9 Famous Women Redefining Motherhood in Refreshing Ways
With the buzz about women in the workplace, comes the inevitable conversation about motherhood and parenting.
Can working mothers really have it all? Is there any right way to successfully raise children while also succeeding in the workplace?
Check out the nine women below who are doing away with these restricting and tiring views on motherhood, and are choosing to instead embrace their own views on mothering.
1. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is mother to five children but has never let her mom duties interfere with her accomplishments as an actress, human rights activist, producer and director. The key to balancing it all? Keeping things fresh and fun. "We travel and I'm the first person to say, 'get the school work done as quickly as possible because let's go out and explore,'" Angelina told The Independent.
When Queen Bee herself announced her pregnancy with husband Jay-Z, the whole world gasped in sheer excitement and a bit of curiosity: How could the megastar pull off being a mom, too? Of course, Knowles excels in motherhood as in all areas of her arena, but the singer credits her daughter to her new-found inspiration and purpose in life, stating, "I realized why I was born and more than anything all of the things I want to pass onto my child and the best way of doing that is not by preaching or telling her but showing her by example, which is one of the reasons I'm here."
3. Ayesha Curry
Mother, wife, and entrepreneur Ayesha Curry seems to make the act of juggling a home, family and career look like art. Even when her own daughter goes viral and an all-star NBA husband is crowned MVP, Ayesha insists that success is nothing without family.
"'Having it all' to me means having my family, having health, my kids' health, a roof over our heads, everybody fed," she said, "If we have love, we have family, we have everything we need.”
4. Nicole Trunfio
Australian supermodel Nicole Trunfio made headlines when she appeared on the cover of Elle Australia breastfeeding her new born son in honor of International Day to Normalize Breastfeeding. On why she decided to bring light to this issue, Trunfio expressed that she wanted to revel in her new motherhood, sharing with Elle,
"There is nothing more powerful and beautiful than motherhood. The last thing I want to do is be controversial, so please take this for what it is, let us #normalizebreastfeeding there is nothing worse than a mother that is judged for feeding her hungry child in public. #weareonlyhuman I’m so proud of this cover and what it stands for."
Sheryl Sandberg boasts an impressive resume: From U.S. Deparment of the Treasury, to Google vice president and now Facebook CO. As a businesswoman and working mother, Sandberg has addressed the advantages and disadvantages of the two titles, most notably in her best-selling book, "Lean In," which preaches on the topic of women’s rights in the workplace.
Sandberg spoke with Oprah about the myth of "having it all."
"The standards have shifted. We're supposed to be always 'on' as mothers and we're supposed to be always 'on' as employees. We can't do that. None of us can do that.”
6. Jessica Alba
Actress and CEO of multi-billion-dollar and family-centric company The Honest Company, Jessica Alba knows a thing or two about integrating family and business. It wasn’t until motherhood, though, that Alba began exploring her creative and professional interests and confidently pursuing more endeavors outside of Hollywood.
"When I became a mom, I just kind of opened up and got a new perspective. I have a fearlessness and a confidence that I think you can only get with experience and age. Some people get it earlier, but it took me a while," Alba said.
7. Blake Lively
Actress Blake Lively recently became a new mom and has dished on all the glory and adjustment that comes with the new role, even her changing views on expectations of beauty, aging and more.
"Having a baby is just living the constant unexpected. You never know when you’re gonna get crapped on or when you’re gonna get a big smile or when that smile immediately turns into hysterics," Lively told Allure.
8. Kerry Washington
The normally very private Kerry Washington has kept tight-lipped about the details of her pregnancy and birth, but in her recent SELF cover, the Scandal star spoke out on the obsession for new mothers to return to their post-baby bodies.
"I've been really focused on not being 'back' to anything, but being the best version of myself right now. My body is the site of a miracle now. I don't want to be pre-miracle."
A self-identified workaholic, Shonda Rhimes keeps a busy schedule as creator, writer and producer of some of Hollywood’s most popular television shows — all while a single mother to her three children. Rhimes also thinks calling motherhood a job belittles it. During her commencement address at her alma mater, Dartmouth College in 2014, Rhimes spoke to the impossibility of balancing it all.
"If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the tradeoff. That is the Faustian bargain one makes with the devil that comes with being a powerful working woman who is also a powerful mother. You never feel a hundred percent OK; you never get your sea legs; you are always a little nauseous. Something is always lost."
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