Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr
It would seem that the issue of work-life balance wouldn’t be a dilemma in the celebrity world, but it is. Just like virtually every other working parent out there, celebrity moms and dads also struggle to provide the bacon, cook it, and still spend quality time with their kiddos.
These 10 celebrities shared how they (try to) integrate work and life, all the while showing that despite fame and fortune, work-life issues plague all parents, regardless of your paycheck.
The Avengers actor admitted that he sometimes struggles to find work-life balance. “Half the time, it’s out of my control,” he told CNBC Make It. “But when it is in my control, or I have an opinion, I just try and make sure I’m at home as much as possible and with the kids as much as possible.” And when it’s feasible, Hemsworth brings his three children to work with him.
You’ve got to appreciate an honest answer. When asked how she manages her own work-life balance, actress Felicity Huffman admitted to People magazine: “[P]eople 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.’ ” She then added: “I’m failing as both a mother and an actress. But I do what I can to stumble forward joyously.”
Sarah Jessica Parker
In an interview with Parade magazine, Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica Parker said: “We’ve had two occasions recently where both Matthew and I were working, and it was so hard on the kids, especially James Wilkie, because he can really articulate how he feels about our absence. On the other hand, there are big chunks of time when we’re home a lot more than conventionally working parents. So you hope to make up for it.”
The Will & Grace actress spoke candidly about being a single mom to her son, Roman, and still being a successful actress. “Knowing your limitations is important. It took me a long time, but now I have a pretty good idea of how many hours I can work on a TV show and still feel like I’m able to be present when I get home,” Messing told POPSUGAR. She also encouraged others to seek the help of friends and family for assistance.
“Finding that balance between work and family is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, by far,” Gwen Stefani, a mom of three boys, told Glamour UK. “I’ve always worked really hard, and the hardest thing I’ve ever done is have kids!” The former No Doubt singer continued: “All of it — everything from getting up in the morning to trying to be consistent to trying to have the right feelings. But, of course, the rewards are so great.”
Most parents question whether you can truly have it all. Hilary Duff told Redbook: “It’s hard to say that you really can have it all. I think you can to a certain degree, but fully loaded, pedal-all-the-way-down is tough.” The actress and singer, already a mom to son Luca and currently expecting her second child, said: “You’re missing out on something, either on the career or on the family. When I’m really busy with work, I feel extremely guilty.”
Actor Will Smith told Us Weekly that he has found balancing work and family life challenging. “You’ll realize that you’re either really committed to having a relationship, or you’re really committed to coming up [in your career]. At some point, one or the other is going to have to suffer.”
Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal says that work-life balance is something that she hasn’t figured out yet.
“I was surrounded by plenty of working moms, including my grandmother, a pediatrician, and my mother, a writer and producer … I just thought, ‘Well, that’s what moms do.’ They work and raise their kids. I was brought up to believe I could do anything I wanted professionally and, of course, be a mother at the same time. But I’m finding out that it’s complicated. It requires a lot of thought and planning and I haven’t figured it out yet.”
Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus took the very serious issue of work-life balance — and made it seriously funny. “Being a working mother can be fraught with tension at certain times. I definitely relate to the frantic fear that you’re screwing up — of doing the wrong thing despite the best of intentions,” says Julia Louis-Dreyfus. “I get up very early and get a lot of things done before my kids get up. And I compartmentalize and medicate myself on a daily basis.
“Not really! I don’t medicate. But I do get up early.”
For Christina Aguilera, having a strong sense of who you are pre-baby (and staying in touch with your passion) can help you as you try to juggle work-life demands. “I wasn’t going to give up who I was before I had the baby,” admits Aguilera. “It’s important to stay true to that as an example — also for my son to find out what his goals are, what he’s passionate about doing, so it’s sort of leading by example in that sense.”