Parenthood comes with lots of joy and numerous sacrifices. Parents don't just say goodbye to sleep; many give up some of their fondest dreams to make their kids happy. Hobbies, lifestyle, unhealthy habits, and career – there are many sacrifices parents make to build a loving family. On top of that, some moms have to get used to their postpartum bodies.
We all make sacrifices. So, what would you choose: the sparkle of the red carpet or the suspicious smell of your old carpet?
Celeb parents are just the same: they also need to sacrifice a lot for their kids. While celebs don’t have to save for months to go on a holiday, many stars have to change their lifestyle and career. Just like us! In fact, there are many celebs who stay away from the spotlight only to protect their offspring. Some even retire to dedicate their future to their kids.
On the other hand, there are celebs who are not willing to sacrifice their fame, which results in the most devastating sacrifice ever: a final goodbye and a document for placing the little one for adoption. Sadly, some celebs can’t cope with the pressure that comes with parenthood.
20 Julie Roberts: Pretty Mama
Julia Roberts is not only a Pretty Woman but a wonderful mom. She had it all – a charming smile, a successful career, and a lot of cash. While many celebs rely on nannies, Julia Roberts sacrificed her career for her children. She left the spotlight and dedicated her life to her three kids, Hazel, Henry, and Phinnaeus.
Funny enough, the actress admits that she can’t make her kids watch her own iconic films.
Well, it’s not surprising that kids love animation. The great news is that celeb kids also love reading. As this pretty mom says, "My dad read to us before bed every night. And I think it’s one of the great universal cuddle times. We would read books we were ready for but not necessarily ready as readers to take on and it was just a special, cosy time. It’s a nice way to head into dreamland, I think, with the sound of your parent’s voice."
Psychologists reveal that reading can have a crucial influence on kids. It helps kids develop reading and writing skills and strengthens their imagination. Even 15 minutes reading aloud is enough to help kids, which is also a great way to bond with them.
19 Tom Cruise: Kids Or Beliefs?
Tom Cruise is another star that had to make some sacrifices for his kids. As we know, Tom Cruise’s controversial beliefs ruined his relationship with Katie Holmes. They separated in 2012 and had a nasty custody battle. Katie wanted to remove her daughter Suri from the Scientology-based school she was attending. As Katie revealed, "My child is the most important person to me… And her upbringing is paramount to my work right now. It's very important to me that I'm present and she has a stable, innocent childhood. I feel so blessed to do what I do, but there's nothing in the world better than watching your child succeed."
Thus, Tom Cruise learned a lesson – parents must sacrifice their beliefs for their kids.
According to vanityfair.com, the Church of Scientology influenced the whole life of the actor. It’s believed that it was the members of the Church who accused Nicole Kidman of being oppressive, which led to their divorce. The Church also affected Katie’s career that never took off after her marriage to Tom Cruise. In the end, Katie just tried to protect her own daughter.
It’s not a secret that the Church of Scientology opposes strict rules on its devoted members and it’s dangerous to leave it. One of the weirdest practices is silent birth, which is the main birthing procedure advocated by the Scientologists.
18 Leelee Sobieski: Always Busy
Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta "Leelee" Sobieski is a beautiful and young actress. She had a promising career, which she sacrificed for her new life as a loving mom. In 2009, Leelee Sobieski and fashion designer Adam Kimmel welcomed a baby girl which changed their lives. Little Louisanna Ray Kimmel and her brother Martin, born in 2014, are Leelee’s priorities now.
As the charming actress told US Weekly, "I don't do movie stuff anymore. I am totally an outsider!… Just a mom and an outsider." She added, "Like most moms, I'm always busy… Giving Lewi a bath, buying milk, cleaning something, making some decision, reading weird baby blogs, worrying I disciplined in the wrong way."
Many moms can relate to her words – quite a lot of working women choose to become stay-at-home moms.
In fact, research shows that more and more Millennial moms prefer to stay home with their kids. Pew Research showed that 29% of mothers now stay home with children. However, these moms are not typical housewives. Many moms work from home, many travel the world, and many educate their kids using technology and alternative methods. On top of that, more time at home means more fond memories and more emotional support.
17 Duane Lee Chapman: A Dog’s Life
Duane Lee "Dog" Chapman is a fierce dog in real life. His troubled life and crazy shows have shown us that the Dog can hunt anyone down. And just like an animal, he is a fast predator: Duane has had many relationships, which resulted in a dozen kids.
But, it was Beth who tamed him. A loving woman can change a man! In an interview, Duane opened up about Beth and her cancer battle, revealing how much he loves her, "If you love me, Lord, you’ll let me die first. Don’t let me bury Bethy."
Duane Lee Chapman also had to make some sacrifices in his life. When he was a teen, he got his high school girlfriend Debbie White pregnant. She never told him about their son. In fact, soon after the birth of Christopher Michael Hecht, Debbie gave their son up for adoption, and took her life. As a result, the Dog still carries the tragedy of his youth on his shoulders.
As a matter of fact, stats show that one in five postpartum deaths are related to the person taking their own life. Note that approximately 15% of new moms, according to HuffPost, experience postpartum depression. Depression can lead to self-harm, abuse of illicit substances, neglect and other mental illnesses. Thus, although doctors and friends always ask about the baby, people should remember that women are human beings with emotions, hormones, and problems - not only baby makers.
16 Linda Lovelace: Dangerous Industry
Linda Lovelace is a famous adult film star, and also had made many sacrifices in her life. Linda became pregnant at the age of 19 and her mother forced her to give her son up for adoption. Even today, young and single moms face social prejudices.
After that, Linda experienced the pressure the adult film industry has on people. So she decided to marry, raise a family and be a housewife. What’s more, Linda campaigned for the elimination of pornography. As people say, Linda became an influential person, "Linda Lovelace became a spokesman for the anti-pornography movement…She was adopted by the leading feminists, the most important of whom was Gloria Steinem."
Sadly, many porn stars pass at a young age or end their life. These rates are alarming. Many women are forced to perform in out there kinds of scenes to fight competition and illegal streaming sites, which are for free. Many actors and actresses struggle to find steady work. To keep up working, many agree on humiliating and extreme scenes, which on top of that are performed without any protection. Many actors and actresses who contacted HIV agree that the industry does not protect people. Last but not least, pornography has a negative impact on couples and young people who are still unaware of their sexuality.
15 Shania Twain: Mother-Son Love
Shania Twain is a talented singer and songwriter who faced many challenges in life. Her mother had a difficult relationship which affected Shania profoundly. On top of that, Shania had a troubled marriage herself. After 14 years of marriage, she learned that her husband Robert John Lange was having an affair with one of her closest friends, Marie-Anne. However, it was her son Eja who helped her move on.
As the singer said, "[It was the] most shocking and painful truth of my life since the death of my parents twenty years earlier….For the first week after finding out about the affair, I was ready to die, to go to bed forever and never wake up. Or to hurt someone. I was ready to do something desperate, but in reality, there was nothing to do but to suffer through it… Fortunately, when you’re a mom, the responsibility of caring for your child can keep you going."
Her story shows that mothers are willing to sacrifice fame and money for their kids. One doesn’t have to be a star to know that motherhood comes with lots of responsibilities and changes. Because in the end, children are the most rewarding award ever.
14 Kelly Rutherford: Gossip Mom
Kelly Rutherford is a wonderful actress whose troubled journey as a mom changed her completely. In 2006, Kelly married her second husband, German businessman Giersch. In 2006, she gave birth to their first child, and in 2008, while pregnant with their second child, Kelly filed for divorce. Their custody battle resulted in emotional pain and financial problems. Note that in 2012, Giersch was deported due to Visa issues and allegations, which involved fraud and illegal activities. In 2015, the Monaco court confirmed that the father still has full custody, with Kelly having visitation rights in France and Monaco. This is still one of the most controversial custody decisions ever.
However, according to friends, Kelly never lost her maternal instincts. As show-runner Stephanie Savage said, even when filming, "she was a very devoted and passionate mother. Her first priority was always her kids."
Her colleagues recall, "She was amazing and caring for her children. She was how you would want your ideal mother to be."
Living far from your own children must be heartbreaking. No surprise parental child abduction is a warning phenomenon: many parents who lose custody may become way too desperate and abduct their own baby. Sadly, custody battles affect kids and families.
13 Jessica Biel: To Leave Or Not To Leave
Jessica Biel is a charming and talented actress. It seems that Biel and her husband Justin Timberlake have a great family. After the birth of their son Silas Randall Timberlake, Jessica Biel slowly left the spotlight and dedicated her time to family life and charity. Jessica sacrificed her career and left Hollywood in order to create a loving family. In fact, she tries to raise her kid without nannies, show real love.
However, according to intouchweekly.com, things have changed recently.
An insider has said that "Justin seems miserable… Jessica feels that there’s no rush [to have more kids]. And Justin feels like Jessica’s changed their plans without notice."
Deciding on the number of kids before marriage can save lots of problems. And while Jessica Biel is willing to make sacrifices, is Justin Timberlake also committed? Jessica often worries about their relationship, especially after the notorious night out Justin had with his backup singer Zenya in 2014.
As another insider revealed, "Jessica and Justin could use time alone to rekindle their love. They could use a vacation. They’re both loved by those who know them, and everyone is rooting for their marriage to work. But right now, things don’t look good." Many couples need some time for themselves to make things work.
12 Clark Gabriel: Never Acknowledged
William Clark Gabriel is a talented actor. No surprise he is known as the King of Hollywood. His films shaped history.
However, his love life wasn’t so perfect. In 1935, Clark Gabriel got his girlfriend Loretta Young pregnant. Rumors go that he raped her. Loretta Young was one of the most famous beauties of Hollywood, so she tried to hide her pregnancy and went through some difficult times. She placed the baby in an orphanage but months later she got her baby girl back.
However, Clark Gabriel never acknowledged his daughter. He was Gone with the Wind. And this is his biggest personal sacrifice. He sacrificed his responsibilities in order to continue living the life in Hollywood.
Stats show that the number of fathers who abandon their kids is increasing. Even loving and married men who are willing to become good fathers face a different type of family pressure - and not many can cope with that. According to nytimes.com, some fathers can’t balance joy and practicality. A study conducted by Edin and Nelson revealed that while new moms worry about the financial stability of their family, new dads often see such worries as a form of control and run away. So from fathers, some men become friends who see their kids only on the weekends.
11 Jamie Lynn Spears: The Same?
Although Jamie Lynn Spears looks exactly like Britney Spears, the two sisters have nothing in common. While Britney went through a lot of personal problems, Jamie Lynn Spears left the spotlight and dedicated her teen years to nursery rhymes. Jamie gave birth to daughter Maddie at the age of 16 and focused on her family. Note that Jamie gave birth to her daughter Ivy only a couple of months ago.
At the same time, we should admit that Britney has also been changed by the magic of motherhood. As she told Marie Claire UK, "I moved to Los Angeles when I was very young. I was so under scrutiny. If a hair was out of place, I'd be so anxious. I would get very anxious about so many things… Becoming a mother and being with my boys has made me so much more accepting of myself. I'm their mom, whatever. That has been a really big thing for me over these last few years." Now, after all her personal and custody battles, Britney knows how much she loves her sons.
Many mothers struggle with insecurities, but at the same time, pregnancy, birth, and motherhood show women one thing: they are strong individuals capable of many things.
10 Rhea Wahlberg: Stylish Mom
Rhea Durham is a beautiful model married to sexy Mark Wahleberg. They have four kids: Ella Rae Wahlberg, Brendan Joseph Wahlberg, Grace Margaret Wahlberg, and Michael Wahlberg. Rhea retired and dedicated her life to her family life.
Was it difficult to leave fashion magazines, such as Marie Claire and ELLE? Not really. In the end, family happiness means much more. Their love paid off, and the whole family can be often seen enjoying time together.
Mark is in love with Rhea and adores his children. In a funny interview, he joked that Will Ferrell’s son Magnus was chatting to his daughter Ella Rae, "I found out some disturbing news today… I thought [Magnus] was a lovely lad until I found out that he has formed some sort of communication with my oldest child. They’re following each other on Instagram."
Fathers also sacrifice a lot for their kids. According to secureteen.com, fathers find it hard to deal with their daughter’s first boyfriend. In the end, it’s not nice to see your little princess with someone who’s far from being Prince Charming. Nevertheless, here's a useful tip for all dads out there: never judge a book by its cover.
9 Rod Stewart: A Proud Dad
Rod Stewart has eight children. He also sacrificed a lot for his kids. In fact, he became a father at the age of 17. Note that his youngest child was born when he was 66.
Sexy and talented, no surprise Rod changed three wives and many girlfriends. However, his relationship with his first child, daughter Sarah, has always been troubled. Her mother Susannah Boffey gave the baby up for adoption. Sarah learned about Rod when she was 18, they met but didn’t become close until 2007.
As the singer said: "At first it was hard to feel like she was my own. But I’ve worked hard at it and now it’s beginning to feel like we’re family. Sarah had something of a chip on her shoulder when we first met, but it’s understandable." Rod Stewart had to sacrifice his pride and show Sarah that he regrets his past mistakes. It takes a lot of time to build a healthy relationship with someone.
Well, dealing with kids is always hard. His son Sean has also had some emotional problems. As Sean said in an interview, "I felt lost, I didn’t want to deal with my emotions so I just [...] partied and acted out because I was hurting inside. I had no direction, I was searching for a kinship with my father." We all need loving parents.
8 Demi Moore: A Rooted Mom
Demi Moore is one of the most famous celebs worldwide. Although many people say that Demi Moore is hard to work with, her films changed history. However, Demi sacrificed her fame and ambitions to start a family. Her ex, sexy Bruce Willis, left the spotlight as well, and the family devoted their lives to their three daughters, Rumer, Tallulah and Scout.
However, in 2000, Demi and Bruce divorced, which affected their kids. All three girls struggled with some of form of destructive behavior. From addictions to eating disorders, Rumer, Tullalah and Scout went through a lot. Nevertheless, they stayed together and close to their parents. In fact, Scout posted a childhood pic of her with her sisters and Demi Moore, saying "the strongest, most magical, most intelligent, integrity rooted woman I know."
According to Psychology Today, the impact of divorce on kids can be terrifying. First, kids need to cope with many changes, which affects their trust and independence. Teens can react in an aggressive and crazy way and isolate themselves from parents. Destructive behavior is common. So, parents must establish routines and friendly relationships if possible. Most of all, they should not transfer guilt onto their offspring.
7 Jay Thomas: No Money
Jay Thomas is a wonderful actor and a great comedian. However, the beginning of his career was tough and when his girlfriend got pregnant, both felt they didn’t have the financial stability to raise a kid. Thus, Jay Thomas gave his baby boy up for adoption. Luckily, the boy was adopted by the Hardings, was given the name John Thomas, and became a successful musician. In 2007, Jay and J.T., both sharing the same initials, were reunited.
According to people.com, Jay Thomas and his son J.T. Harding became fast friends. As J.T. Harding said, "It took some time, but it started happening naturally. He started saying, ‘This is my oldest son,’ and I would say, ‘This is my biological father.'" For J.T., though, the name Dad is still reserved for the man who raised him, Larry Harding: "No one can ever replace my dad. But I am so lucky that I had the ultimate backup plan."
Studies show that sadly, one of the main reasons parents give their kids up for adoption is related to financial problems. Poor and young families who don’t have the financial stability to raise a kid may choose to place their kid in an orphanage in order to save their life.
6 Peter Escovedo: A Deal
Peter Escovedo is another star who had to sacrifice his personal joy due to financial issues. As a musician, his career path was marked by insecurities. So, when he and his wife Karen Moss realized they couldn’t support their daughter Nicole, Peter Escovedo asked famous Lionel Richie to adopt their daughter. Back then, Richie was married to Brenda Harvey and the two legally adopted Nicole at the age of 9.
Giving your child away only to make sure they have a happy life is a huge sacrifice. In fact, Lionel recalls his time with Nicole, "So it took about maybe a year for me to just fall in love and she was a little button, and of course by that time I was Dad and so I said, 'OK, here is what we are going to do: you’re going to make everyone wish that they had adopted you. You are going to make everyone in your family wish they actually had a chance to get you back,’ and that’s when I said, 'Let’s adopt her.’" It was Lionel who stayed beside Nicole during her battle with heroin and crime.
That proves that being a biological parent is not enough to be a good parent.
5 Flavio Briatorela: Hard To Miss Her
Flavio Briatorela is a famous F1 star and a soccer team owner. However, he also sacrificed his time as a father to make his daughter happy. Beautiful Heidi Klum and Flavio were dating when Klum got pregnant. Their relationship didn’t last, so the two broke up before the birth of their daughter, Helene Klum, called Leni.
In fact, Flavio let Seal raise his own daughter after he and Klum got married. As Flavio said in an interview, "Leni is my natural daughter, but the three of us happily agreed that it made more sense if Seal adopted her, because a child needs to grow up in a family." He also added, "It's hard to miss a baby that you never see. But I know that Leni is not an abandoned child. Leni is part of Seal's family and Nathan is part of mine."
Their story shows that good parents are willing to sacrifice their pride and name in order to provide a better life for their biological kids. Instead of going through custody battles and scandals, celebs should learn to let go and put their kids on a pedestal. In the end, our kids are our future - it's not about fame or money.
4 Debra Winger: Goodbye, Acting
Debra Winger is another celeb who sacrificed her acting career and dedicated her life to motherhood. Although Debra fought a lot for her fame, she simply decided to push the pause button and retire. As she told People, "Los Angeles is a place, but the idea of Hollywood doesn't really exist for me."
Debra shares a son with actor Timothy Hutton who truly adores her, "She's a very good, very thoughtful mother, and I think it was hard for her to bring the commitment to her work that it requires when we were young."
In 1996, Debra married Arliss Howard and moved to NY to focus on her marriage. They have a son, Gideon, known as Babe, and she is also a step-mother of Arliss’s son, Sam.
Note that Debra was 42 when she gave birth to Babe. Although maternal age may have an effect on the baby, older age is not always linked to negative consequences. In fact, recent studies show quite the opposite: children born to older women do significantly better on cognitive testing than children born to younger mothers. This effect can be explained by various factors, such as social environment, maturity, and financial stability.
3 Jenna Wischer: #andlotsoftimewithmybaby
Jenna Fischer had a successful acting career but she decided to retire and leave Hollywood for her son, Weston. Her retirement was more than simple, one of her tweets had the tag #andlotsoftimewithmybaby. In 2014, she gave birth to baby girl Harper Marie Kirk. Thus, Jenna put her family ahead of her career. It must be hard to replace the red carpet with red ketchup stains on the carpet... but family joy means more.
It’s interesting to mention that many couples announce the birth of their baby on social media. According to a survey, 62% of parents, 22% of family members and 16% of friends post pictures of newborns. Facebook and Instagram are the main platforms where people announce the birth of their baby.
It’s curious to mention that one in five parents post pictures to show off and beat other parents’ pictures. Babies appear on social media only within an hour of birth. Some parents admit they are addicted to social media and post compulsively. Only 6% of participants said they never uploaded pictures of their kids. Not that security is becoming a major issue, and more and more people decide not to share personal data.
2 George Lucas: My Wife, My Employee
George Lucas is one of the most successful people in Hollywood. Interestingly, his career is closely intertwined with his personal life. George Lucas and his first wife Marcia worked together. However, mixing career and family is not always the best decision couples can make. Nevertheless, Lucas and Marcia wanted a child and adopted Amanda. However, George Lucas noticed that Marcia was getting emotionally involved with artist Tom Rodriquez.
So, to save his marriage, Lucas legally hired his wife. Yet, they divorced after 14 years of love and devotion and shared custody over their daughter Amanda. After the trial, Lucas gave Marcia around $50 million.
Giving money away, knowing that the person you love might spend this money with their new lover, is a huge sacrifice. However, parents would do anything to make sure their kids have a stable life.
Still, Lucas wanted to have a big family, so he adopted Jett and Katie Lucas. In 2013, Lucas married Mellody Hobson and now, the two have a little daughter Everest Hobson Lucas. The Father of Star Wars had many personal problems but finally, he is a loving father of his four kids.
Are you willing to make more sacrifices for your kids?
1 Hank Williams: Never Reunited
Hank Williams revolutionized country music. However, his talent wasn’t enough to bring him happiness: Hank’s childhood and family life were marked by emotional pain. In fact, one can feel this devouring pain in his touching lyrics.
Due to his troubled life, Hank started drinking and lost his family. Actually, it was revealed that Hank had fathered a daughter who was born five days after he died from heart failure. Note that Hank died at the age of 29. His daughter, Jett or Cathy Deupree Adkinson, was raised by Hank’s mother. After her death, Jett was adopted.
Interestingly, after her father’s identity was revealed, Jett and her half-brother Hank Williams Jr had a legal battle over Hank’s inheritance. As Jett said: "As far as having a personal relationship, we don’t have like a brother-sister relationship, but we do get along; we do business and I think the world does realize that both of us have our dad’s best interest at heart."
According to ifsstudies.org, more and more people aim for more transparency respecting parental origins, especially when it comes to interracial adoptions. However, some kids never meet their biological parents and siblings start devastating battles over money or property.
References: Just Jared, The Telegraph, Astrum People, Daily Mail, Topix.com, Vanity Fair, The Talko, Celebrity Baby Scoop, People, Gizmodo, CNN, AXS.com, NY Times, In Touch Weekly, Biography, IFstudies.org, Secure Teen, Daily Mail, Country Living, Psychology Today, Mercury News, and NY Times.