Her own reality show, Mel B: It's a Scary World, premiered in the US this week
ParentDish caught up with the mother of Angel, three, and Phoenix, 11, and stepmother of Giselle, six, to talk family life, dancing and, you guessed it, Spice Girls.
Parentdish: What can viewers expect from your reality show?
Melanie B: It follows me in the studio, the kids and all the drama that goes on between my three girls. I have a 3-year-old, a 6-year-old stepdaughter and an 11-year-old, so you can see the whole dynamics between me and my husband, Stephen (Belafonte, a movie producer), and work and the kids. We don't have a nanny or an assistant. We're very hands on and full on and we've got a pretty flourishing career, whether it be sorting out my clothing line, Catty Couture, or getting back into the studio to record my CD or my fitness video. It's everything.
PD: How do you do everything without a nanny?
MB: I do everything while the kids are in school. The kids go to school at 8 and get picked up around 3:30 or 4, so we do a whole juggling act and sometimes we get it a little bit wrong, sometimes we're late and sometimes me and my husband get stressed out with each other. Though, overall, I'd say we're the modern blended family. We're very outspoken, we communicate with each other, we're fun, we're sassy, we're sexy. It's fun all the way around. It can be stressful at times, but that's part of a family.
PD: Do you still speak to the other Spice Girls?
MB: Of course. We've been tweeting each other all day long. We all go to each other for different things. If I want advice on fashion and business, I'll go to Victoria. If I want advice on my latest fitness DVD, I'll go to Mel C. If I want to talk about kids and girly stuff, I'll go to Emma. Me and Geri have spent many holidays together in the past. We're all close in different ways.
PD: How would you describe your family life?
MB: It's very structured. We all sit down for dinner at 6:15. My husband cooks all the time. We're very open, we communicate a lot. I think the most important thing when you have kids is laying down rules, teaching them to respect the value of money, they have chores, they tidy their rooms.
I grew up with not very much. I learned to appreciate things from a very early age. My parents were constantly working, so they set the example to me that if you want money you have to work and that's what I've instilled in my kids. My 11-year-old has a dog-walking company from our street that she started two months ago. We have a dog and one of her chores is to walk the dog after school and she had an idea that if she was walking our dog anyway, why not ask the neighbors if they want their dogs walked.
PD: Your 3-year-old daughter Angel's biological father is Eddie Murphy, who originally denied paternity.
MB: I kind of put myself in a bubble. I had my mum come and live with me. I moved to the beach and I just enjoyed my pregnancy. I just made the most of it. When she was born she was so amazingly beautiful. Phoenix, my oldest daughter, was in the delivery room with me. Things weren't ideal, but I don't like to dwell on things like that. I just deal with it and then keep moving and hope for the best.
PD: Does he have a relationship with her?
MB: Yeah. They've started to see each other a little bit this year, which has been really nice.
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