When she was 21, Niki Taylor became the first supermodel to grace six magazine covers in just one month. Now, at 38, Taylor is a mom of four to identical twins Jake and Hunter, 18; Ciel, 4; and Rex, 17 months. She’s also a philanthropist, and on April 27th she’ll be kicking off the March of Dimes’ annual March for Babies in Miami. We caught up with the superstar mom to chat about motherhood, modeling and her proudest parenting moment.
How did you get involved with the March of Dimes?
Their mission is to improve the health of all babies, and I’m a mom of four healthy children. It’s my responsibility now as a mom to help out in any way that I can.
What’s best parenting advice that you’ve ever received?
I think it’s a process -- there really is no book or guide. As soon as that baby is born all the books and everything kind of go out the window.
Do you have any tips from your own experience with your kids?
I think the biggest one is that I just love them. I’m always trying to encourage them, and to get them to try again. It’s so important as a mom or dad just to be there and to give attention, and that attention is not being on the cell phone. It’s being in their face and having a conversation with them, and just always being in their grill – that’s what I say in our house just so they know that we’re always here, and that they can come to us and ask us what we think.
Do you and your husband (former NASCAR driver Burney Lamar) plan to have any more kids?
I would like more kids. Burney says no just ‘cause it’s busy right now with four kids. But you just never know. He says it’s getting expensive, but I’m like, ‘Oh come on, just one more. Don’t you want to have one more?’ Just ‘cause it’s a lot of fun. I’m enjoying it now because I don’t have to be on a runway or at a photo shoot like I did back in my twenties.
Has modeling taught you anything about being a mom?
Yeah, I think modeling taught me from a young age to be responsible, and to be on time and early for things.
If your daughter Ciel ever asks if she should go into modeling, would you tell her to go for it?
Oh, absolutely. Of course I would be with her. She would not be able to go alone to anything, even if she’s in her twenties. Our poor daughter [Laughs]. She’s not going to be allowed to do anything until she’s in her thirties. Her daddy will agree with me on that too.
Who’s the disciplinarian in the family?
We both are, even though I am definitely more the dreamer and the artist, and he’s the realist and the student. Our kids have to have manners and be respectful. They have to do chores and work for things.
What’s your proudest moment as a mom?
I think every year we’re like ‘Wooh! We made it another year!’ I think that each year and all the little milestones that you go through are accomplishments. Jake and Hunter made it to 18, they’re driving, they both have jobs and they’re healthy. They’re good boys. That’s all I can ask for.
You were in a very serious car accident in 2001. How did it affect you as a parent?
The boys were about six when I got into my accident. And I remember being in the ICU, and they didn’t allow kids in under 10. So I had to wait until I got out of the ICU. I didn’t see them for almost three months. And my mom had put pictures of them on my ceiling because I couldn’t walk yet or anything, and that’s what kept me going -- seeing my boys and knowing that I had to get back to them.