"We all put our big kid pants on and pretend to be nice ... and then go back to our corners of the universe and talk s--- about each other,” she shared
On the Aug. 28 episode of her podcast, Mina AF, which was recorded the week before her son Jack’s fifth birthday on Aug. 9., she shared that his party is usually a family event. But her family is “challenging,” she said, and she’d been going back and forth over whom she wanted to invite this year.
“Will it affect my kids?” asked Starsiak Hawk, who also has a daughter, 2-year-old Charlie, with husband Steve. “Will they even notice who’s here and who’s not here? There’s going to be a bunch of animals. That’s all they care about.”
She added, “Am I being true to myself and my husband by setting appropriate boundaries for certain people to be here or not be here?”
Mina then described the “current state of affairs.”
“My mom and I aren’t in a great place,” she said. “My brother Tad and I aren’t in a great place. My brother William and I are in a kind of like nonexistent place. It’s complicated without even being complicated. We don’t really engage much and the last engagement wasn’t super positive, and that was maybe a year ago.”
“We all always coexist,” she continued. “We went on family vacation together and everyone is pleasant enough around each other. And is that the good thing, the right thing, or is that all just being wildly dysfunctional?”
Mina said the guests she’d already invited to Jack’s party were her friends with kids, who see her children regularly.
“Not only do my mom and my two brothers not fall into that category of being involved in their life on a regular basis, we’re also not on good terms,” she said.
Mina noted that her family members likely feel that there are valid reasons they’re not as involved in her kids’ lives, and she’s made it clear to her mother Karen that her grandchildren are never “off limits” to spend time with.
Her brother Tad is “in a different place in his life” since he doesn’t have children. The kids know him as "the uncle that’s at Thanksgiving at my dad’s house.”
“We all come together for the things that are important to my dad,” she said. “So we all go on family vacation and kind of deal with whatever weird awkwardness is happening at the time. And we all act nice and like normal adult humans, because this is an important thing for a handful of different people. I think at the top of that list is my dad.”
“Whenever there’s an event, we all put our big kid pants on and pretend to be nice to each other and do the event, and then go back to our corners of the universe and talk s--- about each other,” she said. “And I just don’t want to do that. Because that doesn’t feel genuine. It doesn’t feel real. And it’s just not what I want my life to be.”
Mina also mulled whether to tell the family members about the party if she chose not to invite them.
“Having to say ‘This is why you’re not invited' opens up a line of communication to discuss that, and I really don’t want to do that,” she said. “That sounds exhausting right now. So again, I fall back to ‘Do I just invite everyone because it’s the path of least resistance?’ But it’s what we’ve all always done and it hasn’t gotten us anywhere better.”
While she didn’t reveal what she ultimately decided, Mina concluded that it made sense to make a decision that would be uncomfortable, “because it’s going to change something.”
“I do know if we all keep doing the same thing, it’s going to keep being the same,” she said. “And I don’t think any of us are happy with it being the same.”
An Aug. 12, Mina shared a sweet carousel of photos from Jack's birthday on Instagram. The snaps showed the adorable 5-year-old blowing out candles on a cupcake and meeting various animals alongside the other children who attended.
“It’s the end of an era,” she said on the Aug. 7 episode of Mina AF. “I mean, I had to say goodbye to some people today that I have spent my last almost 10 years with.”
“Something I’m super, super proud of, and really grateful to the network for, is making a show for the last eight years that, for the huge majority of the time, has been super representative of who I am, who the boys are, what we’re doing, and it was really important to me from the beginning to do that,” she added.
She noted, however, “The end of anything is just hard.”
Mina AF is available to stream now.
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