Parenting

Honest Parenting Quotes From Julia Roberts

The Oscar winner has three kids: Hazel, Phinnaeus and Henry.
Julia Roberts speaks onstage during the Amazon Studios portion of the Summer 2018 TCA Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 28, 2018.
Julia Roberts speaks onstage during the Amazon Studios portion of the Summer 2018 TCA Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 28, 2018.

Julia Roberts is familiar with the highs and lows of parenthood.

The Oscar winner has three kids ― Hazel, Phinnaeus and Henry ― with her husband, Danny Moder. Since becoming a mother in 2004, she’s shared her thoughts on domestic life, raising independent kids and more.

In honor of her birthday, here are 16 quotes about motherhood from Roberts.

On How Children Changed Her Life

“I don’t have the luxury of sitting around any more. I must have had bags of spare time before I had children but I don’t know what I did with it and I didn’t appreciate it. But it’s such a terrific trade-off. I don’t have time to get a pedicure, but I sure am happy. Who cares if your feet look bad?”

On Family Meals

“It’s really meaningful, and that is the time that we have had some incredible conversations. I usually have breakfast and dinner with my kids every day. I think it really punctuates, you know, starting things together and sort of processing and winding it down together.”

On Raising Independent Kids

“I raise my kids now, I don’t want them to have some of the struggles that I had. But at the same time, you do need to know how to make your bed and do your laundry and make one meal. These are important life skills. They have to run their own race. They have to have their own experience.”

On The Early Days Of Parenthood

“Nobody’s there with you at 3:00 in the morning when you’re just going, ‘What am I doing? Where did they come from, and when are they going?’ You get through it and you figure it out. Everybody does, and it’s a trial and error and a whole lot of tears. And it’s amazing. I have three incredible kids, and to think about when they were teeny tiny. It goes so fast.”

On Talking To Her Kids About The News

“Our country is not at its best right now, and that can be very discouraging and frustrating. You have to not give up hope. This is the time you have to rise as a community and as a household and as a country and try to make voices be heard. And that’s what I have to instill in my children, who are certainly old enough to be aware of politics and things going on in the world. It’s very important for my husband and me to be honest with them and help them feel like they still have a voice for the things that they believe in.”

On Her Kids’ Realization That She’s Famous

“I don’t think they will ever have a true sense of that. I think I told you once when they were starting to figure it out, it was like, ‘You’re famous?’ And I said, ‘I think a lot of people might have seen the movie that I’m in or might know who I am.’ Maybe an hour goes by. ‘Are you more famous than Taylor Swift?’ ... No. I imagine a day that we all sit down and maybe watch ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding.’ Or maybe ‘Steel Magnolias.’”

On Embracing A Less Glamorous Look

“When you’ve got four people to get dressed to get out the door you don’t really spend a lot of time on yourself. But that’s the way I roll anyway. I was never one to do my hair and make-up just to go to the market, so it’s not that much different. If I get a little eye cream on, I feel I’m ahead of myself.”

On Parenting Teens Today

“It’s different than when I might have said to my mom, ‘Mom, you don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager today,’ even though she probably did. Danny and I really don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager today. Sometimes my kids ask me things and I just say to them, ‘I’m going to say no, and I’m going to look into it because I don’t even know what we’re talking about.’”

On Domestic Life

“There are some days when as soon as you’ve finished cooking breakfast and cleaning up the kitchen it’s time to start lunch and by the time you’ve done that you’re doing dinner and thinking there has to be a menu we can order from. But then there are some days when it’s just so creative and so much fun and my kids will help me and, as with anybody who’s a mom or a wife, it just become a part of your day. Some days it’s super-fun and some days it’s a chore.”

On Working Motherhood

“I guess it’s also that illusion of mastery because I can have a great Monday and a really crappy Tuesday. It’s not a static thing: ‘Oh, I’ve got this. I’ve mastered this mothering thing.’ That doesn’t exist, and so everybody needs to make sure that they understand that going into it. I think, as women, we fall into this place where we feel like it’s our responsibility to give everything, give and give and give. There’s nothing wrong with saying to your spouse or to your child or to your friend, ‘Can I get a hand? I need somebody else in here helping me do this because I can’t do it by myself. Or I don’t want to do it by myself!’”

On Back-To-School Season

“It’s so fun! I always loved back-to-school shopping, and I realize that I still love it. But what we really love to shop for is all the stuff ― the binders, the pencils, the pencil case, the lunch box.”

On Playing A Mom

“Lucas Hedges, who plays my son, came and stayed with us for a while, got to know Danny and the kids really well all before we started shooting. I felt that it was important for my kids to know who I was going off with, pretending to be their mother. My son Henry had said to me, ‘Mom, why in movies when you play somebody’s mom, why is it always a boy?’ And I said, ‘Wow, I don’t know. You know what? We’re going to have Lucas come over and you guys are going to meet him.’ So Lucas came over, as did beautiful Kathryn Newton, who plays my older daughter. I would just send them down to the beach with my kids. ‘Go for a swim, and I’ll see you guys in an hour and I’ll have lunch ready.’”

On Her Twins

“They’re very different. I don’t think of them as similar at all, just kind of the same height. And a very close birthday.”

On How Her Daughter Inspired Her Political Activism

“When Donald Trump was elected, my daughter, Hazel, came down and the TV was on, and it said on the crawl at the bottom, Trump wins, and she kind of gasped because of course we all had this collective hope that something else was going to happen. And what I saw in that exact moment was the complete need for me as a parent to find a way to make her feel that she could still have a voice. That’s why we went to the first Women’s March in Washington ― I wanted her to feel like she still had a place in the world, that she could still believe in what she believed in, even though someone else was now president. It was very powerful for me to have her in a way be my leader into this space of marching and participating in being a citizen of this country.”

On Happiness

“I have incredible reinforcement from my family. My kids are very loving. I think they get that from their dad ― to speak their love out loud.”

On Acting As A Mom

“I never really did years of movie-after-movie-after-movie but when you’ve got three toddlers in the house you’re performing all day long, anyway, with puppet shows and stories ― I act around the clock.”