Katherine Heigl: Baby Decisions Should Be Made By Mom

05/24/2010 at 04:00 PM ET

New mom Katherine Heigl isn’t afraid to speak her mind when it comes to caring for her 18-month-old daughter Naleigh — even if it means confronting husband Josh Kelley!

“We actually sort of fight over [how we raise her]. It’s ridiculous because I think it’s a mother’s job truly to decide these things,” the actress joked during a playful appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.

“I think he should just listen and do it. He got really mad at me for suggesting that the other day and I was like, ‘But don’t you get it? I know. I have an instinct, it’s universally called a mother’s instinct. So why are you arguing with me?'”

With the couple at odds with everything from their choices in diapers and wipes to how many grapes baby girl should eat, Heigl is the first to admit she’s a “little bit of a control freak.” That said, the Killers star knows her limit.

“[Josh] is really paranoid about her walking because he thinks everything is a danger and he’s right, but at a certain point we just have to let it go,” she explains.

Noting that “being parents is this whole new world,” Heigl, 31, says the emotional toll of motherhood is one she never anticipated.

“What’s unusual is the emotional change. Gradually I started to feel like, ‘[You’re] wearing your heart now on the outside of your body for the rest of your life,'” she notes.

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 52 comments

Mallory on

Wow. This is the first KH article I’ve read where I can’t decide if she’s joking or not. I really hope she is, because if she isn’t, I’d want to yell at her and say…”Parenting is a partnership! Just like your MARRIAGE! He is her father, you nimwit!”

But yeah…Naleigh’s such a cutie! (trying to end on a positive note)

Ashley on

WOW! Okay Kathrine! Even if I have my “Mother’s Instinct,” I always consult with the husband about the subject. They are his children as well, he should have a say in the matter.

Alice on

I hope she was joking again.

giftbox on

From the article:

“the actress joked during a playful appearance…”

Janna on

Reading comprehension in the world has hit an all-time low.

Let’s try this again (from the article right up there at the top of the page): “…. the actress joked during a playful appearance on Late Show with David Letterman.”

Joked. Playful. You can read those words, right?

Etsy on

Well said/read, Janna! I now read the comments to see all of the readers get their panties in a bunch about ‘this’ comment and ‘that’ comment in all of the posts!

Luna on

Go Janna!

giftbox on

Hey! Where’s the love, guys?!? 🙂 (Asked Giftbox playfully and in a joking manner…)

Maddie on

I DO know that she is joking. But in every joke there is a grain of truth. Just sayin’.

Laura on

Even if there is a grain to truth to how she feels about making decisions for her daughter, obviously her husband doesn’t agree so while she may WANT to make all the decisions, he isn’t letting her. I’m sure as time goes on, she will like having the second opinion. She admitted that she is a control freak so it might be hard for her to not have full control of all decisions, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t let it happen.

Amy on

Oh man, I knew this would cause a firestorm! She’s joking. I read this to my husband and we laughed about it! She is great and her daughter is so gorgeous. That hubby ain’t too bad either… 🙂 🙂

Wolf on

LOL Giftbox! I know the feeling.

alice jane on

I think there needs to be some sort of application on this site that, before you post a comment, you read the article twice. I’m semi-joking of course, but seriously…… if you read a comment that comes across to you as controversial or offensive, maybe go back up and read it through once more before you post some high-strung rant in the comments? She was JOKING. If you didn’t see the interview, it even states that very clearly in this article.

Henri on

I’m not a Katherine “hater” but this is the first article where I thought I REALLY disagreed with her. A baby can’t exist without a mother AND a father, why would one get more say than the other?

Stef on

Did anyone actually see the interview? I’m wondering if she actually appeared to be joking or if the writer of the article just kind of put that in to make her look better.

April on

I saw it. Yes, she was joking around and everyone was laughing. I’m sure you can watch it online.

Karla on

I saw Katherine on Dave Letterman and YES, she was definitely joking around. I feela bit sorry for celebs because when they say things, they end up as ‘quotes’ on various sites as thins and in magazines and people think they’re serious. I really like her, she clearly has quite a witty, funny sense of humor and she seems very down to earth and fun. People need to give her a break…she was JOKING, was not serious. You can probably find the video on you tube.

Mallory on

Sorry guys, I missed that line. I’m recovering from foot surgery, so I guess the drugs were getting to me when I made my first comment. 😛

J on

Yeah yeah, she said it is a joking amnner, but she’s said many other strange things in a joking manner when she truly meant it.

Yay, Janna can make one word sentences to try to get a point across (standing applause). Please…

liesl78 on

Here’s the interview

Tee on

Mallory- I’m sorry to hear you had to have surgery! I hope you’re recovering well!

Well said, Janna!

I sit on the fence where Katherine Heigel is concerned, but she does seem to be head over heels in love with little Naleigh. Who couldn’t be? She’s absolutely precious!

Elisa on

I’ll never understand why some are too quick to criticize. Sigh Anyway she seems to be head over heels for her daughter.

Whitney on

The article twists her words – I don’t think she was joking but she had humor in what she meant.

Jen on

Grapes get stuck in babies airways

bo-peep on

her comments are fine. LOTS of women actually behave like this and if KH has tendencies in the control direction… well, at least she knows herself well enough to joke about it which is a great first step.

her yellow dress on the other hand is truly AWFUL… i know i need to accept and move on but it just pains me when a woman this insanely beautiful dresses this badly…

Anonymous on

Something tells me that lots of these posters make the majority of the decisions where their own kids are involved!!! You all seem very strong and opinionated, I’m assuming in your homes your husbands don’t get much say in “how many crackers” the kids get!
Although I do believe that Katherine was joking, I see nothing wrong with one parent making parenting decisions…if I had I defer to my husband, (or wait for him to get home) about every little thing ( these are the things she was joking about ), nothing would ever get done!
I figure, I’m the one at home with these little ones all day, every day, and I’ll handle things on my own, thank you very much!!!

elle on

I think most women make the majority of the decisions for children, even in a two parent household. You may consult with you husband but when it comes to kids women usually get their way.

lila on

Hum, I didnt get the joke vibe seeing the interview…

Romy on

I feel like plucking my eyes out sometimes. She was clearly joking. Yes, she’s annoying and says annoying things a lot, but she was joking. She’s saying out loud what most moms think sometimes when they’re frustrated, but we all know the truth that it is a partnership.

Romy on

also you have to remember people get very sarcastic on shows like Letterman and Kimmel when they are interviewed.

Diana on

I don’t know didn’t really seem like she was joking after listening to the interview.

Lauren on

This is a classic case of seeing before reading. I read the article bov and was EXTREMELY put off by what she was saying. I hate when mothers downplay the role fathers have in their kids’ lives and really think it leads to the larger problem of assuming that the role of the father is not as important as that of the mother, which can lead to disasterous consequences. I just watched the interview and was laughing the whole time (I even want to see the movie now after having blown it off as another dumb flick beforehand!) Katherine, like myself, has a very dry, sarcastic sense of humor, meaning that unless one’s there to pick up on subtle social hints-eye rolling, winking, deadpan voice-they would think she was serious. She has praised Josh as an awesome dad and even talked about how Naleigh is a bit more attached to him than her, so clearly she values him and was trying to mock herself more than anyone. That just translates terribly into print.

diane on

Uh, no, I don’t think so. All baby decisions SHOULD NOT be made by the mother. The father has just as much say in this as the mother. It’s called parenting.

Kristen on

Really ladies? This is what we argue about? Are you telling me that you all consult with your husbands before buying diapers and wipes? Really?! And are you telling me that men want to be a part of that debate? Of course mothers make the majority of the decisions concerning children because the assumption is that mothers are the primary caretaker. She didn’t say anything about contridicting what he said but again are you really telling us that you all run the diaper/wipes decision by your husband? Are you not capable of making any decisions by yourself without him weighing in.

What she mentions is nonsense stuff. She didn’t say that they argue over the baby’s religion, school, sleeping arrangements, or anything even remotely important. Stop bothering your husbands and the kid’s father with decisions any logical person could make on her own.

Kristen on

I think that this is clearly a case of basing comments on how well a person is liked. Had Jennifer Garner said the same thing I bet that many of you would have chimed in and said the same. Since she is considered “likable” and Katherine Heigle isn’t your comments are biased against her.

JuliP on

I don’t care if she’s joking or not, she said it out loud and clearly meant a little bit of what she said.
This woman is so annoying….if she continues to playfully joke about her mommy instincts, she’s going to be a single mommy!

Mrs. R on

I totally agree with you Kirsten.
Remember back when Jennifer Garner joked about being away from her kid and how she had leave gigantic lists for Ben about what to do while she was gone? We all thought it was cute then.
Kathrine Heigl just doesn’t have as much ‘sweet’ charm as ‘sass’. I personally love sass, and don’t mind a bitter edge to it, but it’s not going to make her universally loved.

Anna on

@maddie: actually sometimes there isn’t a grain of truth to kidding. not everyone lives their life being a ridiculous cliche and not everyone’s thoughts, feelings, and actions line up with that narrow view. people are all different, they do things for different reasons and i’m constantly shocked by people like you who want to shove everyone into a boring predictable box. you have no idea if there was any element of truth to what katherine said.

Jane on

Anna, your comment seems to be seeping with anger. I can almost picture you pounding out that comment on the keyboard.

Manon on

Janna: too aggressive.

JMO on

Joking or not I can totally see her being like this! And yes I base it off of how she’s come off in interviews over the years! The stuff her and her husband “argue” about is nothing compared to what they’ll be arguing about 15 years from now! Enjoy the conflicts over what to feed her or dress her in bc the conflicts of dating and boys is just around the corner. And Naleigh will be making up her mind about many decisions (without their input) soon enough 😉
She’s so adorable!!

Anna on

@jane: Sorry to disappoint you in your attempt to guess the mental state of a person you’ve never met and know nothing about, but there was actually no anger at all in my comment. I was merely making an observation and attempting to have a conversation about something beyond the typical “great article” or “how dare her” or “cute baby” – I don’t see the point in typing a comment if I’m not going to be contributing something relevant to the dialogue. It’s really sad that an attempt at having a conversation that doesn’t skim across the surface is seen by you as anger. How sad for you. I certainly hope you don’t normally take that negative of an approach to life.

maggie on

MY GOD DOES SHE ANNOY ME! my baby cousin is the light of our lives, he’s parents are estranged and his mom is only a parent in name. she doesnt look after him properly! my cousin, who is the daddy is AMAZING! This article makes my blood boil. so tempted to add another bit to this rant but for fear of insulting or hurting others i wont.

Jane on

Anna, I am so disappointed!

Oh, and I think one can have a conversation and make an observation and at the same time be very angry about the thing one is observing. I guess this wasn’t true in your case though.

Romy on

Jen I am guessing they cut the grapes up like the rest of us.

Meg on

I think Katherine in interviews is a lot like Gwyneth Paltrow in interviews. Their wry sense of humor doesn’t translate into print.

Hea on

It’s a joke about “maternal instincts” and I think she’s pointing out the fact that men have “instincts” to when it comes to their kids.

ariana on

if she’s serious, then i see a divorce in the future, cuz this is just a no-no

LisaS on

Wow. I’m not a fan of Katherine Heigl at all but I thought it was pretty obvious she was joking, even if the article hadn’t made it a point to say that she was indeed joking.

Anyways, cute baby. She looks like a little doll.

Tammy on

What blows my mind is all the mothers criticizing her and all the other stay at home mom’s I see on the internet during the day. My children are in high school and middle school now, but when they were small I never had time to play on the computer.

When I had my first baby almost 15 years ago I was a overbearing freak. My poor husband had to put up with me freaking out over the smallest things. its called being a first time parents. its all new to her and him and they have more than enough time to figure things out together.

And yes, a child can choke on a grape, I’m sure she is cutting them into bite size pieces.

bro on

totally taken out of context!

My opinion on

I totally agree with some comments. I don’t even have children and yeah you don’t consult with your husband on everything about your children, specially if you are the main carer (sorry for my spelling) at home, then you get to master and understand what children needs. That doesn’t mean that the father is not involved and not active in the child’s life.

So even if you think she was not joking during this interview, which for me it was funny anyway! there is nothing to criticize.

If you dislike the woman for certain reasons, that is fine.. we don’t have to like everybody on this planet.. what i think is funny is that because of this, the woman ends up being bashed for just anything she says.