We’re always on the hunt for the next great bedtime routine. In our Sleeping With… series, we ask people from different career paths, backgrounds, and stages of life how they make sleep magic happen.
We have Kristin Davis to thank for some of Sex and the City’s most laughable, cringe-worthy, and relatable moments. Davis, who played endearing socialite and gallerist Charlotte York for all six seasons of the show (and two feature films thereafter), immortalized lines like “I’m nice. I’m pretty and smart. I’m a catch!” and “Maybe we can be each other’s soulmates?”
Though the show has long since ended, Davis’s legacy lives on: In the Internet age, her character has widely resurfaced, but this time as “Woke Charlotte,” a meme by the popular Instagram account @everyoutfitonsatc (for great examples, see here and here). In January, HBO Max confirmed a revival of the show, titled And Just Like That, is set to begin shooting in late spring 2021 with Davis reprising her role as Charlotte, alongside former costars Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon. Most recently, Davis hosted Labor of Love, a dating game show that premiered on Fox last spring, and starred in Deadly Illusions, an erotic psychological thriller that was released on Netflix March 18.
Davis lives with her two children, Gemma, 9, and Wilson, 2. “Lately, there’s a lot going on, so I feel kind of emotional,” Davis tells SELF of parenting in a pandemic. Her daughter is currently distance-learning, which has been difficult to navigate. And Davis’ me-time comes infrequently, if at all—usually, she falls asleep in bed with her daughter.
Currently, Davis is partnering with Dupixent, an eczema biologic suitable for children, after dealing with her own child’s atopic dermatitis diagnosis—commonly known as eczema—for years. “When there is a flare up, you’re just so frustrated and sad that you can’t fix it for your child,” she says. “People didn’t understand really that it was a major disease. And for us, it was. It’s not just a little itch or something. It’s not just a little dry skin—at least it wasn’t for us. So that’s also why I like talking about it, for other parents out there who may be trying to deal with it and doing all the different things that they hear might work.”
Below, Davis walks us through her bedtime routine, including the books her daughter loves, how she handles attending to two kids at once, and the low-maintenance wellness habits she does before bed.
Since I have a little one and then the older one, I put the little one to bed first.
My older one is either listening to music or I let her watch one show. She’s currently into horses, so she gets to watch one episode of Spirit, this horse show, while I’m putting [my son] to bed, and then I put her to bed. That’s the good thing about having different ages.
I know people who have single children who are like, “Oh, you’re so lucky you have two.” And I’m like, “Well yes, that’s true, unless they’re tired of each other.” Occasionally, they want independent time but there’s only one of me.
[My son] is to this point where he’s like, “Mommy, where are you going to go?” And I say to him, “I’m going to go put Gemma to bed.” He’s like, “Why?” Last night he said to me, “Mommy, I’m ready for you to put me in the crib.” And I was like, “Okay.” He said, “The crib is very comfy.” And I said, “Yes.” He said, “Why?” And I said, “Because the crib is made for sleeping. It’s a good thing.” And he was like, “But why?” I mean, they’re just so funny.
So anyway, I put him to bed, and it goes pretty smoothly. Knock on wood. We read and we sing before bed and then we rock.
Then I read with my older one. She’s into some very deep books at the moment.
Last night, we read A Kids Book About Feminism. The series also has a book about racism. We’ve got A Kids Book About Anxiety. We’ve got A Kids Book About Death. There’s all of it. And they’re very good, they’re very well done, but I’m like, whoa, that’s a lot. She’s into it.
We don’t turn on the news at home because the news is just too unfiltered and shocking. I want her to know that our country is not perfect, but we’re trying to move forward and be better. And that for her generation, we want things to be better. We just talk about it in that way. I try not to be too specific about the violence [against Black people] because I feel like that’s just a lot to bear.
‘A Kids Book About Anxiety’ by Ross Szabo
This book for kids explores what living with and managing anxiety is like.
‘A Kids Book About Feminism’ by Emma Mcilroy
This book tackles ideas around equality, bias, and discrimination in a way that will inspire and empower young children.
I have two dogs, so the dogs are usually in my daughter’s room with us and then I fall asleep with my daughter.
This is the whole problem and it’s my fault. Totally my fault. I’m so tired. She wants me to hold her hand, so I hold her hand and I fall asleep. And then I have to wake myself up, get out of bed, and go clean the kitchen or whatever. Sometimes she says, “Mommy, Mommy, don’t leave,” because every kid doesn’t want you to leave them. But I’m like, “Babe, I got to leave because there’s 20 things that need to be done downstairs.” Plus, that would be the only me-time: If I’ve woken myself back up and cleaned the kitchen, then maybe I could watch something before I fall asleep.
That is when I lie on my heating pad for my back.
My son, who’s 2, is fairly heavy, so between him, and then I carry one of my dogs around a lot because she’s not super well, it’s a lot of lifting. My daughter was so active when she went to school, and she still beats me every single day, into the ground. I don’t know how. I just try to keep up with her as best as I can. Sometimes we take a walk around the neighborhood in our masks, but that’s an awesome day if that happens, exercise-wise. And then occasionally I jump on the trampoline with them, which is just a really fun thing to do.
I’m also a bath person all the way. I’m a bath person because a) I’m a Pisces, and b) my back is killing me most of the time. I want to just lie there in a hot bath. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s awesome.
My wellness, as you want to call it, is about trying to sleep.
That is my wellness focus. I used to be a yoga teacher. I mean, my yoga credentials are ancient, really. I really would love to do yoga [again]. I was just texting with a friend about how we need to be doing that, and I’m not doing that. I’m always vitamin D deficient for some unknown reason, and so before bed, I take vitamin D, and I lie on the heating pad. I just need heat. I have Tiger Balm. I have some CBD oil. I can’t tell if it does anything, but I put it on there.
This cooling ointment is ideal for muscular aches and pains.
Sunbeam Heating Pad
Ease everyday muscle aches and pains with this super soft customizable electric heating pad.
There’s no me-time during the day. There’s no me-time starting at about five in the morning.
I have two dogs and they’re very old and they would like to eat at five in the morning. So starting at five in the morning, I’m awake and I’m quietly trying to feed the dogs and not wake up the children. Then the children get up and then obviously we’re off. The horse race is on. So the me-time is not until the evening. I mean, I look at my phone occasionally. I always misspell my Instagram posts because I’m interrupted as I’m trying to do something. It’s really just about trying to find something that I want to watch or maybe a podcast that I want to listen to. I have friends all over the world, so sometimes I’ll get emails or texts from Australia or England or Kenya. The nighttime is the time to be talking to them. I mean, if I’m functioning.
I’m just doing the best I can do. You have to just sometimes remind yourself every day, I am absolutely doing the best that I can do, and that’s really all you can do, right? Nobody’s going to be perfect.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.