Kylie Kelce on the importance of asking for support as a parent: 'When you are afraid to ask for help ... you end up on your last leg too often'

Kylie Kelce and her husband, NFL star Jason Kelce, smile for a photo.
Kylie Kelce opens up about raising three daughters with NFL star Jason Kelce. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photo: Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Whether she’s wrangling her three daughters, devoting her time to philanthropy or cheering on her husband, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce,— who just announced his NFL retirement Kylie Kelce is mindful that she also needs to slow down and take moments for herself. Speaking to Yahoo Life in February, the mom of three says, "I am so, so grateful to be a mother, but I think that sometimes you can get lost in that becoming your only identity. And I think because of that, [it’s important] to do things by yourself where you are not just at the beck and call of the tiny humans who always have a demand.”

Moments like these are “important for your physical and mental well-being,” Kelce adds. “I know that there’s this huge association [between taking time for yourself] and mom guilt, but I try to take those moments and make it a point to not feel guilty about them. Because I think that you need to stay grounded in yourself and that you need to still have the ability to be an individual and be yourself, independent of being a mom.”

That’s one of the reasons Kelce partnered with premium chocolate maker Lindt. The brand debuted its first Super Bowl ad during Super Bowl LVIII, at which her brother-in-law, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, scored his third championship ring. One of her favorite ways to wind down and take time for herself actually involves the brand’s Lindor truffles. “When we put our girls [Wyatt, 4, Elliotte, 2, and Bennett, 11 months] to bed, I will often grab a couple Lindor truffles and bring them to the couch with me,” says Kelce. “I take that moment to eat one [and say], ‘You know what? We made it through the day. Everyone is in their beds, tucked in safe and sound.’ That is one of the ways that I indulge.”

Kelce also loves to go and get a coffee on her own. “No one yelling, ‘Mom!’ at me, no one demanding chocolate milk, juice boxes. No one yelling, ‘Do they have cake pops?’ It’s just me and a coffee, whatever music I want to listen to. So I usually start the day with a solo coffee run, and then end the day with a Lindor truffle, and it is the perfect balance.”

Even with these valuable time-outs, Kelce admits that it’s been a lot to go from two kids to three. “I would love to say that it’s become more chaotic, but I just think we’ve always been chaos,” she laughs. “Jason and I are not tidy people. We’re both chaotic in the way that we live in the house. Even when we got married, it was already chaotic. And then, we just added a little more. But I will say [with] three, I think the only difference is that I don’t have enough hands to grab everyone.”

And one of the greatest challenges is when any of the girls is “having big feelings.” “With two, it was like, if someone’s having big feelings, I can turn to the other one and say, like, ‘Hey, Mom is helping So-and-So right now. I will help you when I’m done helping this person,’” she shares. “Now, you turn around, and it’s like, one is whining, one is hanging off of the couch sideways and you’re like, ‘But this one’s losing her mind.’ Those are the most difficult moments right now, where everything sort of starts crumbling.” Instances like these might also involve a “domino effect” among her kids. “Once one is crying, it usually sets off another and then the third is just like, ‘Well, I guess we’re all crying now,’” she explains. “So it’s interesting to say the least.”

At times when she feels spread a bit too thin, Kelce’s grateful for Jason having her back. “One of the most fun developments of marriage is that we have moved into how we vibe as a team in parenting,” she notes. “There are times where I have to call him in like a substitute, like, ‘Hey, I need you to tap in on this one,’ because he will come in with a more levelheaded approach. And vice versa. If there are moments where he’s like, ‘This needs to stop,’ I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll flex in here.’ It’s funny now that we’re in the offseason and he’s around a little bit more, it’s happening even more frequently, where it’s a fluid motion.”

It’s clear that partnering in this way benefits the girls too. “If I leave the room for five to 10 minutes for a mom break, and I come back, it’s usually like nothing ever happened,” says Kelce. “Everyone’s happy. They’re reading books. And I’m like, ‘We both needed this.’”

Kelce is also grateful that she and Jason can lean on their parents, friends and babysitter for backup. “My parents live 10 minutes from us, because I grew up in the area,” she explains. “So we have them come over, especially on weekends, because they still both work full-time. My mom will bring arts and crafts, they’ll bring baked goods in the morning. When my mother-in-law comes in town, she will read them books until we don’t have any books left in the bookshelf. And that is saying something, because we have more books than you can imagine. We have an outstanding babysitter who we’ve had for almost three years now. We have great, trusted people around us that we’re not afraid to ask for help. We really lucked out with our village.”

And, as a parent, asking for an extra hand is so important, Kelce has learned. “When you are afraid to ask for help, and you don’t have that support, I think that you end up on your last leg too often,” she says. “And then you can have a shorter fuse, and you can be more stressed, and I think that kids feed off of that.”

And when she’s noticed that she does have a shorter fuse, Kelce will call her mom. “My mom is one of the best people I’ve ever met in the whole world,” she says, explaining that she’ll often call her to detail a stressful parenting experience. “And she’ll be like, ‘Yes, but she’s 4.’ And I’m like, ‘Yes, she’s 4. That’s what I needed to be reminded of.’ I know for a fact I could not do motherhood without my mom and the support of my mom and dad.”

Ultimately, she says, “I just hope that I can be a mom for our girls in a way that my mom was for me.”

This article was originally published on Feb. 12, 2024 and has been updated.