When Trisha Yearwood married Garth Brooks, she became a “bonus mom” to three girls: Garth’s daughters Taylor, August and Allie, from his previous marriage to Sandy Mahl.

In an interview with People, Trisha admits that at the beginning, she felt a little clueless about her new role since she’d never been a parent. “I never even really babysat!” the singer says.

“Garth was such a wonderful mentor to me as to how to be a parent, and he told me, ‘You’ll find your way with each of them. Don’t try to be their best friend, and don’t try to be their mom,’” Trisha goes on to say, adding that the girls also gave her “a lot of grace” as she navigated her new role.

“They let me learn my way and allowed me to be that third parent in their lives,” Trisha continues. “They were a gift that I didn’t know I needed. I didn’t know how much children brought into your life until I got a chance to be a part of their lives.”

When the girls — now in their mid-twenties — were teenagers, Trisha bonded with them over “veggie night,” and she says now that “some of the best conversations happened around that table.”

The tradition allowed Trisha to share some of her own skills with the kids: She of course is an avid cook with her own series of cookbooks and her hit Food Network show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. The show halted production during the COVID-19 pandemic, but earlier this spring, Trisha revealed it’s set to resume filming later in 2021.

Trisha’s newest cookbook, Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family, arrives on September 28.

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