Celebrity Working Mom Angst: "Just Like Us"

02/28/2008 at 05:18 PM ET

IslafishercbbjpgWhat parent doesn’t struggle with the work-life balance? It comes as no surprise that throughout the pages of People Magazine, US Weekly, OK!, and other pop culture publications, you find page after page of pictures and commentary on stars juggling their careers and kids. Given the resources available to them, it is easy to forget that celebrity moms are working moms. But believe it or not, they too must juggle the demands of working outside the home while raising a family.

And while their wealth enables them to have high quality childcare, they are also conflicted about being away from their children while they are working. They want to be the ones doing the hand-holding for the important moments. As Deborah Norville once said, "I figure if a little voice calls for Mommy in the middle of the night, that’s who he should get." 

Our friends at Mommy Track’d provide insight into the thoughts and experiences of moms that juggle work, kids and the paparazzi. Excerpted from international media sources, they have the web’s most comprehensive compilation of Celebrity Soundbites specifically on managing the chaos of working outside the home while raising a family.

Click Continue Reading for a collection of our favorite Celebrity Soundbites archives.

A few weeks ago, actress Isla Fisher, 32, was photographed carrying her daughter Olive Cohen, 3 months, on the set of her new film, Confessions of a Shopaholic in New York City. Photo by Startraks.

Sarahjessicaparker91845165cbbjpgJulianne_moore_20210pcn_moore05cb_2Sarah Jessica Parker: "I suffer the same guilt. I constantly worry I amcoming up short. It is the same thing every working mother copes with.We all cope exactly the same way, which is with pride, with anxiety,with disappointment, with failure and small victories. I deal with itlike everyone else."

Julianne Moore: "[I manage] the same way everybody else does who haschildren and a job. You do the best you can! A lot of other things –like your social life — fall by the wayside."


Kate Hudson: "I don’t think [motherhood is] ever what you expect. Imean, in a sense, I knew I was going to be tired. Being a mom and aworking mom is never easy, everyday, it’s just crazy. It’s insane."

Faith Hill: "I’ll look out in the crowd [while performing] and see akid and think, ‘Oh, I forgot to put the clothes out for the girls forbed.’"


Kate_winslet_070503_02_cbbJennifer Garner: "I love my job so much that I’d always assumed workwould continue to be as important to me. But I don’t want to miss asecond with Violet. Even this morning, leaving her in her high chair,going ‘Mama! Up, up!’ I had to tear myself away. I’m certainly not thefirst person to feel that way about her child — and she doesn’t careif I work. I’m the one who misses her like a love-struck teenager."

Kate Winslet: "I have had moments in the last couple of years where,even though I’ve been at work and I go home and see the kids in theevening, I’ve felt that pull so badly. I’ve said to [my husband] ‘MaybeI’ve got to stop this acting lark,’ and he laughs at me. He says,’Babe, you can’t do that and you mustn’t do that, because it’s such abig part of you.’ It’s about finding balance. You have to be vigilantabout important family things and important work things. It’s a realjuggle."


Tina Fey: "I think every working mom probably feels the same thingwhich is you go through big chunks of time where you’re just going’This is impossible — oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keepgoing and keep going and you sort of do the impossible."

Do any of these quotes particularly resonate with you?

Mommytrackd125A great deal of attention has been paid to the professional womenopting out of the workforce when they have children. What about thoseof us that by choice or necessity continue to work? According to theBureau of Labor Statistics’ latest poll, well over 70% of all womenwith kids under the age of 18 work outside the home. That’s over 24million juggling, struggling women with jobs and families.

Whether you work full time, part time or are taking some time off butplan to go back, Mommy Track’d is the multi-tasking site for you. Weoffer busy moms something they desperately need — a smart andentertaining resource to help manage the daily tug of war between workand home.


Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 13 comments

Emily on

I take everything the celebs say about parenthood with a huge grain of salt. I’m sure there are some celebrities who truly do spend a lot of time with their children, but I think there are just as many who are only claiming to be “hand on.” It seems to be the new trendy thing for celebrities to pretend they’re just like us (even though they have nannies, personal assistants, chefs, drivers, housekeepers, etc to take a huge burden off of them) and also to claim to have no nanny (when in reality they do have nannies otherwise they wouldn’t be able to work as much as they do). I used to work as a nanny and the people I knew who professed not to have nannies the most where the ones who had more than one nanny. I would respect these celebs more if they would tell the truth and say “We have a lot of help and that’s how I managed to juggle it all.”

Judyb on

I think part of what the celebrity’s are saying is that they feel guilty when they go off to work. In that way they are just like the rest of us. My mother in law watched my kids when I was working and I still felt guilty about being away from them. My youngest is a teenager and I stil feel guilty if she is not feeling well and I go off to work. I liked Jennifer Garner’s comment “I’m the one who misses her like a love-struck teenager.”

Emily2 on

“I think part of what the celebrity’s are saying is that they feel guilty when they go off to work.”

I understand that part of what they’re saying. However, that wasn’t what I was referring to. I was referring to the celebs who talk about how “hands on” they are and how they have to “juggle” their lives just like we do, when the reality of it is that they don’t have to juggle like we do, they have advantages that allow them to have it all that most mothers don’t have. And the majority of the celebs who claim to have no nanny and to be extremely hands-on work too much for that to be true.

CelebBabyLover on

Emily- While I’m not saying that celebrities never lie about whether or not they have a nanny or nannies, I don’t neccesarily think that a celeb who works a lot neccesarily has a nanny.

They may have their parents, in-laws, brothers and/or sisters, or spouse/partner take care of their children while they are working. In fact, a lot of celebrities trade off work schedules so that one parent is always with the kids (Brad and Angelina, Tom and Katie, and Ben and Jen are just three couples who do that. Granted, Brad and Angelina and Ben and Jen DO have nannies as well, but from the sounds of it, they try to do most of the parenting themselves. Tom and Katie, from what I’ve heard, don’t have a nanny.).

Emily2 on

Celebbabylove: Tom and Katie claimed to not have a nanny and then in the next paragraph said “but we do have someone who helps out with the baby” which is the same thing as a nanny. Reese Witherspoon has said she has no nanny and then turns around and said “but we do have a babysitter” which again, is the same thing as having a nanny. Gwyneth Paltrow claimed to not have a nanny and then some of her celeb friends outed her on that one. Heidi Klum claimed to have no nanny until she was spotted in public with two of them. It’s common practice for celebrities to claim to be “hands on” when they’re not so the public will relate to them more and think more highly of them – and from the looks of the posts that come up every time a celeb claims to not have a nanny I can see that their PR strategy works. Every time someone claims to not have a nanny people in the comments section gush about how wonderful it is that they’re so hands on and very few people stop and ask “How are they and their spouses able to make so many movies when they have no nanny and (in most cases) their parents live half-way across the country? I just don’t believe celebrities who claim they have no help.
I see nothing wrong with a celebrity having a nanny, but I have no respect for people who won’t tell the truth about it.

CelebBabyLover on

How is “someone who helps out with the baby” or a baby-sitter (especially a baby-sitter), the same thing as a nanny? I mean, I think just about every NON-celeb has left their kid or kids with a baby-sitter at some point or another.

And “someone who helps out with the baby” could be referring to a baby nurse, which several celebs have admitted to having (Julia Roberts and Christina Aguilera are two examples). Or, for an older baby (baby nurses are generally there only for the first three or so months of life), it could be referring to a part-time care-giver that the family has. In otherwords, they MAY have a nanny, but it may not be a live-in or full-time nanny.

CelebBabyLover on

I also want to point out that having a nanny or nannies DOES not neccesarily mean that someone is not hands-on parent. For example, even though Ben and Jen have admitted to having a nanny, we NEVER see Violet out with one (there have been a few pictures of Jen, Violet, and somone who’s presumably the nanny, but never any pictures of Violet alone with a nanny). It is always Jen and/or Ben with her.

Also, I know a couple who has an au pair (which is sort of like a nanny) for their two daughters….yet they are two of the most hands-on parents I know!

Just because celebs have nannies doesn’t mean that they aren’t hands-on parents!

Loralee on

I have no problem with a celebrity or anyone having a nanny or caregiver or babysitter, but saying your doing it alone when you have help is not telling the truth and possibly setting unrealistic expectations for the rest of us human moms. If I had the resources I might get a little help as well-cooking, cleaning, helping out with the children. We may be able to “do it all”, but not necessarily all at the same time, perfectly.

freya on

For me I get irritated about them saying they feel guilty etc because lets be honest they choose to work and they choose to leave their children. they certainly aren’t working in order to put shoes on their children’s feet. so when they moan about being a working mum (sorry, mom!) they should consider the people who have to work in order to support their family.
I have no idea why isla fisher is choosing to do a film when her baby is so young. there’s no way i’d have left either of my babies at that age. then again i live in the UK and we get 9 months paid maternity leave so i’m lucky to have not had to leave them!

Rebecca on

“How is “someone who helps out with the baby” or a baby-sitter (especially a baby-sitter), the same thing as a nanny? I mean, I think just about every NON-celeb has left their kid or kids with a baby-sitter at some point or another.”

There are three different kinds of nannies (as classified by most nanny agencies): A full time (24/7) live-in nanny, a live-out nanny who stays with the kids most days but not the nights, and a relief nanny who comes part-time to give a stay-at-home mom a break or to provide an extra pair of hands. Now, a working parent can still be a very involved hands-on parent, but it is still humanly impossible for them to make a movie (or album, etc) and be with their kids full time – therefore, they have a nanny. And mom who only has a part time nanny to help out, still has help, so pretending to not have help is dishonest. And those celebs can pretend all they want to that having a part-time nanny is the same thing as having no nanny, but it’s not. It’s still easier to have some help then to have none.

Emily2 on

celebbabylover: It doesn’t really matter if they have a part-time or live-out nanny, they still have help. And they should be honest about that. Not only because it’s dishonest not to but also because it’s disrespectful to the nanny who is doing a very difficult job and doesn’t deserve to have her job devalued as if it means nothing.
It’s also very misleading to make it seem like it’s possible to “have it all” without needed help at all, when the reality of the situation is that if you’re going to work as much as most celebrities do you have to have a lot of help to make it happen.

Emily2 on

“I also want to point out that having a nanny or nannies DOES not neccesarily mean that someone is not hands-on parent. For example, even though Ben and Jen have admitted to having a nanny, we NEVER see Violet out with one (there have been a few pictures of Jen, Violet, and somone who’s presumably the nanny, but never any pictures of Violet alone with a nanny). It is always Jen and/or Ben with her.”

I’m not saying that Jen and Ben do this because I don’t know them, but it’s another common practice among celebrities to take their kids out for “photo shoots” to show everyone what “hands on” parents they are. They take the kids out for a few minutes where they know they’ll get their pictures taken and push the kid on the swing for a few minutes and then go back home where the nanny is waiting to do all the work, and then the pictures appear on sites like this and everyone praises them for being such loving and involved parents. Another strategy of theirs that seems to really pay off. Now in Jennifer’s case she seems kind of annoyed with the paparrazzi so I doubt she is one who stages the photo ops. I guess my point is that things are rarely how they seem and Hollywood is really big on manipulating the image the public gets of them. And I for one like to step back and look at things carefully, and when I do that I see that some of the celebrities stories of being “hands on” parents just don’t add up.

CelebBabyLover on

Loralee and Emily2- Thanks for the explaination. I understand your point now, and I have to admit that I even agree with it!

I even agree that some celebs DO seem to stage photoshoots (I won’t name names, because I don’t want to start any arguments or have people jumping on me for saying a certain celeb arranges photoshoots).

I have to say, four of the most “genuine” celebrity parents I’ve seen are Ben and Jen and Brad and Angelina (Brad and Angelina also often look somewhat annoyed, and sometimes even upset, by the paps, so I doubt that they stage photoshoots.).🙂

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters