Maks Chmerkovskiy is relishing his new role as a father of two. The “Dancing With the Stars” pro welcomed his second child, a baby boy named Rio John Chmerkovskiy, with wife Peta Murgatroyd on Father’s Day on June 18, and Chmerkovskiy is soaking up every little moment with his newborn son.
“Apparently, I didn’t know this, I should’ve, but babies can’t see past a foot or something, so I’m a frequent baby holder,” the 48-year-old performer — who is residing at The Meritage Resort and Spa this summer — tells POPSUGAR during a June 23 interview at his and brother Val Chmerkovskiy’s Savor After Hours cabaret show in Napa, CA. “With Shai, I was stressed in the corner,” Maks adds of his 6-year-old son, Shai Aleksander Chmerkovskiy.
At just 10 days old and weighing eight pounds, six ounces, Maks says “Rio is a chill baby.” He also calls him “a good eater,” adding, “It’s just the same pattern: sleep and pooping.”
Maks’s younger brother, Val, also expanded his family earlier this year. The 37-year-old entertainer celebrated the arrival of his first child, son Rome Valentin Chmerkovskiy, with wife Jenna Johnson on Jan. 10. However, despite both of them being dads now, the brothers say they don’t reach out to each other for parenting advice. “We’re so close in everything that we do that I know he has my back. If I’m starting to fall, I try not to fall, but I’m aware that he’s around. We just get together now and sort of decompress by not talking about it,” Maks says of their unspoken understanding. “It’s also interesting to watch him do his thing without me telling him what to do.”
Val adds: “We both know each other’s responsibilities elsewhere, so when we’re together, we’re just like, this is a treat.”
Both Maks and Val have achieved great success in their respective careers and have left a lasting impact on the dance world. Looking towards the future, the brothers say their only wish is for their kids to see how hard they’ve worked to get where they are and to use that as inspiration to chase after their own dreams. “I just want to give them the sickest opportunities. I want them to grow up in a stressless environment — as stressless as we can make it,” Maks says. “I want them to see me work, but more importantly, it’s about them. [Richard Williams, Serena and Venus Williams’s dad] is a blueprint for me. He is not someone they praise for work ethic or abilities, but they praise him for being a great dad. At the end of it all, I just want to be that.”
Val echoes similar sentiments, saying he wants his son to use his accomplishments as motivation to be “a dancer himself or the best scientist he can be, or a wrestler or boxer or whatever” he chooses. “I just want him to see his dad putting in a lot of work and a lot of effort into something,” Val adds. “I just want him to be happy.”
Maks and Val are reuniting on stage this summer for their new wine-tasting cabaret show, Savor After Hours, in Napa, CA. Tickets start at $44 and are on sale now.