Jessica Alba on Back-to-School, Supporting the Latinx Community & Meditation Music

Jessica Alba and her family

Jessica Alba

You might know Jessica Alba for her acting career—she starred in Sin City, Fantastic Four, and other blockbusters—or for her billion-dollar beauty and baby company, The Honest Company. Alba and her husband, Cash Warren (a television and film producer) are the parents of 13-year-old, Honor; 10-year old, Haven; and three-year-old, Hayes.

Alba is beloved for her laid-back, candid social media posts, which she shares with her 19.2 million followers on Instagram and her 7.4 million followers on TikTok. There, you can find her doing unboxings with her kids, dancing with Zac Effron, and keeping it real in myriad other ways. She's not afraid to post videos that are unedited or to embarrass her oldest in the process. Despite having been in glamorous magazine spreads and on the big screen, Alba is relatable.

As a parent, Alba tries to have a balance between a relaxed approach and structure. She admits that her parenting style isn't perfect—but no one's is. The Hollywood darling is like most parents—just trying to navigate it all. “There really isn’t a handbook to break it all down for you,” she says.  

In our exclusive interview, Alba talks back-to-school routines, meditation music, and what characteristics she hopes she instills in her children.

Verywell Family: Routines are important to any parent, but we heard you love them. How do you implement your family’s routine? 

Jessica Alba: Getting back to school is really for us the excuse to really get back into the routine. Ever since the kids were babies, we always have had a pretty regimented sort of nighttime routine. Bathtime is a super important ritual in our house for the kids—and for me. As the girls are winding down the summer and ready to go back to school in a couple of weeks, it's really about getting back in that zone. We put away the electronics, and maybe take a bath and put on calming music. We have [The Honest Company’s] lavender-scented lotion and bubble baths. From a scent profile, they just sort of get you in the zone to wind it down. 

In the morning, the way I like to get out the door, my ritual is to take my clothes out the night before and have everything I need in my backpack or bag. Keys, hand sanitizer, wallet—whatever we need for the day. For the kids, I make sure they have their homework, their books or their laptop, their [hand] sanitizer, and masks. So, we’re not running around the house in the morning when everyone is tired. We’re prepared. 

VWF: If your kids get off of their routine, how do you help them get back on it? 

JA: What's nice is that you get the gift of tomorrow. You just start all over and hit a reset button. Not every day is going to be 100%, and you just kind of have to remind yourself that you do have another chance tomorrow to make it better. I go through that [off] day and recall the things I can do a little bit differently, or think about how I would have handled a situation and how it could get better. I try and just stay [calm] through that, and I don’t get too dramatic. 

VWF: And with three kids! That’s no easy feat. 

JA: A lot of parenting stuff has a lot to do with your own stuff. My parents weren't very regimented. They didn't have a lot of routines, and they weren't really that strict. So me having any routine was already 100% different than how I was raised. I find that the more out of control my life feels, with my career or my relationship, the more I try to overly control the parenting stuff. 

You have to take a little bit of a laissez-faire approach to parenting because kids are not robots. They're not an Apple computer that's going to have an update every couple of months. 

Jessica Alba

Not every day is going to be 100%, and you just kind of have to remind yourself that you do have another chance tomorrow to make it better.

— Jessica Alba

VWF: How do you decompress? 

JA: I do like to take a bath and turn on like a calming playlist.  There are different types of new meditation playlists—there are high-frequency ones on Spotify for example. [The meditation music style] is called binaural beats and it puts you in a zone. It can be there in the background while you're taking a bath or reading or doing something hopefully off the device. That's the best for me. 

VWF: What has given you the confidence to say "one more kid," or "one more category of business?" How did you know you were ready? 

JA: My first two kids weren’t planned. I just [went] with the flow. I would say anything in life is all about preparation—to get ready for luck to turn in your favor. You can create your own good fortune and good luck through preparation. If people are going to close doors on you, resist, and put challenges up...nothing is easy, nothing is handed to anyone, nothing is an overnight success. You just have to relentlessly pursue it. And then when you do have those moments where you see a little crack to walk through or break through, you take it. That's just the entrepreneurial spirit.

When you do have those moments where you see a little crack to walk through or break through, you take it. That's just the entrepreneurial spirit.

VWF: Hispanic Heritage Month is this month. What do you want to teach your children about having Hispanic heritage? 

JA: My grandparents were born in the United States. On my dad's side, my great-grandfather was born in Mexico. I only grew up with my dad's family, and they're Mexican. It's like every day, we're celebrating. There's no, "this day is when we decide to acknowledge ourselves." It's every day. 

It's great that the rest of the world, or at least the United States acknowledges Latino people, the Latinx community. That's important, but I like to do Small Business Saturdays and Women Crush Wednesdays [on Instagram] where I acknowledge people in the Latinx community. I highlight businesses, people who have started their own businesses, influencers, authors, politicians—just different people who are making moves. 

We eat a lot of different types of Mexican food, too. There are many types of Mexican food, depending on what region. There is the interior, where you get different ingredients, versus the more coastal areas. I love all those flavor profiles. We eat a lot of Mexican from different regions, but we also eat every other kind of food. 

I am grateful that here in Los Angeles, there is exposure to so many different cultures and communities. My kids get to really experience different things every day, multiple times a day, which is awesome. 

VWF: What are some of the things you hope your children take away from their childhood?

JA: If they try hard at something and work towards something, then they're going to be able to reach a goal, whatever that goal may be. Self-awareness is really important. And them not being entitled is really important. I would love for them to be joyful and just feel like they have value in their life. 

When people walk around the world, and they feel like they're contributing to the world in some way—whether it's in someone's life or in their job or in their relationship—feeling valued, is important. I hope all of these things for them. 

VWF: You offer a lot of value to families through the partnership with Baby2Baby. Why is that partnership so important to you?  

JA: Being a parent, and knowing how difficult it is to try and survive—the day-to-day is hard enough when you have all the resources. There really isn't a handbook that breaks it all down for you. My kids are all very different. I parent very differently to all three of them because they process information differently, and they respond differently. 

With Baby2Baby, these parents are just struggling to provide those basic necessities. They don't have the time or the space to go beyond that. I just couldn't imagine not being able to give my baby a clean diaper or a safe place to sleep, or shoes that fit so they can go to school. Or a backpack. 

Baby2Baby really provides those basic essentials so that families don't have to choose between a clean diaper or a meal on the table. I was really excited about being able to incorporate a one for one [business model], so for every product that's bought from our line, we're donating a sanitizer to a child in need through Baby2Baby.

For every “Stay Safe” product purchased, Honest will donate one Honest Free & Clear Hand Sanitizer Spray to a kid in need, up to $1 million worth of hand sanitizers.

By Lauren Finney
Lauren is an experienced print and digital content creator with an extensive list of clients whom she has served through editorial consulting, content creation, branding, copywriting, native content, branded content, and more.