Gretchen Mol's Approach to Motherhood: Roll With the Punches

02/10/2009 at 03:00 PM ET

While some girls spend their youth dreaming of motherhood, actress Gretchen Mol spent hers terrified of the possibility of pregnancy. “[I would] just weep when the threat of pregnancy came into my life. I’d literally cry. Like, ‘Am I going to throw my life away?'” she admits in the March issue of Cookie.

Fast-forward 10 years and the first-time mom couldn’t be more thrilled with her blossoming family that includes husband, director Kip Williams, and their 17-month-old son Ptolemy John.

After telling her agent she “didn’t want to work in L.A. even if it was the greatest job in the world,” Gretchen — who “didn’t want to compromise” — and her family settled in New York City where she now films her hit show, Life On Mars.

For the 36-year-old, a great acting gig and her two boys waiting for her at home — and extended family in the area — is the perfect set up, allowing Gretchen to spend her favorite time of the day with her son. “I love bedtime. I get such a sense of accomplishment when he rolls over,” she shares.

Diving right in to motherhood, Gretchen has skipped the parenting books and instead tackles each situation one step at a time. “Just going with it is the only thing I know how to do,” says the actress.

While that philosophy seems to be working well for Gretchen, she is the first to admit that there have been a few bumps in the road along the way! “One morning I had to do a live news show and I called Kip to say, ‘Turn the TV on.’ Ptolemy started crying. Of course it freaked him out. He doesn’t watch much TV,” recalls Gretchen who was left thinking, “I am so insensitive.” Despite the hard lessons learned along the way, Gretchen takes it all in stride.

“I’m not someone who reads up on everything and decides this is how we’re going to do things. When he’s having a tantrum, I am not going to look it up in a book and say, ‘Okay, 14 months old? Check.’ I just deal with whatever is thrown at me.”

Keep reading to hear why Gretchen wants in on Katie Holmes’ secrets!

Although city life has provided the perfect scenario for balancing her successful career with raising a family, Gretchen says that while the ever-present paparazzi have yet to capture a picture of her “wrestling with the stroller and screaming in public,” the shutterbugs have gotten one too many shots of her around town looking a bit disheveled.

Photos like that are what often times leave the busy mama wondering how other fellow actresses are able to pull off motherhood without a hitch! “How can Katie Holmes find time to be conscious of her style? How does Suri always look so good?” muses Gretchen, who laughs that Ptolemy “goes through three T-shirts in a day and that’s if I bother to change them.”

Despite her admiration for Katie and Suri, Gretchen admits she will “never be the mother who makes parenting look effortless.” That said, the actress “wouldn’t trade my life, either.”

“You bring who you are to motherhood. If you’re a chaotic person, you’ll be a chaotic mother and your kid will learn to deal with that. When you become a parent there’s nothing you can do to change your life. I’m the same kind of person as a mother that I am in life: I like to be considerate; I like order.”

Life On Mars airs Wednesdays on ABC. Gretchen’s new movie, An American Affair, is out later this month.

Source: Cookie

Ptolemy wears Rag & Bone‘s Crochet top ($140) and Little Marc Jacobs Dark jeans ($106).

FILED UNDER: Babies , Celeb Style , News , Parenting

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Showing 14 comments

CTBmom on

I know that he’s a boy, but I think Ptolemy is one of the most beautiful celeb babies around! Well, him and Sasha Schreiber, lol

Brandi on

Ptolemy is so gorgeous and I really agree with Gretchen’s parenting style. You can’t find all the answers in a book and sometimes it’s better to just deal with it in the moment. And love her comment about Katie, it’s so true! My boys are 2 1/2 and 5 and the oldest is just starting to wear only one shirt a day, and after dinner, forget about it.🙂

L on

Oh my goodness, that baby is soooooooo adorable! He is perfect!

MoJo on

I’m with everyone else! He is one of the most gorgeous celebrity babies, for sure. Maybe he can have a little playdate with Suri Cruise? Mom is looking pretty great herself!

Sarah on

He is the most handsome baby boy ever! Those eyes just make my heart melt, and Gretchen seems so down to earth and friendly

Sheri on

He sure is the spitting image of his mama! Gorgeous baby and gorgeous mother, too.

Gianna on

What a cute baby, he looks just like his mommy.

Fevvers on

I think that about Suri and Katie Holmes too! I always imagine someone (nanny) passing her Suri as she walks out the door rtaher than her struggling to get both ready at the same time. While I often love Suri’s dresses I do wonder what sort of Stepford child walks around in pristine white dresses all day, even at a playground? No snot? No tomatoe stains? I suppose I should be admiring and jealous but on some deep level it worries me. Children are not meant to be that neat…the only child I know like that has a father with obsessive-compulsive disorder and his mother is worries sick he has inherited it. Anyway…Ptolomy is divine, his mother is gorgeous and every time I see shots of them they look happy and enjoying each others company. Lovely family it seems.

Jo Ann v. on

That baby is so cuuuuute, makes my heart melt !!

babyboopie on

Well, the answer’s pretty obvious, Suri is not your typical toddler, she’s like a real life china doll, but only more beautiful! But Ptolemy is gorgeous- how do you say his name?


how do you pronounce ptolemy? it’s always bugged me that I have NO IDEA how to say his name!!!!

Tall-uh-me. You can hear it pronounced here – click the blue speaker next to the name:

-CBB Staff

Yvonne on

Adorable boy and Katie and Suri are precious. Remember its Suri who prefers dresses than jeans and shirts.

ginger on

He looks like his mom. Boy that is a hard name to pronounce but I agree playdate with Suri Cruise would be wonderful.Katie and Suri are actually my ultimate favorite mom and baby duo.

Fevvers on

No its not what she wears..its that she never has any dirt on her at all…. If she was mine I’d be encouraging her to play a bit more in the mud, roll in some grass, eat some playdoh, crawl around looking for bugs…but what do I know? Katie would no doubt think my kids are slobs! I am sure Suri is very loved as well as very clean.

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