“Being a mother is a huge part of my life and it has put everything in perspective for me,” says Halle Berry, soon to be a mother a second time round. “I know that I’ve got to be happy with who I am in order to be the best possible mother that I can be. After taking some years off to raise my daughter, I know that I need to work to express myself and I feel like it’s coming together for me,” says the Hollywood actress who’s next film The Call is releasing this July.
With a life constantly under the spotlight, most celebrity parents try and keep the kids away from public eye. Why else would stars walk the streets with a little baby whose face is covered with a blanket? “Like everybody else, I’ve got to face the challenges of motherhood and living in a sort of fish bowl world, it’s not always the easiest to navigate,” says Berry. “I feel a lot of pressure being a public figure and I’m so mindful of people that are listening to every word I say, and sometimes that gets hard to bear. All I want is for my family and myself to have a normal life. When I’m not at work, that’s very important to me. It’s not one photographer hiding in the bushes, it’s 20 or 30, causing commotion. I’m not complaining about me. I’m an adult; I can handle it. But children should not be subjected to that. It’s just wrong.
“But I think very carefully about the decisions I’m making in my life and how that will affect my daughter in her life. I like to think I’m going to be a good role model for her as she grows up and becomes a strong, independent young woman”.
Being a mother is hard work, whether you are a star or not. Here’s what other star mums have to say.
“If I were a mirror, that would suit me, too.
‘Cause I could spend all my time looking back at you.
‘Cause you are a treasure better than gold.
And best of all you are the kind that I can hold.”
The lines from my book That’s What I’d Do, is based on a lullaby I wrote when I was pregnant with my son Kase. Time for healing: For me it’s [motherhood] a way of healing. You know I didn’t have great relationship with my parents and it’s amazing to have that unconditional sweet love from a child. You know it’s a really grounding, really stabilising feeling. It’s really been a gift.
My husband and I were in a luxurious position in being able to take time off from work. And so that’s something that we really wanted to take advantage of because what’s the point of having money if you don’t use your money for moments like that. You know it’s such a fleeting thing when they’re little? So, it’s something that we definitely wanted to take advantage of.
January Jones, actress
I love being a single mum and I like being independent. Having a child makes you less selfish and it also makes you more aware of taking greater responsibility in your life and working even harder to create the best possible world for you and your child.
Free and productive: I’m happier, I’m enjoying everything about my life now. I love being a mother and it’s something I was always looking forward to. People are always wondering how you manage but even though your time is more limited I feel very free and productive. I have support from my family and friends and obviously while I’m working it’s a little hectic but I love my little boy and my world is more interesting than ever. I don’t feel restricted in any way.
There’s much more acceptance of single mums today. Women have found out that we can handle a lot in life and it gives you a sense of pride knowing that you will still be a good mother even if you don’t happen to be in a relationship.
I didn’t expect babies to need so many diapers! Nobody told me they needed to be changed so often! I mean he’s a great, great baby. He’s an easy one, I think. But nobody told me it would be this hard. It takes a lot of energy from you. But I love it, I’m really enjoying every bit of it. It’s just that it’s not as idyllic as everybody tells you, but also not as horrible as everyone tells you.”
Facing challenges: I mean, I guess our mothers and grandmothers weren’t under the pressure that women of today are after delivering a baby. My dad says that there’s nothing better than a little meat on the bone! He likes my mum a little chubby. So she was never under the pressure to get back to her old weight, and she never did, actually! But it’s different, I have a career, and that’s the only part that’s been a bit stressful because I knew that I’d have to come back here to do The Voice two months after I delivered a baby. I didn’t have my four months maternity like every woman on earth has. So I’m not trying to complain, but it’s been a process full of challenges in my life.
Thank God the father is very involved. The baby spends as much time with me as he does with his dad. He changes diapers, he bathes him, he enjoys playing with the baby, he enjoys feeding him, all of that stuff. So that’s great help for me, you know. I can’t imagine doing all of this and not having the father do his part of the job.
I play him music and he stops crying. So apparently he’s going to like music. I play him a little bit of everything, a little rock ‘n’ roll, some Latin music as well so he gets acquainted with the music that I grew up listening to, back in the day, growing up in Columbia. He smiles which is the most magical thing and he smiles a lot. Especially when he’s in a good mood.
I think it’s hilarious when you hear these mothers who champion themselves for having it all. It’s like, “Yeah if you have the money to hire nannies and help, then of course it’s much easier”. That’s not the norm for so many millions out there and I do count myself incredibly lucky in that regard.
Healthy calorie burn: I don’t know if I want to work as much as before. I don’t need to play the lead. It’s also easier when you’re not breast-feeding! I believe it’s very healthy for both the mother and the child. Breastfeeding was also my way of losing all the weight I had put on during my pregnancies. It helps burn off calories very quickly and naturally. Of course, it can be tiring but I felt very good about doing it. I breastfed both my children for two years and by the end of that period I was back to normal. Swear by it.
I just want to be there while they grow up, we both do. [My husband] makes like one film every two or three years so there’s rarely any problem there. And while they are little, I only want to take supporting roles, no leads unless it’s something I couldn’t possibly turn down.
I’m exhausted. I’ve got eczema from sterilising so many bottles in water.
I have a wonderful husband. I just think of myself as a normal mum, who juggles work, and home, just like everyone else. People only see me as having a different job, because I’m shown in the spotlight. I’m not a super cool person and I have never had the most friends. I am a mum and a wife, and that’s what I love to be. Marriage and family come before everything. You don’t want to make a movie at the cost of your relationship. When I’m not working I want to spend every moment with the three kids.
Box: Baby boom
What do Nahla Aubry, Leonardo Bardem, Mia Honey Threapleton and Joe Alfie Winslet Mendes, and Maxwell Drew Johnson have in common?
They have mothers who are pregnant again. Celebrity mums Halle Berry, Penelope Cruz, Kate Winslet, and Jessica Simpson are expecting this year.
This year’s other high profile mums-to-be you need to watch out for are Princess Kate Middleton, Fergie of Black Eyed Peas, TV reality star Kim Kardashian and Hollywood actress Jennifer Love Hewitt.