Sarah Jessica Parker really does seem to have it all—including mommy guilt and a deep respect for stay-at-home moms.
In the movie I Don't Know How She Does It, based on the novel that has come to define an entire generation of "have it all" moms who juggle career and family, Sarah Jessica Parker stars as Kate Reddy, a loving yet completely frazzled working mom we all can relate to because she doesn't even try to make the whole work/life balance thing look easy. But what about Sarah Jessica Parker? She's a mom to three, a wife, and a busy working actress and fashion entrepreneur. How does she do it?
In a new Q&A with Redbook magazine, SJP opens up about some of her own struggles balancing family and a high-profile career. Does she experience the guilt so many of us do when it's time to kiss Baby goodbye and head off to work?
"Conflict is a better word than guilt for me. Because I'm choosing to work, it's more about the conflict of loving the challenge and the heart of being a parent and also loving the challenge of the workplace," she admits. "When I was away shooting Sex and the City 2, my daughters couldn't come because they were too young to get the shots they needed to travel. And the only way to get through the bad days was to flip a switch in my brain and say, 'At this moment, I'm going to pretend. I'm just not going to have children in my head.' But I was comforted that my family was spending time with the kids. And there's always Skype, which is both torture and comforting."
Parker is dedicated to her career (and has even floated the idea for a third Sex and the City movie), but the mom also stands up for women who opt to stay at home. "Nothing is harder than being a stay-at-home mom. Nothing. For anybody to judge any choice among the sisterhood is beyond me. It's unaccountable. I don't understand how anyone can decide what's best for someone else."
Keeping Her Tank Full
So does Parker have it all? Not quite. "I'm slightly allergic to the phrase having it all, because it suggests an indulgence I don't really identify with. The idea of having a full life resonates with me more, because it's what I aim for. I'm a mother first and foremost, and the work that I do outside the home can only happen if I know all is well inside my home."
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