In the ring, WWE stars Maryse and Mike "The Miz" Mizanin are a force to be reckoned with. At home, however, it's the Miz & Mrs. stars' two young daughters, Monroe and Madison, who call the shots.
"It's nonstop mayhem," Mike, who first shot to fame as a cast member on 2001's The Real World: Back to New York and MTV's subsequent Challenge spin-offs, says of parenting.
Unsurprisingly, the girls — who are learning French in a nod to Maryse's Montreal roots — have inherited their parents' active, high-energy lifestyles. Here, the lively pair open up about safety rules, working out with their kids and their new #ReadyRipRoll campaign with Pampers Cruisers 360 FIT diapers (because "diaper changes feel like a wrestling match").
Who's the big diaper changer in your family?
Maryse: Oh wow, I think we both are.
Mike: We both are.
Maryse: But he's so good that I have to say, OK, I'm going to give it to [Mike] today [laughs].
Mike: First off, Pampers Cruisers 360 FIT is very easy to do. It's not like putting on a diaper; you literally just put it on and you go. it's not like, you know, putting the straps on and this, that and the other. You pull them up and you go. And, honestly, ripping them off, like, it's so easy. And then rolling them up and throwing them away? Cakewalk — no problems! But the thing is, our daughter Madison, she's 1 and a half. And let me tell you something, she's fast. She's really fast and she's athletic and she needs a diaper that she's comfortable in, and I need a diaper that I can change a real fast so she can get back to doing what she's doing because let's face it. These kids don't want to wait for you. They're not waiting. "I want to play. I'm playing right now."
Your older daughter is 3. Is she potty trained?
Mike: Oh yeah.
Any advice on that front for the other parents out there?
Maryse: Madison, my 1-and-a-half-year-old, is learning from my 3-year-old. She sees her going on the toilet, so she wants to imitate her. And when she goes on her own, we just make such a big celebration about it. And I think that also parents, when you go to the bathroom, this is a process. They watch and they learn and they want to repeat what they're watching [laughs].
Mike: The problem is, though, now that she's seeing our 3-year-old, our 1-and-a-half-year-old will be like, "Pee-pee?" and we'll go [shouts] "Ahh! Ahh! She's got to pee-pee! She's got to pee-pee!" And we grab her, we pick her up, we run into the bathroom, we put her down and she just sits there and she stares at us and we're staring at her like, "Ahh! Is she going to go? Is she going to go?" And then she goes [uses baby voice] "Done." And I'm like, "No, you didn't go. You've gotta go." I feel like she messes with us now because —
Maryse: She wants the celebration.
Mike: Yeah, she wants the celebration, but she doesn't want to do the work that we're looking for, but she doesn't understand that that's what we're looking for.
Maryse: As parents, you always think, yes, I've got this down. And then they are so smart, they come up with something else that's going to challenge you even more.
Mike: Kids are challenging. It's the hardest job I've ever had in my entire life, but it's the most rewarding.
How do your parenting styles differ? Is it good cop, bad cop, or are you teammates?
Mike: Well, I'm just an idiot [laughs].
Maryse: I think he's so much fun. Sometimes I look at my parenting, and we always try to entertain our kids, but you're just so [fun]. He always turns into all these characters and you're so loud...
Mike: When people think I'm loud and obnoxious, kids love it. So it's perfect for me. I can just be me, just have fun with them and the louder I am, the better they like it. So it's fun.
Maryse: He never gets tired. My kids are never exhausted. They always have that energy. "How is that even possible? How are you still going? It's 8 p.m."
Mike: Well, they're our kids, Of course they're like that... I get tired. I just don't show it.
Mike, what's your favorite part about being a girl dad?
Mike: Honestly, they're just so sweet. When I come home, I get the biggest, warmest hugs. Whether I'm gone for two minutes or five hours, when I come home, there's nothing better than seeing them run to me and go "Dada" and giving that warm, beautiful hug. Having tea parties, dressing them up as Disney characters, just playing like anything they want to play with.
Maryse: The cutest thing is when you do their hair.
Mike: I'm not going to lie — I'm not the greatest at it. I have to look up on YouTube how to do braids and how to do hair. And I am not good at it whatsoever, but I try. I give 100 percent each and every time when I'm doing their hair. I never had long hair before, so I never knew how to do a ponytail.
Maryse: [He'll do] ponytails that are completely offsides, like the hair is not combed. You do a combover [laughs].
Mike: The idea of a ponytail is to keep the hair out of their eyes. When I put a ponytail on them, their hair is out of the eyes. It might not look the best, but it does the job. And that's all I care about.
Being wrestlers obviously involves a lot of training and workout time. How do you as parents carve out that time?
Maryse: It's a struggle, especially trying to work out with the kids now.
Mike: We're athletes; we need to work out. That's part of our job, it's part of what we do. So whenever we work out now, we've gotten workout stuff for the kids. So literally, when Daddy and Mommy are working out with dumbbells, they'll do the same thing and they'll follow [along]. They're like sponges and anything. we do — like, if we're doing sit-ups and we don't even show them how to do it, all of a sudden they'll start doing sit-ups like Mommy and Daddy. It's very, very cute and adorable. Do they get in the way sometimes? Absolutely. But if you allow them to be part of it, then it makes it all worthwhile.
You're fun parents, but what's your dealbreaker in terms of hard and fast rules?
Mike: Safety first!
Maryse: No climbing on the highchairs or table, or jumping off furniture...
Mike: If you take your eye off the ball for like a second, they're doing something. You know they're doing something, they're getting into something. Our 1-and-a-half-year-old likes to poke the bear, if you will. And so if my 3-year-old is playing with something, my 1-and-a-half-year-old will run, grab it and start running. My 3-year-old wants it back, so she starts running and I'm like, "Don't push her! Please don't push her!" It's nonstop mayhem, but it's the best mayhem you possibly could want.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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