Celebs Open Up About Life in Quarantine

Stars share their new routines, silver linings and surprising family moments during the pandemic

01 of 12

Jerry O'Connell

Jerry O'Connell
Jerry O'Connell/Instagram

O'Connell told PEOPLE that being able to spend more time with his 11-year-old twin daughters — Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip — has been a blessing despite a more-than-tumultuous year.

O'Connell, who shares his daughters with wife Rebecca Romijn, explained that he "will never get this time with them ever again."

"This is it. Very soon, when this is all over and everything's back to normal and kids are back in school all the time, I have a feeling parents are gonna be like, 'Oh, it was kind of nice having my kids at home.' "

He added, "I almost feel like, just because the age that they are, I'm getting a free extra year with them."

02 of 12

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez with their kids. Alex Rodriguez/Instagram

Jennifer Lopez says the COVID-19 pandemic has helped her children be more open about what they want.

The superstar told WSJ. Magazine that being home more allowed her and her twins, Emme Maribel and Maximilian "Max" David, to discuss what was working in their lives as a family, and what was not.

"I actually loved being home and having dinner with the kids every night, which I hadn't done in probably — ever," Lopez told the publication. "And the kids kind of expressed to me, like, the parts that they were fine with about our lives and the parts they weren't fine with."

Describing the situation as "a real eye-opener and a reassessment, to really take a look at what was working and what wasn't working," Lopez explained that the time at home allowed her to reflect on her role as a mother: "You thought you were doing OK, but you're rushing around and you're working and they're going to school and we're all on our devices."

Lopez added that she has also watched her twins grow up in the last few months. "They're not our babies anymore," she said. "They've been given a dose of the real world, with the knowledge that things can be taken away from you and life is going to happen no matter what."

03 of 12

Busy Philipps

As a mom of two, Philipps is trying to maintain a positive outlook during what's been "an overwhelming time."

"I have found moments of really being so glad that I've gotten to be with my kids in this time," the star told PEOPLE of her daughters Birdie Leigh and Cricket Pearl. "Because I have worked so much for most of their lives, I just haven't been able to be with them that much, not since Birdie was a baby."

"It's an overwhelming time, but I've just been trying to find silver linings," Philipps added. "I'm really looking forward to 2021."

04 of 12

Savannah Guthrie

Savannah Guthrie/Instagram.

The Today anchor and her husband Michael Feldman have worked on perfecting their tag-team plan when it comes to caring for kids Vale and Charles while at home.

"Mike is chief technology officer and chief grilling officer. He sets the alarm and gets up early every day to help me get ready for the Today show," said Guthrie during an interview for Reveal with Drew and Jonathan Scott. "And he sets up the kids for Zoom school. Then, about mid-morning, it's my turn to take over for a little while so he can do his actual job, as founder of a strategic consulting company."

Feldman explained that Guthrie's early-morning TV responsibilities works for their schedules.

"A fair amount of Savannah's workday is while the kids are still sleeping," he said. "And that's good on one hand, but then she has to roll right into Mommy-mode, still fully made up, while I disappear for conference calls."

"So she's 'on' from when she wakes up at 4 a.m. until the kids go to bed at night," Feldman added. "I'm in awe of her ability to create structure. I'm trying to figure out an acceptable time to have a cocktail, and she's like, 'Okay, arts-and-crafts hour!'"

05 of 12

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar Instagram
Sarah Michelle Gellar. Sarah Michelle Gellar Instagram; Richard Cartwright/WB

Gellar's Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan club has expanded, and now includes daughter Charlotte Grace and son Rocky James.

The actress, who played Buffy on the hit series, appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show, where she discussed her kids' newfound love for the supernatural show, which she showed them for the first time recently.

"I had never thought to show it to them," Gellar admitted. "They asked [to watch it] during quarantine, we were trying to find shows to binge, and I was like, okay! I didn't even know if they'd be into it, but they are so into it."

"My son actually thinks that I'm cool now," she continued, with a laugh.

06 of 12

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood's sons Jacob and Isaiah. Carrie Underwood/Instagram; Inset: John Shearer/ACMA2020/Getty

The country star is using her downtime to focus on family and spending time with her sons Isaiah Michael and Jacob Bryan in a way she never was able to before.

"I've never been in one place for this long in the past 15-plus years of my career," Underwood said on the Today show. "So it's been really great to just really get to know them and watch them grow — especially Jake. It's such a critical time in his life and I'm never gonna get it back. So we're just trying to enjoy it."

07 of 12

Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes and Suri
Kevin Mazur/Getty

Holmes wrote about how she's spent lockdown with daughter Suri Cruise in an essay for Vogue Australia's November issue - and how appreciative she has been for their quality time.

"Hobbies such as sewing, painting and writing became new hallmarks of satisfaction and having had time at home to just be. To listen," she wrote. "To live for a moment in time without the pressure of results and instead appreciate the natural rhythms of mother and daughter was the most precious gift."

The Dawson's Creek alum recalled how, during isolation, she reinforced her mantra to be more present in her daily life.

"During this time of uncertainty, remembering to be creative and positive has been something I have tried to keep at the forefront of my mind," Holmes wrote. "Throughout this experience the through-line for me has been a heightened awareness of each moment and really taking it in and appreciating it."

08 of 12

Shep Rose

Taylor Ann green
Taylor Ann green/ Instagram

The idea of leaving bachelorhood behind for good has become much easier for the Southern Charm star since dating girlfriend Taylor Ann Green. Rose revealed on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that the two are currently quarantining together and Rose has been enjoying relation-shep life.

"Honestly, we were like a married couple two or three months into our relationship, so, that was a change and I was kind of nervous about it — but I must say, domesticity isn't all that bad, and maybe I was being scared of it for no reason at all," he said.

09 of 12

Nicole Kidman

Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. Nicole Kidman/Instagram

In conversation with WSJ. Magazine's Kristina O'Neill, the Oscar winner reflected on the unprecedented year and living in lockdown. Kidman said the coronavirus pandemic has taught her to "live in the moment" and not take anything for granted.

The actress says she misses "hugging, crowds, live music, people feeling safe in the world, travel — a lot of things."

"I will never take for granted the idea of walking into a crowded room and dancing to music and going into a hospital, being able to go in to see your loved one in the hospital and be there for them," she continued. "There's just so many things."

"But at the same time, we're resilient, and I love the resilience of who we are as human beings, and I love what people have done for each other to help each other right now," continued Kidman. "I've been the recipient of it, I've been the giver of it, and that's a really great thing to be able to see it and know it."

10 of 12

Michelle Buteau

Michelle Buteau
Silja Magg

The comedian shared in her Parents cover story that she has had her hands full raising her twin daughters, Hazel and Otis, without outside help.

"I didn't know if I could do it," she told friend Wanda Sykes, also a mom to twins, for the December issue.

"Up until [the quarantine] I had always had help with the babies. So being alone with them, it felt like I was snorkeling for the first time and didn't know how to breathe yet," she said. "I felt bad for being impatient. I don't want to be that parent yelling all the time."

Buteau, whose Netflix comedy special Welcome to Buteaupia is streaming now, recalled that she "quickly learned that it's all about taking five in the bathroom, recollecting your thoughts, putting on the TV, giving them a crayon" to stay sane. In the end, the mom of two realized that she "can do this."

"Up until the pandemic, we had an amazing nanny, and I had friendships. Now that we're really broken-in as a family, I feel like, 'Oh wow, I got this,' " said Buteau.

11 of 12

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul Talks Her Rigorous Training for Upcoming Vegas Residency: 'Feet, Don't Fail Me Now'
Getty Images

During lockdown, Abdul (like most of us) admitted to making binge-watching shows a new habit that eventually made her start to feel "a little lazy."

"I was like everyone else: binge-watching everything," Abdul told Health. "I enjoyed so many new shows, but I started becoming a little more sedentary."

However, she "slowly but surely got back on track" by trying to find more ways to get active.

"If I'm watching television that has commercial breaks, every commercial break I'm mindful," she said. "I get up. I walk in place or mute the TV, turn on some music, and just move."

12 of 12

Jamie Lynn Spears

celebs celebrating Valentine's Day
Jamie Lynn Spears/Instagram

Quarantine has allowed the mom of two much more quality family time with daughters Maddie and Ivey.

"The circumstances suck. You don't want any type of pandemic to ever happen, but I will say the one thing that I've taken away from it — I was able to have this quality time with my family and with my children guilt-free," she said during an interview with Good Morning America.

She also revealed that big sister Britney is also "trying to make the best and stay positive during a very challenging time and challenging year, and I think that that's kind of the theme of everyone right now."

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