When I was in college, I marched for anything and everything I was passionate about. Sometimes things I didn’t really care about too much. I was determined to change the world. I would have a corner office at any company that had corner offices and maybe even be the first woman president while I was at it.
It wasn’t just me, either. My girlfriends in college all had the sparkle of our futures in our eyes. We were going to move mountains. We were going to change the world. Our dreams were within our grasps and, men be damned, we were going to get there.
Now, about the minute our cap and gowns came off, our maternal clocks started pounding. But, we can pursue our dreams and be moms, too, right? I mean, plenty of women do it. However, once we had our babies, our dreams changed. We sat at our dream jobs and dreamed of drooly faces, the smell of vomit and yoga pants.
So, we ran home, wore our comfiest clothes and never left.
Turns out we aren’t the only ones. Women from fast food employees to celebrities hang up their business suits and decide to leave it all to be home with their children. Celebrities?! Yes, even the glamorously rich and famous trade the silver screen for endless (and I mean endless) episodes of Caillou and burp rags.
Here’s a list of 15 of those very women who left Hollywood to be stay-at-home moms, even just temporarily.
15 Elizabeth Hurley
We all remember her from hits like Bedazzled and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery but Elizabeth Hurley is no longer playing sexy leading ladies after becoming a mom.
Two years after Bedazzled hit theaters in 2000, Hurley became a mother to Damian Charles Hurley and took it easy on Hollywood in exchange for motherhood. While she has had several small roles on the big and small screen, Hurley is just now starting to get back into larger roles.
During her time away from the hustle and bustle, Hurley spent her days on her 400-acre organic farm in England with her son and now ex-husband. Hurley decided to move to the country after the overwhelming paparazzi presence in London when she became a mother.
“I would be bursting into tears and just be so angry. There is something about motherhood that makes you very protective of anyone coming too near your child, and the paparazzi did things like take pictures of him nude on the beach and put them online. It was disgusting, disgraceful,” she told The Daily Mail.
14 Phoebe Cates
You definitely remember her in a red bikini in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. You know, she’s the one who invented the slow pool exit and even slower bikini top removal.
However, Phoebe Cates had more than just Fast Times on her résumé. She was also the lead in the cult classic Drop Dead Fred and Gremlins. If you heard the name Phoebe Cates in the ’80s and early ’90s you thought, for sure she was going places. Then, nothing.
Well, in 1989 Cates married fellow actor, Kevin Kline, and had not one, but two children, Greta and Owen. Now, the family of four stay in their country estate in Upstate New York as well as their Manhattan penthouse.
Cates still supports her husband’s acting and stage career by attending openings and benefits. She also spends her spare time hosting dinner parties with fellow celebrity friends like fellow Fast Times alum, Jennifer Jason Leigh.
13 Rhea Wahlberg
Some may think she married into fame and fortune, but Rhea Wahlberg had a career of her own before marrying Mark Wahlberg.
Rhea started modeling when she was discovered at the age of 16. She went on to land on the pages of Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire. Then, she met Mark and — like many of us would — she fell in love and had his babies, four to be exact.
Now, Rhea spends her days being a stay at home mom to Ella, Michael, Brendan and Grace. The Wahlberg clan spend their days at the beach, movies, traveling and watching sports with Dad.
Rhea isn’t completely business-free since she does have a personal blog that she posts family pictures, writings and beauty tips since, eventually, she would like to start her own business in this line of work.
12 Jamie Lynn Spears
Britney wasn’t the only Spears to steal our hearts in Hollywood. However, Jamie Lynn Spears first shocked the world with her pregnancy, then disappeared in thin air.
Spears found out she was pregnant at age 16 and her world stopped. She had just finished filming, “Zoey 101” when she got pregnant. It was the story heard ’round the world and the young starlet couldn’t take the constant media attention along with wrapping her head around being a pregnant teen.
So, she vanished.
Spears and her now ex-fiance and her daughter’s father, Casey Aldridge, moved to the country, bought a huge piece of fenced-in property and focused on becoming parents.
Her daughter, Maddie Briann, is eight, and Spears is recreating her showbiz persona as a country music singer. Her latest single, “Sleepover,” was released just months ago.
“[It’s] young and flirty, yet very empowering as a woman,” Spears tells Rolling Stone Country about the song, which she wrote on a writing retreat in Florida. “To embrace that fun, young side of myself is a little harder for me. So that’s something I really tackled: embracing the flirty, softer side of myself.”
11 Leelee Sobieski
The early 2000’s were full of Leelee Sobieski. We’re still wiping our tears from Hear on Earth and biting our nails from The Glass House and then poof! She was gone.
The woman with our hair goals has two kids, Louisanna and Martin, with her husband and fashion designer, Adam Kimmel. Since becoming a mom, Sobieski has focused completely on her children. She also helps her husband with his career and has a hobby of painting.
Sobieski — a Brown University graduate, as well — currently has zero plans to return to Hollywood now that she has tasted the sweet luxuries of stay-at-home motherhood.
“Maybe if I’m playing sweet grandma,” she shared to US Weekly. “[But] I am just focused on my kids. I think that’s mainly why I stopped.”
While she has starred alongside Drew Barrymore, Tim Allen and Diane Lane, yet nowadays all she has to brag about are her two kids.
10 Candace Cameron Bure
We Millenial Moms grew up right alongside DJ Tanner and sobbed when “Full House” went off the air in 1995. Then, Candace Cameron Bure was gone.
Suddenly, in 2014 she was back on “Dancing With the Stars,” then she became a host on “The View,” and then our mommy hearts combusted when “Fuller House” aired on Netflix last year.
Where did she go for such a long time? Well, in 1998 Bure gave birth to her daughter Natasha and in 2000 she welcomed her son Lev and then her son Maksim in 2002. During that time, and for five more years, Bure enjoyed her time as a mom, Christian and wife to her husband, Valeri Bure.
Since her exuberant return to TV in 2014, Cameron has decided she bit off a bit more than she can chew with two television shows at once. She announced in December she will be leaving The View.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but before I started The View, I had already had my commitments to Fuller House and my work with the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries,” she said. “And because of the success of those, my commitments have become even greater with those shows.”
She also added: “The commute of going West Coast to East Coast every single week for me has been tough on me and hard for my family as well,” she said. “And I want to make sure that I’m able to spend at much time with my children and invest in all the projects that I do to the fullest extent.”
9 Jenna Fischer
We spent eight years watching our #relationshipgoals romance between Pam Beesly and Jim Halpert on “The Office” every week. However, since the show’s end in 2013, we haven’t seen much of Pam, AKA Jenna Fischer.
In 2011, Fischer gave birth to her first child, Weston Lee, while “The Office” was on the air and shortly after the show wrapped, in 2014, she welcomed her daughter Harper Marie. Since her daughter was born, Fischer took a break from the big and little screen, focusing on her two children with screenwriter, Lee Kirk.
While her leave was shorter than most on the list, Fischer stated she needed the break to focus on her family as well as herself.
“Plans for my hiatus: Dentist, Eye Doctor, Pilates. #andlotsoftimewithmybaby,” Fischer tweeted in March 2012.
8 Christina Milian
If you’re like me, you hear the name Christina Milian and think, “Oh yeah! What happened to her?” One minute she is on the radio every time we get in our cars after high school, and then radio silence.
In 2001, she had hit after hit on her self-titled album and proceeding album It’s About Time with hits “Dip it Low,” “AM to PM,” and “Whatever You Want.” These songs made her top-five Billboard Chart material.
Though she is best known for her music, Milian’s main passion is in acting and did have several movie roles — her most notable being the lead role in Love Don’t Cost a Thing.
In 2010, Milian and her now ex-husband, The-Dream, gave birth to Violet and everything slowed down. However, in 2015, once she had spent five years focusing on single motherhood to Violet, the singer-turned-actress added one more item to her portfolio: reality TV star.
Milian starred in two seasons of “Christina Milian Turned Up” on E! starting in 2015. The show was described as a brown version of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and showcased Milian and Violet’s personal lives as well as Milian’s comeback.
7 Michelle Williams
After her award winning performance in My Week With Marilyn, Michelle Williams decided to step away from Hollywood and focus on her daughter with the late, Heath Ledger.
Her daughter, Violet, was five years old when she decided to take a break and since Williams is a single mother, she felt she needed to be with her as much as possible.
“I just want to go back to being a mom for a while,” Williams told E!.
Williams felt, since Violet had lost her father, it was even more important to take the time with her to tell her all about her dad.
“You know, as hard as certain things have been for me, it’s been harder thinking about how things will be for her,” she has said. “I have a lot of things that she doesn’t, and some of what I have I can give to her — the memories that I have, the objects that I have, the physical reminders that I have, the stories.”
6 Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys took the music scene by storm with her debut album that went platinum five times over. With each album she produced, Grammys kept rolling in. She was unstoppable. Then, motherhood came calling her name.
She’s a 15 Grammy award winner and 17-time NAACP Image Award winner, but between 2010 and 2015 her main focus was motherhood and her marriage to her husband, Swizz Beatz.
Her first son, Egypt Doud was born in 2010 and her second son Genesis Ali came along in 2014. During those early motherhood years, Keys struggled with the balancing act that is being a mom.
“What’s been surprisingly hard about becoming a mom is being away from him,” she told People, “and trying to find that magical balance for everything, which I kind of expected.”
5 Amber Rose
She stomped onto the modeling scene in 2008 and hit fame head-on after appearing in a Kanye West and Young Jeezy music video. However, once her son was born, Amber Rose took a break from the bright lights.
Rose modeled for Kanye West’s sneaker line in a Louis Vuitton ad, walked the runway in New York Fashion Week and even released a rap single with her ex-Wiz Khalifa. She even gained so much popularity that Simon & Schuster published her advice book, “How to be a Bad Bitch.”
Her son, Sebastian, was born in 2013. This put a major pause on Rose’s fast-paced career. She appeared here and there after her son was born, but nothing as big as what she was taking on before Sebastian.
That is, until last year when Rose: joined “Dancing with the Stars,” started “The Amber Rose Show,” starred in What Happened Last Night and more.
Rose said her main goal with parenting was to be a good role model for her son, who she adorably calls Bash.
4 Jessica Simpson
In the late ’90s and early ’00s, Jessica Simpson was as much of a musical and reality TV phenomenon as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. However, after her babies were born, Simpson pulled back the reigns on her busy schedule.
Simpson has not released a musical album since her Happy Christmas album in 2010. While she still has her fashion line, she has majorly taken a step back from performing and television.
It’s been so long since Simpson has put out music, her husband, Eric Johnson and two children Maxwell and Ace aren’t even familiar with her as a singer. Simpson actually recorded the Happy Christmas album with Johnson, but he has not seen her as a stage performer. Shortly after the release, she focused on being a wife and mother.
3 Nicole Richie
Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton were the pioneers of celebrity reality TV. From 2003-2007 there wasn’t a party in Hollywood that didn’t have the two spotted entering. However, since her show ended, Richie traded her party pants for yoga pants.
In 2008, Richie welcomed her first child, Harlow Winter Kate, with husband Benji Madden. Then, right away the next year, the couple welcomed their son, Sparrow James Midnight, to their growing family.
After her babies were born, Richie took some time to focus on them. Then, in 2010, she opened her own high-end fashion line Winter Kate and became a successful celebrity designer.
Finally, in 2014, Richie made her television reappearance with her latest reality show “Candidly Nicole” on VH1. The show follows Richie as she navigates her busy schedule as a mom and designer. The show has been on for two seasons and no word, yet, on a third.
2 Hilary Duff
Actress Hilary Duff went from Lizzie McGuire to big screen actress to triple-platinum pop star. Then, we barely saw her again.
In 2003, Duff released three movies — Agent Cody Banks, The Lizzie McGuire Movie and Cheaper by the Dozen — and her triple-platinum album Metamorphosis. 2004 wasn’t a light year for the blonde-bombshell, either. She starred in two films — A Cinderella Story and Raise Your Voice — and another album.
The movies and music kept coming until 2012 when she and her husband, Mike Comrie, welcomed their son Luca Cruz to their family. We saw very little of Duff between 2012 and 2015 she said that’s exactly how she wanted it to be.
“It’s very humbling. It’s all about him … It’s his world. We’re just living in it,” she said. “I feel like my heart just swelled. I didn’t know I could love something so much. And that keeps getting more intense as he grows older.”
1 Christina Aguilera
Like we said earlier, in the late ’90s and early ’00s, teen pop princesses consisted of Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson and Christina Aguilera. They were everywhere and anywhere on the radio and TV awards shows. For Christina, that all changed when she became a mom.
She’s a grammy award winner singer with booty shakin’ hits like “Genie in a Bottle” and “What a Girl Wants.” She then grew up through music with her Stripped album and calmed down a bit with Back to Basics.
Then, Aguilera gave birth to her son Max in 2008 and really pulled back on her schedule.
After her three hit albums and a baby, she took a new musical venture and became a judge on “The Voice” in 2011. However, she left in 2012 for a time and became pregnant with her daughter, Summer Rain, in 2014.
Aguilera did since return to “The Voice” but not for long before deciding to focus on raising her two children for a bit. The singer said her two babies are her greatest inspiration.
“I love being at home and cuddling with them in my sweatpants. I learn so much from them, and every day is a new and fun adventure. I couldn’t be more lucky to have Max and Summer, they are the lights of my life,” Aguilera said.
Sources: Daily Mail, Daily Mail, IMDb, People, Glamour, CMT, Biography, US Weekly, US Magazine, IMDb, People, People, FOX News, Biography, VH1, Biography,