Celebrities’ Best Quotes on Balancing Work and Parenting
What these famous parents have to say about ‘having it all’
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Eva Mendes
“I just struggle like every other working mother. It’s so hard, and I haven’t figured out the balance at all,” Mendes told ABC News in September 2018. The actress also explained her choice to step away from the spotlight for a while, saying, “I’m just so obsessed with my kids — I just don’t want to leave them. But I realize that I need to work. They’re just still so little. But certainly I would do something if it felt right.”
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Carrie Underwood
"I think mom guilt is rampant in my life. I am sure it is in any mom's,” the country superstar told the Associated Press in 2015, months after giving birth to her first child. “I still constantly wonder, 'Is this fair to [my son]? Is my life fair to him? He's my No. 1 priority. But it's just a question of: How am I going to do this?” She admitted, “I'll probably never find the answers to those questions."
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Kate Hudson
“Even though every primal ounce of the nurturing, domestic woman in me gets pulled, I’m a hunter as well. And I love to hunt!” Hudson told InStyle in 2016. “And as a woman I feel that somehow we are supposed to feel apologetic about wanting both. But I don’t want to apologize for that anymore. Being both already comes at an emotional cost, without adding society’s antiquated idea of the traditional roles of man and woman in the home.”
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Barack Obama
In 2014, at the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families, then-President Barack Obama emphasized the part fathers play in balancing work and family life. "Too often, these issues are thought of as women's issues, which I guess means you can kind of scoot them aside a little bit,” Obama said. “[But] anything that makes life harder for women makes life harder for families, and makes life harder for children. This is about you too, men."
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Jennifer Garner
In a rousing speech at the 2014 Elle Women in Hollywood celebration, Garner called out society’s parenting double standards. "I told [then-husband Ben Affleck] every single person who interviewed me — and I mean every single one — asked me, 'How do you balance work and family?’” she said. “He said that no one asked him about it that day. As a matter of fact, no one had ever asked him about it. Not once. And we do share the same family. Isn't it kind of time to change that conversation?"
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Mario Lopez
"No matter what drama I deal with at work, when I get home and hear them scream, 'Daddy!' I forget whatever it was I was stressed about,” Lopez told PEOPLE in 2014. “The hardest part of my new life as a dad is leaving for work in the morning. These kids have totally changed my life. They are simply fantastic!"
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Kristen Bell
“It's a unifying message that we all feel less than; we all feel frazzled; we all feel overworked and terrified we're messing up our humans,” Bell told PopSugar in 2016, adding that she and husband Dax Shepard help each other stay balanced. “My husband and I tap out and take mini meditative breaks because we have two toddlers — they're so f---ing loud — and we keep an eye on each other,” she said. “When you're in the ring, you gotta tap out with your partner.”
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Serena Williams
The tennis superstar opened up about her parenting insecurities on Instagram in August 2018, offering comfort to her fellow busy moms. “I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be,” Williams said. “However, that means although I have been with [my daughter] every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes.”
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Naomi Watts
“Every single day, I second-guess myself as a mother,” the actress told Blackbook magazine in 2010. Watts was honest about the struggle of juggling work and home life, saying, “I chose to be a mom. It’s something I’ve always wanted, but I feel torn between two worlds. I am not reaching the same depths and heights that I used to reach in movies because I’m a parent of two small children who desperately need me. It’s frustrating because I feel like I’m failing a bit on both ends.”
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John Legend
“Now that I have a family, I’m tougher on everybody who works for me,” Legend told InStyle in 2017, eight months after the birth of his first child, Luna, with wife Chrissy Teigen. “There’s more ‘Nope, I’m not going’ and ‘Nope, I’m not doing this.’ I try to stay home as much as I can. I just don’t want to miss out on this important time in Luna’s life.”
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Chris Hemsworth
Hemsworth’s August 2018 GQ profile tapped into how difficult he finds it to leave his three kids during filming. The actor recalled one emotional goodbye from his daughter: “She's normally like, ‘Yeah, see you, Daddy. Cool.’ She was like, ‘Papa! Papa! Papa!’ She doesn't always call me Papa, either.” Hemsworth, who told E! News in 2015 that having kids had made him “a bit more choosy” about the work he takes, said he’d been crushed: “I wasn't, like, sobbing, but…”
Hoda Kotb
“I remember my mom going to work and saying, ‘I love you and I’m going to work, and when I come home I’m going to love you here,’ ” the Today show host, who adopted daughter Haley Joy in 2017, told PEOPLE. “[My parents] missed things, but it didn’t scar me — I knew they loved me,” she added. “I also knew they loved what they did. We are all workers in a way — we love what we do.”
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When it comes to balancing work and family, Pink told Entertainment Tonight in 2017, “I put way too much pressure on myself. I think we all do.” Still, the singer and mom of two takes comfort in setting an empowering example: “I want to follow my passion too, and I want my kids to see what it looks like to have a mom that is a boss.”
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Bethenny Frankel
For the Real Housewives of New York City star, the ability to set her own schedule is key. "I am as much a mom as I am a businesswoman. And vice versa,” Frankel told Business Insider. “I love having this legacy to leave for [my daughter], and I love that she'll see that I work, but I don't miss her drop-offs and pick-ups, and I don't do work instead of being with her, ever."
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Felicity Huffman
"First, I have to recognize how lucky I am to have to navigate these sorts of issues. I have a job that I love and a fabulous family that I love," Huffman told PEOPLE in 2016. Still, the actress was candid about the realities of parenting: “People always ask, 'How do you balance home life and work?' And I tell them, 'I don't. I just drop the ball all the time.' " Huffman added, “Sometimes I think, 'I'm failing as both a mother and an actress.' But I do what I can to stumble forward joyously."
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Angelina Jolie
“I actually feel that women in my position, when we have all at our disposal to help us, shouldn’t complain,” Jolie told New York Daily News in 2014. “Consider all the people who really struggle and don’t have the financial means, don’t have the support, and many people are single raising children. That’s hard,” she said. “When I feel I’m doing too much, I do less, if I can [...] I’m in a rare position where I don’t have to do job after job. I can take time when my family needs it.”
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