Published on Mommy Tracked (http://www.mommytracked.com)

Celebrity Moms Are Working Moms Too.

 Angelina Jolie just had Brad Pitt’s baby, making her a mother of three - Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, four-year-old Maddox and one-year-old Zahara. Will three under five be a crowd? We think not given the staff available to serve the needs of the Jolie-Pitt household. But Angelina is only one person, and she, just like the rest of us, can’t be in two different places at the same time. All working moms, famous or not, wish they could spend more time with their kids. They want to be the ones doing the handholding for the important moments. As Deborah Norville says, “I figure if a little voice calls for Mommy in the middle of the night, that’s who he should get.”

It is easy to forget that celebrity moms are working moms.  Believe it or not, like their less glamorous counterparts in the working mother world, they must juggle the demands of their families and their careers too.

As new mothers, they too can be intimidated by the experience. Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger, who met while making Brokeback Mountain together, recently had their first child, Matilda. Interviewed by Entertainment Weekly in a Brooklyn restaurant, Williams apologizes, “I’m sorry, everything’s a bit of a mess right now. I had to breast-feed in the restaurant, and that’s the first time I’ve done that. I couldn’t get my shirt down. The first times are confusing and overwhelming, and I’m trying to learn how to deal with so many first times and not get harried and frustrated.”

They are also insecure about how well they are playing the role of mother.   Indeed, in a television interview, Madonna recently confessed, "I'm a crap mother."  She went on to say "I want to get home and put my kids to bed and then sometimes, if I'm spending a lot of time with my children, I think, 'oh god, I just want to be an artist.'"  Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives shocked 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl recently with her response to Stahl’s asking if motherhood is the best experience of her life. “No, no, and I resent that question because I think it puts women in an untenable position, because unless I say to you, ‘Oh, Lesley, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done with my whole life,’ I’m considered a bad mother.” Huffman went on the say that she didn’t know if she was a good mother or not. “I’m there enough. I don’t know if I’m patient enough . . . I don’t know if I’m teaching them the right things.” Uma Thurman hopes she’s “not failing as a parent in order to be a professional woman.” Sarah Jessica Parker says, “I am like any working mother who tries to juggle and do everything well. You just do the best you can.” 

Like many regular moms, celebrity moms make professional compromises to spend more time with their children.  Diane Keaton would love to direct but works as an actress in movies filmed in Los Angeles in order to be with her 10-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. “My movies have to shoot in L.A. That’s also why I’m spending more time acting rather than putting my attention to something I’m really interested in, which is directing, but I can’t do that right now. Directing takes up so much of your time, how can you even begin to have a family?” Indeed, finding the conflict between career and family too great, Jodie Foster took three years off to be with her two sons before making this past fall’s Flightplan.

So celebrity moms are not immune to the conflicts all working moms face, but their fame does make their motherhood experience different in some significant ways. Unlike the majority of working moms, many celebrity moms can bring their children to work with them. Kelly Ripa has a playroom on the set of Hope & Faith for her three children. Kate Hudson breast fed her son, Ryder, during breaks on the set of Skeleton Key, admitting she’s “so lucky to be able to have my baby with me everywhere I go.”

Celebrity moms certainly struggle and juggle like the rest of us, but their virtually infinite financial resources certainly make their job easier, something Rosie O’Donnell candidly admits. “I’m not a role model. I’m a very, very rich woman who has the luxury of endless supplies of help.” Meryl Streep agrees, “I couldn’t have worked and raised four kids without all the help I’ve had.”

Their limitless bank accounts and endless supply of help without a doubt make the experience of raising kids a totally different ball of wax. But the next time you have to miss a school play or a softball game because you have an unavoidable work commitment and assume that Sarah Jessica Parker, Madonna, Debra Messing, Gwenyth Paltrow and Meg Ryan couldn’t possibly relate to your inner demons, remember -- all the fancy childcare in the world doesn’t ease the sting of not being there yourself. You may have more in common with these famous moms than you think. [1]

Interested in finding out what the working moms in Hollywood are up to? Check out www.celebrity-babies.com [2] for the latest scoop.

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