fascinating to watch their psyches develop, and there's something new and hysterical every day. I especially love watching them as siblings -- seeing them interact is amazing.

What are their personalities like? Who takes after Mom and who takes after Dad? 

My husband is very particular, and so is my son -- he wants things his way or the highway. My daughter sleeps with her hair over her face and is groggy for the first half hour of the day, and you really shouldn’t bother her for those first 30 minutes. She definitely gets that from me! Philo is also super active like my husband while my son is a little cuddlier, like me.

They are picking things up from us all day, every day. Also, my daughter looks a lot like my husband and my son looks a lot like me, so we share them in every way.

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What are their favorite TV shows? 

John really loves Caillou and Philo likes PJ Masks. They both love Shimmer and Shine, and of course, Dora the Explorer comes and goes as a favorite. They love Moana -- we're a big Moana house.

TV is an interesting thing. Sometimes you need it on to get whatever you need done, done -- especially if I'm putting John to sleep and need Philo to stay in one place for a few minutes. We try not to have it on all day long in the house, so, for them, watching anything on TV is heaven! 

My son really loves music and listening to singing of any kind -- including mine, which is shocking!

What's your dad -- Dr. Oz -- like as a grandpa? Does he spoil his grandkids? 

My parents are both so wonderful with my kids. My dad was such a playful father with us, and it broke his heart when we all grew out of wanting bedtime stories and whatnot. He really relishes getting to do it all again my kids and is the most playful grandfather in the world. He's always in the pool with them, building sandcastles and setting up fun treasure hunts with toy eggs and golden rocks wherever we go. It's magic for them, and these are memories they're going to hold on to forever. My mom gives my kids tons of makeup -- she's the reason Philo always has pink eye shadow and blue blush!

What kind of parenting advice has your dad given you?

My parents have always encouraged me to understand that your kids are not you. You may have brought them into this world, but they have their own idiosyncrasies and special characteristics that make them their own little people. Your job as a parent is to let those traits flourish.

You also have to realize that parenting is supposed to be fun! It's not supposed to be hard work, always. These days we have a tendency to want everything to be perfect, and while we care so much and are passionate about doing the best things imaginable for our kids, we really stress ourselves out as parents. I try to embrace the silliness, and really let them be kids. 

How has your life changed since you became a mom? 

All kinds of ways! I had a babysitter one night recently and we went out to dinner -- it was around 9 p.m., and I was thinking to myself that I had to get home to the kids, then realized that wasn't the case and I could leisurely enjoy the rest of my meal.

I think time management is the biggest thing that changes. All of the sudden, every minute you spend answering emails, getting your hair done, or seeing friends, you could be spending with your kids. Everything has a trade-off. With my first baby, guilt kept creeping in all the time. Now that I've talked myself out of that and realize that guilt should have no role to play in the wonderful, challenging experience that is parenting, I have been able to separate things out a little bit more. It's really important for me to invest in my relationship with my husband, and still have time for my friends, and have a career that I love. At the same time, when I'm with my kids, I am 100 percent with them and I don't feel any obligation to be anywhere else. Some days I'm an A mom, a B wife, a C friend, and D employee, and the next day it could all be topsy-turvy -- that reprioritizing and ability to recalibrate every day is important, and it's okay!

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Being a mom is amazing -- and there are so many positives. Is there anything you miss about life before children?

The only thing I really miss are those leisurely Saturday mornings -- sleeping in until 9 or 10, going to the farmers' market, spending hours picking out recipes you're going to make, cooking all day, having friends over. I miss that total self-direction of your day, but so rarely and so infrequently because the trade-off is so worth it.  

Do you have names picked out for the baby on the way? 

Philo thinks we should name her Sugar, so we're calling her Sugar for now, and we'll see if that sticks! I'm so excited to be having a baby girl. We didn't find out Philo was a girl until after she was born, and I dressed her in a lot of comfort clothes. I've since discovered that dressing a little girl is so much fun, and now I have so much saved from Philo to dress little Sugar in. 

What's your best advice for moms who are super busy but want to maintain healthy lifestyles? 

Really and truthfully, you need to remember that you're still you. You still get to be a woman and love the things you used to love. Though those things do go lower on your list of priorities when you have kids, you don't have to put your life on hold for 20 years. I don't think it makes you happier to do that, and I don't think it makes your kids happier to do that. 

Hold on to this idea that you can have it all, you just can't have it all at once. Trust yourself to know where you want to invest your time, be easy on yourself, realize that motherhood is a work in progress and that your kids don't come with a book of instructions, and I think you'll have a really good time with it.

Have you ever been shamed by other moms? What was it for, and what was your response?

I've been shamed by other moms for all kinds of things. Once you can see that most people are just trying to be helpful, whether or not you choose to take their advice is up to you. Maybe because this is my third child, I trust myself more -- but am still learning every day!

My audience teaches me about amazing new learning toys and clothing brands all the time. I asked them recently about the best toys to distract my kids on a long plane trip and got the most wonderful answers. To me, that crowdsourcing of ideas and products is worth any mommy shaming that happens. 

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