Every mother has a story. For some, it's the challenge to get pregnant in the first place. For others, it's advocating for themselves as a pregnant patient, or confronting the harsh realities of the postpartum period. It might be the delight in watching a child's personality bloom, the bittersweet pang of seeing them leave the nest or the everyday parenting challenges in between.
Many of these mothers — who happen to boast bold-faced names — have shared their own personal stories as part of Yahoo Life's So Mini Ways series. In honor of Mother's Day, we're sharing some of the most powerful, relatable and candid conversations we've had this year.
"[My parenting style is] strict but loving. I'm not your friend. I'm not your companion. I'm your mother. I'm here to lay down the laws of our home. Listen to me, don't just look at me. Understand what I'm trying to tell you." — Sheryl Lee Ralph
"I think [she and husband Chris Pratt] take different roles with each other as far as like the good cop/bad cop thing. We take turns at it, which I think is important because then they don't associate one parent with having to do everything disciplinarian. We definitely have very open and honest communication about what's important to us, what our values are, how we want to raise our kids." — Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt
On juggling work and parenting:
"I am really good at prioritizing and I’m very efficient. I’m not on Instagram hours a day. Who has time to be on Instagram hours a day? If I’m in traffic I do all my calls in the car because when I get home I want to be with Santi. I don’t want to be on the phone. I don’t want to be on the computer. People are always amazed at how much I can get done in a day. Time is my greatest wealth. I’m either spending my time, wasting my time or investing my time, so I try to invest my time.” — Eva Longoria
"I would come in with this little baby in my arms and put her down in the crib, get my hair done and my makeup done and be reading my script. ... It turned out to be [network executives] were just taking a risk. But what they got was a person sitting in that chair on that show who America could really relate to, because they knew that I was getting up in the middle of the night breastfeeding, changing diapers and, you know, going home and figuring out how to peel carrots while holding a baby. And I was doing all the things they were doing — and that almost broke down … the third wall." — Joan Lunden
“I had always assumed that once I became a mother, I would turn into a different person, this new version of myself that will be better, more organized. I thought I would expand and become an improved version of myself. This is humbling, but the reality of the situation is, oh no, you're just yourself. And there's no sort of sense or point in trying to optimize or improve or pretend to be an entirely new person once you become a mother. ... Your kids will see right through that!” — Greta Lee
"You have to rely on lots of people to do the mothering. The term ‘it takes a village’ rings true, but we don’t live in villages anymore. You build your village with other ‘moms' ... As kids become teenagers, they need other safe adults to rely on.” — Busy Philipps
On doing it solo:
"Ask for help [and] have some great people in your corner that can give you a pat on the back as much as you need it, because that’s the other thing you don’t have: Nobody sees you at home, the struggles, the balance that it takes. You go to bed at night a lot of the time just really wishing there was someone there to pat you on the back — and that’s hard. So have somebody there, a girlfriend, a best friend, whoever, to give you that reminder once in a while. It’s really important.” — Amanda Kloots
"[As a former single mom] I will say that the hardest thing for me is co-parenting. I'm not joking. I use a lot of 'I's instead of 'we's in emails. I get a little bit resentful when I have to ask somebody else, because for 10 years, which is a long time, I made every decision for her. In a partnership, though, I can't discount Dulé. And so I have to remind myself that it's not his fault that I was a single parent and that his opinion adds value to our children's lives. Now, I feel like I did a really great job with Kennedy — I'm like, I did a great job ... I am Wonder Woman — and so my first instinct is to do that with Levi, to, like, steamroll ahead and do all the things that worked with Kennedy. But it just doesn't work that way, because we have a two-parent home now, you know?" — Jazmyn Simon
"I tell single moms this all the time. I don't care what type of budget you're on, you have to budget for yourself. Find that time for yourself." — Page Turner
On learning self-appreciation:
"If I listen to my intuition, I'm going to know how to best raise her and she's also going to teach me what she wants. I was on every site and every book and on social media looking at how I'm supposed to raise my child and what was best and what were the signs and how was she developing. And I finally hit this point where I kind of stepped back and said, you know what? I'm just gonna listen to my child and I'm gonna figure this out. And it has been the biggest weight that has been lifted off of me; the pressure has been lifted off of me." — Ashley Greene
"You become kind of like your own big sister in the process. I know better than anybody what I went through to bring this child into this world and the last thing I deserve is to beat myself up about any decision that I make along the way." — Elaine Welteroth
"Anytime I talk negative out loud about myself, my husband's there to go, 'you're making life, this is the miracle.' And I'm like, 'oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I forgot.' I really put myself in perspective. I have friends going through IVF and cannot get pregnant and I'm like [to myself], 'thank you, body.' That's what we say — 'thank you body for being able to do something so beautiful and making my dreams come true' — because not everyone gets to do this. So I will take all my scars and I will take all my insecurities." — Meghan Trainor
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