“In the age of social media, when you can edit your life in beautiful pictures, it’s important to remind moms that all of us are wearing yogurt and all of our hands smell like urine,” the actress and humanitarian, 35, says in her cover story for Redbook‘s August issue.
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With both her children past the baby stage, the Veronica Mars alum is trying to find the balance between being a friend to her girls while still providing them with plenty of structure.
“Recently I’ve had an epiphany that if I’m as nice to my daughter as I want to be, she’s not going to respect me,” she confesses. “Giving your kids strong boundaries is good for them, because if you just let them do whatever they want, you raise a jerk.”
Between parenting duties, a marriage, and a flourishing career, Bell is a busy woman — and as such, she has no qualms about saying no to the things that take her away from her children.
“I don’t let myself feel guilty about not committing to things anymore,” she says when asked what surprises her most about being a working mother. “How I position it in my head is that I have more of an obligation to my daughters than I do to anybody else.”
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“We fought a lot and I loved a dramatic exit. If I could slam a door, I felt so powerful. If I could get in my car and screech away, it was even better,” she admits. “He said to me, ‘If we have an issue, you can’t leave. We’re going to talk or I’m not going to do this with you.’
“I loved him so much that I was like, ‘I better get my act together,’ ” she adds.
— Jen Juneau