People.com Celebrity Parents Reese Witherspoon Recalls Raising Daughter Ava on Her Own as a Young Mom: 'I Would Cry' "I was raising her by myself. I don’t have any sisters, I don’t have any aunts. I was alone in a new city, in Los Angeles, and I literally had no friends," Reese Witherspoon recalls By Georgia Slater Georgia Slater Twitter Georgia Slater is a writer/reporter on the Parents team at PEOPLE. She began at the brand in 2018 as an editorial intern and later returned as an intern on the Food team. Upon graduating from the University of Maryland in 2019, Georgia worked as an entertainment intern at USA Today before coming back to PEOPLE as a digital news writer. In April 2021, she began her role as a Parents writer/reporter. People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 15, 2021 03:57 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: ABC via Getty Reese Witherspoon's early experience with motherhood wasn't easy. The Morning Show star, 45, appeared on Wednesday's episode of The View where she opened up about her first few months of being a mom to daughter Ava. "I lived away from my mother. My mom had a full-time job as a nurse and I had a baby really young — I was 23 years old — and so I was raising her by myself," Witherspoon says. "I don't have any sisters, I don't have any aunts. I was alone in a new city, in Los Angeles, and I literally had no friends. I would cry." "I didn't know what to do when the baby cried all night. I didn't understand what sleep training was," the star recalls. "Ava was up all night until she was probably 7 months old because I just didn't understand not to keep feeding her, because I thought she was hungry all the time." Witherspoon gave birth to Ava, now 22, in September 1999, about two months after she and her ex-husband, Ryan Phillippe tied the knot. The pair would then go on to welcome son Deacon, now 17, in October 2003, before separating three years later in 2006. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Reese Witherspoon Recalls Not Having 'A Lot of Support' After Birth of Daughter Ava The Legally Blonde actress, who is also mom to son Tennessee James, 8, with husband Jim Toth, went on to share her best advice for new moms. "I just want to say you're going to get through it," Witherspoon says. "It's so hard but try to find a network of friends. Reach out to people, don't be afraid. It's very hard. You can't do it by yourself." Last month, Witherspoon shared similar sentiments about her early obstacles with motherhood during an appearance on Dax Shepard's podcast Armchair Expert. "I did not have a lot of support with my first baby and I learned really early, like this is not going to work," she explained. "I tried to muscle through for five months with Ava, just not sleeping and I became delirious." Noting that she "couldn't have worked" through the first few months she was a new mom to Ava, Witherspoon explained, "I was lucky enough to have money saved and I didn't have to work, but it's just not a one-person job." "I would even say it's not a two-person job," the Big Little Lies star added.