“Somehow I find a way to do it all. It’s not having it all; it’s about doing it all,” Lively, 27, told Allure for its May cover story, addressing the challenges of parenting daughter James, born in December, while juggling acting duties and her lifestyle website, Preserve.
“That was my way of owning that moment. I can’t be someone like Beyoncé,” she says while reenacting her pregnancy reveal at the VMAs, which involved the singer throwing open her jacket to show off her growing belly.
“But it was important for us. It was a struggle, because we want to keep our privacy, but we also don’t want our lives to be exploited by other people. So we did it simply; it was a quiet way, an elegant way.”
Lively also says Preserve is a venture that makes sense not only for her career, but for a growing family craving stability.
“It taps into so many of my own passions, but it also is a business that I can control. If I can be successful at this, I have security for my family and my babies,” she explains.
“I’m in a profession, acting, where it’s really for-hire — I offer a service that people hire out. I love it, but it’s not something I can control.”
Her precious downtime includes mandatory bonding with her former Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants castmates, who have since become her close friends.
“Three of us have getaways, so we’ll go to different houses and kick our husbands out — now we’re all married women, and they all want to hang out with the girls,” she jokes. “They start lingering in the kitchen too long, and we’re like, ‘Hey, beat it! It’s lady time.’ “
The new mother also makes it clear she’s never been her Gossip Girl alter ego — and has mixed feelings about the message the show sends to young girls who might get caught up in the opulent world it portrays.
“People loved it, but it always felt a little personally compromising — you want to be putting a better message out there,” she shares. “I would not be proud to be the person who gave someone the cocaine that made them overdose and then shot someone and slept with someone else’s boyfriend.”
— Kathy Ehrich Dowd and Jacqueline Andriakos