Angelina Jolie: Your kids don’t want you to be perfect, they want you to be honest

Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt and Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt arrive at the World Premiere Of Disney's 'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil' held at the El Capitan Theatre on September 30, 2019 in Holl

It feels like Angelina Jolie has been doing more with her guest-editorship of Time Magazine during the quarantine. She usually writes one or two columns a month, but now she’s doing video-conferences with Time’s editor-in-chief, and guest-editing a “special edition” of Time. Someone has time on her hands in LA, basically. So what’s up with this special edition? It’s Time’s Parents newsletter, and Angelina wrote an open letter to parents:

Dear Parents,

I am thinking of you. I am imagining how hard each of you is trying to get through your days. How much you want to lead your loved ones through this. How you worry. How you plan. How you smile for them, when inside you feel at times you are breaking.

I was not a very stable youth. In fact, I never thought I could be anyone’s mom. I remember the decision to become a parent. It wasn’t hard to love. It wasn’t hard to dedicate myself to someone and something greater than my life. What was hard was knowing that from now on I needed to be the one to make sure everything was okay. To manage it and make it work. From food to school to medical. Whatever would come. And to be patient.

I realized I stopped my constant daydreaming, instead staying always ready for any break into what I was doing or thinking to answer a need. It was a new skill to acquire.

So now, in the midst of this pandemic, I think of all the mothers and fathers with children at home. All hoping they can do everything right, answer all needs, and stay calm and positive.

One thing that has helped me is to know that’s impossible.

It is a lovely thing to discover that your children don’t want you perfect. They just want you honest. And doing your best. In fact, the more room they have to be great where you are weak, the stronger they may become. They love you. They want to help you. So in the end, it’s the team you build. And in a way, they are raising you up too. You grow together.

[From Time]

“It is a lovely thing to discover that your children don’t want you perfect.” One thing I like about Angelina is that she never played footsie with the Motherhood Industrial Complex, and she never pushed a “mother superior” image in the press. She never made it a secret that parenthood changed her life and all of that, but hell, she can barely boil an egg and she takes her kids to fast-food drive-throughs. She lets them dress how they want, she’s not an Instagram-mommy and the worst thing anyone can really say about her at this point is that she loves to travel with her kids and give them adventures. My point is that Angelina has a leg up during the lockdown – her kids already knew she wasn’t perfect, because she never pushed that image on them. Now for all of the competitive Insta-mommies out there… so much for that subset, huh? Nowadays, every parent I see looks absolutely frazzled and punch-drunk.

Film Premiere of Dumbo

Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid and Avalon Red.

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16 Responses to “Angelina Jolie: Your kids don’t want you to be perfect, they want you to be honest”

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  1. minx says:

    She’s exactly right. I can say this now that my kids are grown— they just want to be loved and listened to. We put pressure on ourselves to be perfect for things that kids don’t even care much about.

  2. Tiffany says:

    Shiloh and the twins are Voight’s through and through. They are all a blond version of James.

    And great letter and yep, the never fell into the Mommy Brigage and I love her for it.

    • Slacker says:

      i think Shiloh and Knox look exactly alike, and I cannot decide who they favor voight or brad. Vivian , i don’t know who she looks like

    • Alyse says:

      I think Shiloh looks 50/50 Ange/Brad, Knox looks like Ange & Viv looks like Brad

  3. ShazBot says:

    “It wasn’t hard to love. It wasn’t hard to dedicate myself to someone and something greater than my life. What was hard was knowing that from now on I needed to be the one to make sure everything was okay.”

    WOW. This. I remember the first time my baby had a health issue and I thought “I want to call my parents. But I AM the parent now, it’s all on me.”

    • Eleonor says:

      So true.
      I have been raised by a wonderful loving mum, but at the same time she was the one who wanted to be perfect, and wanted to be reassured all the time that everything was ok, and was going to be ok. And growing up I have come to realise that I was the adult one, and that no one had been there for me, to tell me “it’s ok”, to reassure me. And it was so wrong.

  4. Astrid says:

    powerful words!

  5. Sojaschnitzel says:

    Really beautifully said. Love her.

  6. Truth hurts says:

    Powerful, wonderful and honest. Regardless of what people say and think about this woman, she puts her children first
    Something she learned from her own mom. She has been their shoulder and rock even when people were dragging her and their father was in rehab. At least people should e honest about that. They know who she is and who takes care of them fo Shi!

  7. Sarah says:

    She is honest and forthright. Love that quality about her. She never tries to belittle anyone’s parenting , not does she ever pretend to be the greatest parent, unlike others do. Good for her you can see how much she loves her kids and they seem pretty well grounded normal children.

  8. Awkward symphony says:

    I love this women. I admire her even more for being honest and not doing the usual Hollywood nonsense and just keeping it real

  9. Charfromdarock says:

    She is beautiful inside and out.

  10. SolitaryAngel says:

    She words it so well. I just love her. She’s beautiful, inside and out!

  11. stormsmama says:

    She is 100% right
    and she is so good at deferring attention to herself
    she is always thinking of others
    and it is true: kids can smell the lies
    they KNOW when parents say one thing but DO another
    our behavior reveals us to our kids
    She is just the best

  12. Hope says:

    Is it true next year her kids going to private public school?because brad want it?

  13. Kay says:

    The older kids were going to charter school already. So not sure which school the others will be going to.

    I think Shiloh was a beautiful baby – she has Brad’s eye colour and forehead and Angie’s nose and mouth and that incredible jaw. Knox looks more like Angie and Viv looks like Brad definitely has Brad’s nose. Of course Angie is actually blond. They are all going to be very tall too. Genetics have been good to them.

    It’s a shame that Cindy Crawford’s kids with their ‘perfect’ childhood have taken a strange turn.