Actresses may have trainers, cooks, and maids, but they are still like us in some ways. Many actresses that we love watching on television are also moms, and while they may have nannies to help them, they also have a few things in common with the everyday mom.
Television moms juggle work and kids just like us, though they have the added pressure of keeping in shape to look good in front of the cameras. They are often asked for parenting advice, and many admit that they don’t know more than anyone else. All of us are just doing the best we can.
Some of these women adopted as opposed to giving birth, and all of them love their children and consider them the priorities in their lives. They are married moms, single moms, remarried moms, and moms in same-sex relationships. They make up the kaleidoscope of motherhood, just like all of us.
While not all of these women play moms on television, they embrace the role when off the set. Many had their pregnancies written into their TV shows, while others had to hide behind props to make sure the audience didn’t know there was a baby on board. Either way, they battled morning sickness and swelling feet before an audience!
Just like the rest of us, many of these women have asked that their employers keep their motherhood status in mind, and for some, that’s led to less travel or having help on the set so the baby can come to work. They make it work and offer advice for the rest of as well.
15 Edie Falco
Edie Falco, the actress who starred in “The Sopranos” and “Nurse Jackie”, has two children by adoption. Falco is a recovering alcoholic who decided to become a mother a decade after getting sober. She has a boy and a girl.
Falco is an outspoken supporter of animal rights, and she lives a vegan lifestyle, though it’s not clear if she asks her kids to adhere to the same diet. Falco has commented on how parenting is different now than it was when she was young. Whereas she remembers simply being around her parents, she admits that kids these days call the shots, with parents jumping through hoops for them.
Due to her concern for animals and her desire to see kids be mindful when it comes to animals, she encourages parents to keep their kids away from circuses. She believes it’s animal abuse and wants kids to understand that when they are young.
14 Lori Loughlin
Those in Generation X remember Lori Loughlin as Aunt Becky on “Full House”. She played the wife of John Stamos’ character, and we all thought she was super lucky to get to kiss him on screen every week.
Lori Loughlin is back in “Fuller House” and as entertaining as ever. Though she didn’t really father children with Uncle Jesse, she does have two daughters with her real-life husband. She is also a stepmother to her husband’s son.
In an interview, Loughlin admitted that raising teens can be difficult, but she tries to be mellow. Though the world loves her, she says her daughters didn’t think she was cool when they became teenagers.
Loughlin wants her kids to be kind and grateful for what they have, and she tries to raise them in a way that teaches them how. She admits to losing her temper and says that she does best when she waits to respond as opposed to reacts immediately, something that is true for most of us.
13 Cynthia Nixon
Cynthia Nixon is best known for her role as Miranda on the series “Sex and the City”. She played a smart lawyer who had a child with her longtime love, Steve. Off-screen, Nixon had two children with her longtime partner, Danny Mozes. She and Mozes split and Nixon married her partner Christine Marinoni in 2012. In 2011, Marinoni gave birth to a child, so Nixon became a mother of three.
Nixon and her ex-partner have the co-parenting thing down, and she claims her kids barely ever stay with a nanny because there are four people ready and able to be there for the kids: Nixon, her partner, her-ex partner, and his new partner (got all of that?). Basically, the kids come first and everyone in that situation knows it.
As a gay rights activists, Nixon doesn’t shy away from standing for what she believes in. She also feels that it is much easier to raise kids in a same-sex household now that there is less stigma around same-sex relationships.
12 Julie Bowen
Everyone’s favorite mom from “Modern Family”, Julie Bowen has three sons of her own. She gave birth to twins last, making her a boy mom and a twin mom, and she worked hard to breastfeed her sons even when her work schedule was hectic. However, she told women not to stress about breast milk versus formula and comes off as a mom friend all of us would want to have.
Bowen says she sets limits and rules in her house and that her main goal isn’t keeping her kids happy 24/7. For her, going from one kid to three overnight wasn’t the hardest transition. She says going from zero to one floored her because of how it redistributed her time.
11 Alexis Bledel
Alexis Bledel, the star of “Gilmore Girls” and recent award-winning actress for her role in “The Handmaid’s Tale” had a baby and kept the whole thing pretty far off the radar. Bledel does not put her personal life on display for public consumption, and that was obvious when she and husband Vincent Kartheiser welcomed a son and many people didn’t even know she was pregnant.
Bledel’s relationship with Kartheiser was kept fairly quiet after they met and fell in love on the set of “Mad Men”. In an interview where she did discuss parenting, she admitted that it takes a lot for her to take on a role now. She has to be passionate about pursuing the role to take time away from her son. She’s a working mom, but she chooses her work projects carefully and has not overbooked herself since becoming a mother.
10 Kerry Washington
It took a lot of strategic prop placement to get Kerry Washington through her pregnancies while she filmed “Scandal”. Playing lead character, Olivia Pope, means that Washington is front and center all the time, and that made filming difficult as her belly started to grow.
The real difficulties come with trying to raise two kids while starring in a hit TV show, but Washington is up for the challenge. She cites the show creator, Shonda Rhimes, with inspiring her and helping her persevere, no matter how much is going on. She also credits her character, Olivia’s, attitude with helping her juggle all of the challenges of being a working mom. Washington simply finds a solution, no matter how hard it gets.
9 Lisa Kudrow
On the famous TV show “Friends”, the free-spirited Phoebe gave birth to triplets for her brother. In real life, Lisa Kudrow’s parenting life is a bit tamer. Though she played the role of Phoebe, welcoming three babies who were technically her nieces and nephews, in the real world she has one son, Julian, with her husband.
Kudrow was pregnant during filming, so there was no need to hide her belly since the writers for the show decided to make her character pregnant at the same time. Kudrow’s son is now grown, and she never had more children because she said Julian didn’t want her to. As opposed to feeling guilty for only having one child and depriving her son of siblings, Kudrow felt like it was a gift her child asked for and received. He wasn’t deprived; he was blessed by the experience of undivided attention.
8 Emily Deschanel
The star of “Bones” is a boy mom all the way with two sons with her spouse. She is a hands-on mom who confessed to bringing her young sons to the set. Though they were watched by a nanny while she worked, she was still able to see them all day. She knows what a rare gift that is and considers herself lucky.
Deschanel was pregnant while filming “Bones”, and her character had a new child on the show as well. She has admitted that the content of the show affects her differently now that she is a mother. Scenes that involve children who have been harmed are harder for her to film now that she has children of her own.
7 Rachel Bilson
Rachel Bilson was recently in the news because of her split from long-time partner, Hayden Christensen. She has starred in “The O.C.”, “Hart of Dixie”, and “Nashville”, and she will now be juggling single motherhood with her career since her relationship with Christensen came to a close.
Bilson and Christensen both prioritize their toddler daughter, and they support the No Kids Policy, a movement that is working to forbid photographers from taking pictures of the children of celebrities without their parents’ permission. Bilson is also an outspoken supporter of No Kid Hungry, a campaign that seeks to make sure all children have enough food. She credits becoming a mother with making her even more sensitive to this issue.
Bilson credits her mom with helping her raise her daughter, and she is in full agreement that it takes a village to bring up a child. She has called Christensen a great father in the past, and we hope they have an amicable co-parenting relationship for the sake of all involved.
6 Ginnifer Goodwin
Ginnifer Goodwin has played one of the wives on “Big Love” before her starring role on “Once Upon a Time” where she portrays Snow White. On the set of “Once Upon a Time”, she fell in love with co-star Josh Dallas. They have two young sons now, their very own happily ever after.
Goodwin revealed one of her biggest fears about parenting, and it wasn’t at all what most people would expect. The Disney-loving star is afraid her children might not love Disneyland as much as she does, though it looks like those fears are unfounded.
Dallas has bragged that Goodwin is an amazing mother, and she has returned the compliment. As opposed to leaving her to do the hard work alone, Dallas participates in the sleep-deprivation, refusing to sleep if he can help Goodwin out instead. These two sound like a parenting team made in heavy, or just on a major TV show!
5 Zooey Deschanel
Zooey Deschanel of “New Girl” fame is a mother of two. Deschanel is known for her acting career as well as her singing, and she is also the co-founder of a website called HelloGiggles. Despite her busy schedule, she’s a dedicated mom to a son and daughter with her husband.
While Deschanel’s youngest is still joining her on-set, her oldest is now in preschool and loves the social life. Deschanel says her kids are her number one priority, and that’s what has made the transition from one to two kids smooth for her.
Deschanel wants to raise both of her kids as feminist, and she feels like the best way to do that is to not let societal norms get in the way of her daughter’s confidence. She is also super aware of the foods her family consumes, and Deschanel battles food allergies of her own, so knowing what is in her food is important.
4 Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo, who starts on “Grey’s Anatomy”, has three children with her husband of over a decade. She juggles a hit TV show with being a mom. Pompeo has given birth and also received the aid of a surrogate.
Pompeo is serious about being honest about the challenges of being a working parent. She credits help from her baby nurse with keeping her sane and allowing her to accomplish all that she does. Her character on “Grey’s Anatomy” also receives help while maintaining a career in medicine, so Pompeo and Meredith Grey have tons in common.
Pompeo also makes sure her children see strong, black role models. Since her children are black, Pompeo wants them, especially her girls, to see strong black women in the news, in leadership positions, and everywhere they look. She makes a point of making sure they have role models who look like them.
3 Claire Danes
Claire Danes has won countless awards for her role on “Homeland”, but it’s her role as a mom of a son that she is getting used to. After a quote where she and her husband said that having their son was the best thing ever, but the conversations with the four-year-old were constant but not the best, many said they had pretty much nailed a solid parenting truth.
Danes says she hopes to give her son the kind of childhood she had with a lot of time to play and not too much helicopter parenting. Though Danes has been willing to travel for her part on Homeland, she did request to stick closer to home for her son’s sake, and the writers accommodated.
Danes says her son is obsessed with germs and wants to be a doctor. She has no problem saying that parenting is precious, but she’s honest about the challenges of feeling trapped as a mother at times.
2 Cobie Smulders
Cobie Smulders has two daughters with her husband despite battling ovarian cancer while filming “How I Met Your Mother”. Smulders underwent many surgeries to recover, but she successfully became pregnant years later.
Smulders’ honest advice for new moms is to remember that those early days are only one small part of parenting. She confesses to feeling stuck in the repetitiveness of the infant days, when napping, feeding, and very little contact with the outside world was the norm. She also admits she was lucky because the set of “How I Met Your Mother” was very accommodating when she returned to work.
Smulders is from Canada, and she believes maternity and paternity leave should be given to every parent. She knows she was lucky to be able to take time off and then return to her job easily, and she wants that freedom for every parent.
1 Angela Kinsey
Known for her role on “The Office” and now starring on “Haters Back Off”, Kinsey is more likely to be known as her eclectic characters than she is for being a mom. Kinsey has a daughter with her ex-husband and is now remarried.
Kinsey is a stellar co-parent who had to continue to work with her spouse after they split. She says they each see their daughter every day, even though they no longer live together as a family. For Kinsey, her daughter’s happiness is everything, so she and her ex even share holidays so her daughter has the security of traditions that never change.
Kinsey credits her friends and family with helping her in parenting. She says they allow her to vent and offer advice when she’s had a bad day. Like many actresses on this list, she believes community is important for kids and moms.
Sources: Cafemom.com, HuffingtonPost.com, AfterEllen.com, Buzzfeed.com
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