Celebrities may have a leg up on the rest of us when it comes to some of the fabulous perks that come with being rich and famous (hello P. Diddy’s yacht), but let’s be honest: this parenting thing doesn’t discriminate. Whether you are California dreaming, or simply just dreaming of getting an uninterrupted night’s sleep so you don’t nod off during tomorrow’s budget meeting, parents from all walks of life have one thing in common: we’re all trying our best to raise, nurture, develop – and occasionally battle to the death with – miniature versions of ourselves.
It’s exhausting, and it can also be isolating. Ask any parent, and they will tell you that this parenting journey can be a lonely one. That’s why it’s comforting to know that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you are overlooking the Hollywood Hills, or marathoning The Hills on Netflix after a long week of lunches and laundry. Just remember that we are all fighting the same battles on a daily basis. We are all in this together, coast to coast and cast to cast. Nobody really knows what the heck they’re doing – not even the stars. So here is a rundown of 20 celebrity parents who in many ways are just like us – and five who are just a little bit extra.
25 Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell has been a familiar face (and voice) for years on both the big and silver screen. From Veronica Mars, to Anna of Frozen, to Kiki of Bad Moms, she has made us laugh, cry, and most definitely want to go and build a snowman.
When it comes to morning routines and school drop-offs, however, she is definitely not a princess.
“Usually I drop them off to school in my PJs because I generally wear pyjamas that can be worn out of the house,” she said in an interview with Well and Good Magazine. “And I don’t have enough time, nor do I care enough, to change into regular street clothes.”
24 Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds may have played a wise-cracking, regenerating superhero on the big screen, but back in 2015, he was playing a much smaller (and arguably more heroic) role as a fumbling new dad who was still learning the ropes. He came under fire when he was pictured holding then-infant daughter James incorrectly in a baby carrier. The internet lost its collective mind, prompting a flood of criticism on social media. During an appearance on Today, Reynolds admitted that as a first-time parent, he was far from perfect - something all of us can appreciate:
“I'm a first-time dad," he told host Matt Lauer. "That is not the first mistake I've made. I can guarantee you it won't be last."
23 Tina Fey
Tina Fey has been making us laugh since her lengthy stint on Saturday Night Live. A successful author, actress, and writer (she became the first female head writer at Saturday Night Live in 1999), Fey has never shied away from telling it like it is – especially when it comes to parenting. During her essay with The New Yorker in 2011, she shared some of the rudest questions she’s ever been asked, including “How do you juggle it all?”
Proving celebrities aren’t immune to this nosy line of questioning, Fey’s answer gave props to every working mom and dad who may be struggling to figure it all out, too:
“I have the same struggles as any working parent, but with the good fortune to be working at my dream job,” she said. “Or sometimes I just hand them a juicy red apple I’ve poisoned in my working-mother witch cauldron and fly away.”
22 James Van Der Beek
He stole our hearts as Dawson Leery on the popular 90s teenage drama Dawson’s Creek, but a lot has changed since Dawson ditched the creek in 2003. These days, Van Der Beek is a married – sorry ladies – father of four with one more on the way, and regularly chronicles his busy life on social media.
His brutally honest Instagram posts capture the everyday struggles of a busy working dad trying to give each member of his young family his undivided attention. Recently, he shared a dentist chair selfie on Instagram as his young son looked on, with the caption: "This counts as quality time, right?"
21 Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen doesn't let fame and fortune stop her from keeping it real when it comes to mom life.
She regularly uses Twitter as a platform to connect with others – especially parents – during her most challenging days where a little solidarity goes a long way.
Recently, when she was having a particularly rough day with her toddler, she reached out on Twitter and asked for anecdotes from other parents who had also suffered at the hands of “mean toddlers”. The response was overwhelming and proved once again that Teigen really is part of our village.
20 John Krasinski
While The Office alum may be a fairly big name in Hollywood these days, John Krasinski is also a dad (with wife Emily Blunt) to two young girls. Krasinski has been candid in the past about the fears that he – and realistically, every parent faces – when it comes to raising their children.
He admits that one of the scariest things about being a father is the inability to be there for his kids at all times. “Even when [we] drop our 4-year-old daughter off at school, you don’t know what she's gonna do that day,” he said in an interview with People. “You don’t know if other kids are gonna be nice to her or if she [will get] in trouble for something. You just want to protect them at all costs.”
19 Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson has never let her celebrity status get in the way of being a mom – especially a mom in the moment.
According to E!News, she admitted that having children has been a humbling experience, and it has given her perspective - especially when it comes to being present with her kids.
"I think that [my children] taught me to just look around me and notice the things that are really important, even if it's just hanging with them, playing on their little piano or taking the time,” she said. “Because I think in life, as adults, it's very hard for us to be still. It's very hard for us to enjoy the moment."
Blue Ivy’s dad may be the richest hip-hop artist in the world (according to Forbes Magazine), but having mogul status doesn’t necessarily mean that Jay-Z is above getting scolded (or in this case, “shushed”) by his six-year-old daughter during music’s biggest night of the year.
Blu Ivy Carter was infamously caught on camera gesturing for both mom, Beyonce, and dad Jay-Z to quiet down during a speech at the 2018 Grammy Awards back in January of this year.
And while the multi-platinum Jay-Z and his famous family simply cannot be regarded as anything less than entertainment royalty, even he admits that fame and fortune will not give him immunity to the dreaded teenage years – especially if Blue’s hilarious Grammys stunt is any indication of what’s to come.
17 Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis' life wasn’t always lights, cameras and red carpets. Her family fled to the United States when she was only seven years old, so she knows a thing or two about tough times. In speaking with Glamour Magazine back in 2016, she revealed that her parents “went through hell and back” working odd jobs and going to college full-time on top of learning English at night school.
Kunis’ appreciation for what her parents overcame is one of the main reasons she’s also determined not to raise her children to be entitled:
“It’s a matter of teaching them from a very early age that, you know, ‘Mommy and Daddy may have a dollar, but you’re poor,’” she joked back in 2016 on the Sydney, Australia-based radio podcast The Kyle and Jackie O Show. ”‘You are very poor, you have nothing. Mommy and Daddy have a bank account.’”
16 Channing Tatum
It's hard to imagine someone with Channing Tatum's charm, fame and confidence ever being intimidated by something as small as a newborn baby.
However, according to Today's Parent, Tatum was a nervous-as-can-be new dad after the birth of daughter Everly, now five.
During an interview with Vanity Fair back in 2015, Tatum revealed how terrified he was leaving the hospital:
"Now you have a baby," he said. "They hand it to you, and you’re like, ‘Uh, wait a minute. Aren’t you guys going to come home with us and make sure we’re not screwing this thing up?’ I think every parent has that moment where they’re like, ‘Oh, maybe this was a bad idea; We don’t know how to do this.’ You can’t put it back in there. It doesn’t go that direction.”
15 Jessica Biel
While Jessica Biel rose to fame playing Mary Camden on the popular 90s family drama 7th Heaven, her biggest role to date is that of mom to three-year-old Silas.
When it comes to juggling parenting with life in general, Biel definitely has her priorities in order. She doesn’t let something as small as eating get in the way of spending quality time with little Silas. She seems to have perfected the art of multitasking, which is evident from a photo she recently shared online with the caption, “Yes. I eat in the shower. I admit it,” with a plate, fork and espresso clearly visible.
14 Chris Pratt
When he’s not busy wrangling misbehaving dinosaurs or saving the galaxy from evil aliens, one quick scroll through Chris Pratt's Instagram feed clearly shows that he is a dad who always makes time for the little things – from classic movies, to sports games and even fishing trips.
One post in particular back in 2017, however, touches on something nearly every parent can relate to: good old-fashioned sleep deprivation.
In this particular case, Pratt shared on social media a very rude awakening he received from his son who climbed into bed with him at 3 a.m. and proceeded to kick him squarely in the back.
“[He] must have had a karate dream or something and now I can’t sleep,” he wrote. “All you dads and moms know what I’m talking about.” Do we ever!
13 Sarah Jessica Parker
While her fashion-obsessed character on Sex and the City casually spent her hard-earned cash on outrageously-priced designer pumps and runway gowns, Sarah Jessica Parker's modest upbringing was a far cry from New York Fashion Week. One of eight kids, Parker admitted to People in 2016 that, “there were times we didn't have a Christmas, or electricity.” Her difficult upbringing is the reason that despite certainly having the means to do so now, Parker refuses to let her children (James, 15, and 8-year-old twins Tabitha and Marion) take anything for granted.
"Things [that my children] want, I think they should yearn for," she said. "And in some cases, as my son gets older, I think he should earn."
12 Dwayne Johnson
He may be one of the most successful movie stars on the planet, but Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson’s on-screen tough-guy persona is no match for adoration he has for his three daughters behind the scenes. An exceptionally involved father not afraid to change a diaper, sing a lullaby or coach his wife through labour, you’d never suspect that this blockbuster superstar is one of the most down-to-earth dads ever.
Recently, after the birth of his third daughter Tia, he broke the internet after sharing a photo of him holding her skin-to-skin.
“If you really want to understand the single most powerful and primal moment life will ever offer - watch your child being born,” read the caption. “It’s a life changer and the respect and admiration you have for a woman, will forever be boundless.”
She may have sang about being perfect back in the day, but P!nk, a.k.a. Alecia Moore, knows that mom life is anything but. She refuses to sugar-coat her everyday struggles – struggles that all parents share, from every walk of life.
The mom-of-two recently shared a brutally honest (and somewhat expletive-laden) conversation she had with a friend over text where she voiced her frustrations over her son’s incessant crying. It was met with over 140,000 likes and thousands of comments from fellow parents, thanking her for not constantly pretending that this parenting journey is perfect and seamless.
10 Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon has been making us laugh since the late 90s as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. These days, as the host of The Tonight Show, he continues to showcase his sharp wit and comedic talents via his nightly monologues, topical sketches, and celebrity interviews.
He is also happily that dad – the one whose phone is full of baby pictures instead of brunch plates.
“I promised myself I wouldn't be that guy when I had a baby,” he said during an interview with NPR. “My whole iPhone is just all baby pictures. It used to be, I guess, food? I don't know what else you take with your iPhone — it's brunch or babies.”
9 Chelsea Peretti
While she's certainly famous for her hilarious stand-up comedy and her performance as the sarcastic Gina Linetti on the popular sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chelsea Peretti’s other main role is mom to one-year-old son Beau (with husband Jordan Peele).
Peretti is also no stranger to sharing some pretty hard (and hilarious) truths about parenting on social media. Despite her celebrity status, we can all relate in one way or another to her struggles as a first-time mom. She recently shared a hilarious video that had all of us screaming #momgoals. It featured her belting out a surprisingly on-key tune asking all 650,000 of her Instagram followers not to judge her for wearing sweatpants so late in the day. “Don’t judge me for wearing sweats,” she sang, a cappella. “That’s just ‘cuz I haven’t showered yet.”
8 Karamo Brown
From popular MTV reality show personality to television host to producer, and now star of the smash hit Queer Eye on Netflix, Karamo Brown has had quite the career.
But it was at the height of his success back in the mid 2000s that he discovered something life-altering: he had a son from a previous relationship.
According to Parents Magazine, this brought Brown back down to earth, and forced him to change his hard-partying lifestyle. Nowadays, despite his success, Brown is determined to remain grounded and hands-on when it comes to raising his two sons (he adopted his biological son’s brother in 2010). According to Fatherly, he’s even referred to as a 'strict dad' by both kids. “A lot of kids think it’s bad when their parents are strict,” said his youngest son, Christian. “But I think as a child, I needed that.”
7 Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde is just about as real as it gets. While it isn’t uncommon to see other celebrity parents hawking a clothing line or showing off a Pinterest-worthy nursery on social media, Wilde reminds us on the regular that celebrity status or not, deep down she’s really just another mom, trying to get through another day.
Not one to care too much about keeping up appearances, she once posted a not-so-flattering selfie with the caption: "I call this hairstyle, 'keep the kid alive'. Products you'll need: sweat, string cheese, diaper rash cream, chewed up crayon, snot, and an enthusiastic spritz of panic."
6 John Stamos
He may have waited until he was well into in his 50s to have a baby, but fatherhood looks just about as natural as can be for the seemingly ageless John Stamos.
The Full House alum recently welcomed his first child Billy into the world, and judging from his swooning Instagram feed, the new dad couldn't be happier.
In fact, during a recent interview with Ryan Seacrest, Stamos said that since having a baby, "everything is greener and bluer."
But the new dad is clearly hands-on, judging from several other colors he's been seeing lately. He added, “I’m looking out the window right now and … I see all kinds of different colors. Different poop colors,” he joked. “There’s green, there’s yellow ..."
5 Mindy Kaling: Tricked-Out Designer Stroller With Gold Rims
We've become so accustomed to watching our beloved Mindy Kaling play hilarious, fumbling and relatable characters on TV (Kelly Kapoor and Mindy Lahiri, anyone?). Though, her sharing a photo of her daughter's new pram earlier this year undoubtedly sent shockwaves across the 'gram.
After becoming a mom back in December, Kaling was showered with gifts from celebrities and designers from all around the world. From apparel to a literal library of custom classic children's books (courtesy of Oprah), there was nothing top shelf her new baby didn't have. But this balling buggy, courtesy of designer Jeremy Scott, takes the cake. Everything about this luxury pram screams extra! From the gold wings to the gold rims, this sleek stroller is just beyond and begs the question, how does a baby have a sleeker ride than most adults?
4 Neil Patrick Harris: Halloween Hysteria
Most parents don't have the time, energy, or the resources to do much more than poke two holes in a bed sheet when putting together their kids' Halloween costumes, but Neil Patrick Harris and his family completely blow it out of the water, year after year.
According to Instagram, their adorable and elaborate tradition began back in 2011 when he and his one-year-old twins, along with husband David Burtka, dressed up as characters from Peter Pan.
From there it blossomed into The Wizard of Oz, Alice In Wonderland, Batman, Star Wars, an homage to icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin, and finally, crazy carnival characters. It should really come as no surprise that they go all out for the spooky holiday after all, given Harris' outstanding career as an entertainer and Broadway superstar.
3 Celeste Barber: Imitation=Flattery?
She may have began her career as an actress, but Australian comedian and mom of two Celeste Barber has amassed quite the following online, poking fun at celebrity snaps and recreating them in a 'realistic' way.
From Jennifer Lopez to Kylie Jenner and even Beyonce, nobody is immune to Barber's parodies. She is especially fond of mocking the more eccentric fashion photos out there, and is definitely not afraid to go the distance for her art. Barber has been known to strip down to the bare minimum to get that perfect shot - and it has paid off. She currently has over four million followers on Instagram, and her book, Challenge Accepted is on sale overseas.
2 P. Diddy: Maybach Milestones
Turning "Sweet Sixteen" is a popular milestone for many teenagers. It's one step closer to adulthood and typically, many kids will celebrate by throwing a party.
Unless of course, your dad is Sean "P. Diddy" Combs - then you get a Prince of New York-themed birthday party and a $360,000 Maybach.
When Diddy's eldest son Justin turned sixteen back in 2009, he threw him a massive, ostentatious star-studded birthday party, which was featured on MTV's My Super Sweet Sixteen. Speaking of extra, according to The Independent, Justin got yet another Maybach the following year when he turned 17 - this time, for making the honor roll!
1 Kim Kardashian: Toddler High Fashion
Kim Kardashian has built an entire empire on makeup, clothing and accessories, so it's no wonder that her kids - most notably, her eldest daughter North - is somewhat of a fashion icon at the tender age of five.
While most kids are donning their older sibling's hand-me-downs and heading to the park, it's not unheard of for the Kardashian brood to be dressed in custom Balmain, Givenchy, or pint-sized fur pieces while on their way to the Adidas Fashion Show in New York City.
It's not every day a toddler has a better designer wardrobe than most adults, but not every toddler has a mom like Kim!