Reese Witherspoon: ‘No One’s Really Doing Parenting Perfectly – You Do the Best You Possibly Can’

08/10/2015 at 12:00 PM ET

Reese Witherspoon says she’ll never be able to juggle motherhood and a career “perfectly,” but approval from her kids makes everything worth it.

“No one’s really doing it perfectly,” Witherspoon tells Southern Living of finding balance in its September cover story, which hits stands Aug. 21. “I think you love your kids with your whole heart, and you do the best you possibly can.”

The Wild star and Draper James founder, 39, is the mother of three children: daughter Ava, 15, and son Deacon, 12, with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, and son Tennessee, 2½, with husband Jim Toth.

“But, you know, right now I’m feeling sad missing my little 2-year-old, and my daughter’s about to finish her freshman year of high school, and my son has a golf tournament this weekend that I hope I don’t miss,” the actress continues.


Miller Mobley/Southern Living


Reese Witherspoon & Daughter Ava Phillippe Look the Same in Pre-Premiere Photo


Witherspoon, who tells the magazine she lives by her grandmother’s motto of “if you look good, you feel good,” says support from her children make difficult decisions easier.

“There are some sacrifices you make, and it hurts your heart sometimes, but my kids tell me they’re proud of what I’ve accomplished, and that just means everything,” she says in the interview. “I grew up with a working mom, and I have so much respect for the things she did as a nurse and a teacher. I would never begrudge her that.”


Miller Mobley/Southern Living

The actress, who recently bought a house in Nashville — “Everything is a little bit slower here, and I think I’m ready for that in my life again. When I’m here my brain relaxes” — says being back where she grew up brings out her drawl.

“Early on, someone said, ‘Well, you’re never gonna get a job with an accent like that.’ I learned to change it up, but it’s like a pair of slippers that I put on when I’m at home. I start to talk more and more Southern. My kids know when I’m serious. I get really Southern,” Witherspoon jokes.

— Lindsay Kimble

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 3 comments

Mellie on

Love TN and Nashville, in particular! So much to do there.

Anonymous on

If she misses Tennessee so much when she travels, why doesn’t she just take him with her (the other two I can understand leaving behind, as they have school and sports and are at the age where they probably want to be where their friends are)? Not a slam against her in anyway, I just find it odd when celebs talk about missing their babies and toddlers when they can easily take them with them!

Anonymous on

BTW, for anyone who’s confused about her comments about Ava finishing up her freshman year and such, I’m guessing this interview was done back around May (monthly magazines tend to do their interviews about three months in advance of publication).🙂

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters