Parenting is a tough gig. Kids need a lot of time and attention if you want them to become confident, healthy kids. That puts a lot of pressure on parents to offer the attention and support their kids need, especially when they’re trying to juggle a full-time job.
The thousands of celebrity moms who manage to work and parent their children know a thing or two about juggling work-life balance, while still providing support for their kids. It’s a tough gig, but many manage it beautifully.
Here is some of their best advice:
- Elizabeth Banks: It’s okay to ask for help.
Hunger Games star Elizabeth Banks has two boys, and she’ll be one of the first to admit that she can’t raise her children alone. “Be open to any help,” she told Parenting.com during a Q&A. “Many moms today feel they have to be super moms, while historically we’ve always had a village to pitch in. I think it’s really important to know when to ask for help.”
- Jaime Pressly: Listen and let them live their dreams.
Pressly has two kids, and she very strongly believes in the power of letting her children be themselves. Moms have a tendency to try and control their children and lead them down one path rather than letting them choose their own.
She said during a question and answer session with Parenting.com to avoid this temptation. “Listen to your child and always be supportive of who they are and who they want to be, their likes and dislikes, instead of trying to force who you want them to be onto them,” she says.
- Michelle Obama: Have family dinner.
Our first lady doesn’t mess around when it comes to health and wellness, and she swears that eating dinner together not only promotes health in families, but also brings them closer together.
“Family dinners are a tradition we’ve instituted at the White House, and it has made a huge difference,” Michelle mentioned to Glamour. “No matter what else is happening, at 6:30 we stop everything and eat together. Even if the President is traveling, his goal is always to get home in time for dinner. We use those dinners to connect with our girls, have conversations, and just spend quality time together as a family.”
- Jessica Alba: Don’t worry about what the other moms do.
It’s no secret that Jessica Alba loves her kids, but she often feels judged and insecure about her parenting style. She explained to In Style that she has to remind herself that it doesn’t matter what other moms do.
“I think the biggest thing is that what works for you, or what works for your friend, isn’t going to work for everyone,” she said. “There is no right or wrong. I have two very different girls. And the way that I parent one is different than the way that I parent the other. … And I think we as women—and as moms—we need to show younger girls that we support each other no matter what.”
- Angela Bassett: Kids need to be told no.
Quite a few celebrity children have probably never been told no, but This Means War actress Angela Bassett says you can’t be a good parent if you don’t put restrictions on your children.
“Kids need to learn to delay gratification,” she says. “Life isn’t about getting everything you want exactly when you want it. When I say no to something and my kids have a great attitude about it, they end up getting whatever I’m refusing way sooner than they think!”
- Jillian Michaels: Take care of yourself.
It’s no surprise that Biggest Loser fitness guru Jillian Michaels advises mothers to take care of themselves. She points out that eating healthy and exercising regularly will be the best gift you can give your parents.
“As a mom, it’s hard to put yourself first,” she says. “Kids know when you’re spread too thin and falling apart, emotionally or physically—and it scares them. I’ve seen it firsthand in the families I’ve worked with on Losing It and The Biggest Loser. A parent’s unhappiness or poor health is a tremendous burden. And when you show your kids that you can handle your life, it allows them to feel secure in the fact that you can handle theirs. Prove to them that you will be present in the best possible way: with a healthy mind and body, and for a long, long time.”
- Laura Bush: Read together as a family.
Our former first lady is known for her work in school systems around the country, and it’s something she practices at home as well. “As a child, I loved listening to my mother read to me,” she stated. “Little did I know she was doing much more than providing comfort and entertainment; she was paving the way for my learning and success at school. George and I later discovered what my mother already knew: that some of our sweetest memories came from reading together as a family.”
- Heidi Klum: Just go with the flow.
Things don’t always go as planned when you’re trying to keep up with your kids, as Heidi Klum and her four children know well. With that many little ones running around, her house is a hub of activity, and controlling things to the letter isn’t an option.
“Roll with the flow,” she says. “Our house is full of life, laughter, and mayhem. Every dinnertime something spills. Or they are wearing uniforms for school, and when we have breakfast in the morning, food gets all over their hands. You can tell them a thousand times ‘Do not wipe it on your pants,’ and sure enough they wipe it on their pants. But that’s when you roll with it. My house is not like a museum. You can see that children live there. It’s their house as much as mine. “