Regina King is familiar with the joys and challenges of being a mom.
The actor has an adult son named Ian with her ex-husband, Ian Alexander. Over the years, she’s opened up about single parenthood, work-life balance, co-parenting and more.
In honor of her birthday, here are 10 quotes about motherhood from King.
On The Key To Balancing Work And Parenting
“Being honest that sometimes it’s not balanced.”
On The Revelation Of Motherhood
“I get emotional because my son is an amazing young man, and it took me to be a mother for me to realize how incredible of a woman [my mother] is. You don’t know what unconditional love is. You may say you do, but if you don’t have a child, you don’t know what that is. But when you experience it, it is the most fulfilling ever. So, that is the greatest part about me. Being a mom to Ian.”
On Being A Single Mom
“I think it is definitely difficult for any professional being a mother, and a single one at that. It’s hard not having a partner to raise your child. It’s difficult, but far from impossible and we smile more than we cry.”
“Every time I wake up healthy, I feel happy and powerful. There’s this saying that a grip that I used to work with when I’m directing things in Atlanta, and he says, ‘As long as I wake up’ ― and he taps his foot on the ground ― ‘I’m good.’ So every morning I wake up at healthy and my family’s healthy, that’s making me feel good.”
“I was married for nine years before my husband and I separated and eventually divorced. Just as I’d watched my parents arguing and fighting, my son watched his parents arguing and fighting. It was like history repeating itself, and I felt terrible about him having to witness that.”
On Prioritizing Her Son
“I was kind of at a crossroads in my career where I was realizing that to continue on in the movie industry, I was going to have to start taking roles that shot outside of Los Angeles. I did not want to home-school my son. I didn’t want to have to leave him at home and miss out on all those little milestones and triumphs that happen in a growing child’s life. So I made the decision to not take any jobs that were going to be shooting outside of LA, and that’s how my TV career started. The answer is making most of the time, making the tough choice leads you down a beautiful path.”
“Because of our issues, Ian was becoming the kid whose parents were so disconnected that they couldn’t even sit next to each other, let alone have a civilized conversation. I had been that kid once and it wasn’t fun. As soon as the game was over, I found my ex in the crowd and asked if he had a few minutes to talk. I really wanted to tell him how I was feeling, right in the moment. I wanted us to at least start the conversation, face-to-face. ‘You know what? This is not good for Ian,’ I said. ‘Let’s put this shit behind us, because it has nothing to do with how much we both love him.’ He heard me out and after taking a deep breath, he agreed. I think we both were relieved to be taking the first step toward releasing the heaviness we’d been carrying around. That was our turning point.”
On Playing A Woman In A Bad Marriage
“The one thing I could relate to was staying in a situation way too long. The thinking that you’re staying in a situation ― for me because of my son ― and you’re losing a part of yourself as you’re fooling yourself into thinking that a bad situation is worth something.”
On New Chapters
“With my son in college, it just opened things up a lot. So, I’m still a mom, but I’m doing more things now that Regina wants to do. The balance is different.”
On Redefining Family
“It’s kind of crazy to think that I’ve now been divorced longer than I was married, but I appreciate the journey, because it brought my ex and I back to a friendship that helped us become great co-parents. Ian’s in college now and I know how much he appreciates us for making the effort, because he remembers when things were not so good. I’m just glad that we all made it to the other side. We’ve redefined what it means to be a family, our family, and we’re all better for it.”