Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt is heading to Tampa Bay along with her co-hosts and other stars from Fox News Channel and Fox Nation for the inaugural Patriot Awards at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. The sold out ceremony is a celebration to honor Americans who have served their communities. Among the award categories: Patriot Award for Service to Veterans and the Patriot Award for First Responders. While the ceremony is sold out, you can watch a live stream on Fox Nation, a subscription-based streaming service, at 7pm on Wednesday, November 6.
While she is here, we wanted to know more about the mother of one, Hayden, who will be celebrating her 4th birthday while here in Tampa Bay! Ainsley Earhardt’s rise to a highly coveted seat in television news was more than luck. It took focus, a strong faith and supportive friends and family.
TBPM: Let’s first talk about the Patriot Awards since that is what’s bringing you to the Tampa Bay area. (Welcome!) What does patriotism mean to you and how have your views on what it means to be an American changed since becoming a mother…since perspective on everything seems to change when you bring a child into this world.
AINSLEY EARHARDT: My grandfather’s fought for our freedom in World War II. My father retired from the Army Reserves. We are a patriotic family and we love America. We understand the cost of freedom and think the men and women who have died defending it are true heroes.
TBPM: Like many women today, you put your focus on your career before starting your family. What was that moment like when you found out you were going to land your dream job…while on maternity leave with your dream baby?
AINSLEY EARHARDT: I was determined to work extremely hard and had the passion that helped drive me. I enjoyed saying “yes” to all opportunities and working my way to the top. I was too busy traveling for work and didn’t want to start a family until I was ready. I knew God would give me the desire to be a mother at the right time. And, He did.
During my maternity leave I found out my dream job was waiting on me when I returned. It was just icing on the cake. Two blessings at once. I still pinch myself. I am forever grateful to Fox for believing in me.
TBPM: As a busy working mom, how do you find balance? Are there special things you do to maximize family time? What are some of your favorite things to do as a family?
AINSLEY EARHARDT: I work early in the morning and get the rest of the day with my daughter. I get to take her to her ballet class, swim lessons, French classes. I am with her all day long watching her grow and develop. She is such a gift and I soak in every moment and experience.
TBPM: How did growing up with a working mom mold you into who you are today?
AINSLEY EARHARDT: My mother is a retired school teacher. She always taught me the importance of autonomy. She said children need to be independent and learn how to stand on their own two feet. I am grateful that I got to see her pour into the lives of her own children and her students. She was still there for us in the afternoon and is still a great role model to me today.
TBPM: We hear you often bring Hayden with you when you travel. What do you do to make this as simple as possible?
AINSLEY EARHARDT: I make each trip fun and exciting. I crave time with my daughter and if it works out for her to come with me on overnight trips – I want her there. We are so close and I miss her when she is not with me. In addition, my best friend lives in the area. So this trip will be pretty special. We get to experience the Patriot Awards and hang out with Linsay and her family. Linsay’s children are like my own and my daughter adores them. Plus, my daughter’s birthday is on the same day and she is thrilled to celebrate with some of her favorite people.
TBPM: Working in the TV business… in the age of social media… can take its toll on a person. How do you handle the negativity and how will you use this experience to teach your daughter about the simple act of kindness?
AINSLEY EARHARDT: I try not to read negative stories. I don’t want any negativity in my life and choose to focus on my many blessings. One day I will have the chance to talk to my child about it (she is too young now) and when I do – I will use it as a teachable moment, reminding her that God loves us, we have each other and a supportive, amazing family. Not to mention lots of good friends.
TBPM: You are a best-selling children’s books author! Please tell us more about your children’s books, ‘Take Heart, My Child’ and ‘Through Your Eyes’. What inspired you to write each book? Do you have more in the works?
AINSLEY EARHARDT: My children’s books are very special to me. I wrote “Take Heart, My Child” when I was pregnant with Hayden and then “Through Your Eyes” after she was born. They were inspired by my own childhood teachings, which I wanted to pass on to my daughter and children all over the world. They are filled with messages of love, hope and forgiveness. And, yes, I do hope to write more in the future.
TBPM: What is your hope for the future the world our children are growing up in? What do you think we can do as parents to leave this world a better place for our kids?
AINSLEY EARHARDT: The best, most valuable imprint my parents gave (and still give) me is the importance of faith. They taught me to believe in God and His love and mercy. I go to church, not because I have to, but because I need to. I love the Bible’s teachings and they remind me to be a better person, shake things off and focus on the good in life and in others. I pray that I can instill the same values in my child and want to be the best example to her. I truly believe that will make this world a better place
*Ainsley also hosts a show entitled Ainsley’s Bible Study on FOX Nation.