Parenting

Beautiful Quotes About Motherhood From Sandra Bullock

The actress adopted her son, Louis, and daughter, Laila.
Sandra Bullock has been open about her journey to parenthood through adoption.
Sandra Bullock has been open about her journey to parenthood through adoption.

Sandra Bullock knows the ups and downs of raising kids today.

The actress adopted her son, Louis, in 2010 and daughter, Laila, in 2015. Since becoming a mom, she’s opened up about her experiences with adoption, the foster care system, the beauty of motherhood, the truth about “perfection” and more.

In honor of her birthday, here are 25 meaningful quotes about parenthood from Bullock.

On The Meaning Of Family

“My family is blended and diverse, nutty, and loving and understanding. That’s a family.”

On ‘Adoptive’ Children

“Let’s all just refer to these kids as ‘our kids.’ Don’t say ‘my adopted child.’ No one calls their kid their ‘IVF child’ or their ‘oh, shit, I went to a bar and got knocked-up child.’ Let just say, ‘our children.’”

On Discipline

“I am hard on my kids in that I want them to be respectful and kind, but I also want them to be kids and for us to have a really good time. So, I have to restrain myself because my sternness comes out of fear. I have to stop being as scared as I am and just remember that it’s about now and the enjoyment.”

On How Parenthood Changed Her

“The funny thing is I had this thought yesterday coming down the stairs, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I had no idea what love felt like until I had kids.’ There are so many trivial things attached to that: They drive me crazy and I want them to go to sleep and when they are asleep, an hour and a half into the quiet, I miss them. I go to their rooms like, ‘Are they alive?’ And then I get up at 1:30 a.m. and I walk up and down the hall and I look in the bed and I need to kiss them, but oh no, now I have woken them up, and now she won’t let me sleep. For me it’s the most painful and beautiful feeling on a daily basis. My kids destroy me daily.”

On The Foster Care System

“Look: I’m all for Republican, Democrat, whatever, but don’t talk to me about what I can or can’t do with my body until you’ve taken care of every child who doesn’t have a home or is neglected or abused. It makes me teary-eyed.”

On Her Divorce

“I let it affect me. I heard it all. And I had to step back and go, ‘I have the greatest gift in little Louis, and I’m gonna let him see the woman I want him to know.’ So a child forces you to get your shit together. In the best way.”

On The Difference Between Her Son And Daughter

“My children are very different. Louie is such a feeler yet he is all boy, but he feels deeply, and if he sees someone hurting he will go to them. Laila on the other hand is fearless, absolutely fearless. But I didn’t get her until she was 2 and a half, so I am aware of the trauma she experienced up until that time, even if she doesn’t remember it. The kids are just so different. The other day I raised my voice, and Louie started tearing up, and then I started tearing up, and I was like, turn away, turn away, be strong. But I don’t treat him any differently because he is a boy and she is a girl; she’s learning how to do laundry right now even though she wants to go outside and work on a car, but I want them both to have the benefit of what we consider girl stuff and boy stuff.”

On The Adoption Process

“When I look at Laila, there’s no doubt in my mind that she was supposed to be here. I can tell you absolutely, the exact right children came to me at the exact right time. ... Louis spearheaded this whole journey. ... I knew [Laila] was scared, and all I wanted was for her to know Louis and I weren’t going anywhere.”

On Meeting Her Son

“The first time I met Louis, it was like the whole outside world got quiet. It was like he had always been a part of our lives.”

On Mornings

“The third thing we work on at home in the mornings is that we turn on the music really, really loud before we leave the house and the rule is you have to dance a little bit before you step out in the world because it changes the way you walk. It changes the way you walk out in the world.”

On Being In Charge

“We have rules. I let everyone else be the aunties and uncles who spoil him and I’m the one that lays down the law.”

On Discrimination Talk

“He doesn’t understand why people judge each other based on color of their skin, but he knows they do. He also knows there’s sexism, he knows that there’s homophobia. I want him to know the truth, but I also want him to know the good in the world as well. Those are hard conversations to have. It’s not any conversation any parent wants to have with their child, is that you’ll be judged by the color of your skin rather than the content of your character. But it exists, and I want him to be safe and I want him to be aware.”

On What Makes Her Feel Beautiful

“What is beautiful is the honor of being Louis’ mother.”

On Her Kids’ Futures In Entertainment

“My daughter a couple of months ago, said, ‘I am going to be an actress.’ And I said, ‘OK, why do you want to be an actress?’ And she goes, ‘Because they have purses.’ She’s thinking of my [goodie] bag that I come home with. So, none of them have expressed any interest, but my daughter’s got an amazing voice. She is an amazing singer.”

On Being Present

“Am I the mother my son deserves? Am I living my authentic life, am I good enough, working hard enough, am I able to keep my son safe? Did I pick up all the dog poop in the yard before the playdate? Worrying used to be very paralyzing for me, and now I can talk myself off the ledge. Louis is the one who snapped me out of it.”

On Family Themes In Her Work

“We’re very lucky that we get to live in this moment in time where we get to choose what our family looks like, and I got to do that in real life. You imagine so many things for yourself, but when it appears it’s better than anything you could ever imagine. And in [‘Bird Box’], it is about family in a sense, in that ‘sight’ has us choosing things based on a preconceived notion of what that image must be like, when in fact it’s the exact opposite. And here are these people who have that taken away, and you are actually given the family that is going to take the best care of you, that wants to take care of you, that wants to be there for you, and how that that looks is very different from what most people expect. But I think what I loved about this is that it sort of mirrored what I feel about real life, in that my family is not how most people thought it would look, but it’s better.”

On Sweet Moments

“I was putting him to bed and told him that even when I’m old and gray and more wrinkly than I am now, I’ll still love him and want to tuck him in. And he asked why I have wrinkles, and I said, ‘Well, I hope some of them are from laughing so much.’ And he touched my face and said, ‘You’re not old, you’re just happy.’”

On Doing Kids’ Films

“I wanted to make something my son could see and I could watch him enjoy. Even though he doesn’t know what I do and he doesn’t know it’s me, I can sit in the theater and watch him. And nothing makes me happier than hearing that boy laugh. Physical humor and animation, it kills me, so hopefully I’ll be able to do that.”

On Her Son’s Dance Moves

“It’s like a combination of break dancing and kung fu fighting with an occasional Downward Dog thrown in for good measure.”

On Love

“Everything I’ve learned about love I’ve learned from Louis, and that there is no such thing as being done loving. We have a lot of it.”

On Work/Life Balance

“If I see whatever I’m doing affecting him negatively, I will pack up and move to Alaska. ... I’m having such an amazing time. Whatever comes our way, we handle as a family. It’s not just me anymore.”

On Her Son’s First Time Meeting His Sister

“He grabbed her hand and dragged her into his playroom the first moment he met her. He’s a wise old soul and often knows more than I give him credit for. I think he was ready for her before she even arrived and he knew exactly what to do as a big brother. He knew to be cautious and gentle. But now that time has passed and it’s like the WWE.”

On Talking To Kids About Racism

“I think if you don’t start the conversation early on, you’re doing them a disservice. Once he leaves that house and I’m not with him, it’s his life and how he approaches it is his decision. But I want to know that I did the best I could as his mom to educate him on the ugliness in the world, and also the beauty.”

On Perfection

“There are so many variations of families out there that are perfect. My family looks nothing like I ever imagined it would. It’s better than I ever imagined.”

On Her Hopes For The Future

“Getting older and watching my kids grow up to be hopeful, grateful, healthy, kind and safe ... and in a bubble with a chip in their head. I’ll be right behind them, and a drone will probably be following us.”