Famous moms on juggling motherhood and work

19 April 2018 - inspiration

In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’ve compiled the best pieces of advice from the most famous mothers on a topic that tugs at many mothers’ hearts: how to juggle work and family life. From the importance of prioritising, to dealing with guilt or asking for help, these famous moms offer their pearls of wisdom. So the next time you feel overwhelmed or need some encouragement, know that you’re not alone!

Tina Fey (actress, writer and producer) on taking things one step at a time:

“I think every working mom probably feels the same thing, which is you go through big chunks of time where you’re just going ‘This is impossible—oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going and you sort of do the impossible.”

Felicity Huffman (actress) on failure:

“People always ask, 'How do you balance home life and work?' And I tell them, 'I don't. I just drop the ball all the time.” [Sometimes I worry that] I'm failing as both a mother and an actress. But I do what I can to stumble forward joyously.”

Kim Kardashian (reality TV personality) on prioritising:

“It is an adjustment trying to balance a career and motherhood for sure, but the key is to prioritise. You become more selective and work on projects that are so meaningful because you want every other waking moment spent with your family. You have to remember, though, to make time for yourself."

Katie Couric (journalist) on guilt:

“Get rid of the guilt... When you're at one place, don't feel bad that you're not at work; when you're at work, don't feel bad that you're not at home."

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (US Supreme Court judge) on setting boundaries:

“When I started law school, my daughter, Jane, was 14 months and I attribute my success in law school largely to Jane. I went to class about 8:30am and I came home at 4:00 pm—that was children's hour. It was a total break in my day and children's hour continued until Jane went to sleep. Then I was happy to go back to the books, so I felt each part of my life gave me respite from the other."

Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo) on being present:

"[My mom once] said to me, 'Let me explain something to you. You might be president of PepsiCo. You might be on the board of directors. But when you enter this house, you're the wife, you're the daughter, you're the daughter-in-law, you're the mother. You're all of that. Nobody else can take that place. So leave that damned crown in the garage. And don't bring it into the house.'"

Halle Berry (actress) on career fulfilment:

“It’s a constant struggle of a little more time there, a little more time here, and feeling a little bit guilty all the time. Having careers and being fulfilled that way makes us better mothers. It makes us better able to operate in our careers with a sense of compassion and empathy that make us better businesswoman. We have to have them both and we have to keep trying to figure it out. And we get it wrong sometimes. And guess what, that is okay too.”

Chriselle Lim (digital influencer) on letting go and leaning on others:

“Accepting and realising that you cannot do it all, and learning how to delegate. I’m a major control freak, but if anything, motherhood has taught me how to let go. Whether it be for your work or personal life, it’s crucial to find people that you trust and know can do your job as well as you, if not better. It’s not easy finding those people, but they are out there! I also like to have what I call a digital detox, where I shut off my phone on the weekends and disconnect with the rest of the world, but connect with my friends and family in real life.”

Miranda Kerr (model and entrepreneur) on saying no:

“It’s a constant juggle. But it has become easier with time and learning to prioritise and not overcommit myself. We have to remember it’s okay to say no. Just be kind to yourself, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Whether it’s exercise, reading a book, or 10 minutes of meditation, it’s important to look after yourself and have some ‘me’ time to avoid burnout.”

Jessica Alba, (actress and entrepreneur) on how work affects motherhood:

“I always feel guilty when I'm working and not with [my daughter]. But I do love to work, and I know that will have a positive influence on who she becomes as a person and a woman.”

Christina Applegate (actress) on building relationships/support systems:

"It can be easy to forget that you are not alone when you have so much on your plate. Building your own support system gives you a shoulder to lean on... In my case, I'm incredibly lucky because in addition to my family and close friends, so many of us [at work] have kids around the same age.”

Jane Leeves (actress) on perfection:

“Remind yourself you don’t have to be perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent. That really takes the pressure off."

Tia Mowry (actress) on taking care of yourself:

“Part of having a balanced life is not feeling guilty about taking care of yourself. [A fellow mother once] told me: You have to take care of the goose, in order for the goose to lay the egg. So in order for you to be able to execute all of those different qualities as a woman and as a person, you have to take care of yourself. It’s easy for us to feel guilty when we put ourselves first, but when this woman said it to me from this perspective, it was so clear and so true.

Do you have any tips on juggling motherhood and work? Share them with us at hello@mindful-company.com.

- The Mindful Company