To Amy Robach, her seven-year marriage to Andrew Shue is straight out of Hollywood. With his sons, Nate, 20, Aidan, 18, and Wyatt, 13, and her daughters, Ava, 14, and Annalise, 11, “we’ve been described as the Brady Bunch,” the Good Morning America coanchor, 44, exclusively tells Us Weekly of their clan. (They’ve dubbed themselves “the Shuebachs”.)
The only difference: “We don’t have an Alice,” she jokes. “That’s my biggest complaint.” Chimes in the Melrose Place alum, 50, “She does everything! The other night it was 10 o’clock and she was folding laundry.”
The NYC-based couple share more.
Us Weekly: How do you handle the roles of stepmom and stepdad?
Andrew Shue: We’re very aware that we’re like the cool aunt or uncle. We never want to take the place of their parents.
Amy Robach: We’re mentors who guide them and love them. My daughters have a stepmother with their father, and I look at it like, there are more people who love my kids.
AS: There are times when the girls come to me and say, “OK, you can’t tell Mom . . .”
AR: It’s about math homework!
Us: Did you have to adapt to each other’s parenting styles?
AS: Well, I had to really tutor Amy.
AR: He’s being funny! I was raised in a strict, Catholic household. Andrew had a hands-off approach. So our styles were definitely in conflict. For the first few years, that was the biggest issue for us.
AS: I bent more toward Amy’s side.
AR: He came over 90 percent and I came over 10 percent.
AS: Definitely 80-20!
Us: How is parenting boys different from girls and vise versa?
AR: Boys smell. I’ve been the hygiene police, staying on top of showers and things like that. But there’s a sweetness that I get from the boys that I don’t get from my daughters, funny enough. It’s really nice to see them turn into gentlemen. Wyatt will open the door and ask, ‘Amy, can I take that from you?’ My daughters are throwing their backpacks on me. [Laughs]
AS: Amy’s daughter’s are strong-willed women. I was like, ‘Oh, they’re never going to fight,’ but their feisty and I like that. They’re always challenging me. I remember the first time I met Ava, she challenged me to a race. It’s not quintessential like, ‘We’re going to go do girl things.’ It’s been nice to have both sides.
AR: And the girls might be less messy but they certainly are louder. There’s lots of singing.
AS: I appreciate it! I try to enjoy the noise because when the kids are gone and it’s silent, you really miss the noise.
Us: At what age did your kids realize, ‘My mom or my dad is kind of a big deal?’
AR: [Laughs] I don’t think they’ve thought about it that much. The beautiful thing about kids is that they’re the center of their own universe. Ava and Annie will call me while I’m doing my newscast. I’m like, ‘Guys, I’m a little busy between the hours of 7 and 9.’ For them, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. It’s exciting but I also think it’s a slight burden because you don’t want to be treated any differently.
AS: My older boys were 9 or 10 when somebody said something at school. They were asking me, ‘What’s Melrose Place?’ I was like, ‘Uhh…’ I agree with Amy. It’s fun but challenging because your kids don’t want to be known for that.
Us: What are your Father’s Day plans?
AS: Amy always makes sure I’m with the boys, especially now that Nate is over in California.
AR: I gift airline miles to get everybody back together.
AS: We’ll be fishing in Montana!
Us: Favorite family tradition?
AS: At least five nights a week we sit down for dinner together. And we spend one-on-one time with each kid. It really changes the relationship. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it’s rewarding.
AR: We spend money on experiences and not material things. Those things can get forgotten about. Seeing a Broadway show with my girls for Christmas instead of getting them clothes turned out to be one of the most meaningful ways to spend my money and time. Memories can’t be broken or returned.
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