15 Celebrity Moms on Motherhood
You have to give it to celebrity moms — they’re parenting in the spotlight, where everything they say or do is dissected in the comments.
“Is she drinking wine while nursing?” “That car seat is not installed properly!” It’s mom-shaming to the nth degree.
Still, despite the glare of celebrity, certain things are universal — the transformative power of becoming a mother for the first time, the exhaustion, the poop. And these 15 celebrity mothers aren’t afraid to say something about it.
Having “consciously uncoupled” from singer Chris Martin in 2014, Gwyneth Paltrow is now a model of evolved co-parenting.
As she told Good Housekeeping, "We thought if we could really maintain the family even though we weren't a couple that was kind of the goal, so that's what we've tried to do."
The pair have two children, Apple (born in 2004) and Moses (born in 2006). With her goop empire, Paltrow became a self-appointed lifestyle expert, espousing both down-to-earth and tone-deaf ideas about what it means to be a modern mom.
On learning to take time for herself: “When my kids were younger, I put them first to the point where I exhausted myself… It led to me being short-tempered. I thought, ‘What if I gave myself permission to take a 20-minute nap and let them be on their iPads and not beat myself up?’”
On having postpartum depression: “I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect. It was terrible, it was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t the same. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person.”
A mother of six — Maddox (born in 2001), Pax (born in 2003), Zahara (born in 2005), Shiloh (born in 2006) and twins Vivienne and Knox (born in 2008) — Jolie has embodied a range of different moms. The adoptive mother. The (reluctant) pregnant mother. The surprise mother of twins.
Now a divorced, single parent, who had her breasts and ovaries removed to prevent the type of cancer that killed her own mother, Jolie is reinventing herself yet again.
On being pregnant: "[Pregnancy] makes me feel like a woman. It makes me feel that all the things about my body are suddenly there for a reason. It makes you feel round and supple, and to have a little life inside you is amazing."
On life after divorce and getting older: “I actually feel more of a woman because I feel like I’m being smart about my choices, and I’m putting my family first, and I’m in charge of my life and my health. I think that’s what makes a woman complete.”
Beloved Tweeter, Trump antagonizer, cookbook author, TV host and model, Chrissy Teigen is mother to Luna (born in 2016) and Miles (born in 2018).
Her unapologetic and frank social media posts make her one of the most accessible celebrity moms out there — whether she’s posting about stretch marks, milky boobs and postpartum underwear, or IVF and postpartum depression.
On what really happens after giving birth: “No one told me I would be coming home in diapers, too.”
On her fertility struggles: "The big question was why this wasn't working for us when I was young and he was healthy. I thought, ‘People get pregnant by accident all the time! How does this happen?’"
Kim wasn’t the first Kardashian sister to give birth — that honor goes to her sister Kourtney, who gave birth to Mason Disick in 2009 — but her pregnancies and mothering moments typically draw the most attention, perhaps because she is married to Kanye West.
The mother of three — North (born in 2013), Saint (born in 2015) and Chicago (born in 2018) — suffered serious pregnancy complications, and (openly) had her third child via surrogate.
The reality star is often quoted saying that motherhood is her most important role.
On defending a naked selfie she took after having kids: “You be you and let me be me. I am a mother. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, an entrepreneur and I am allowed to be sexy.”
On having more than one child: “My mom would always say, about having kids: ‘One is like one, and two are like 20.’ I never really understood that until now.”
Queen Bey is notoriously private — and that extends to her three children, Blue Ivy (born in 2012) and twins Rumi and Sir (born in 2017).
Still, she is open about her love of family — and how she relishes her role as a mother.
On how giving birth changed her relationship with her body: “Right now, after giving birth, I really understand the power of my body, I just feel my body means something completely different. I feel a lot more confident about it.”
On having a daughter: “The best thing about having a daughter is having a true legacy. The word ‘love’ means something completely different now.
One of the most relatable moms in Hollywood, Kristen Bell is beloved for being frank about anxiety and depression as well as all the absurdities of motherhood.
She and actor Dax Shepard are parents to two girls, Lincoln (born 2013) and Delta (born 2014)
On being open about mental health, as a mom: “It's a joke if you think everybody's not hiding some secret shame about being anxiety-riddled or depressed at some point. We're all there, OK? Everybody's crazy. It's not a competition.”
On being real about motherhood: "Every day when you're raising kids, you feel like you could cry or crack up and just scream 'This is ridiculous!' because there's so much nonsense, whether it's what they're saying to you or the fact that there's avocado or poop on every surface."
When Pink accepted the Video Vanguard Award at the 2017 VMAs, she told a powerful story about her teaching her daughter, Willow, then 6, about true beauty — and it went viral.
It’s just one instance of the singer’s bold and brazen approach to motherhood. Pink is also mother to Jameson (born in 2016).
On raising her daughter with self confidence: "We don't change. We take the gravel in the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”
On having perspective about her role as a parent: “The thing about parenting is you never know if anything you’re doing is working. That’s been the most humbling thing for me. In my head, I sound amazing and then I turn around and [my daughter’s] eyes are completely glazed over. I have no idea. We’ll see.”
When one of the funniest women in Hollywood, on or off the screen, turns her attention to motherhood, you know it’s comic gold — and, should it be Tina Fey’s essay for The New Yorker, “Confessions of a Juggler,” there’s also a sharp edge of truth that most working moms can relate to.
Fey is mom to two girls, Alice (born in 2005) and Penelope (born in 2011).
On being a mom to a daughter: “Grant her a Rough Patch from 12 to 17. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long. For childhood is short, a Tiger Flower blooming magenta for one day. And adulthood is long, and dry-humping in cars will wait.”
On the debate around working moms: “It is less dangerous to draw a cartoon of Allah French-kissing Uncle Sam — which, let me make it very clear, I have not done — than it is to speak honestly about working moms.”
With her sense of humor and relatability, it’s no wonder Mila Kunis earned the lead role in the "Bad Moms" franchise.
The mother to daughter Wyatt (born 2014) and son Dimitri (born 2016), both with actor Ashton Kutcher, can be counted on to be brutally honest about the ups and downs of motherhood.
On being shamed for breastfeeding in public: “If it’s not for you, don’t look.”
On why men shouldn’t get credit for pregnancy: "Stop saying ‘we’re pregnant.’ You’re not pregnant. Do you have to squeeze a watermelon-sized person out of your lady hole? No."
As a mother, Jennifer Garner has embodied a certain down-to-earth wholesomeness that is rare in Hollywood — whether she’s talking about Girl Scouts and lice, or wearing sweatpants at school pick-up.
After her divorce from Ben Affleck, Garner is now a single mother of three — Violet (born in 2005), Seraphina (born in 2009) and Samuel (born in 2012).
On the truth about the bathroom once you’re a mom: “You know how once you have kids you never ever pee by yourself again? At least one of them is always in there with you at all times."
On co-parenting after divorce: ”The main thing is these kids — and we’re completely in line with what we hope for them. Sure, I lost the dream of dancing with my husband at my daughter’s wedding. But you should see their faces when he walks through the door. And if you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you’re going to be friends with that person.”
"Saturday Night Live" alum Maya Rudolph is the mother of four — Pearl (born in 2005), Lucille (born in 2009), Jack (born in 2011) and Minnie (born in 2013) — with director Paul Thomas Anderson.
Her large, but low-key, family was a bit of a surprise. “I never imagined I’d have four kids — that was never the goal,” she told Us Weekly.
On having four school-age children: “It’s endless stuff. It’s endless entertainment, it’s endless stress, endless responsibility. Everyone’s at different ages and levels, everyone’s into different stuff. But everyone is into slime.”
On life after kids: “I don’t remember anything before motherhood.”
Charlize Theron always knew she would adopt — and she did just that in 2012, with her son Jackson, and again in 2015, with her daughter August.
On choosing adoption: ““Even when I was in relationships, I was always honest with my partners, that adoption was how my family would look one day. This was definitely not a second option for me. It was always my first.”
On single parenting, with the help of her mother: “We get so restricted in our thoughts of a mother and a father and what a family should look like, and we neglect other relationships like that of a parent, a grandparent and a child, a grandchild.”
The daughter of two people who were, in her own words, "incapable of being parents," Drew Barrymore set out to give her two daughters something quite different.
She is now a devoted single mom to daughters Olive (born in 2012) and Frankie (born in 2014).
On parenting the way she wanted to be parented: “I'm an overachiever parent, and not because I think I'm going to repeat the patterns of my parents... That's not my fear — I've already broken that pattern in my life. But having grown up in the opposite way, I'm raising my children with all consistency, all protection. This is my chance to get it right.”
On being up front about being a working mom: “I always explain to her that I love my job. I don’t say “I have to go work” with a grimace on my face, because I fear it will make her feel negative about something a lot of moms must do to provide.”
When actress Alicia Silverstone published "The Kind Mama," her guide to getting pregnant, being pregnant and the first six months of babyhood, it was not without controversy.
Her version of alternative parenting — from attachment parenting to animal advocacy — didn’t always resonate with mainstream moms, but the outspoken mom took it in stride, and has since expanded her "Kind" empire. She is mother to son Bear (born in 2011).
On always wanting to be a mom: “I’ve been wanting to have a baby since I was two years old — I’m destined to be a mother.”
On raising her son to be independent: “The whole idea is that you love and attach to them so much so that they’re free to be and leave. It’s heartbreaking, but you have to.”
Formerly best known as “America’s sweetheart,” Reese Witherspoon is now at the forefront of telling women’s stories — and that includes the stories of other mothers.
She is mom to Ava (born in 1999) and Deacon (born in 2003), with actor Ryan Phillippe, and Tennessee (born in 2012) with her current husband Jim Toth.
On yelling: "I always say if you aren't yelling at your kids, you're not spending enough time with them."
On getting the kids out of the house every morning: “People know not to call me before 8:15, because 8:15 is when everybody has to either be on the bus or at school and then my whole life starts at 8:15.”