Jessica Alba: Moms Should Stop Judging Each Other

03/20/2013 at 11:00 AM ET

Jessica Alba The Honest Life Justin Coit

She may have written The Honest Life, a family guide to living green, but don’t expect to see Jessica Alba calling out parents who aren’t going by the book.

The actress — mom to daughters Honor Marie, 4½, and Haven Garner, 19 months — is surrounded by an eclectic mix of fellow mamas — all with their own opinions — but insists she refuses to dwell on her friends’ doings with their children.

“When you become a mom, the last thing you want to do is feel judged because everybody is trying to do the best they can,” Alba tells PEOPLE.

Noting that nursing is a constant hot topic among moms, the cofounder of The Honest Company says women should start feeling confident in their decisions — even if that includes extended breastfeeding.

“My girlfriend who is co-sleeping with her kids and may or may not be breastfeeding her 3-year-old shouldn’t hide that. She should be fine with that, and she shouldn’t feel judged,” she explains. “And then my friend who never even attempted really to breastfeed because it was too exhausting for her … she shouldn’t feel like she’s a bad mom.”

The stay-at-home versus working mom debate is one Alba understands all too well, but sees both sides of the never-ending argument. “I have friends who literally are better parents when they are going to work every day for long days and they have weekend time or night time with their kids,” she says.

“I have other friends who cannot even imagine leaving their child for one second and need to be attached literally at the hip, and that is fine as well.”

As her own girls grow up, the actress is already anticipating how she will handle both her work commitments and their school schedules. For Alba, if quality time with her daughters during a trip means bringing along their school books, it isn’t a big deal.

“I feel like I have friends who can’t take their kids out of school [because] they’re so into school attendance that that is their number one priority,” she says. “For me, I’m my kids’ happiness. Once my daughter gets old enough … if we still are continuing to travel this much, I’ll bring the tutor and she’ll learn. It’s more important for me to spend time with her than to not.”

For Alba, a key to a happy home with husband Cash Warren is re-enforcing healthy habits — without depriving their daughters of junk food.

“We don’t look at kale or broccoli or squash as healthy. That’s just what they eat,” she explains. “I try to give them whole foods and whole grains as much as humanly possible. I just feel like they will thrive on that. Will they go to dinner with the family to a chain restaurant? Sure we do!”

Jessica Alba The Honest Life

With her philosophy of everything in moderation, the eco-friendly mom admits there’s still plenty of sweet indulgences for the family.

“If they’re going to have a dessert, I like to make a dessert with Honor. We’ll make little cupcakes and that will be what they have two or three times a week and then the rest of it will be fruit or applesauce,” Alba shares.

“They’re such little spazzes when they have too much refined sugar and flour. You know? They’re mental.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Suzanne Zuckerman

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 58 comments

Linda on

Jessica is so, so, so, so pretty!!! That cover photo of her is so pretty.

Moms should stop judging each other, but we won’t. It’s only human to judge others. The key is to keep those judgements in our heads. There is no need to comment on another mom’s style of how she raises her children.

When my extended family goes out to eat dinner, my SIL’s kids eat dinner while watching the iPad. I don’t think it’s a good idea but I won’t mention it. I judge in my head but keep it to myself. No one likes to have their choices questioned. If people haven’t judged you for your parenting style, you shouldn’t judge them outloud to their face either.

Deb on

I think Jessica is a horrible actress and got her career because of her face…..oops sorry for judging who I choose to pay MY moeny to support!!!!

vicki on

Why do u feel the need to judge so meanly Deb.. everyone is entitled to their own opinion yes but its supposed to be an artical about bring nice and NOT judging each other.. yet u feel the need to let the world know you are jelouse… Why?.. she is a wonderful actor just trying to be peaceful with everyone.. and quiet frankly a Awsome mom!!..

Bailey on

I agree with Jessica 100%. Evey Mom has their own way to raise their kids. Setting good eating habbits early is the key. But if one Mom see’s another giving their child a cheesburger it’s not her business.

Lauren on

As a mom we shouldn’t judge other mothers. She is exactly right. We each try to do the best we can. The commenters on this site are some of the most judgmental people I have ever “seen” in my life…bully like, actually. Instead of judging, give advice, offer tips, provide your experience. Stop putting people down because it is not becoming.

jessica on

This is so true. Mothers are so brutal to each other. I don’t feel like everyone has to think like me and make the exact same decisions as me. What is right for me may not be right for someone else. If you want to breastfeed your 3 year old go right ahead, its not my business! I vow to teach my son the same life lesson, just because we have a different point of view doesn’t mean the other person is wrong, they just have a different way of doing things than we do and thats okay 🙂

D on


sally on

Well you kept in in your head till you comments on it now!

In general women and men should stop judging women and men and just live your life!

keilanisma on

You just do what works for you and your family and who cares what anyone else thinks.


Don’t like her, but EVERYTHING she just said is so so true..

Bex on

She is just very real, I love that. I love her company too, those diapers and wipes are fantastic- and most importantly cost-effective. I agree with her, not only should moms not judge each other but we should also let ourselves off the hook sometimes and maybe judge ourselves a little less. The ONLY important thing is that our children are healthy and happy and know that they are loved- you can’t ask for any more than that.

Jen on

Like her or not, she is completely correct here.

jane tyler on

Jessica is no longer an actress…she is a “professional mother” who talks about/is photographed more in public with her kids than anyone I have ever seen…

don444 on

Basically, if you don’t have something nice to say then keep you mouth shut, huh Linda? lol Nice, I’ll bet you’ve been thoroughly manipulated plenty in your life with that docile, hands-off approach. Can’t ALWAYS say exactly what you’d like to, but you pick and choose your battles in life and occasionally you need to have the stones to take the wood to others, plain and simple. No one likes to have their choices questioned? So what, life’s way too short to constantly filter your personal thoughts and behavior through a prism of what appeals to others. Besides, are you completely comfortable with the notion of spending time with people who are outwardly polite but likely have little or even zero use for you inside their heads and their hearts? You shouldn’t be. Truth hurts at times, we all know that, but it’s ultimately better than playing the role of a minstrel in someone else’s convenient delusion.

tired on

Good for her. Still doesn’t want to make me have kids!! Lifetime commitments and they don’t stay wittle babies for very long. Next thing their smartass teens telling you they hate you! We live in a sick and demented world and still people keep bringing kids into this world. Newsflash its going to get worse . .but adhere to your own selfish desires and bring another baby into this fuked up world. Being a mom is not a career choice its a decision. I don’t want it so good luck to you brainless sheeple!!

MrsFritz on

Yes, YOU should not procreate.

Ty's mom on

I am so tired of all the judgemental moms. Little do they know the know it all attitudes rub off on their kids. This article it perfect.

Emry on

Its hard not to when you see them do or say something incredibly stupid.

Guest on

Because judging moms for judging each other is different, I suppose. Got it.

Stacey on

How about people keeping more of their personal business personal and then one would not know TO judge.

Gigi on

Not a Jessica Alba fan, but she makes a lot of sense here and sounds like a great mom.

me on

I wish people would use the term “spaz”, especially people in high profile positions. It’s offensive! The slang word is derived from the word spastic and to compare your sugar-addled children to someone suffering from spasticity is certainly not appropriate.

I stop my children from using this word as they don’t appreciate what it means. Please, educate your children and don’t use the word. There’s plenty of other suitable ones out there.

MB on

Agreed, moms should not be judging each other, we all do the best we can for our children. The only odd thing about this article is that she said moms shouldn’t judge each other, but then went on to say that kids who eat “too much refined sugar and flour.. they’re mental.” Isn’t that passing judgment on kids???

Taraakapinky on

Please re-read MB, she was referring to her kids. It was a joke.

disturbed on

Sorry but I think a mother still nursing a 3 year old is disturbing. I am in no way saying breastfeeding is bad, but a 3 year old?

MrsFritz on

The world average for breast feeding is 4.7 years. Your statement is ignorant.

makafortune on

Right on……couldn’t agree with your more on NOT JUDGING.

dana on

Interesting, but in a way I think she is judging others that judge others.

Theresa on

I totally agree. We need to stop judging.

When I was pregnant I was told so many times that I must breastfeed. If I don’t breastfeed, I’m a terrible mother.

When has bottle feeding come with such a negative connotation?! Do what’s best for you and your child!

Anonymous on

“They’re mental” ….Jessica, sweetie….you’re trying sooooo hard but you’re not fooling anyone. Think twice before making comments like this in an interview.

Mandy on

Jessica is right. There are a lot of things that other parents’ do that I wouldn’t, but as long as the kids aren’t in danger, its not any of my business. I’ll raise my kids the way I want, & let everyone else do the same.

cynlee on

Finally someone who has common sense. Mothers everywhere should support each other, no matter whether you agree with their choices or not. No one has all the answers; we all do the best we can!

Just on

I’ll be the judge of Jessica…. HOT!

Michelle on

I have a 10 month old and tired of other moms comparing their child to mine. Each child develops differently and as mothers we should be there to support one another instead of just bragging who’s kid is better at what. Everyday I’m proud of my daughter and happy to see other children to flourish as well. The saying “it takes a village” should be reincorporated into our logic when it comes to raising children

Kim on

I’m judging her for judging those of us who judge 🙂

Tammy Jones on

Agree. Excellent advice to all mothers, young middle & well preserved. 🙂 Don’t JUDGE

newmom on

Wow tired……..judgemental much? Maybe it is the way you raise your children and not the world’s fault if they turn out to be horrible people.

Jessica is right. As a new mom myself, it is hard to figure this stuff out. Babies can’t exactly tell you what they want or what they like so you have to learn to read them. If you feel like you are being judged for your choices constantly, it makes it that much harder. Only you know what is right for you and your baby and you should never doubt yourself for a second. They don’t call it mother’s instinct for no reason!

Michele on

“They’re such little spazzes when they have too much sugar. They’re mental.”

Am I really reading this AGAIN? Both in your print issue AND a featured article on line? I can’t believe that Jessica Alba would say such a hurtful comment. What does she mean- her children are behaving like someone who has spasms- a medical condition? or someone who is mentally ill? Is that a funny thing to say?

It is a hurtful comparison. Jessica should use her words more responsibly. Calling someone a “spaz” is no better than using the word “retarded.” It is mean. It is hurtful. It is insulting and a poor example to those who are reading it. I can’t believe she said it, and I can’t believe People Magazine chose to use that quote. Very disappointing.

Mira on

I totally disagree. Some parenting choices damage kids and the people who make them should be judged for it. I won’t say what I think the list of these choices includes, because I don’t want to shift the discussion, but clearly, we can all agree that parents who emotionally or physically abuse their kids should be judged very harshly for it.

Katia on

Finally! A super-mom who is a champion of MOMS! One’s parenting style should be respected as long as the children’s best interests are being served and the children are loved and cared for. Being a mother is serious work, and moms need to be supportive of one another. Not tearing each other down. Thank you, Jessica!

Ini on

She is totally correct. I think mothers judge each others because they define themselves as mothers and mothers only. You don’t have this kind of competition between fathers, because they – while being fathers – go on with their lives.. If you focus on your children only you want to get the best results out of it..

Charli on

I like her. She seems to have a very reasonable and healthy outlook.

Julia on

When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.
~Wayne Dyer~

Remember judging someone is ‘Learned Behavior”………………………kids, watch, listen, and learn.

trixie61 on

We ‘judge’ people because we have our beliefs. To say that everything is equally valid is wishy-washy. Opening your mouth and saying what you believe is judgy…but believe me…we all think our thoughts and live by them the best we can.

KW on

I didn’t breastfeed my kids. Proud of it, so judge me. They are 13, 11, and 7. Never had an ear infections, all are VERY lean, and all are identified in their school’s gifted program. Formula was great!

Jordyn on


maryhelenc on

Thank you! I’m so tired of seeing moms tearing each other down, or women tearing each other down. Life is hard enough, let’s build each other up, not tear each other down all of the time.

Sarah on

She sounds like a good mom! Non judgmental, and she doesn’t stereotype. I might actually pick up her book!

MommytoanE on

Well, I’m not a “REAL” mom so I guess I can judge who I want right? According to Jessica, you aren’t a real mom until you have your second child….I’m a proud parent to an only.

And as far as attendance goes…she can have that theory that her kids happiness comes first. But kids are only allowed a set number of absences before the CPS and whatnot are called in. So I guess we’ll see how far that gets her.

Teena on

I’m one of those mothers that would never pull my kids out of school for vacation because to me education is 2nd priority next to health. Maybe if I was rich it wouldn’t matter and before the haters kick in and ask what does being rich have to do with it, well if you have money you don’t worry all that much about kids future since you can pass the money down !

Romy on

It seemed like she was judging when she was talking about other kids needing to go normal school every day.

haven on

Yes i agree with teena ! Well said.

Anonymous on

Deb- If you think Jessica is such a terrible actress, then why do you watch her films (and thus use your money to support)? No one is forcing you to, you know!

Also, we are actually primarily supporting the theater when we go and see a movie. They get the bulk of the money from the tickets. And as for the rest, maybe one percent goes to pay the actors. The rest pays the numerous other costs of making a film.

Anonymous on

MommytoanE- As long as it can be proven that the child is still getting an education (and Jessica said that they’ll bring a tutor along when they travel so the girls can still get their schooling), then I don’t think missing “regular” school is an issue (don’t quote me on that, though!). 🙂

Sara- And how do you know that she travels frequently without her kids? Yes, we see Jessica alone in places a lot, but that doesn’t mean the girls don’t come with her. They could be back at the hotel with Cash or a nanny, for all we know!

And even if she doesn’t bring the girls, how is that any different than a “normal” parent going on a business trip without their kids or spouse (I’m guessing that most of Jessica’s traveling is work-related)?

Anyway, I couldn’t agree more with what Jessica said! So what if other people raise their kids a bit differently than we would? As long as the kids aren’t in danger, why should we care?

Pg on

I wish we’d see an article about men judging each others choices.

Holly on

….. AAAAAAnnnnndddd, yet she thinks we’re all poisoning our children with the products on the market and has her own line of HIDEOUSLY expensive stuff that the average family can’t afford…….

kayla on

everytime she opens her mouth to talk, i’m amazed that someone who looks so beautiful can be so completely stupid. Oh well, guess you can’t have it all. stay in school, Jess.

mimi on

she’ll never win an oscar!