Serena Williams, Chrissy Teigen & More Celeb Moms Who Got Real About Parenting

It's not always easy – and these A-list mamas are the first to admit it

01 of 15

Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Hager babies
Hoda Kotbe/Instagram

The Today star gave her cohost, Jenna Bush Hager, some important advice about taking full advantage of maternity leave after Hager gave birth to her third child, son Henry "Hall" Harold.

"[Kathie Lee Gifford] gave me words of wisdom: 'When you establish a show, it’s been established. It’s a great show and it’s going to be a great show,'" she told PEOPLE. "I told [Jenna], 'Be there, be in the moment. When you step back into work, you will be with us.'"

"We had this weird overlap time where neither of us [has been on the show], but I’m so incredibly confident in how our show is going to grow," Kotb added. "The thing that makes [Jenna] a great host is that she’s like the people watching the show. She’s not like other people on TV."

"Live your life with your kids, and take all that awesomeness and bring that to the show," she continued. "Just be a good mom, a good friend, a good sister, a good person. And she has that. I said, 'I know how good it’s gonna be.'"

02 of 15

Behati Prinsloo

Behati Prinsloo and daughters
Behati Prinsloo/ Instagram

The model and mother of two shared a glimpse of how difficult motherhood can be via Instagram.

"Here’s to the sleepless nights, bleeding nipples, crying, laughing, the highest of highs and lowest of lows and everything in between, i won’t change a single thing, being mom to Dusty and Gio keeps me strong, motivated and empowered," Prinsloo captioned the photo of her wrangling her two girls.

03 of 15

Serena Williams

serena-williams
Serena Williams/Twitter

"Sometimes I get really down and feel like, man, I can’t do this," Williams told Vogue of raising daughter Alexis Olympia. "It's that same negative attitude I have on the court sometimes. I guess that's just who I am. No one talks about the low moments — the pressure you feel, the incredible letdown every time you hear the baby cry."

She added: "I’ve broken down I don’t know how many times. Or I’ll get angry about the crying, then sad about being angry, and then guilty, like, ‘Why do I feel so sad when I have a beautiful baby?' The emotions are insane."

04 of 15

Jamie Otis

jamie-otis
Jamie Otis/Instagram

One month after welcoming daughter Henley with husband Doug Hehner, the Married at First Sight star opened up about what she's learned about motherhood so far in an Instagram post. “I never knew the excruciating pain that came AFTER having a baby I always feared her coming out – probably shouldn’t admit this since I’m a L&D nurse, but I never truly realized how painful the healing process is – for like weeks,” she wrote.

“Peeing with stitches, trying to poo, breastfeeding … even just sitting down,” added Otis. “OUCH! ..I cant even imagine the recovery for c-section. Having a baby is a total life changer over night. You know this going into it, but can never fully prepare for it all.”

05 of 15

Ali Fedotowsky-Manno

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Courtesy Ali Fedotowsky

Speaking to Fit Pregnancy and Baby for their August cover story, the former Bachelorette recalled a time when she realized she had to reach out for help with daughter Molly. “For the first eight months of Molly’s life, we never had anyone else watch her — not even a family member,” said Fedotowsky-Manno, who wed TV and radio host Kevin Manno in March 2017. “After months of no breaks and little sleep, I legit had a mental breakdown.”

Fortunately, the new mom and dad eventually “learned to ask for help, whether it meant leaning on friends or calling our moms and asking them to fly out and stay with us for a week,” with Fedotowsky-Manno explaining, “and now we have a part-time nanny who comes once or twice a week.”

06 of 15

Chrissy Teigen

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

The mom of 1-year-old Luna is outspoken when it comes to touchy issues surrounding motherhood — and hasn't shied away from discussing said topics in an attempt to show new moms they're not alone. "Most days were spent on the exact same spot on the couch and rarely would I muster up the energy to make it upstairs for bed," Teigen wrote in an essay for Glamour, chronicling her battle with postpartum depression and anxiety. "John would sleep on the couch with me, sometimes four nights in a row. I started keeping robes and comfy clothes in the pantry so I wouldn’t have to go upstairs when John went to work. There was a lot of spontaneous crying."

07 of 15

Peta Murgatroyd

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Peta Murgatroyd/Instagram

As a mom to a baby boy, the Dancing with the Stars pro has encountered many new things, including breastfeeding with "leaking boobies." Murgatroyd shared the moment with her Twitter followers after posting a mirror selfie. "Oh the joys of motherhood Leaking boobies are so NOT hot right now ... LOL #mustremembermyboobpads," she wrote.

08 of 15

Kristin Cavallari

The 59th GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals
Frazer Harrison/Getty

There are many, err, perks to breastfeeding, as the former Laguna Beach star was quick to address on Instagram. "I just wanna thank breast feeding for making my left boob perkier than my right," she wrote, commenting on her cleavage-baring Grammys look.

09 of 15

Jessica Biel

JESSICA BIEL
Jessica Biel/Instagram

Nothing beats squeezing in some quality time with son Silas, according to Biel. "[Three things I can't live without are] yoga, eating breakfast with my kid [and] listening to Erykah Badu while I eat with my kid," she told The Skimm. When asked to finish the sentence 'Woke up like this,' she added, "Disheveled, running late, doing too many things at once and underperforming all of them; but pretty thrilled about mediocrity! Could be a lot worse, guys. A lot worse."

10 of 15

Olivia Wilde

OLIVIA WILDE
Olivia Wilde/Instagram

Truth: Traveling becomes even more overwhelming once you have a kid – but there are solutions. "Mentally preparing for 13 hour travel day with toddler," Wilde wrote on Instagram. "My suitcase is mostly full of bribes."

11 of 15

Brooklyn Decker

BROOKLYN DECKER
Brooklyn Decker/Instagram

Glam squad, we hardly knew thee! "Undereye bags. Haven't colored my hair in months," the model-turned-actress wrote on Instagram of her less-than-glamorous run as a new mom. "There's dried breast milk errrrywhere. Nevermind the scrunchie."

12 of 15

Alyssa Milano

ALYSSA MILANO
Alyssa Milano/Instagram

"When I post pictures of me breastfeeding Bella, it's not that I'm trying to be very outspoken about breastfeeding, it's that it's a very special moment in my life," she told PEOPLE. "What [other people] take from that is a whole other thing. Support from not only breastfeeding moms, but moms everywhere, has been really powerful and really overwhelming."

13 of 15

Jessie James Decker

JESSIE JAMES DECKER
Jessie James Decker/Instagram

There's no such thing as solo bathroom time, especially when you're taking care of a toddler. "When privacy doesn't exist," the country star shared on Insta, showing daughter Vivianne waiting for her mom in the bathroom.

14 of 15

Jenni 'JWOWW' Farley

JENNI 'JWOWW' FARLEY
JWoww/Intagram

When it comes to art, moms automatically become the canvas for their kids' creativity. "Meilani was over the easel … Said 'mom you're next ... And your hair,'" recounted the reality star.

15 of 15

Kim Kardashian West

KIM KARDASHIAN WEST
Kim Kardashian/Instagram

Juggling a toddler and a newborn is hard – just ask Kardashian West, who sounded off about her rough day when sister Kendall Jenner called to prank her on Kocktails with Khloé. "I mean, today is not the day cause I literally would be a bit more negative cause I'm on one hour of sleep cause North was up all night and I was feeding [Saint] every two seconds and literally, my day has been like, so crazy and I've had no sleep and I want to like, die," the mom of two vented to her sisters.

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