It's easy to resent celebrity moms. After all, they make motherhood look so easy, what with their personal trainers, chefs, housekeepers and round-the-clock childcare. As avid and not-at-all jealous celebrity watchers, we began to wonder if mere mortal moms could learn anything from their public trials and tribulations.
Is That a Cramp in Your Style or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
Remember how you vowed that having kids wasn't going to change your life? You may have even muttered something about how the baby would have to adapt to your lifestyle, not vice-versa. Then baby comes, and bam! You have no life, let alone a lifestyle. It takes the stuffing right out of you to care for the baby while at the same time rushing here and there trying to deal with "that whole life thing." Do you think that Brad and Angelina worry about whether Shiloh's going to get her two daily naps and be in bed by 7:00? Of course they do. The difference for us, though, is that we have to do it ourselves: It'd be nice, but there's no nanny around to handle that task while we drive to the supermarket (or pose for the cover of the local Pennysaver). The impact that the child has had on Brangelina's life is clearly momentous, but do we think it's really cramped their style? Not so much. A quick jaunt to Africa might take a little more planning, but it's still very doable. For "normal" parents, though, a trip to the gym is iffy, let alone a spontaneous international vacation.
Public Pressures vs. Power in Privacy
Have a baby and everyone has advice for you, from your mother-in-law to the check-out girls at the supermarket. They all want to to tell you how you should raise your kid. And, in a weak moment, you may actually believe that they know what they're talking about. When that moment strikes, think of Katie Holmes. The press was going crazy, wondering why Katie and Tom were keeping Suri under wraps. Weeks went by, and then months, with no Suri sighting. Meanwhile, Tom and Katie smiled for the camera, went to Tom's kids' soccer games, and didn't buckle to all that relentless pressure to introduce their brand-new baby to the world. In other words, they did what they wanted even though the international press was hounding them. Kind of gives you the courage to stand up to your mother-in-law, doesn't it?
Meanwhile, Back on Planet Earth ...
Motherhood is hard work, and funny lady Jenny McCarthy knows that. She has written three brutally honest books about the trials and tribulations of motherhood without sugarcoating a thing. We say if Jenny can let it all hang out, maybe we can let up on ourselves a bit too. Ditto for actress Leah Remini, who gained 80 lbs. (no, that is not a typo) when she was pregnant with daughter Sofia Bella. It took her years (no, that's not a typo either) to shed the baby weight, which was considered to be in appallingly poor taste by Hollywood standards. So, the next time you see some giggling starlet in skin-tight jeans and a 2-month-old baby in her arms, try to remember that she got her figure (i.e., her life) back so quickly because she had all the time, money and support she needed to do it with. So don't feel badly about yourself if your clothing options are restricted to the red sweats or the white: You're normal, celebrities aren't.
A Ton of Money; Less Money; Getting a Loan From Your Parents After 25
"Is it possible to have it all?" is not the question most of us have to wrestle with. We humbly suggest that the question on the minds of most women is "Can I please have a little? Pretty please?" Elizabeth Vargas was slated to co-anchor "World News Tonight" with Bob Woodruff—a career coup by any measure. But when Woodruff was injured in Iraq, Vargas had the program all to herself. Weeks later, however, she announced that she was pregnant. She faced major backlash when she decided to pass on anchoring ABC's "World News Tonight" and chose instead to co-anchor "20/20" (no small potatoes, by the way) so that she could focus more on her family. Vargas insisted that she was not asked to step down, but women's groups were outraged, so they pounced. Vargas ignored the critics and chose the option that worked best for her. Amen!
The Wisdom of Underwear
And, what would a story on celebrity moms be without a mention of one of the most high-profile moms of the past few months, Britney Spears? We're going to take the high road here and simply say that sometimes the best lessons can be learned from the mistakes of others. Oh, and car seats and underwear are usually a good idea. (Sorry, we couldn't resist!)