Mila Kunis may have starred in the movie Bad Moms; in real life, though, she appears to be a perfectly capable parent. The star is currently a mother to two children – Wyatt Isabelle and Dimitri Portwood – with her actor husband Ashton Kutcher, whom she met on the set of That ’70s Show back in 1998. Despite having known each other all that time, however, Kunis and Kutcher didn’t start to date until 2012.
And the relationship took a happy turn in October 2014, when the pair’s first child, Wyatt, was born. “Mila and I would like to welcome Wyatt Isabelle Kutcher to the world,” Kutcher said in a statement at the time. “May your life be filled with wonder, love, laughter, health, happiness, curiosity and privacy.”
Several months before Wyatt had entered the world, however, Kutcher and Kunis had decided to tie the knot. They duly married in July 2015, in a ceremony that was relatively very low-key. In July 2016 Kunis even revealed on Conan that her wedding ring had cost a mere $90 and had been purchased from Etsy.
Then Kunis and Kutcher’s second child, Dimitri, came along in November 2016. Kutcher had apparently wanted to name his son “Hawkeye” at first, after the University of Iowa football mascot; Kunis put paid to that idea, though. Instead, the baby was called Dimitri as a nod to her Russian and Ukrainian heritage, with his middle name of Portwood taken from Kutcher’s grandparents.
And Kunis has been refreshingly open so far about the challenges of parenting. In 2016 she told the website Babble, for example, that she had once driven away without baby Wyatt being secured properly into the car seat. Then, a year or so later, Kutcher had gone on a drive with the baby and had done the exact same thing, the actress said.
But while Wyatt and Dimitri may be growing up, the two children are still both very young and are continuing to learn about the world. Perhaps as a consequence, then, Kunis and Kutcher have a lot of rules in place to make sure that their household stays harmonious. And while some of these decrees may just appear to be common sense, others are slightly more unusual.
30. Privacy must be protected
One important rule in Kutcher and Kunis’ household involves privacy, since the two actors protect their children’s personal lives closely. Indeed, in 2015 they even launched a lawsuit against the Daily Mail for publishing pictures of Wyatt.
29. Learn your family’s language
Ukraine-born Kunis’ family speak Russian, so it may appear only natural that she’d want her kids to learn that language too. Wyatt is picking up bits and pieces, anyway. “[Wyatt is] learning Russian,” Kutcher told Seth Meyers in 2016. “She has English down… And she can understand Russian, but she can’t really speak it yet.”
28. Have manners
In 2017, while promoting A Bad Moms Christmas, Kunis gave some straight talk to Entertainment Tonight about her kids. “Yeah, we’re not gonna raise a**holes. [There are enough of them] in this world. We don’t need to contribute,” she said. And that appears to be going well, as in 2018 Kunis’ The Spy Who Dumped Me co-star Mirjam Novak told Us Weekly how “well-behaved” Wyatt and Dimitri were.
27. Spend lots of time with dad
Kutcher isn’t one of those fathers who leaves all the parenting up to his wife. He always spends the weekends with his children, for one, despite his busy work schedule. And in 2016 he jokingly told Ellen DeGeneres that his main job with the kids was “to keep them from killing themselves.”
26. Appreciate your parents
According to Kunis, she began to understand her own mother much better after becoming a mom herself. “I have a whole other appreciation for what my mom does and did and how she truly feels about my brother and I,” she told Today in 2017.
25. Spend Halloween with your family
Halloween is a special event for many, and Kunis likes to celebrate it with her kids. That includes dressing up, too. “For Halloween, we do family outfits,” the actress told The Telegraph in 2015. “It makes everyone go crazy… Last year, I dressed [Wyatt] as a pig. I went as a pig. And my husband went as a pig.” How could you say no to that?
24. Work hard at relationships
Keeping a family unit functioning well is not always an easy thing to achieve. However, it appears that Kunis and Kutcher are willing to put in the work to make their clan a happy one. “They prioritize everything around their family. Their busy work schedules, play time, visits to the gym, visiting with friends and family – nothing is taken for granted,” an insider told In Touch Weekly in 2018. That’s a great lesson to pass along.
23. Don’t swear
Stopping children from swearing is a challenge once they understand the meaning of the words. And while Kunis and Kutcher both try not to curse around their kids, every so often something slips out. In August 2016, for instance, Kutcher posted a selfie of his face to Instagram after Wyatt “dropped an F-bomb,” tagging the snap “#baddads #badmoms.” Oops.
22. Learn to be friends with your parents
Kunis wants to “raise a kid that [she] would be friends with,” she told Net-A-Porter in 2017. “I’m not friends with my daughter now. She’s not my friend, she’s my daughter,” the star added. “But later in life… in my 20s, [my mom] became a friend of mine.” That’s a very good goal for all parents.
21. No sugary snacks
Lots of parents restrict their kids’ sugar intakes, and Kunis and Kutcher are no exception. Indeed, when Kutcher went on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2016, he told the host that one-year-old Wyatt was “not quite ready” to eat candy. Instead, he said, they gave her “Cheerios and raisins.” Luckily, though, Wyatt is a fan of the dried fruit.
20. Don’t expect to be carried everywhere
When Kutcher went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2018, the host roasted his parenting skills. In particular, DeGeneres – who is a neighbor to Kutcher – pointed out that she had never seen Dimitri walk; instead, she had only ever witnessed the child being in a baby carrier. And not only did Kutcher object, but he also made a promise. “This kid’s gonna be an Olympian, man,” he said. “Because I’m gonna be behind him, like, ‘To Ellen’s house! She’s watching!’”
19. Always keep safe
When Kutcher was a kid, health and safety was less of a big deal. “We were riding in the back of a pickup truck on the wheel well just trying not to fall out,” he told Jimmy Fallon in 2016. “Now, it’s like you’ve got the kids backwards, reverse hold on the choke, and they’re in the car seat like… sucking on their knee…” But you’ve got to teach safety somehow.
18. Celebrate religion
Kunis is Jewish, so she and her children celebrate that faith’s holidays as well as Christmas and Easter. Kutcher, meanwhile, was raised Catholic but now practises Kabbalah. And the pair of them have found, as Kunis explained on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard in 2018, “a happy medium.” Now, she added, they all take part in Shabbat “regardless of where we are in the world, regardless of what we’re doing.”
17. Don’t be spoiled
Kunis and Kutcher may be financially secure, but they are nonetheless determined that their children won’t grow up spoiled. “It’s a matter of teaching them from a very early age that, you know, ‘Mommy and Daddy may have a dollar, but you’re poor,’” Kunis said on The Kyle and Jackie O Show in 2018.
16. Be kind to pets
Kunis and Kutcher keep dogs for pets, and they consider them an important part of their family. Kunis has even said in the past that she considers raising a dog to be good practice for raising a child. The couple also believe that treating pets well is beneficial for the children – something that does make sense.
15. Discuss politics openly
Both Kunis and Kutcher are pretty outspoken politically. “Me and my family are very political. We don’t necessarily agree on our beliefs, but we talk about it a lot, like at dinner,” the actress told Stylist in 2011. And while such discussions can prove to be controversial, hopefully they won’t lead to much discord within the Kutcher-Kunis clan.
14. Be body positive
Kunis is determined that the media present her as she actually is. “There was a company that I did a photo shoot for once that manipulated the photo so much. I was like, ‘That’s not even me,’” she told Glamour in 2016. “Like, what’s the point? You wanted my name, and then you wanted the version of me that I’m not.”
13. No nannies
When Kutcher appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2014, he gave an impassioned speech about why he and Kunis wouldn’t hire a nanny for Wyatt. “We just want to know our kid… We want to be emotionally in touch with her,” he said. “And I think the only way to do that is by being the one who’s there.” Fair enough.
12. Appreciate Mom’s job
Kunis knows all about the pressure on working mothers to have the perfect work-life balance. “At the end of the day, I have to be happy with who I am and what I do,” she told The Cut in 2016. “That is the only way I’ll be able to be a good mom for my daughter.”
11. Be careful with siblings
In 2017 Kutcher talked to Ellen DeGeneres about the relationship his two children shared at that point. Specifically, while Wyatt loved her brother Dimitri, she nevertheless had to be warned away from hugging him too much. “It’s like Of Mice and Men… I’m afraid she’s like Lenny, like, ‘You’re going to squeeze the baby’s head off, honey!’” he said.
10. Don’t put things in your mouth
It’s a well-known fact that toddlers will often try to eat anything they can get their hands on. Kunis knows this, too. In 2017 she told Net-a-Porter, “I’m like, ‘That’s plastic, let’s not put that in your mouth. Don’t put that in your mouth! Just simply don’t put that in your mouth! That’s glass! That’s raw eggs!’”
9. You can’t pick out your own clothes
Kunis and Kutcher pick out their children’s clothes rather than letting them choose what they wear themselves. And a cropped Instagram photo exists of Dimitri wearing a That ’70s Show T-shirt. Maybe he’ll keep it when he’s older?
8. Seek out diversity
One key aspect of parenting, perhaps, is opening your child’s eyes up to the rest of the world. And Kunis talked about this to Sunday Today in 2018. “You try to surround [your children] with diversity,” she said. “We try to surround ourselves with all aspects of life and try not to stay in our bubble, but it’s hard.”
7. No Easter Bunny
Kunis and Kutcher are dubious about introducing their kids to the Easter Bunny. “We think we’re going Santa Claus, but we don’t know about the bunny,” Kutcher told Jimmy Kimmel in 2016. “It’s tough because it’s like, ‘Why is a bunny laying eggs? Mommy, does a bunny lay eggs?’… ‘No, but the Easter Bunny does.’”
6. Always share
When you have more than one child, getting siblings to share can sometimes be difficult. At the Third Annual City Summit at Universal Studios in 2018, Kutcher spoke about this process, saying, “Watching my daughter make a decision about whether or not she’s going to share a cookie is a weird thing.” Wyatt has chosen to split things with her brother, however – something about which Kutcher is very proud.
5. Dance like no-one’s watching
While appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2016, Kutcher spoke about Wyatt’s love of dance. “She’s developing. She likes to whip and nae nae too,” he said with a laugh. “I think she thinks she’s doing it. Whipping and whipping and nae naeing like her mommy taught her.”
4. Be eco-friendly
During a Reddit AMA in 2015, Kunis spoke about how motherhood had influenced her. “The way you look at the world changes,” she said. “I want an eco-friendly car, I want to compost everything, because I want the world to be better for [my daughter].” And Kunis did buy that car, since she now gets around in an eco-friendly Tesla.
3. Always apologize
Kunis believes in teaching her kids that everyone makes mistakes. Certainly, she chooses to eventually apologize after having lost her temper. “I’ll walk away, and I’ll come back, and I’ll sit [Wyatt] down, and I’m like, ‘I’m really sorry. Mommy overreacted. Do you forgive me?’” Kunis told People in 2017. “Whether she understands what just happened or not, I want her to know that I’m as flawed as she is.”
2. No trust fund
Wyatt and Dimitri will be expected to make their own way in the world, even though their parents are wealthy. “I’m not setting up a trust for them,” Kutcher told Dax Shepard on podcast Armchair Expert in 2018. “If my kids want to start a business and they have a good business plan, I’ll invest in it. But they’re not getting trusts.”
1. No Christmas gifts
Kunis and Kutcher made waves in 2017 when they announced that their kids wouldn’t get Christmas presents that year. “So far, our tradition is no presents for the kids,” Kunis told Entertainment Tonight that October. “They don’t even know what they’re expecting; they’re just expecting stuff,” she added.
And one of Kunis and Kutcher’s rules for their children has proved a little controversial. When they announced the no-Christmas-presents decision, for instance, Redbook published an article objecting to the very idea. “It’s a privilege to be able to say your kids don’t need anything on Christmas – or any gift-centric holiday – because it implies that they already have everything they need or could possibly want,” the publication wrote.
One thing Wyatt and Dimitri may want is a new baby brother or sister, but that’s something that may not happen anytime soon – if ever. “I will only have two,” Kunis told People magazine in 2017. “Right now, we’re fine. One hand, one hand. One eye, one eye. Two people, two kids.”
And in 2018 Kunis spoke to Cosmopolitan about having another child, mentioning that one member of her family in particular has become excited whenever tabloids have reported false pregnancy news about her. “My dad is always very hopeful that the pregnancies are true. He’s always like, ‘Is there really another?’” she told the magazine.
If Kunis and Kutcher ever do have a third child, however, they’ll probably raise them the same way they’re doing so with Wyatt and Dimitri. And although the pair are very private people off camera, the parenting tips they reveal in interviews always seem sensible – meaning that a new mom or dad could do a lot worse than look to the couple for good advice.