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Nicole Kidman On Taking a Step Back From the Spotlight

11/17/2009 at 02:00 PM ET
Courtesy Ladies’ Home Journal

Home is where the heart is and for Nicole Kidman, it has led her to establish her roots alongside her husband Keith Urban and their 16-month-old daughter Sunday Rose in Nashville, Tenn. While the small town feel and country living is a far cry from her days in Hollywood, the actress has come to prefer it that way.

“I love living here,” she tells the December issue of Ladies’ Home Journal. “I feel protected here, especially now that I have the baby.”

Allowing country crooner Keith to step into the spotlight hasn’t been an issue for Nicole, who admits watching him shine when it comes to his successful albums and tours is “much bigger than what I’m doing right now.” Often joining him on the road — the couple insist they are never apart for more than four days at a time — both Nicole and Sunday are privy to Keith’s stellar voice each morning!

“I hum a little. When your husband’s a huge singer, the last thing you do is sing with him.”

That isn’t to say Nicole’s career has taken a complete backseat to her family. Only weeks after giving birth to Sunday, Nicole packed up her daughter and headed to Italy to film her latest movie Nine. Having baby girl on set proved to be a good distraction! “Kate [Hudson] had her son there,” Nicole recalls, “and Penélope [Cruz] and Fergie were like, ‘I can’t wait to have a baby.’”

Settling into life with an infant on set was nothing short of a new experience for all! Come time for costume fittings Nicole — who was nursing at the time — found herself with a few newly acquired curves. “They’re not very big, my boobs, so they just became normal size,” she notes.

“I loved it! When you’ve had a slightly androgynous body your whole life, having breasts is a nice feeling.”

And while she may make light of her experience, having the chance to carry a child isn’t something Nicole takes for granted. “I loved bringing life into the world,” she raves. “To be completely responsible for this baby growing inside me. I’m grateful for that experience.”

Her trip to Italy was only the beginning for Keith and Nicole’s daughter. The glitz and glamour that accompanies her parents’ careers has certainly left a lasting impression on Sunday, who has logged thousands of air miles with the pair. “Sunday’s third word was ‘wow’ and I say that word a lot,” says the Australian native who, in addition to a farm in Nashville, has property — and a handful of alpacas — in her homeland.

“I hope when I’m 80 I’ll still be saying it. I’ve been given extraordinary opportunities, with huge dreams fulfilled. I’m 42 and my eyes are still wide open.”

Click below to read about Nicole’s mom’s group and children Isabella and Connor.


Despite her celebrity status, Nicole still manages to keep a normal routine for her daughter, including a weekly morning play group in her home with ten other children and their parents. “This is my way of having 10 kids,” she laughs, before adding she is hoping to eventually expand her family further with Keith.

For now, Nicole is concentrating her efforts on nurturing her personal life which includes Isabella Jane, 17 next month, and Connor Antony, 14, her children with ex-husband Tom Cruise. With the two spending the majority of their time in California with their father, Nicole has purchased a home close by for frequent visits.

“Once your kids become teenagers, a lot of parenting is knowing when to speak and when not to speak,” she muses.

“I have to step back and let them live their lives.”

Source: Ladies Home Journal

– Anya

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Showing 80 comments

maggie on

lovely piece!! I love the simplicity of their lives. there were some gorgeous pics of Nicole and Sunday on the dailymails uk website yesterday. From the looks of the pics,Sunday is very tall and long for her age. Suprise suprise:)

Kimri on

I TOTALLY disagree with her statement that parents need to step back and let teenagers live their lives. The teen years is when you really need to be the most present. They need you to guide them, nurture them, love them and to BE THERE. They need the same things Sunday needs!!

Alice on

Teens definitely do not needs their parents like a baby does!! “Step back” and let them live their lives is a bit of an extreme way to say it but yes teens gradually gain their freedom and independence, you do have to step back a bit (especially for Bella – she’s 17!) and let them do things for themselves, make mistakes and learn. As you say, guide, nurture and love them. Be there, but if they need you.

I love her “wow” experience! ;) I too hope she’ll still be saying it at 80.

Tiger Lily on

Nicole and Penelope Cruz are in a film together? And they seem friendly, too. Good for them.

Shelley on

I completely get her comment about having breasts after always having an “androgynous” body. I’ve always had that problem and when I breast-fed my babies I was like “Wow, I feel like a woman now with real breasts”. Something you can only truly appreciate after having been without your whole life. Glad I’m not the only one.

Di on

I totally agree with Kimri. I was thinking the same thing when I read that quote. Children who are teens may in fact need their parents more at that age than at any other time because they are at the cusp of adulthood and need more guidance to prepare them for the real world.

I think parents of teens need to spend more time with their children, not less but you know I think Nicole’s quote about being hands off is her way of rationalizing why she only “visits” her two older children.
I mean what kind of mother would chose visitaiton over some kind of shared custody if at all possible unless she feels her children would be better of without her.

I know for my mother “frequent visits” would not cut it. I’m sure that there is a lot Nicole is missing in between those frequent visits.
Furthermore, a parent should never hesitate to speak their mind and tell their children what they think so I don’t get Nicole’s quote about knowing when to speak and not to speak.

Colleen on

I get what Nicole is saying about teenagers. Yes, they need a lot of guidance and support, but they should also be making plenty of their own decisions and dealing with natural consequences on their own. As Nicole said, there are time to step in and times to step back. Pick your battles wisely, especially with teenagers.

Daisy1 on

When I was a teenager, around the 15-19 years my mother took a total step back. She let me figure my own way and make my own decsisions. I honestly think it was the best thing she could have done. Yes, I made my mistakes but now I am in my 20′s, nearly qualified as a nurse and more fosused than most people my age.

It is hard for parents to give their teens independance like that but in my experience it is worth it.

Casey on

wow that is crazy that she doesnt really have that much to do with her older kids. very sad!!! you wonder if it is her or tom cruise

Lila on

I think she means that her older children are choosing to live with their father in LA, probably to be closer to friends, etc- and she is letting them make that choice. I am sure she could force them to live in Nashville, but that would probably make them unhappy.

El on

I agree with those who say it is a mistake to “step back” from a teenager’s life.

If you’ve read the science, you know that a teenager’s brain is literally dismantled and in the process of reconnecting during those years, not to mention the hormones interfering with rational thought and stable emotions. Sure, every kid is different. There will be all sorts of anecdotes about it being the best thing that ever happened to this or that person. In general though, stay close to your teen, very close. Chances are, the more space they claim to want, the less space they actually need.

Kimri on

I an with Kimri and Di on this one. How can you effectively parent from another country with frequent visits? Puhleeez! Nicole is trying to justify abandoning her “adopted” children. I guarantee she will be singing a different tune when Sunday is 14. She will be saying how much Sunday needs her more than ever to navigate the difficult teen years. Sad! From the looks of it, I bet she spends more time at her P.S.’s office than with her older kids. I hope people don’t think all adoptive moms are this way.

ecl on

I disagree with Di and agree with Nicole. If you always tell your children what to do, you can end up alienating them or never letting them learn to think for themselves.

Amy L on

none of us should make judgements on anyone about being there for older kids. We are not Nicole and Tom. Only their family knows what works for them. Enjoy your life Ms. Kidman

genegirl on

I also completely understand her comments about taking a ‘step back’. my first year at college it was obvious that parents who didn’t do this sometimes produced young adults who either struggled to make their own decisions and deal with the consequences or were not mature enough to live away from home. It seems to me if you take off the training wheels while you are still on-site you can support and guide them and hopefully, once they are emancipated they will have had enough experience to be mature, responsible, grounded people. It is all about transition.

Furthermore, to those of you who feel the pain of an older, adopted child who’s been replaced by a biological newborn. We have absolutely no information that this is the case and remember that this is you projecting. I think that it is also during the teen years where we respect our children enough that they learn to carry their side of the mature-adult-child relationship (i.e., they should learn to ask for more time with a parent and really communicate as needed to have their needs met).

Charlotte on

With all due respect el, I have done the science – I am a psychologist – and your comments are inaccurate. Teenagers brains do not rewire, dismantle or reconnect etc.

Ann Johnson on

Wonderful Article! I have been a Nicole Kidman fan since “Dead Calm” and have always thought she was a very talented and smart actress. I have even more respect for her that she has come to a place in her life to know what is the most important and lasting things in this life. To Love and be Loved and to build a family and treasure it. I hope if she wishes for another child, that it will happen for them!

genegirl on

@EI — I am a neuroscientist and have ‘read the science’ and your statement is not scientific, rather hysterical and grandiose.

Ply on

Everyone here seems a little extreme. You need to be there for your kids when they are teenagers, but you also have to allow them to make some of their own decisions. It’s your job to help them become independent adults. You can’t do that if you’re stnading there the whole time telling them what to do. At the same time, you have to set some guidelines for them.

“I hope people don’t think all adoptive moms are this way.”
Whose to say that the fact they are adopted has ANYTHING to do with the way their relationship with their mother has turned out? Why does it always have to be about them being adopted? If they were her biological children they may have very well been in this same situation.

Evelynn on

Nicole looks great! love her as an actress, i compleatley agree with her statement by the way

El on

“We don’t think [teenage brains are] damaged,” says neuroscientist Jay Giedd. He’s the chief of brain imaging at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md. “They’re under construction.”

Found this quote in under four seconds. There is so much literature to support my statement, it’s overwhelming.

Sarah on

I’d be more likely to wonder if Tom doesn’t have more to do with Nicole ‘stepping back’
I just don’t get the impression she is (or can) tell the whole truth to this situation.. seems more complex then she lets on

Kimri on

Meant to say, I am Kimri and agree with Di. My teens who don’t need me have me frazzled today:-)

Stephany on

There has to be a balance. While teens need to have their parents as active roles in their lives as disciplinarians and support, they also need to have the freedom to be independent and make their own choices and decisions. They need to make bad decisions and learn from it! That’s just life. Teenagers need to know that they have parents who will support them and love them and talk with them – but also the freedom to make choices and be independent.

Erica on

I want to like Nicole Kidman because I think Tom Cruise gave her a raw deal; his treatment of her regarding the miscarriage right before their divorce seemed very callous and no one deserves that IMO.

However–I have always gotten the distinct impression that Nicole willingly relinquished much of her custody to Tom, and that if she truly wanted to she would have fought harder to be a bigger part of her childrens’ lives. I think a lot of the conspiracies about Tom holding secrets over Nicole’s head for custody of their kids was largely untrue, if only because I would hate to think that a mother would sacrifice the ability to be with her kids in order to salvage a career. Of course Connor and Isabella have their own lives now and are largely independent, but they were still very young when their parents divorced. For as much as the man can and does court attention I’ve never believed that Tom prioritizes Suri over his older kids. I just don’t believe the same is true with Nicole.

So to wrap up a slightly rambly post, lol, whenever Nicole talks about never wanting to be away from husband and baby, I roll my eyes, because there is a hell of a distance between L.A. and Nashville.

Gloria on

To some degree, I can relate to Nicole. But my child happens to be my biological daughter. She has always been a Daddy’s girl and he has always made sure she loved him more than me. Needless to say we divorced and I made a home for my daughter, but she chose to stay with her Dad….he has the money and I can’t compete with that. She does come to me and whine about her Dad, but would pick him over me anytime. She hurts me so much, but I am not going to beg her to stay with me if she doesn’t want to, so I imagine that it’s a lot of the case with Nicole and her kids..of course, I’m just speculating. But I’ve stepped back and left my daughter alone and hoping one day she will think back as to who really took care of her during her younger years! So, in a way, I sympathize with Nicole. Who knows what kind of a hold their Dad has on them. So I personally don’t think it’s anything to do with her 2 older kids being adopted because the same things happen with biological children too…I can vouch for that!

genegirl on

@EI — that is a quote for the popular (lay) press. You have to actually read scientific articles. What is true is that there is process of synaptic pruning (re-sorption almost of some endfeet of nerve terminals) during adolescence leaving the most robust connections in place. There is not a massive rewiring, we are born with all the bulk of neurons we need and those pathways that have been sculpted by the experience and biology before adolescence stay in place. Hormonal changes do change some aspects of neural function, but again, not in some earth-shattering way. My suggestion to you, since you seem keen on the topic is to read a chapter on brain development from a text book (easier to read than scientific articles; I recommend Principles of Neural Science by Kandel, Schwartz, Jessel) or take a look at publications (via pubmed) by doing a search using the appropriate terms (adolescence brain development). Many of the studies look at schizophrenia as an extreme example of the processes that go on during adolescence (as this is a disorder that most often comes about during adlescence). at any rate, I welcome further inquiry so that you can understand what is and what is not going on in a teen brain. Yes, I am an expert (who happens to love seeing celebrity babies).

Charlotte on

You have misunderstood El. All brains are in construction as neurons form new pathways, information is absorbed and learnt, experiences are gained…you are clearly a lay person who would like to believe they understand some science. Thank goodness genegirl and I are here to inform the readers of ACTUAL truth! :-)

Ashley on

I remember reading it somewhere that Kidman’s older children live with Cruise’s sister, not with Cruise. It was their choice to live in LA with their aunt. But I still find that very odd to me. I can’t never let my children live with a relative as long as I’m alive unless the circumstance doesn’t allow me to do so.

alice jane on

Ashley I’m pretty sure that (at least for a while) Tom’s sisters lived with him and Katie and all of the kids. I don’t think the kids were ever away from Tom, they just had extended family living with them as well.

The whole situation is a bit strange and kind of sad, and I think that there is a lot to the Tom-Nicole-Connor-Isabella dynamic that we don’t know and probably never will. I just hope that both the kids grow up happy and with good relationships with both Tom and Nicole, and both of their little sisters.

miaow on

Remember when Tom and Nicole broke up she was DEVASTATED. It took her YEARS to even partially rebuild her life. I suspect Nicole was not the most emotionally available or fun parent. Indeed she said her kids would suggest she go on dates…she was probably quite depressed and in many ways Tom, who moved on with lightning speed to a glamerous spanish actress was not disabled in teh same way after teh relationahip ended. Basically he was a jerk as a husband maybe, but he was maybe a better functioning parent than Nicole. Especially as he was surrounded by an extended family the kids had known their whole lives. Of course they chose Tom over a hotel room in Poland (or wherever Nic was filming) with a sad, brittle fragile mother.

torgster on

To put it plain and simple, Nicole had no choice but to step back. She wasn’t a celebrity of the calibre she is today at the time Tom Cruise dumped her. His high powered attorneys put the screws to her, and since then his Scientology brainwashing of the kids has made them not want to live with Nicole. Same thing will happen with Suri if Katie leaves him. You watch….all those poor kids. Lucky Sunday!

Rach on

I think the reason the kids stay with their aunt (probably in their own home) is because they are too old to be constantly uprooted and have their lives interrupted, but too young to be left unsupervised.

Erica,I agree.

Sarah K. on

Nicole wouldn’t be facing the same criticisms if she were a man. Plenty of fathers featured on this site only have visitation or see their kids occasionally. In fact some of those fathers get praised here. It’s ok for fathers to not have primary custody, but when a mother doesn’t she gets comments like “what kind of mother is she?” Double standard much?

Kimri, your idea that Nicole favors her biological child over the adopted is totally unfounded. Nicole has never said anything of the sort and neither has Tom. They both say that they share custody. To suggest that a mother suddenly stopped loving her children as soon as she had a biological child is pretty presumptive.

As for the giving teens space thing, there is no one way to raise kids. Some kids need space and others need more hands on parenting. Every parent is different and every child is different. None of us can say what Bella and Connor need.

JMO on

I think Isabella and Connor made a choice to live or should I say stay with their father because that’s where their life has always been. They probably have lots of friends and other family nearby and who would want to be uprooted from that?? Nicole is making a choice to live some place else where it’s more quiet and away from the hollywood lifestyle. Perhaps the kids didn’t want to be a part of that. I’m sure she’ very much in their lives but I do question how much. It seems since Nicole had Sunday you NEVER see her with the kids. But then again we’re not there first hand to see it. Tom seems more of the devoted “cool” kind of dad – I mean he pretty much lets Suri run the house so all 3 kids probably get to do as they please where maybe Nicole is more of the strict parent.
Anyways, I see her comment as stepping back is to know when to butt in and when not in their lives. Teens do need to have their space to deal with their issues but as long as they know that mom or dad is available then I see no problem with it. Most teens end up thinking they’re right anyways so I guess you have to just let them experience life situations and guide them the best you can by just being present but not overbearing.

Liliana on

Torgster, that is based on nothing but you’re own assumptions.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I highly doubt Tom has some metaphorical hold over his children that keeps Nicole at bay. Even if this was true, Nicole is legally their mother so, if she wanted to, could fight like hell to have those children split time between both residences.

I really do think this whole “ordeal” is much simpler than the many theories people have debated. Bella and Connor aren’t babies anymore so if they’re thriving in their environment, both at home and school, there’s no point to relocate them elswhere.

It’s much easier to paint one parent as the bad guy when, in all reality, that’s probably not the case.

Elizabeth on

Ladies, ladies — this is all she said ““Once your kids become teenagers, a lot of parenting is knowing when to speak and when not to speak,” she muses. “I have to step back and let them live their lives.”

Aren’t you all reading too much into one line in an article. I doubt she meant much by it other than that she, as she says, with teenagers one learns to say more with less!

Kimri on

Gloria, I hope as your daughter ages, you and she will become closer. I didn’t apprecite my mom fully until I became a mother. he is Japanese and I wanted to be the “all American girl” while she envisioned a Japanese princess. I appreciate the culture she instilled now. She still needs you although she doesn;r know it. I wish you the best.

Personally, I respect everyone’s opinions, and true we don’t know what is going on but a a mother, I don’t understand living apart from my children. Regardless of what they say they want, I am the adult and commonsense tells me that it would be beneficial to be present in their lives. It also troubles me how she carries on a/b Sunday and barely mentions the older two. I have a toddler and 2 older teens. I talk a/b our surprie baby incessantly but anyone would tell you the same is true for the older ones. I think it would hurt them to read an article with me saying how I can’t stand to be apart from the baby and my spouse while they live thousands of miles away. JMO.

JM on

i took her comment about teenagers to refer more to your opinions as a parent and what you say. i think as a teenager is when you are properly discovering your identity and it is important for parents to be non-judgemental. my parents just let me be me, and yeah i went through rough phases as a teenager, that doesn’t mean my parents let me run wild. they supported me, guided me and above all TALKED to me. but they were never judgemental or telling me what kind of person they thought i should be. now, in many ways i am similar to them but in many ways i am also different. i am very comfortable with who i am and i have my own opinions that i have thought through carefully, and i love my parents for letting me be who i wanted to be as a teenager. i had a more positive, balanced and safe experience as a teenager than most of my friends i know who had strict, rules-obsessed parents who thought they could dictate the kind of person their child should be. sometimes it is important to take a step back with teenagers.

Linda on

No one knows what is going on in their lives. I’m going with whoever said probably the kids wanted to stay near their friends & their school. I don’t think there is anything to the thought that because they’re adopted, that there’s a difference made. That is bull. What about Suri–does Tom like her the best–I seriously doubt it. The little kids need a lot of attention & high school kids don’t need as much. That’s not to say they don’t need attention. I’m sure Bella & Conner are loved very much. I just wish Nicole hadn’t done what she did to her lips–I thought she was adorable before & am disappointed she puffed up her lips.

Diamond Girl on

When since they were born have there EVER been lots of pics of Nicole with her first two children?

She always kept them very private, and until Tom starting parading them around with Katie, I wouldn’t have known what they even look like.

We have no idea how often Nicole sees them, because she doesn’t care if the public knows. If she was concerned with public image of herself as their mother, she would make sure there were pictures. Instead, she respects their privacy.

Erin on

Sarah K. – yours was the best comment I’ve seen on this site regarding the mini-controversial topic that is Nicole and her relationship with her older kids. Well said and really necessary!

Sonya on

Agree, Kimri.

For me the ‘problem’ is not the fact that the kids decided to live in LA, it’s the fact that Nicole decided to live on the other side of the continent. And before people say that this is where her husband lives, she wasn’t living in LA even before she met Keith. I just don’t understand why a mother who doesn’t have to (meaning she has no health, financial or other problems that would cause her to loose custody), decides not to live with her kids. I’d fight anything and anyone to be with my kids.

mazzie on

i wonder if she’ll ‘step back’ from sunday once she hits 13?!?

lulu on

@torgster

I agree with you on this… theres more to mr cruise than mini van folks likes to believe

alice jane on

Sarah K I agree completely with every single word you said!

Catey on

“I have to step back and let them live their lives.”

I think what she means is, she needs to be there, but not controlling. My mother and I had a great relationship when I was a teenager, because I knew she was always there. She wasn’t dragging information out of me or snooping through my emails. Instead she knew I was a good kid and I knew that if I needed help, she would be there straight away.

It may also be a time thing. My parents split when I was young and my dad had issues when I grew older because I didn’t call as often as I used to (he had moved interstate). Perhaps Nicole is in a similar place, where her kids are really starting their own lives and she feels like she needs to be less demanding on their time.

I completely understand what she is saying – it is not about removing yourself from their lives, its about understanding that you are no longer the centre of their universe.

RIP Michael on

I’ve always wondered why Nicole didn’t have the older kids full time. I read and heard all the theories. I’m nosy and I wonder what exactly is the reason behind the distance of the older kids and Nicole. I get the feeling that Tom wasn’t very fair to Nicole. Especially in how he divorced her after the miscarriage…so coldly. I’m glad she seems so happy!

Shanta on

I agree more with Erica and less with Sarah K. the whole “if she were a man…” reasoning bugs me. Yes,fathers have willing been less than equally involved in the raising of their kids and face less criticism by some. but this does not mean that woman should follow their lead. If you have kids raise them (mothers and fathers). I sometimes feel that with women and our quest for equality we sometimes lower ouselves to things men do instead of tying to bring them to our level.

Natasha on

Diamond girl, exactly!! Nicole is very private and obviously she’s followed more now because she’s with Keith but seriously people, she’s been Isabella and Connor’s Mom for 17 and 14 years now!

Anna on

Yes the kids chose to stay in LA where they grew up, as a mother you should than make the choice to stay near them and not move to the other side of the world. I will never understand the choices she has made.

Me on

Diamond Girl, well said!

Shay on

The only reason Nicole doesn’t see Conner and Isabella that often is because of Scientology. When my sister had been taking Scientology classes for about a year some of my family questioned it since they were concerned about the time and especially the money she was investing in it. So she had to “disconnect” from all of us and we haven’t heard from her in over 10 years. With what I know about this “religion” I feel bad not only for Nicole but Katie Holmes as well. I’m sure she had no idea what she was getting into.

Tiger Lily on

Diamond Girl- You are spot on. I had no idea Connor was African American until a couple of years ago because Tom and Nicole never had the children photographed and never took them to public events when they were very young.

It’s interesting that both Tom and Nicole have taken a different approach with Suri and Sunday respectively. We’ve all seen tons of photos of both of them.

Cara on

I don’t know what it is about Nicole Kidman, but she comes across as being a very cold person.

It doesn’t surprise me that she could chose to live apart for her kids. The kids were much younger when they split up, it’s not like she left teens to do their own thing, they must have been 7 and 10 when she left them. At 7 and 9, their parents are the center of their world, not their friends !!

Even to see photo’s or video of her with her daughter and husband now, she seems very detached, there appears to be nothing warm about her. Maybe it’s to do with the awful things she has done to her face that gives her the appearance of being so cold.

CelebBabyLover on

Tiger LIly- Uh, we rarely see SUnday!

Liliana- Couldn’t agree more! :)

Ply on

Many fathers choose to live in a different state than their children. Why are they not criticized?

Em on

We rarely see Sunday? ARe you serious? Nicole did a pretty good job of getting Sunday’s photo out there last year when she started promoting Australia and it’s been increasing ever since. I have to agree with whoever said that even before Nicole married Keith Urban, she did not live in LA. People like to place the blame on Nashville, but Nicole sold the LA house that she got in the divorce years before getting remarried. She admitted that before she got remarried that she didn’t have a “home”. Why sell the house that was close to where her children live? What does that show them? She was all over the world filming movies after the divorce. She went back to work 4 weeks after having Sunday. The baby is only 16 months & she’s already been on 3 film sets. Nicole likes to talk a good game, but her actions show otherwise.

lisa on

well I just see it as she married Keith and just started over.Now they have their perfect little family..actions speak louder than words..it is what it is.

Di on

More than anything I kind of feel sorry for Nicole. On one hand it seems like she made a conscious choice to remove herself from her children’s daily lives but on the other hand, she may have had no choice. I mean, sometimes I wonder what kind of power Tom has over Nicole since their whole custody arrangement seems so one-sided. The children are being raised only as Scientologist and spend pretty much all of their time with either their Dad or his sister in LA.

I wanted to point that Nicole current arrangement with Tom has been in place at least for four or five years when Connor and Isabella were much younger i.e., pre-teens. It is really sad that a mother could take such a hands off approach to her children but of course with Sunday, that little girl probably never leaves her mother’s side and I expect that to continue even as she gets older.

lisa on

Its very sad, but I thnk she worded it very nicly considering.. If you’ve followed her and her ex, then you would know he cut her out of her kids lives when he cut her out of his… She tring to make the best out of a bad situation. Teenagers raised in hollywood are not gonna move to nashville especially if your daddy says you dont have too!

Ashley on

Em Says: “We rarely see Sunday? ARe you serious?”

Compared to how much we see Suri and other celeb’s kids, we hardly see Sunday. Sunday is definitely not photographed at least once or twice a week shopping with Nicole, on the movie set with Nicole or on the road with Keith. We see Sunday more around the time when Nicole’s movie is coming out because that’s when Nicole is out in public making appearances. On the other hand, we see Suri/Katie all the time doing everyday things.

GiannaG on

“Meant to say, I am Kimri and agree with Di.”

This is just too awesome. Wink wink, Kimri.

I totally get what Nicole is saying and I agree with what others have said about overly-controlling, hovering parents turning out non functioning and sometimes resentful children. If you do everything for them they will never learn to think for themselves and when they emerge into the real world they will make some HUGE mistakes and will still be waiting for mommy to tell them what to do. No one is saying to abandon them, just learn how and when to let go. I have seen some parents who are still hovering over their 30 year old children. That is beyond disturbing.

Tiger Lily on

I find it hard to be that hard on Nicole. She’s made it clear (and her wedding ceremony to Keith made clear) that she’s a Roman Catholic. And the children are devout Scientologists and had always lived in LA. Perhaps the children chose to distance themselves from her? Tom is such a forceful personality and divorce is so complex and painful that this situation probably just happened. I don’t doubt that she loves all three of her children very much and perhaps things will get better once they are no longer minors and out of the Cruise house.

Oh, and the thing about rarely seeing Sunday- I guess I meant that we see her/hear more stories about her than we did about Connor and Isabella when they were small.

Sarah K. on

“well I just see it as she married Keith and just started over.Now they have their perfect little family..actions speak louder than words..”

What actions? We rarely see any of them. Both Nicole and Tom have explicitly said that the teens do not want to be talked about. Should she go against her kids’ wishes to appease complete strangers?

The kids were a part of her wedding. She mentioned that she had a picture of Sunday and Bella that she loved. Bella was in Australia with Nicole when she died her hair blue. Tom and Connor met up with Keith at a race over the summer. Connor also worked on the set of ‘Australia’. And, she said in this interview that she bought a home in L.A. so she could see them more.

These are just a few of the examples we know about. People need to stop looking for reasons to think that a mother abandoned her kids.

Sarah K. on

Shanta, I agree with you in theory. But, the court system doesn’t exactly work that way. Most judges do not like 50/50 custody arrangements because it’s considered to be less stable. It requires children to bounce back and forth as opposed to have one home. Most prefer the kids to have a primary residence and then visit the other parent. That can be applied even if both parents are fit, loving, and want the kids. It’s a reality of divorce and joint custody.

Just because a parent “only” has visitation does not mean that the parent loves the kids less. And, it certainly doesn’t mean that the kids were abandoned by the visiting parent.

That being said, I stand by my statement that if it were Tom who had visitation, this would be a non-issue.

Kimri on

I guess we can all agree to disagree and hope for the best for these children. I hope they don’t feel displaced by Nicole’s new family and that really is all that matters.

Trinh on

I’m a big fan of Nicole. Always have been. Tom- not so much. And I agree, we don’t know what happens in private. But it’s SO hard for me no to cringe and wince when it seems that HER kids hardly live w/ her. I do admit, I wonder, if this is the price she paid for her divorce, if they “picked” Tom, or if this is something she happily gave up, or if Nicole and Tom are free spirits in raising their kids, which seems like the complete opposite of how they are raisin Suri and Sunday (who I know are babies, but still). Something seemed to have broken, and it seems sad.

Jen on

Sarah K. Thank you for writing exactly what I was thinking, but couldn’t find the words for. The whole debate about Nicole not loving her first two children “enough”, “the right way” or “anymore”… whatever you want to call it… is ridiculous. Step back and realize that just because we see glimpses into celebrities lives it does not mean we have full understanding of every moment and every thought/feeling they have.

CelebBabyLover on

Di- I don’t see what’s so strange about the kids being raised in only their dad’s faith. That sort of thing actually happens quite a bit with mixed-religion parents, even parents who are happily together.

For example, I once knew a couple where the mother was Catholic and the father was Lutheran. They had three daughters….all of whom were raised Catholic.

Sarah K.- I agree completely! :)

Ellen Smith on

Nicole has not slowed down her career at all for motherhood. Here are a list of films in production she is in and other projects in development.

In Development: How to Marry a Millionaire; At the End of the Spectra; Monte Carlo; Untitled Dusty Springfield Project; The Eighth Wonder; The Rivals

In Production: Bel Ami (2011) (pre-production); The Danish Girl (2010) (pre-production); Rabbit Hole (2010) (post-production)

If this is slowing down or stepping back, then I truly need to reevaluate the definition of this term.

Ply on

“Oh, and the thing about rarely seeing Sunday- I guess I meant that we see her/hear more stories about her than we did about Connor and Isabella when they were small.”

The papparazzi have also multiplied and gotten about ten times worse since Connor and Isabella were small.

lynsey on

To me, she was merely saying “You learn to pick your battles.”

Terri on

I totally get what Nicole was saying about stepping back. That’s completely different from saying that you’re not going to guide them or teach them, you can do all of that while allowing them to become individuals.

dani on

Nicole seems to love Isabella and Connor very much. The couple does have joint custody. After the divorce she had the kids for three or four years I think. When the kids wanted to settle down in LA, Tom said he would get a house there. Personally I think Nicole has always had their best interests in mind. She does what is right for the kids and doesn’t let the criticism around her decisions affect her relationship with them nor does she let it force her into decisions that would adversely affect the two older ones. Plus the kids have a great stepmom (and I don’t like KH, but think this is true) and a great stepdad. All four people seem to think of the kids first. That is the way it should be.
And Scientology generally does not care for those that leave the cult. They call them suppressive persons and generally demand they be shunned. Most likely because of Kidman’s visibility, stature and A list status, the cult outwardly and publicly probably says nothing. But we don’t know what they are saying behind closed doors. They are known for being totally ruthless (article just came out today in Australia about the cult and alleges torture and more for those that question its edicts) so we don’t know what is happening behind the scenes.
In every interview where she has talked about them–it is apparent she loves them and admires them. I give kudos to her for doing what is good for the kids rather than for her.

CelebBabyLover on

Tiger Lily- I forgot to add that Nicole and Tom DID show us Bella and Connor at least once when they were little. Bella and Connor were formally introduced to the pubilc when Bella was about 3 and Connor was about 1. :)

CelebBabyLover on

Ellen Smith- Nicole never said that she’s “stepping back from the spotlight” or slowing down her career to be a mother. The headline that CBB used is a bit mis-leading.

mp on

I don’t feel Nicole willingly abandoned Bella & Conner — I’m sure Tom Cruise put extreme pressure on her during the divorce to separate them from her. And like Dani, I don’t doubt Scientology had a lot to do with that. Let’s just say that, as Bella & Conner get older and less willing to toe the Scientology line, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them moving in with Keith & Nicole.

CelebBabyLover on

mp- Then why has Nicole said that the kids prefer LA? And why has Tom said that he is NOT pushing Nicole out of the kids’ lives? And who’s to say the kids won’t stay Scientoligsts?

My Linh Nguyen on

“Once your kids become teenagers, a lot of parenting is knowing when to speak and when not to speak….”

“I have to step back and let them live their lives.”

Nicole’s parenting concern is, IMHO, dead on!

As babies we all required physical and emotional nurturing in high quantity because, the reality is, we (at that earlier stage of life) cannot option physical necessity and/or emotional stability without the help of a parent or guardian (let’s try to see a 2 or 10 month old walk herself to the kitchen to get her daily feed… a bottle). As young children and/or teenagers, it is easier for us to obtain material needs (such as food, clothes and shelter) because we can, for the most part, reason what we want, need or don’t need; since our brain is matured enough to understand the concept of survival and being able to “DO” what must be done to live (such as feeding ourselves, clothing ourselves, keeping warm, etc). Emotionally, because young children and teenagers are able to communicate better than babies, they can obtain emotional stability from friends and people outside the family, whereas a baby rely entirely on their caregiver.

I am not saying that teenagers don’t need their parents, the message I am trying to convey is; teenagers aren’t babies, they do what they must to reach the emotional matured level that they wish to be in. Some teenagers are rebeleous and would do everything “OPPOSITE” from what they are told. Some listens and some barely listens… It is the job of the parent or gaurdian to ‘decide’ which is the best course to raise that specific child. There is no “GOLDEN RULE” in raising children that would work EVERY TIME.

From my experience, everything needs moderation. Teenagers are a hard bunch to maintain and understand, hence, it is best to try to let them be who they want to be. Sometimes you just have to learn to relax and let them explore the world as they see fit. Overprotectiveness, in my experience, is one of the worst thing a parent can do to his or her child (how would children ever learn true happiness without be exposure of the horrors of what they may or may not face in their lifetime – teenagers aren’t DUMB, they deduce and reason, we just have to learn to stop thinking of them as babies but rather young people fast approaching adulthood.).

To break down Nicole’s quote…

“Once your kids become teenagers, a lot of parenting is knowing when to speak and when not to speak….”

“I have to step back and let them live their lives.”

I just want to know when did Nicole ever mentioned to “DISAPPEAR” from her children’s life?

All she said was “I have to STEP BACK (***not disappear***) and let them live their lives.” I am just happy that she understood the idea that “parenting is knowing when to speak and when not to speak…” becuase unfortunately there are parents who “SWEARS” they are always on the “KNOW” when we all know and must have experienced that parents can be wrong… on occasions!

As parents I think we must learn when to let our child learn to pick up their own mess, however emotionally/physically devastating… Please don’t mistaken what I said for being neglectful, but just something that should be done for the better. TAKE A STEP BACK (don’t run off, don’t disappear) and be cautious and alert; be able to willingly take that one STEP FORARD when your child is most in need of your presence and wisdom.

You be the judge on when that time is… after all, once a parent always a parent, no?

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