Jillian Michaels admits parenting is difficult: ‘Son of a bitch, this is hard’

Jillian Michaels

Somehow I missed the memo that Jillian Michaels is into women. After some quick research, I’ve discovered that Jillian has been with her current partner, Heidi Rhoades, for some time. In 2010, she admitted to having dated both men and women, and it sounds like (to quote Bono) she’s found what she’s been looking for. As such, Jillian and Heidi adopted a 2-year-old girl, Lukensia, from Haiti last year, and Heidi gave birth to a baby boy, Phoenix, last year as well. So the two of them became sudden parents to a toddler and a baby at the same time, which sounds difficult as hell. It’s probably hard enough to parent both ages at once, but to not even have a warm-up period with the first kid before the baby comes along? I bet that was a very disorienting experience, and now Jillian admits that it’s exceedingly difficult to fit her entire life into one day, and she’s even softening up her rather militant approach to fitness. Just a bit, anyway:

Jillian Michaels

On jugging fitness & parenting: “Every day I tell myself how blessed I am. I can’t bitch about it, because this is what I wanted. I just thought I’d be able to manage it better. Man, it’s tough. In my previous life, I could enjoy a long workout, go see a movie, order in. Right now I’m juggling two sick kids and trying to squeeze in a quick run or shower before one of them starts puking again. It’s definitely best for me to work exercise into other things I’m doing that day. I try to bike to work or take a long walk-jog on the beach with the kids.

On doing it all: “I get up at 7 a.m. — after being up all night with the baby — and run around trying to get both kids diaper-changed, dressed, and fed. Finally I’ll shower, and before I know it, I’ve got 50 e-mails to answer, and I need to leave for work. At the end of the day, I come home, and I’m like, OK, let me bathe you, change you, feed you, read you books, put you to bed — wait, how am I supposed to do all this? Son of a bitch, this is hard!”

She’s modified her fitness demands: “I used to say, ‘If you’re going to exercise, then you do it, and you do it 100 percent.’ Now if I’ve got to answer e-mails while I work out on the StairMaster, well, then that’s what it is. People can rub my nose in it, because it is so hard — so hard — to take care of yourself when you’re a parent.”

[From Fitness.com]

I really like it when celebrity moms admits that it’s tough to balance everything, and it’s particularly refreshing when a celebrity trainer admits how difficult it is to fit in fitness while taking care of very young children. It’s hard to even get on the floor for some yoga when you’ve got a toddler roaming about, and I think I pretty much gave up on working out until my daughter was five years old and went to kindergarten. I can work at home while she’s here, but she’d never let me exercise when she was younger. It just didn’t happen beyond pushing her outside in the stroller, which isn’t the most practical method of exercise in awful weather. Now? I just take her to the gym and let her work out with me when she’s out of school. Much easier.

As for Jillian, I know she’s got quite the reputation for being a hardass and kind of a nightmare as a trainer, but maybe she’s softening up a bit. If anything, she’s going to have less energy to boss her clients around thanks to her kids, so it’s a win win.

Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet

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63 Responses to “Jillian Michaels admits parenting is difficult: ‘Son of a bitch, this is hard’”

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  1. Joanna says:

    I love her DVDs! so tough but good

  2. lucy2 says:

    I can’t imagine going from no kids to a toddler and an infant at the same time. I listen to her podcast and she’s been pretty honest about how hard it is.
    The kids are cute – check out the head of hair on their son!

    • Esmom says:

      Yeah I’d agree that she dove into a situation that’s unusually grueling. I hope she realizes that this really difficult stage won’t last for years. Within a year or two they will be settled into a routine with hopefully a bit of childcare or pre-school to give them some free time to focus on the rest of their lives/careers.

      When you’re in the midst of it, it’s easy to think that this new lifestyle is permanent but in reality the baby/toddler days go by so fast!

      That’s not to say parenting doesn’t get easier — as the mom of two middle schoolers I’d say each stage is equally tough and joyous — but it does get more manageable.

    • NorthernGirl_20 says:

      I know how hard that is kind of. My now husband and I moved in together just before getting married with my son who had just turned 2 and his son who was 1-1/2 at the time. Very difficult to deal with 2 kids so close in age but we made it through and the boys are 9 & 8 now – they are super close and are great kids. We also have a 5 year old son together.

    • Yup, Me says:

      You had better not mean what it appears that you mean with that comment.

    • Bex says:

      Even if you are a troll, what a despicable thing to say.

  3. gee says:

    I actually really respect her for saying that.

    • lunamiel says:

      Before I had a kid I’d be all “how can you NOT have the time to work out?” but you seriously just don’t have the same kind of free time that you had before kids. I’m lucky if I get one workout a week in. Plus I’m pregnant and lazy right now. :)

  4. T.Fanty says:

    I am pathetically thankful when celebrities are honest about how hard it is. Good for her.

  5. Suze says:

    I never liked Jillian but this softens my attitude toward her a lot. I am not someone who thinks kids solve everything – not by a long shot – but becoming a mother seems to have made her a better human being.

  6. lem says:

    i think it’s fantastic that she came out and was like DUDE this is really f*cking hard. It’s so exhausting/infuriating when celebrities talk about how easy it is, or with trainers like Tracey Anderson who just make you feel like you must be a terrible person/mother if you struggle with this.

  7. Dhavynia says:

    Im glad she admits it’s hard. It’s refreshing to know that she’s taking parenthood head on and not have a nanny do all the work. I hate celebrities who go around saying how motherhood is hard and have a parade of nannies.
    I too think I’m going to have to wait until my 17 month tod gets older to dive into working out because now he’s all over the place!

  8. megsie says:

    I guess this means they’ll be divorcing soon.

  9. Samigirl says:

    I never cared for her, but this makes me like her. Mostly because she’s correct! So many people sugarcoat parenthood, and while it is wonderful, it can also be really difficult!

  10. Isa says:

    I’m so glad she said this. I’m not going to rub her nose in it. I’m just glad she finally understands. And to think working out is her job. My job isn’t working out so I have to find time to work + take care of 2 kids + school + keep a clean house + exercise. The last two I’m failing at.

  11. Debra says:

    can I just say that after seeing her in nothing but casual, or workout clothes forever…she looks great dressed up

    I think the red dress looks awesome on her

  12. L says:

    Maybe this is why she was so cranky on the biggest loser this season? Lack of sleep? She’s still my favorite trainer on that show though, although Dolvett is quite easy on the eyes. :)

    I love her DVD’s, and would love to train with her for a few weeks. Unlike Tracy Anderson she advocates putting the work in AND eating right.

  13. Rhiley says:

    Jillian Michaels seems like the complete opposite of Tracy “I Like to Fat Shame Women Who Just Gave Birth” Anderson.

  14. Ellen says:

    She was SO judgmental before of parents (MOMS) who didn’t work out. It’s completely refreshing that she’s willing to say, whoa, I was wrong.

  15. ladybert62 says:

    I am always surprised when I hear parents admit that raising kids is difficult!

    Didnt they have to baby sit when they were growing up – did they really not know what it was like? did they honestly think raising kids would be easy and fun 24/7?

    I have no kids and it is because I knew what was involved and said – NO WAY!!!

    • Esmom says:

      In my experience, it’s been the really self-absorbed types who are surprised by how hard and exhausting parenting is.

      A few co-workers in my old office honestly seemed to regard having babies — and shopping for all the sweet designer gear for them — as the equivalent of acquiring a cute, cuddly accessory. It made me feel like people should take some sort of basic course before deciding to become parents!

    • lem says:

      I’m not a parent (yet) but I never babysat as a teenager. I’m TERRIFIED of having children b/c I know it’s hard but I also know that I cannot imagine how hard it’s going to be. I don’t think i’m any more selfish or self-centered than your average 27-year old female, but I still struggle with the idea that my life would so much more difficult.

    • MoxyLady007 says:

      I am the oldest of ten. I have been baby sitting, changing diapers, feeding babies and rocking kids to sleep for most of my life. It was rough.
      I just had my first baby. And I love him with all my heart. But as prepared as I thought I was – no. Just no. It’s way harder. There is no way to prepare for it. Not really.
      And no. I am not having ten. Two. Two is all I can handle. And just one is kicking my ass right now. Four month growth spurt. Boy does it SUCK

    • Samigirl says:

      Some people (like myself) never grew up with siblings or baby sat. I didn’t get siblings until I was 12, and they were 6 and 8. We all had different upbringings, so let’s not be quick to judge and say that only self centered people didn’t know being a parent was difficult.

      • Isa says:

        I did babysit, older kids. With my first pregnancy I was so scared. I kept thinking about how hard it was going to be. It was the opposite. She was the easiest baby ever. My dad said I needed to let her cry to develop her lungs. But I couldn’t because she just wasn’t a big cryer. Sure there have been rough moments (especially with my son.) but it’s nothing like I imagined or saw on tv.
        I just don’t have much free time but I expected that.

      • GreenTurtle says:

        Same here, Samigirl. I also think temperament makes a difference in how hard it is, too. I’ve always been a perfectionist and I found the transition to parenthood hard. No one has the right to judge how someone else experiences parenting!

    • Bookworm mommy says:

      I never babysat or changed a diaper before my DS was born…so yah, not everyone knows how hard it really is. & just cos its hard for some, doesnt mean it’s hard for everyone…

  16. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I can’t imagine how difficult that must be..I really can’t. Major props to ladies that do it all.

  17. Eileen says:

    She should try parenting a sick, special needs child-would probably break her completely! Kudos that she is owning up to the fact that she was wrong and admitting it!

  18. Pop Will Eat Itself says:

    Suck it up, Princess. Try raising two boys with Asperger’s and then tell me how hard raising two neurotypical kids is.

  19. sheda says:

    bedhead you should have added the part where she mentions her daughter trying to dress herself and her lack of patience with it. i like that she was so honest.

  20. Bodhi says:

    Why oh why do celebs insist on using those damn crotch danglers? There are many, MUCH better carriers than those things. I appreciate that she is wearing her child, but those suckers are terrible for kids’ hips.

    I have a toddler & am pregnant with twins. I fear I will never sleep again after they are born

    • Chordy says:

      Congrats on your twins! You will sleep again, just not for a few years. And I think they all wear those things because they get them for free from the company. However, I have been noticing a lot more Ergo baby carriers and wraps all up on my Facebook feed lately, so maybe the word’s getting out!

      • Isa says:

        I would LOVE to have an ergo. These crotch danglers bother me too.
        If I ever decide to have a third all I’m
        Buying is an ergo and a car seat.

      • Bodhi says:


        I had a Ergo but it didn’t fit me well so I traded it for a mei tei. I kinda wish I still had it, but oh well!

        I’m part of a local baby wearing group & holy CATS there are so many to chose from! I’m hoping to get a custom or semi-custom for the twins so I can wear them both, but they are might spendy. The ONE thing I wish for about the celeb life is the money, lol!

        And maybe an occasional night nanny ;-)

    • Lisa says:

      Congratulations! My niece and nephew are twins, six months last week. My sister in law has one of those slings for them, I should ask if hers is an Ergo. It looks strong and a heck of a lot better than the dangler.

  21. Erin says:

    I love her, I will never forget the part on her DVD when she admits that she too eats ice cream for dinner sometimes :) She is a normal person with an attainable body, and I totally respect her for that. She works hard and deserves accolades for it.

  22. guilty pleasures says:

    Love me some Jillian, but she is a hardass! Reminds me of some of my coaches/trainers when I was a competitor, take no prisoners works for me! I think she softened a bit on this season of Biggest Loser when she lost her entire team (almost) right out of the chute.
    I appreciate her realization re parenting, it translates directly to the struggle for most people to get and stay fit. It’s a grind, sometimes you don’t want to, it isn’t always fun, etc. It’s just that, with parenting, it’s much harder to ‘skip a day.’
    And my kids are 20 and 21, and while I no longer worry that they will choke on a grape, believe me, the challenges keep coming!

  23. Patrice says:

    Those exerpts are from the current issue of Glamour and within it Jillian openly admits (and confirms) that she’s always been a full on lesbian but only said that she “also dated men” to “dip a toe in the water” in an effort to gage the public’s reaction before coming out and living her real truth. The article is all about accrpting your life as is, whatever comes your way, and though I’ve never ben a Jillian fan in general, I loved what she has to say in the piece and how she phrases everything.

    I don’t for the life of me understand why this woman continually gets flack for being “too tough” or “hard” on her clients. Any personal trainer worth their salt is SUPPOSED to be tough and make you go full-on in the gym, not coddle you and tell you that you’re perfect as is. What would be the point of that?? If you merely want a workout pal, then save yourself a few hundred bucks a month and just work out with a friend! :D

  24. Mew says:

    I honestly have no clue how people who have babies do it without a nanny. I’ve seen my friend fight through a day and hell, I got totally dead exhausted just by watching the routine day with a baby. There’s just no way I could imagine fitness into it – the seconds there are free time, I would just zzzzzz and hard.

    So hats off to all moms who can do it and still be great moms. That’s like totally unrealistically difficult.

  25. Agnes says:

    I SO agree with her! I have a six-month old and it’s HARD. I’ve never been around babies before, so I really had no idea what to expect, but it’s much harder than I thought it would be. Not to say that’s it isn’t also amazing – it is, of course, I love him to pieces. (And I don’t believe that my being overwhelmed has anything to do with being particularly selfish, as one of the commenters above suggested. Maybe I’m just not a natural at being a parent, as some people tend to be.)

    • Isa says:

      Or you could end up with a super high needs baby. It’s a roll of the dice. My kids are easy, I don’t have a set schedule or routine. We go with the flow and they’re okay with that. Some kids need the routine, some kids cry all the time.
      I agree with you about being overwhelmed not meaning you are or were previously selfish. It may be the case for the parents she knows but not true for the ones I know.
      I’m pretty dang selfish and I’m not overwhelmed. Well I’m not overwhelmed because of my kids, just because of school and work.
      Anyway, there’s so many different variables that can cause a person to be overwhelmed.

    • GreenTurtle says:

      I found the infant phase overwhelming, too, Agnes. Some people just find certain phases harder/less rewarding than others. My son is 3 now and I find interacting with him/watching him learn so amazing and fun. I never felt like a “natural” either, but it’s gotten exponentially better.

  26. KellyinSeattle says:

    She is right!! It is really difficult to raise kids; mine has Asperger’s but it’s also hard for people who have kids without special needs…time, energy, money, lots of love can be trying.

  27. Ginger says:

    I completely adore Jillian. I had a crush on her even before I found out she was bisexual. I think it’s awesome that she has even admitted that she was too judgy before she had kids. She has given an open apology to all parents about this too. When my son was little we used to do kids yoga together but he would only last 20 minutes tops and then get bored. I also used to take him for walks in his stroller. When he was older he would sit on the couch and “coach” me while I was doing my Jillian Michaels “30 day shred” DVD which has 3 levels. Somehow I could never make it past the first level and my son would give me a hard time! Now that he’s older he’s turning into a little jock like his father so we can finally work out together.

  28. annaloo. says:

    Gwyneth doesn’t want to hear it!

  29. tripmom says:

    That is an absolutely gorgeous family.