Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt shares the biggest surprise of motherhood.

By Caroline Tell | Photos by Ashley Barrett

The Los Angeles-based mom has her hands full. In addition to daughters Lyla, 2, and Eloise, 8 months, Pratt’s hitting the road with her latest book, Good Night, Sister, which celebrates the bond between sisters and is inspired by her own relationship with sister, Christina. Now that’s she got her girl gang with husband and actor, Chris Pratt, plus stepson Jack, 10, Pratt’s juggling all kinds of joy left and right. We caught up with the do-it-all mom on her press tour in New York to talk day-to-day life, going from one child to two, and why workout clothes is actually an all day wardrobe.

How’s life with two?

I just got to New York yesterday, and I brought both girls with me. Time change is a real thing. So that’s been interesting, but it’s going really well. I’m here talking about a subject that’s fun, exciting and special. So I think that makes this whole experience really fun. It’s a happy subject. So it’s all good.

How’s your day-to-day? Did anything surprise you about going from one child to two?

I don’t know if it’s because I’m the oldest in my family, but I always heard that going from one to two is the biggest, craziest jump. I didn’t feel that. The only time I feel a big difference is when they both wake up in the middle of the night. That’s when I’m like, oh, wow, this is a lot. But I feel like one to two – as far as being overwhelming – wasn’t as big of an adjustment. I would say the sleep is definitely an adjustment.

If I had to talk about the biggest surprise with motherhood, or becoming a parent, it would really be the amount of time I find myself reflecting on my own childhood. Sure, I expected to have moments where I would dress my daughter in the same dress I used to wear, or those kinds of things that would trigger being nostalgic for my childhood. But I feel like I’m often sitting in a rocking chair with one of my girls and reminiscing on so many memories and so many instances of being a little kid, and that’s really how this book came to be. I was reflecting on these memories that were shared with my sister, Christina, because we’re so close in age. I wanted to write a book to honor and celebrate that.

I love that. How did you prepare your older one for the birth?

It’s funny because my older daughter, Lyla was so young. They’re only 20 months apart. So when my belly started to pop, she didn’t actually ask me anything about it. My sister was talking to her about how there’s a baby in mommy’s tummy. She would try to prep my daughter, but conveniently, Lyla started playing with baby dolls a few months before I had Eloise. So she was really into babies and putting them in a carrier, or in a stroller and walking around the house. So that worked out really well in the sense that when I brought Eloise home from the hospital and brought Lyla down to meet her for the first time, I think she was like, I cannot believe I have a real one of these babies!

It was it was much more of an exciting moment for her to be like, oh my gosh, this is moving and it’s real and I get to play with it. We haven’t hit any of the jealous moments or the fighting over a doll or fighting over a hair clip, like my sister and I used to. So when when that comes, I’ll circle back with you.

How has your postpartum been? Any sort of self care or wellness regimen?

Well, the this postpartum experience has been dramatically different. I would say that was the biggest difference in going from one to two. I look back on my postpartum with my first, and it was like a spa retreat compared to my postpartum with my second. Just because with two, you’re still doing all the normal things, like breastfeeding, caring for yourself, healing, dealing with the hormones – all of that. And then on top of that, you’re caring for and running after a toddler. You want to give them the attention they’re used to and that they need. So it’s a lot more to balance.

I think, naturally, as new moms who are experiencing the jump from one to two, or I would imagine even two to three, whenever you add on another child, you feel this instant guilt of not spending enough time with your other child and want to give them the same attention that you used to. But the reality is that you can’t do that all the time. So it’s a constant juggle of wanting to settle in and embrace this addition to your family, and also wanting to make sure that your other child or children feel the same amount of attention and love. So I feel like that was probably the biggest adjustment – dealing with this additional balance that didn’t exist before.

How would you describe your style these days? Did any clothing make it easier to function postpartum?

I never understood how my mom would be in workout clothes hours after her workout. I definitely resonate with that now. Now, I’ll finish going on a walk or doing something for myself, and I used to go right away to shower and change. Now I need to quickly go make another coffee and go on with my day. So I definitely feel a difference in my mornings and that routine, but it’s all good.

What do you hope readers and families will get out of Good Night, Sister?

My hope is that this book will become part of people’s bedtime routines, and that they will feel the joy and the celebration of sisterhood when reading this book. Also, it’s the awareness that you don’t have to have a sister to have that bond or relationship. There can be someone in your life that you can turn to or lean on, to get strength from and that’s really what this book is all about. It’s celebrating that relationship and that bond, which for me happened to be with my sister. Even though she was younger, I leaned on her as the oldest. She allowed me to feel brave and allowed me to feel courageous. She was always the bolder and braver one, and I was much more shy and reserved. This book is celebrating that dynamic and all relationships, whether it’s with a sister, a friend, a cousin, or a parent.

I think even as we get older, being able to have that person in our life that we can turn to to allow us to feel stronger and braver is such a huge gift. So, with this book, I hope people see that and see themselves in these characters. I hope they feel excited about having a sister and also excited about finding that relationship with someone who might not be that their sister.