These days, there are a million ways to parent a kid, and all of them will be endlessly criticized. The good news, for most of us, is we only have a handful of people questioning how we're raising our children. Not so for celeb parents, who often raise their little ones under the perpetual scrutiny of fans, social media followers, and haters alike.
One of the most controversial celebs parenting issues is the nanny topic. Most celeb couples have nannies to help care for their young children while they are traveling for work. They might be on location in Siberia for a film or living part-time in Toronto to shoot a TV series. Perhaps they are entertainers and have to go on tour for months at a time. How do celeb couples balance home life and work life without outside help?
Well, there are Hollywood heavyweights out there who've made a conscious decision to abstain from hiring strangers to help care for their babies, and we're in awe of their ability to juggle work and home life. Some use family members to help with their kids when they are working, others seem to find a way to coordinate their schedules, or to bring their young children with them on location.
To be clear, there's no "best" way to raise your kids. Nannies are a necessity for busy working parents - celebs or otherwise, and many of these caregivers are beloved members of the family. As long as the kids are happy, loved and cared for, that's all that matters.
With that being said, here are 15 Hollywood heavyweights who are raising their children without the help of nannies. Hats off to all of them - and to all parents everywhere.
15 Blake Lively And Ryan Reynolds
You might want to grab your smelling salts and then sit down, because Canuck heartthrob, Reynold Reynolds, is about to get even hotter.
The Deadpool actor admitted in a 2015 interview with GQ Magazine that he actually enjoyed waking up five times in the night to change daughter James' diapers. Be still our collective beating hearts. The couple has added a second bundle of joy to their family, a daughter named Ines. We're assuming his enthusiasm for night wakings is as strong as ever.
“As exhausted as you get, I have this stupid grin on my face all the time,” Reynolds said in the interview, according to People Magazine.
“[It’s] not because I have a nanny or something like that," he added (he and wife Blake Lively opted not to hire outside childcare help). "It’s just us right now, and I love it."
“Once you have a kid, you just think, like, ‘I can’t believe that another person did all this S...— for me, that I’m doing for this person right now!’ Like, that somebody woke up in the middle of the night this many times just to wipe my (butt),” he said.
14 Rebecca Romijn And Jerry O'Connell
Actress and former model, Rebecca Romijn, and her movie star husband, Jerry O'Connell, have beautiful twin girls together - Dolly Rebecca-Rose and Charlie Tamara-Tulip - now in their early teens.
Despite the couple's busy schedules, they opted not to hire a nanny to help take care of their daughters.
"We’re each other’s assistants," Romijn told Redbook Magazine in a 2013 interview, according to People.com.
"We pick up each other’s slack. Whoever is less busy helps the busier one… That’s what real life is. Once you start paying somebody else to do the grunt work, who are you?”
At the time of the interview, Romijn was working on the TV drama "King & Maxwell," in Vancouver, and O'Connell was at home with the kids, flying them back and forth between L.A. and Vancouver so the family could spend time together while Romijn was working.
“It’s hard for me to not make suggestions when I’m not on duty," Romijn said. "For example, (one time) when he was bringing the girls up to Vancouver, I was like, ‘Oh, God, he cannot forget their jackets. I have to remember to tell him to bring rain boots,'” she said.
“Then I told myself: ‘He knows what the weather is like in Vancouver.’ Meanwhile, he showed up with one pair of shoes each, two pairs of pants, two T-shirts, a sweatshirt and no jacket! This was my worst fear and we were … fine.”
13 Jenna Fischer And Lee Kirk
The Office star Jenna Fischer and husband/screenwriter, Lee Kirk, are hands-on parents when it comes to their two little ones, son Weston Lee, and daughter Harper Marie. At least, according to Fischer herself.
In a 2012 interview with People Magazine, the actress and super mom assured fans and readers that she's not the jet-setting Hollywood mom people often assume. Not only does she not have personal trainers or chefs, she and husband Lee Kirk decided not to enlist the help of a nanny.
“It’s so funny because I think there’s the perception that every [famous] woman has a driver and a chef and a personal trainer and a nanny,” she told People Magazine.
“I don’t have any of those things. Like other working moms, I’m trying to figure out how to balance it all.”
“When I say I’m going jogging with my son or eating certain things or whatever, there’s a tendency to be cynical and say, ‘Of course, because someone cooked it for her’ — or ‘Of course she’s on a date, because she had her nanny watch the baby.’ No, absolutely not. I want people to know that.”
“I’m just trying to figure out how to do [it all] myself.”
Aren't we all?
12 Jennifer Lopez
I can't imagine how hard it is to look after twins, let alone as a parent as busy as Jennifer Lopez. The sleepless nights and endless feeding schedules when they are newborns, the stress of chasing two of them once they start walking, and the extracurricular activities when they are in school. It's hard enough when your kids are different ages, but having twins seems to be a whole other ball game.
Jennifer Lopez experimented with having nannies in the first few months after her twins, Max and Emme, were born. But, according to an interview with Vanity Fair Magazine, the experience wasn't for her.
Instead, she relied on help from family to look after the kids when she had to work. Her mother, Guadalupe Lopez, her cousin, Tiana Rios, and her childhood friend, Arlene Rodriguez, were fixtures in the Lopez/Anthony household when the twins were small, according to Hollywood Life.com
In 2015, Lopez decided to enlist the help of a "manny" (male nanny) to hang out with her son, Max.
Lopez explained to Seth Meyers in an interview that it wasn't so much because she needed help looking after her son, but because she wanted him to have a male figure in his life after she separated from Max and Emme's dad, Marc Anthony. She described the manny as more like an adult playmate than a nanny, per se.
“This poor boy is surrounded by women 24 hours a day," she told Meyers. "He jumps on me and he hurts my neck. He’s six and he’s so aggressive, he’s killing me… and then the manny’s like, ‘Ouch! Ok, Max…’ He wants to rough-house…I was just thinking of my child, so I got a manny, a nice guy, to come in and hang out with him and have fun.”
Best. Job. Ever.
11 Elle MacPherson
Jennifer Lopez is not the only celeb who's turned to "mannies" to give her little boy a male role model and companion after a separation.
The Australian supermodel, Elle Macpherson, who has two sons with ex-husband Arpad Busson, Flynn and Cy, reportedly hired mannies to give her boys positive male role models in light of the fact that she and their father didn't live in the same city.
"When you have a nine-year-old or a 10-year-old, he doesn't want to be kicking a ball around with his mom," Macpherson said in an interview with Tatler magazine.
"I want them to have the stuff they can learn from watching other guys. They've got someone there to remind them "Mate, you were really rude when you spoke to that person. It's not OK, it's not cool... It's that kind of stuff that I feel is really important. Plus it's better coming from him, otherwise, I'm a real nag-athon."
Previous to her separation from Arpad Busson, Macpherson had made the decision not to hire outside help in looking after her children, she told Tatler.
"I have help, but I don't have a nanny, for example, and it has been one of the best decisions I ever made because I get to participate in all aspects of my children's lives," she said at the time.
10 Reese Witherspoon And Ryan Phillippe
Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon (and celeb girl crush to so many of us) is raising three children - Ava and Deacon (from her first marriage to Ryan Philippe), and little Tennessee. And despite her hectic schedule as a working mom, this Hollywood heavyweight has opted not to hire nannies.
Ryan Phillippe said he and his ex-wife worked hard at raising humble and "conscientious" people, despite their privilege, according to a 2011 interview with Metro.
"I imagine it would be more difficult if we weren’t as hands-on as we are if we allowed them to be raised by nannies. I think then they would become a-holes," he said
Reese Witherspoon admitted that it's hard work raising kids and being away from them for long stretches due to work schedules.
"No one's really doing it perfectly," she said of parenting, in a 2015 interview with Southern Living.
"I think you love your kids with your whole heart, and you do the best you possibly can."
"There are some sacrifices you make, and it hurts your heart sometimes. But my kids tell me they’re proud of what I’ve accomplished, and that just means everything. I grew up with a working mom, and I have so much respect for the things she did as a nurse and a teacher. I would never begrudge her that."
9 Ashton Kutcher And Mila Kunis
Adorable on-screen and off-screen couple, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, look like a match made in heaven. The gorgeous duo met on the set of "That 70s Show," where they played high school sweethearts, then got married in real life. Now they're the proud parents of two adorable children, daughter Wyatt and son Dimitri.
The couple decided soon after Wyatt's birth that they were going to do the parenting thing without a nanny. Mila told Ellen in a 2015 interview that she actually cherished the time she spent with Wyatt during night feeds.
“I love the fact that the first three months, she and I were up every night,” she said.
“I figured her out and she figured me out. ... I will never have that time again so, for me, it was a really nice three months.”
Ashton Kutcher mirrored this sentiment in his own interview with Ellen, according to People Magazine:
“We just want to know our kid," he said. "We want to be the people that know what to do when the baby’s crying to make the baby not cry anymore. We want to know, like, when she makes a little face or something, we want to be emotionally in touch with her. And I think the only way to do that is by being the one who’s there.”
8 Matthew McConaughey And Camila Alves
Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey and his wife, Brazilian model, Camila Alves are parents to three stunning children, sons Levi and Livingston, and daughter Vida.
The busy family gets by without the help of a nanny, thanks in large part to Camila's devotion to caring for her children on her own. Camila also receives much-needed assistance from her mom, who lives with the family, and is a super hands-on grandma.
According to People Magazine, Camila makes her kids' lunches, and often sends them to school with sandwiches cut into the shape of hearts.
“It’s three little ones that need mom all at the same time,” Alves said in an interview with People.
“I’m running to dinner, running back to breastfeed, go do this, run back to breastfeed, breastfeed all night, start your day at 5 a.m., lack of sleep — all of it.”
7 Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt is another celeb who said "no" to nannies after the birth of her children, daughter Autumn, and son Atticus.
The former 'Party of Five' star, who's married to her The Client List co-star Brian Hallisay, have been doing all the nighttime wakings, feedings, and diaper changes without hiring outside help.
“We didn’t have a night nurse, we didn’t have a nanny,” she said in an interview with People Magazine in 2015.
“We haven’t ever had any of that stuff. It’s been really interesting to do it all ourselves.”
“I think [as a mom] you just realize how unimportant stuff is,” she said. “Everything, before you have kids, is oh-so-important and then you have kids and you’re like, ‘That really doesn’t mean anything. My kid is healthy, there’s no sniffles, they’re sleeping, life is good!’ It really puts that into perspective.”
6 Brad Paisley And Kimberly Williams-Paisley
Country music star Brad Paisley and wife, and actress, Kimberly Williams-Paisley (who starred in Father of the Bride) are the proud parents of adorable boys with equally adorable names, Huck and Jasper. The celeb parents have also decided not to enlist the help of nannies.
In an interview with People Magazine, Brad said he and Kimberly, who lives in Nashville, Tennessee, sought help from their respective mothers when it comes to caring for their little boys when life gets busy. Sadly, in 2016, Kimberly's mother passed away at age 73, following a battle with dementia.
In the long run, Brad said it's most important to him that he played the same role as his wife in caring for their children.
"I don’t care how high and mighty you are: Change a diaper, man," he said.
5 Mayim Bialik
It's perhaps unsurprising that 'The Big Bang Theory' actress Mayim Bialik, who practices attachment parenting, decided to forego the use of nannies when it came to raising her two sons, Frederick and Miles.
"A lot of people think that if they had the money for a live-in nanny, they would hire one," Mayim wrote for Kveller.com in 2011.
"Well, I want to raise my kids myself. "
"I don’t want help from someone else or input from anyone other than my husband, who is home with our boys when I am working. I don’t think I am better than anyone for making the choice not to have a nanny, celebrity or not."
"My desire to be the primary caregiver to my children without paying someone else to do the things I can’t or don’t want to do is a choice I would never back down on, even if I won the lottery tomorrow. If I had to move out of Los Angeles, live in a studio apartment with them in the cheapest part of this country, sell my car, and stop eating out or shopping at specialty markets to support being their mama this way, I would do it in a heartbeat."
4 Celine Dion
Say what you will about her singing style, Celine Dion obviously adores her three sons, Rene-Charles, and twins Nelson and Eddy.
The twins were conceived after a series of long and grueling IVF treatments, and Celine told French magazine Gala that it was her intention to raise her children without hiring nannies.
“I didn’t have these children to not take care of them, to (not) give myself to them 200 - 300 percent,” she said in the interview, according to Zee News.
At the same time, she admitted that looking after twin babies was exhausting work, as we can only imagine.
“I am changing diapers and breastfeeding and that’s something where no one can take my place. It’s tiring but an intense joy,” she said, adding, “I take things day by day. That’s the secret to me. In any case, breastfeeding is more difficult if you are stressed. Sometimes I find myself in comical situations I don’t know how to get myself out of. For example, when both are feeding and one has gas while the other is burping, I don’t know which position to adopt!”
3 Eva Mendes And Ryan Gosling
Beautiful in every way, celeb couple Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are the proud parents of two stunning little girls, Esmerelda and Amada.
"I'm a very hands-on mom; I don't have a nanny. No matter how tired I am, I just do it," Eva told In Style, according to Hello Magazine.
"Now I understand so much," she said in an interview on Extra. "My mother's never gotten more 'I love you so much mummy' texts, I mean randomly… yeah, I get it now."
In an interview with ET, she elaborated on this: "I’ve never appreciated my family so much, they’ve been amazing," she said, explaining that it's family that she's relying on for help with her daughters.
"I don’t technically have a nanny, but I do have help. I like to clarify. I’m certainly not anti-nanny, you do what you need to do as a parent, but I’m so grateful that I have help with my family and [Ryan's] family."
2 Jeffrey Dean Morgan And Hilarie Burton
Handsome in real life, scary on screen (at least in The Walking Dead), Jeffrey Dean Morgan and wife Hilarie Burton are another set of hands-on celeb parents who have opted against having a nanny.
The duo are parents to a little boy named Gus, and a newborn daughter named George.
“It’s hard. Between the two of us, we’ve had our hands full," Jeffrey said in a 2011 interview, according to People magazine.
"But we’ve managed to do it without any help. We have babysitters now and again, but we don’t have nannies. We wing it, man.”
Raising Gus without a nanny didn't come without some sacrifices, according to Jeffrey. At the premiere of the Breaking Dawn - Part 1, in Los Angeles in 2011, he told reporters it was his and Hilarie's first "second pseudo adult-night out."
“I’m going to say pseudo because I’m not sure if Twilight is an adult night," he added. "It’s a night out.”
1 Jessica Alba And Cash Warren
Jessica Alba and Cash Warren were among a group of celebrities opting not to hire nannies to help care for their daughters when the girls, Honor Marie and Haven Garner, were little.
Instead, the superstar celeb mom, who also co-founded The Honest Company, hired family members rather than strangers to help look after the kids when she and husband Cash Warren were working, according to Radar Online.
But after the birth of her third baby, a little boy named Hayes, the busy working mom reached out to a very special woman for much-needed help.
In a recent Intagram post, Jessica Alba introduced her fans to Connie Simpson.
“I’d like to introduce y’all to a very special person. My sweet @nannyconnie,” Jessica wrote in her post. “Nearly 10 years ago she came into my life and showed me the ropes with my newborn baby Honor—even though it was for only 3 weeks, as a new mom, it set the stage for me to take on the biggest, most important thing that had ever happened to me. She taught me how to bathe, breastfeed and soothe my new baby. And taught me about the importance of taking care of myself and gave me the space to have all the feels and not feel so alone.”
"Well nearly 10 years later, she's back in our life with our sweet baby boy Hayes. It truly takes a village to raise kiddos — whether it’s your blood family or chosen family. I am so thankful for Connie who has been there for me."