The actress tells Southern Living that support from her children helps make balancing motherhood and her career easier

By peoplestaff225
Updated December 08, 2020 11:27 AM

Reese Witherspoon says she’ll never be able to juggle motherhood and a career “perfectly,” but approval from her kids makes everything worth it.

“No one’s really doing it perfectly,” Witherspoon tells Southern Living of finding balance in its September cover story, which hits stands Aug. 21. “I think you love your kids with your whole heart, and you do the best you possibly can.”

The Wild star and Draper James founder, 39, is the mother of three children: daughter Ava, 15, and son Deacon, 12, with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, and son Tennessee, 2½, with husband Jim Toth.

“But, you know, right now I’m feeling sad missing my little 2-year-old, and my daughter’s about to finish her freshman year of high school, and my son has a golf tournament this weekend that I hope I don’t miss,” the actress continues.


Miller Mobley/Southern Living

Reese Witherspoon & Daughter Ava Phillippe Look the Same in Pre-Premiere Photo

Witherspoon, who tells the magazine she lives by her grandmother’s motto of “if you look good, you feel good,” says support from her children make difficult decisions easier.

“There are some sacrifices you make, and it hurts your heart sometimes, but my kids tell me they’re proud of what I’ve accomplished, and that just means everything,” she says in the interview. “I grew up with a working mom, and I have so much respect for the things she did as a nurse and a teacher. I would never begrudge her that.”


Miller Mobley/Southern Living

The actress, who recently bought a house in Nashville — “Everything is a little bit slower here, and I think I’m ready for that in my life again. When I’m here my brain relaxes” — says being back where she grew up brings out her drawl.

“Early on, someone said, ‘Well, you’re never gonna get a job with an accent like that.’ I learned to change it up, but it’s like a pair of slippers that I put on when I’m at home. I start to talk more and more Southern. My kids know when I’m serious. I get really Southern,” Witherspoon jokes.

— Lindsay Kimble