Jessica Alba on what she misses before kids: ‘sleeping in and not worrying’

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Being a mom is part of Jessica Alba’s brand, given she formed the successful The Honest Company that markets to families. Given that, I think she’s struck a good balance of trotting the kids out for friendly pap pics and not over exposing them. As you can imagine, most of the questions Jessica fields these days are about parenting. So when I opened the People article about Jessica not thinking she was the perfect mom, I didn’t expect it to strike such a nerve. Jessica touched on a few things that have been so prominent in my mind this past week but mainly, how I am doing as a mom.

What do you miss most about your life before motherhood?
“Sleeping in, and not worrying. I’m always worried about them. Even when they’re at school or they’re at home  sleeping and we’re all in the house together, I’m still always worried about them!”

What is your best quality as a parent?
“Being open and curious. Trying to always better myself. I don’t try to pretend like I have all the answers and I certainly don’t think I’m perfect. So when my kids say something, instead of me being so reactive, I think about how I can be better.”

What is your worst quality as a parent?
“Sometimes my mind is in too many different places and I’m not always in the moment.”

What are you like as a parent? Are you strict or easygoing?
“I’m probably on the stricter side of lenient. But I think boundaries are good for kids — and structure. I find that my kids thrive when they know where the boundaries are and the comfort zone and where they can be creative and play.

“It’s having enough sleep, it’s having proper nutrition that really helps that. And having enough activity.

[From People, print edition and online]

I think most parents see themselves as stricter rather than lenient. I’m not saying Jessica isn’t a stricter parent, I’m just saying I have never heard a friend say they were a lenient parent no matter how many times they’ve had to pull their kid off of the bookshelf.

What really got to me when reading this were Jessica’s answers about worrying about her kids and not being in the moment. The worrying thing is the part I was most unprepared for when I became a parent. And it’s not just life-threatening stuff either – I worry about every aspect of their lives, almost obsessively. And when I stop worrying for a moment, they’ll tell me something that’s happened to them and I think, why the hell didn’t I see that coming? Then I worry that I am not worrying enough. It’s exhausting. It’s been glaringly true recently. Like many of you, I wasn’t happy with the outcome of the election and it has dominated my thoughts. I’m trying to stay aware and active. Last week, each kid came to me on separate days with stories that broke my heart. They needed me and I hadn’t been there in any sense. So I hear Jessica on that. It sounds silly, like why do moms get so wrapped up in their kids? Because you told these little people you would look out for them and when you don’t, it is not you who suffers. It does help, however, to know that people like Jessica feel the same way.

On a superficial note, Jessica said in the video with People that she calls Haven “Havey.” I think that’s really cute.

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Photo credit Fame/Flynet Photos

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13 Responses to “Jessica Alba on what she misses before kids: ‘sleeping in and not worrying’”

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  1. minx says:

    Beautiful family, and they look genuinely happy.

  2. Greenieweenie says:

    One thing I worry about is how damn mean other kids are. Idk if it was just my neighborhood but I’ll never forget my 14 month old toddling over to a 4 year old with a train just to watch and the 4 year old looking up and screaming, “NO!!!!” into my son’s face. He wasn’t even reaching for the toy–just standing there and trying to communicate. Other kids are seriously mean af. That keeps me up at night. How damn mean this world is.

    • Clare says:

      What terrifies me is when kids act like little assholes, and their parents don’t correct them.

      I don’t have kids, but took my friends kiddies to the park a few weeks ago, and some kid pushed her off the slide…just because. No reaction from the kids parents/nanny while the little girl I was looking after fell to the floor and scraped her knee! I mean, if an adult pushed another adult hard enough for them to fall over, that would not be ok – why is it totally ok if a kid does it? I’m not saying report the kid for assault, but damn, correct your child!

      • Lex says:

        Yeah…. people should discipline but like seriously, the kid can deal. A scraped knee??! Oh noooooo. Kids shouldn’t be wrapped in cotton wool. When will they learn to defend themselves if adults constantly rush to help them? Problem solving skills!! Confrontation! Confidence!

  3. Lucy says:

    “Sometimes my mind is in too many different places and I’m not always in the moment.” this right here. Also the bit you added about worrying about worrying too much or not enough. That happens to me, and I’m not a mother. Will certainly look into that, maybe with some help…

  4. Kate says:

    Does anyone think Havey’s father could be Harvey Weinstein? 😉

  5. me says:

    I don’t have kids and I don’t always get to sleep in and I certainly worry a lot about many things.

  6. Adele Dazeem says:

    Wow, I’ve never been president of the JA fan club (historically meh on her) but this interview clip struck a chord with me too.

    Like Jessica, I feel guilty for not being as ‘present’ as I should be. But sometimes it’s hard to be all in when you’re playing Thomas the train, watching kid tv, etc. Older people (or people with older kids) are always saying to me, “oh enjoy it, these are the best days of your life, it goes fast!” And I know they mean well but it hits me in the gut. I want to be relishing every moment and I see how fast it’s already going but ugh, the pressure of ‘loving every minute’ is hard.

    • Dani says:

      My boss is almost 50 and he has watched my daughter grow up from literally the day he found out I was pregnant lol and he always tells me when I complain, enjoy it now because eventually they won’t even blink in your direction. And he’s so right, I remember being that way as a teen, and I see his kids doing it to him, and you can see the sadness on his face. Ugh, kids man!

      • Miss V says:

        This post just ripped my heart out. I do not look forward to the time when my kids won’t want anything to do with me. I have three girls under 8, all close in age. We do everything together! But my youngest is turning 4 next week and I am having an emotional meltdown about it. Is that normal?? I could cry right now just thinking about it!

  7. Dani says:

    Ugh I get the worrying. My daughter could be laying in front of me asleep and I worry if she’s happy at school and if kids are mean to her and if she’ll always love me the way she does now etc. Something about kids that they can really make you so happy to the point your heart can explode, but also rip your heart to shreds with fear and anxiety. Andrew McMahon has a song about his daughter, ‘Cecilia and the Satellite’ and the first time I heard it my daughter was maybe 1ish, and I burst in to tears. It’s just so accurate. Your whole life changes when you start worrying and fearing for someone other than yourself. And kids are so freaking mean these days.

  8. Cynicalcyndi says:

    I just became a mom, 8 weeks ago. I am a long time reader 2nd time commenter. I laugh at all your humor and try to learn from your perspectives weekly, truly opening my mind from a group of anonymous commentators whose usernames I use ok a first name basis. This post really hit home for me and I couldn’t go on with my day trying to enjoy “every moment” and worrying non stop about this awesome human I created without letting you guys know how much I appreciate this post and all of you.
    *sobs happily
    Till next time.