Reese Witherspoon makes everything look easy, from acting, to producing, to finding our new favourite book, to yelling at Meryl Streep as if it wouldn’t be terrifying. The Oscar-winner also makes motherhood look like a breeze, with her kids Ava, Deacon and Tennessee often popping up on mom’s Instagram looking happy and healthy. Now Witherspoon is opening up about motherhood and telling her fans what they need to have in place before becoming a parent, and why having kids early was better for her.
Witherspoon solicited questions from fans for her Hello Sunshine YouTube page and the topic of motherhood was the most requested. “I’ve been a mom since 1999,” said Witherspoon, who celebrated daughter Ava’s 20th birthday this year. “To be totally honest, it was scary. I was scared. I didn’t know what it was going to do to my job or my career. Your entire life will change,” said Reese. “Everything you believe, every piece of food you eat, every piece of independence you have. You can’t go out without thinking of another person.” Touching on the constant stress and worry of looking after young children mixed in with the lack of sleep, Reese notes that these are the things that happen in the beginning “…and then it just evolves from there.”
Witherspoon, who was married to actor Ryan Phillippe from 1999 to 2006 and married talent agent Jim Toth in 2011, said that she found a big difference between having her first two children in her early 20s and giving birth to now-7-year-old Tennessee in her late 30s. “I find that having little kids is more physical and it’s just really hard on your body, so I am glad that I had kids kind of young. I had one at 23, one at 27 and then again at 37,” said Witherspoon, adding “and oh, my God, having a baby at 37 was so much harder. This is just me being real.”
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Reese says that beyond having savings and being ready in your career to step away for a period of time to have a baby, ensuring you have a support system around you is the most important thing to consider when you’re ready to have a child. The actor says that when she delivered her first daughter Ava, she had only recently move to Los Angeles, where she didn’t know anyone. Her mother lived in another state and she didn’t have sisters for support, but Witherspoon said she thankfully stumbled upon a yoga group that she found online. “They have been some of my greatest supporters. They would tell me what preschools to look at, when I needed to get vaccinations,” said Witherspoon. “They would tell me everything, even to this day,” adding “I really rely on the kindness and support of my mom friends.”
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Witherspoon ends her candid conversation by telling viewers that regardless of their situation, if they want to become a mother, they can find a way to make it happen. “Whatever your motherhood journey, I wish you luck on it and love and light and success and happiness,” said Reese.