Juggling family and work is never easy. Every day, we have to deal with shifting priorities and choosing whether we need to work, engage into our hobby, attend a sports event with our kids, or just have a quiet family time at home. Very often, we need to give up certain things in favor of others. In fact, it's one of the biggest challenges of motherhood and one of the reasons why having kids changes our lives so much.
Since celebrities are also people, just like the rest of us, they also know that combining motherhood and career is a challenging task. Some of them decide not to take it and become stay-at-home moms, focusing entirely on their kids. But others think it's not an option for them and keep on working. But it doesn't mean that the spotlight takes them away from their kids completely. They still try to spend as much time as possible with their children and keep them as their number one priority. Just like we all do, whether we have the usual nine-to-five jobs or do some freelance work.
So let's see how certain celebrities keep on juggling their work and family life, while others decided to give up their careers and grant all their time to their kids!
20 Jessica Alba: Became A Successful Businesswoman
Jessica Alba was at the peak of her popularity in the late 1990s and 2000s. We could see her in such movies as Sin City, Fantastic Four, Awake, Machete, and others. But now, even though Alba still plays minor roles every now and then, she's seriously thinking about leaving the spotlight and focusing on other things.
Naturally, Jessica puts her family first. "I feared I would lose my sense of self in becoming a mom, but it's actually made me more true to who I am," she says in an interview with Good Housekeeping.
Another thing Alba considers more important than acting is her own company, The Honest Company, which creates organic baby products.
19 Angelina Jolie: Mother Of A Large Family
For many of us, it's bewildering how Angelina Jolie combines being the mother of six (!!) kids and still acting, let alone being involved in charities and humanitarian work.
In 2016, Jolie confessed in an interview that "I never wanted to have a baby. I never wanted to be pregnant. I never babysat. I never thought of myself as a mother." But then she came to Cambodia and adopted a baby boy. "For me, this is the moment, where finally my life is kind of in line, and I feel I'm finally where I should be," the actress said.
Later this amazing woman also adopted a girl from Ethiopia and a boy from Vietnam. In 2006 and 2008, she also gave birth to her son and her twins. Angelina rules!
18 Elizabeth Hurley: Always Puts Her Son First
During the 1990s Elizabeth Hurley held a special place in many people's hearts after her successful roles in the Austin Powers movies, Bedazzled, and many other films. But since then, Hurley was spotted only in a few movies that didn't live up to the popularity of her previous works.
It turns out that Hurley decided to take a break from acting, because she welcomed her son, Damian Charles Hurley, in 2002. "I stopped doing movies and TV for the first eight years of his life, and I don’t regret it for a moment," Elizabeth said in her interview with Closer Weekly. "I always put him first."
17 Gwyneth Paltrow: Lives Up A Challenge
One of the chicest moms in Hollywood, Gwyneth Paltrow spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her kids Apple and Moses. However, she still remains in a spotlight and keeps on acting in a number of movies. Her most famous recent role is, of course, Pepper Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where she plays an ex-secretary and current love interest of Tony Stark (aka: Iron Man).
Even though she manages to successfully combine motherhood and acting, in one of her interviews, Paltrow confessed that it's harder than it seems. "When you're shooting a movie, they're like, 'We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,' and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult," the actress said.
16 Sarah Michelle Gellar: A Successful Food Industry Entrepreneur
An ex-Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar is no longer an actress, since her first daughter was born in 2009 and her son was born three years later. She hasn't done much movie-acting since then, but she has been starring in a TV show and voicing several cartoon characters on TV. But she didn't sit still; in 2014 she co-founded a food crafting brand called Foodstirs. Her company sells baking kits and mixes that are 100% organic, can be used for cooking with kids, and help to perfectly recreate the recipes found on Pinterest. No more Pinterest fails, guys!
Judging from the photo above, Gellar and her kids use her products at home and have a lot of fun cooking with them!
15 Beyoncé: A Powerful Woman
Beyoncé is a role model for a lot of working mothers; she didn't just keep on working, writing and recording music, and performing in concerts when she gave birth to her first child, but she did the same thing when she was pregnant with twins!
Even though Beyoncé keeps on working, performing on stage, and touring, she still holds her family first. In an interview the singer gave soon after welcoming her baby daughter Blue Ivy, she said, "In the back of my mind, she’s my priority. And life is completely different now. I feel really, really just lucky that I can still do what I love, and now have a way bigger meaning. And that’s to be her mother."
14 Alicia Silverstone: Rebellious Woman
In the 1990s and early 2000s, Alicia Silverstone was a star. Everyone knew her due to her roles in The Crush (1993), Batman & Robin (1997), and, of course, the iconic comedy hit Clueless (1995). But at some point, Silverstone stopped acting as much and ended up playing only minor roles in movies, as well as becoming involved in other things. For example, she wrote two books about healthy nutrition and has been an environmental activist for years.
Silverstone left the spotlight partly due to giving birth to her son in 2011, and partly due to her unwillingness to correspond to the "standards" of Hollywood.
13 Jada Pinkett Smith: Stylish Celebrity Family
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have two kids, and neither of the parents seems to be thinking of leaving the spotlight anytime soon. Moreover, they even brought their kids, Jaden and Willow, to fame; not only because they are the children of celebrities, but also because both of them also have their own talents. Jaden (born in 1998) is a good actor, rapper, and songwriter, while Willow (born in 2000) is a talented singer, dancer, and actress.
Ever since both of Jada's kids were born, she kept the hard work. We could see her in a number of films, including two Matrix movies, Collateral, The Women, Bad Moms, and others. Besides, the actress is also into charity and business ventures. What an active woman!
12 Christina Applegate: Keeps Herself Moderately Busy
Mostly known for her role of Kelly Bundy on the Fox sitcom Married... with Children that aired from 1987 to 1997, Christina Applegate doesn't act as much now as she did before. In 2011 she gave birth to her daughter Sadie Grace and two years later she decided to become a stay-at-home mom.
"It’s been amazing," Applegate shared about her decision. "It’s been the best few months. I ended work in May, and I’m really happy just to be a stay-at-home mom. You know, it doesn’t seem like I’m a stay-at-home mom with all the things that I’m doing. But sometimes you have to do these things because you are staying home from work! Everyone has to make a living and be doing something for themselves as well. So, I’m very moderately busy with those things, but for the most part, I’m home with Sadie all day long, for 12 hours a day, and it’s fabulous."
11 Reese Witherspoon: Spends Weekends With Her Kids
Looking at this photo gives me an impression that Reese Witherspoon learned how to clone herself. I mean, just look at her daughter Ava (19) and sons Deacon (14) and Tennessee (5) — they look exactly like her!
After three kids, Witherspoon didn't really take a break from acting because she really likes her job. But on the other hand, it takes up a lot of her time, and she doesn't spend as much as she'd like to with her kids.
"I was driving my son to preschool two days ago, and he said, ‘Mommy, I know you work, but the other moms work, and they do drop-off, but they ALSO do pickup,'" she recently shared. "And it hurts, you know?"
Still, the actress says that she's doing her best. "We have family dinner. Weekends, I usually don’t work."
10 Rhea Wahlberg: From Modeling To Being A SAHM
Rhea Durham had a thriving modeling career in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She was well on her way to becoming a supermodel, in fact. She was the first model to get the Revlon contract after Cindy Crawford! But then Rhea met actor Mark Wahlberg and everything changed for her.
Soon after marrying, she gave birth to four children and decided to focus on her family. Instead of modeling, being a mom became her priority. "I stopped modeling after my son, Michael, was born to stay at home with the kids. I still do that now. I’m a stay-at-home mom," Wahlberg confessed in her interview with Tinseltown Mom.
9 Zoe Saldana: Multitasking Is Key
Zoe Saldana and her husband Marco Perego Saldana have three sons together, but the motherhood duties don't keep her away from acting. In her interview with Yahoo Style, the actress admitted that they have one heck of a team to help them out. "Our assistant, our nanny, and our housekeeper. They are literally raising our children with us," she said. "It’s because of them I am able to rip myself away as long as I can, and my husband as well, to do what we do … When you’re away a little too much, it compromises a lot more things. It’s a sacrifice and a pain that will never go away."
In the meantime, Saldana also thinks that multitasking is the key to juggling her career and family. Well, she's not wrong!
8 Leelee Sobieski: Confirmed Her Decision
Mostly known for her roles in Never Been Kissed and Eyes Wide Shut, Leelee Sobieski hasn't done much since 2016. In 2009, she met fashion designer Adam Kimmel, who later became her husband and soon she gave birth to her daughter (in 2009), as well as to her son (in 2014).
In between these two important years of her life, Sobieski confirmed that she decided to quit acting. She gave an interview to US Weekly in 2012 and confessed, "I don’t do movie stuff anymore." She went on to add, "I am just focused on my kids. I think that’s mainly why I stopped."
7 Jennifer Lopez: Life Gets Crazy At Times
It seems that Jennifer Lopez perfectly combines being a mother of twins with being a singer, actress, and businesswoman. But she recently confirmed that even for her it can get crazy sometimes.
"I came in from my first two appointments and I had to start getting ready for this and when I left, [my kids] were eating hot dogs and I was like okay, I’m going to let that go," Lopez shared. "And then I got back and they suggested tacos for dinner and I said no! We’re going to do chicken breasts. We’re going to make a cobb salad. You can have a little bread and butter but come on."
She went on to add, "Just because I’m working today doesn’t mean it’s taco, pizza, hot dog day. It was crazy…"
6 Shania Twain: A Canadian Mommy-Star
Shania Twain is an extremely talented singer and dancer. She was loved by millions, but back in the time when her career was at its peak, she decided to end it. The first reason was the fact that Shania was diagnosed with Lyme disease and couldn't perform on the level she always had because of the extreme fatigue and damage to her vocal chords.
And the second reason was the birth of her son, Eja in 2001. "My son Eja has never known me as Shania; to him, I’m just Mum," the Canadian star confessed. "I gave up touring when he was two, so Shania is not the person who raised him. We’re very close."
But last year Twain released a new album named Now and at the moment she's on tour in support of it. Is her hiatus over?
5 Charlize Theron: A Single Mother Of Two
Both children of famous actress Charlize Theron are adopted. "It’s not easy to adopt, even when you’re a celebrity," she once shared in an interview. "But when I held my children in my arms, I was happier than I ever expected to be. Today, motherhood is a source of joy every single day, something stronger than everything else, more powerful than my career."
Of course, combining motherhood and acting career is challenging even for the Atomic Blonde actress, but Theron takes a lot of good advice from her mom. "Sometimes I lose my mind especially in a car, like when we’re on a road trip or something, She’ll look at me and laugh ... Then she’ll say, 'It’s just a moment. It’s going to pass. It’s going to pass'."
It must be helping a lot...
4 Jessica Biel: Still Involved With Humanitarian Work
Jessica Biel married Justin Timberlake in 2012 and in 2015 their son Silas was born. Since then, Biel seems to be slowly moving away from the spotlight. She played a few roles in movies and on TV and she occasionally makes posts on social media, telling her fans about what's going on in her life, but her involvement in Hollywood isn't as active as it used to be. Nevertheless, she continues her involvement with charitable causes. It's a good choice since it might help her son learn about the importance of making a difference in other people's lives.
We certainly can't blame Jessica for wanting to be more involved in bringing up her little son, rather than starring in movies. After all, he must be the apple of her eye!
3 Sarah Jessica Parker: Family Remains A Priority
Even though Sarah Jessica Parker didn't leave the spotlight after giving birth to her kids (in fact, she was pregnant with one of them while filming Sex and the City), she's still trying to focus more on her family rather than her career. The actress even says that her life revolves around her family's schedules, not her own.
SJP and her husband actor Matthew Broderick often work away from each other. The actress commented on it, "We have lives that allow us to be away and come back together. His work life takes him here, and mine takes me there. In some ways, I think that that's been enormously beneficial because we have so much to share in a way."
2 Julia Roberts: Pretty Mommy
After the birth of her children, Julia Roberts didn't exactly leave the spotlight, but she definitely started acting less than before. She didn't only limit the number of projects to take part in, but also began choosing them very carefully, weighing in how much they can affect her family.
The actress has three kids with her husband, cameraman Daniel Moder. They have twins Hazel and Phinnaeus (born in 2004) and son Henry (born in 2007). Both Julia and Daniel confessed that taking their kids from one sporting event to another was pretty much everything they had been doing lately. The kids must be so happy about it!
1 Kate Hudson: Will Never Be A SAHM
Kate Hudson gave birth to her first son in 2004, welcomed her second son in 2011 and now she's expecting her third child, this time it's a girl! And for all this time, she never stopped working.
In one of her interviews, Hudson confessed that sometimes when she needs to take a minute to herself, she deliberately hides from her kids. But at the same time, she hates being away from them for a long time. Still, the actress isn't going to give up her career. "I wouldn't be the best mom I could be if I didn't follow my creative endeavors," she said. "I would feel an emptiness that would be felt in our home. So a stay-at-home mom will never be my life and that will never be my kids' experience of me."
References: Wikipedia, Good Housekeeping, Access Online, Closer Weekly, USA Today, Vogue, Motherly, Tinseltown Mom, US Weekly, Daily Mail, Huffington Post