Jada Pinkett Smith Gets Honest About Being a Working Mom: 'It Takes Time to Find the Balance'

Red Table Talk airs Mondays on Facebook

These days, Jada Pinkett Smith gets to work with her daughter Willow Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield Norris, thanks to their Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk. But that wasn’t always the case and Pinkett Smith admits when her kids were younger, finding the balance between work and motherhood was difficult.

“I did both things. I stopped [working] and I was miserable and my family was miserable. When I was working I was good,” the 47-year-old said Thursday during an intimate fireside chat moderated by Jay Shetty in West Hollywood. “I had to realize that I was going to be more of a benefit to my family doing the things that I love. Yes, it’s going to take time to find the balance but just know this is the path.”

Pinkett Smith, however, stressed this might not be the best decision for every woman.

“A friend of mine stayed home with her kids and she loved it,” she said. “For every woman it’s important that we recognize that we have the right to figure out what works for us personally. We don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. If we are good, our family is going to be good.”

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The Girls Trip star added that she wished she had listened sooner to the advice her husband, Will Smith, 50, had given her when their kids were younger.

“Will used to tell me that all that time ‘put your mask on first.’ You know when you are on the plane and the pilot says if something goes down, ‘put your mask on first.’ You can’t do something for anyone else if you don’t have oxygen.”

Red Table Talk returned on May 6 for a slate of 20 all-new episodes. Past celebrity guests have included Ellen Pompeo, Gabrielle Union and Leah Remini.


The show currently has over 5.6 million followers on Facebook, and earned its first nomination for the Daytime Emmy Award’s Outstanding Talk Show category.

Pinkett Smith, who has discussed a wide range of topics on her show including addiction, divorce and domestic abuse, said an upcoming episode about pornography was one of the more difficult topics to discuss at the table.

“I had to have some conversations with my mother and my daughter where I was like TMI. Really having to get into what we’ve seen and what we think about it. It was deep. I was like, ‘wow.’ ”

Red Table Talk airs Mondays on Facebook.

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