Michelle Williams on Being a Single Mom in Show Business: I’m Exhausted!

03/03/2015 at 04:00 PM ET

Oscar-nominated actress and full-time mother Michelle Williams has it all … besides a good night’s sleep.

“I feel like I’m so good at raising a kid when I’m not working. I don’t forget anything. I’ve got everything covered,” she says in the April issue of ELLE UK, on stands March 5.

“It’s a real luxury to have a moment when I’m not scrambling. I feel like most of my life, I’m trying to do two things at once, both to the best of my abilities. So that leaves me feeling pretty exhausted.”

The star — who is raising 9-year-old Matilda Rose, her daughter with the late Heath Ledger — has even gained a reputation among her friends for being tired.

“I’m the person who falls asleep all the time,” she tells the magazine. “You invite me over for dinner or to a party, and there’s a whole scrapbook of pictures of me napping. I’ve even been given a nickname because of my snoring.”

Michelle Williams Elle UK
Kerry Hallihan/ELLE UK

Williams, 34, also says she is thankful to Kristen Bell for pioneering the No Kids Policy, an agreement among entertainment media, including PEOPLE, to not publish unauthorized photos of celebrities’ children.

“Men and women in suits were cashing checks off of my daughter’s face. There are so many problems with that. But Kristen has made it so much easier for these kids to live in a world that is friendly and that they can trust,” she says.

“Every month I send her a gushy ‘You don’t know what you’ve done’ note. Now my daughter and other kids aren’t scared to walk down the street anymore. It’s like a miracle.”

Michelle Williams Elle UK
Kerry Hallihan/ELLE UK

— Michele Corriston

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Showing 43 comments

diana on

Where is the rest of the article? Certainly you didn’t write a whole article just to say she is exhausted? Welcome to the real world!

Anna M. on

Nice pictures of Michelle. That short haircut was not complimentary on her. These pictures are great! As far as being exhausted….well, that is called Motherhood.

Tracey on

That must be terrible. If only she had millions of dollars to hire some help, unlike the rest of us. I rolled my eyes so hard I think I heard a click

laundrylist on

this is in the “babies” section? her kid is nine. And why is it more exhausting being a single mom in show biz than being a single mom who works in a microchip plant or at Olive Garden? Or for that matter, who is a neonatologist or professor? I love the dress in that top photo but I hate the platinum locks.

ja on

Of course she’s exhausted. It’s unfortunate when dad was an *ssclown. Tracey, you’d be torching her if she hired a nanny. These folks can’t win.

emma on

Such a beautiful lady

Guest53 on

kids (and adults) should be able to walk down the street unmolested. I’m glad celebrity children have this protection now. long over due

Cindy on

this is what always bugged me about Michelle Williams, I’m sick of hearing about her being a single mom. Stop making her out as a victim. A friend of mine was one of 4 kids raised by a single mom who’se husband passed away. There a millions of single moms who don’t have the luxury of working a few months a year and get paid millions of dollars.

Anonymous on

Love the hair color on her!

Marky on

Not all celebs have loads of help, and all of us have at some time or another had babysitters of some sort. It’s ridiculous to act as if every celeb makes millions for every job they have. Many of them are well-known, but don’t make lots of money, and whatever Heath Ledger may have left may not be available right now, or may be in trust…you don’t know. She seems to be doing as good a job as others, and is apparently a very hands on mom, so why criticize her? No matter who you are, it isn’t easy for your child’s other parent to have died, however they died. Why do so many of you feel the need to be rude and hateful about every single celeb reported on in this site? It just makes you look small and mean; doesn’t make her look bad at all.

Emmaleigh on

Jesus, Mary and Joseph..Oh, how natural ya’ll make it seem when ya’ll are so d@mn mean to other women. Mean, underhanded, brutal, deliberate, unconsciously, horribly, mean. My God, ya’ll must be two-faced as h*ll because I can’t imagine anyone, whether romantically or friendly, that would want to knowingly have anything to do with any of ya’ll. Good night in heaven!

ja on

Right on, Emmaleigh. So much assumption here. How is anyone so sure that she “only works a few months a year?” And if she gets paid millions, why be b*tchy and deny her that? Wouldn’t you do the same if you could?

Stephanie on

Love the white hair

Bofan on

Love her hair!!

Patti on

Michelle is really a beautiful woman-love the hair! The short darker style did not really show her beauty

Angelica on

I love her hair!!

P Guest on


M Guest on

Sorry sweatie, complaining about being exhausted when you have a nine year old daughter, money in the bank, a job that pays well is nothing to complain about! Try raising 3 kids under 10 on your own, while working full time barely making ends meet because your husband couldn’t handle it!! These celebrities don’t know how good they have it, I go to work everyday, come home & feed my kids and do it again the next day because I’m a Mom, I Love my kids and am happy to see their smiling faces everyday. Appreciate the good things in your life !!

Guest on

A nine year old daughter and she has everything but a good night’s sleep? She sounds like she has a nine month old!! Get over it and quit whining – do yourself a favor Michelle and do not ever have any more children, you could possibly die from the exhaustion

Melissa on

First of all.. Why all the rude comments? I’m sure someone asked her how she felt and she responded “exhausted”. I highly doubt she brought the subject up to complain. And.. Heath was not a bad person by any means(someone called him a clown). He was a kind, talented actor who lost his life(way too young). Why do we have to constantly put others down? She’s gorgeous and I wish her the best!

Souc on

Falling asleep during the day all the time is a symptom of sleep apnea. Maybe she should get herself checked out. Us moms are always exhausted, doesn’t mean you should be falling asleep all the time…

Liah on

Preach! I’m exhausted too girl. That’s just the effort that goes into being a present and caring parent.

guesty on

She looks beautiful with her new hairstyle…I mean she looked beautiful before but I love this new look!

Jamie on

Looks like she’s lightened her blonde and it looks fabulous. Not that she looked bad before but she looks great.

Sara K on

She’s beautiful and seems to have recovered admirably from the loss of Heath. I can totally relate to her feelings of exhaustion as a single mother and full-time student.

Anonymous on

Geez, people! You complain when celebs gush about how wonderful parenthood is, saying they aren’t painting a realistic picture of it (either that or you’re saying things like, “Of course parenthood is fun and easy for you. You have the money to hire help…” I don’t think I need to go on! ;)). Now Michelle Williams is being honest about how difficult parenthood can be (especially single parenthood), and you complain about that! You can’t have it both ways!

Anonymous on

Loved her dress, gorgeous!

Jen DC on

She looks beautiful. And I’m sure Matilda is still the image of Heath…

OK, you guys got it alllll out: Do you feel better? Better than Michelle, at least? Better as mothers? Better as friends?

The fact that she is ALSO EXHAUSTED doesn’t make light of any other mother’s struggle. At all. The fact that she allegedly has millions of dollars (we don’t know exactly how much money she has, or how much money was left to Matilda in trust) doesn’t relieve her of the fact that her partner died unexpectedly of addiction (which is a disease – to the person who called him an “@assclown”) leaving her to raise their young child alone. She can’t say she’s tired without her money and her choices being thrown in her face? I mean, jeez, it’s so obviously offensive to you you had to come and comment on the depth of that offense! It’s ludicrous.

Diana on

I think what is rubbing people wrong is the title of the article. As if being a single mom in show business is more difficult than any other single mom.

Penelope on

So many bitter moms commenting here. I feel bad for your kids.

Francine on

She needs to get over herself, you’re not the first and won’t be the last single mother on earth raising kids. You have everything at your disposal, more so than us common folks, if you’re tired, stop trying to be wonder woman, hire yourself a babysitter for a few hours and look after yourself but don’t complain to us about it in a magazine article.

Marine on

did some of you eat bitchy for breakfast this morning with all the trash talking?

Guest on

Sorry to learn her husband was passed away long time ago, she has to be a single mother.

Hea on

Wow… some of you people on here… Just wow… It’s not as if it’s a competition as to who has it worse. Try not to compare too much. I have cancer but that does not mean that my next door neighbor isn’t completely broken hearted over the loss of her dog. We live, we love and we feel differently. Try to respect that?

mer on

Omg, people, what is with your need to find something negative in anything. Is your life so miserable that you have to release it on someone else? (darn, I just answered myself..) She has the money, but maybe she doesn’t want to hire a help (which would be completely ok), she wants to do it all by herself. And why can’t she say she’s exhausted, if she is?

On another note, as much as I like coming here and reading celebrity babies and kids posts, I like the No Kids Policy. I can’t imagine how bizzare it must be for celebrity parents, whose kids didn’t choose to be a target of paparazzis.

mer on

Omg, people, what is wrong with you? Women! What is with your need to find something negative in every post? Is your life so miserable that you need to take it out on someone else? (haha, guess I just answered myself)

Yes, she has the money to hire a help (and that would be perfectly ok), but maybe whe just wants to do it all by herself. And why can’t she say she’s exhausted, if she is? She works and raises a kid by herself. She’s not entitled to feeling exhausted?

On another note, as much as I like coming here or elswhere and reading about celebrity kids, I like the No Kids Policy. It must be bizzare for these kids to be chased by paparazzis.


I think it’s the headline that’s misleading. She does say she’s tired, but at least in what’s here, she doesn’t a.) say anything about it being because she’s single, just that she’s a mother b.) say anything about show business (she just says “when she’s working”) and c.) she definitely doesn’t use the exclamation point…it seems like a reporter asked her a specific question, which she then answered honestly…She acts, she writes, she produces, she photographs, and she models–maybe they’re not “hard” jobs, but they do take a lot of time/energy/emotion. She also is dealing with a 9 year old, which means dealing with school runs, activities, play dates, homework, chores, laundry, food, etc. While I wouldn’t argue (and, I think, neither would she) that she’s got the hardest life out there, I do think she has a right to say that it isn’t a walk in the park.

Mary on

Having a job and a kid is exhausting, no matter your socioeconomic status. And while having money does make life easier, it *doesn’t* make parenting easier!

Pam on

Yeah single mothers raising kids are hard, rich or poor, probably poor is harder!

Anonymous on

It’s understandable as single mother she is exhausted, she should have nannies.

Meena on

There is nothing wrong with what she said. She is speaking from her own perspective, which is that of a single mom who is a celebrity. She doesn’t work at the Olive Garden. Heck, I don’t work at the Olive Garden, so I can’t relate to that single mom either. You can tell on these message boards who is miserable with their lives.

Anonymous on

Actress and full time mother? I don’t understand this phrase. Aren’t all moms with custody of their children full time moms? This phrase kind of irks me.

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