Whether in a profound or totally trivial way, motherhood changes us all. It changes celebrities, too. Here’s what everyone, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Angelina Jolie, had to say about becoming a mother. Some things might surprise you…
‘I’ve learned the value of absorbing the moment. I remember the first time Ripley saw her shadow. My God, it was like shadows had just been invented. It was the most exquisite moment.’
‘When Valentina was not even one month old, my aunt gave me the best advice: “Put her to sleep yourself every night. Sing to her and cradle her in your arms and sit by her side – every night. Because one day you won’t be able to, and it’s going to happen really fast.” ’
‘My life is really different. It's much better. People told me not to have kids, but I think motherhood’s got a bad rep – I don’t feel compromised. In fact I don’t want to be anywhere else except with her.’
‘My pregnancy was amazing. I was happy that whole time, I felt good, I had energy, I was like Superwoman. I wish I could feel like that for the rest of my life, that’s how fantastic it was.’
‘You know, I never felt like I was young at the time [Kate became a mother at 25], and obviously having Mia was absolutely planned… It’s only now when I meet people who are my age and single, with no kids, that I reflect and say “Bloody hell, I really have lived at a fast pace.” ’
‘Sometimes, when I want to take on the world, I try to remember that it’s just as important to sit down and ask my son how he’s feeling or talk to him about life.’
‘When Lila was born, I felt like now I have a partner in crime.’
‘I am very protective. I just want to make sure that she can have a healthy, safe, normal life…in the back of my mind, she’s my priority. And life is completely different now. I feel really, really just lucky that I can still do what I love, and now have a way bigger meaning. And that’s to be her mother.’
‘When your kids come home, they don’t necessarily want to talk to you. They just want to know you’re standing there, ready to talk.’
‘Sometimes it can be overwhelming being a mother and wanting to do the right thing, and they are your priority. For me, it’s always “is this decision in the best interest of my son?”, and you just go from there… When you are together, it’s quality time, and then when you are at work, you are present and you are at work. That mother’s guilt thing, it’s something that’s always there but you just learn to manage it, and the way I manage it is knowing when I’m home I have that quality one-on-one time with Flynn.’
‘My instinct is to protect my children from pain. But adversity is often the thing that gives us character and backbone. It’s always been a struggle for me to back off and let my children go through difficult experiences.’
‘I try to call my mother, Betty, with more regularity because I think “what if Hazel didn’t call me for two weeks?” I’m able to see her mothering now from a different vantage point.’
‘I’m strict about manners. I think that kids have a horrible time with other people if they have bad manners… The one thing you’ve got to be prepared to do as a parent is not to be liked from time to time.’
‘You know how parents rattle on to you about: “Oh, you won’t believe your life will never be the same,” and you think: “Why can’t these people just get over it? All they’re doing is yakking about their kids. It’s such a bore.” And then you have kids and you just want to do the same thing.’
‘I think what surprised me the most about motherhood, as sentimental as it sounds, is how much I love my kids. I mean, I just can’t believe it. It’s like a whole new dimension in emotion that I’ve never experienced.’
Let's be honest, we all love showing off pictures of our little ones. Whether it's the reams of snaps you take of your newborn or the rare few you can get of your preschooler before they're covered in mud and spaghetti, having a picture book to look back through is a lovely way of charting their childhood.
Luckily, all of these celebrity mums agree with us, and have helpfully posted loads of adorable pictures of themselves with their snuggly babies for us to melt over.
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