There are a million reasons to love mothers. They're nurturing, understanding and strong, not to mention teachers, doctors, chefs and chauffeurs all wrapped into one! In honor of Mother's Day on May 12, 2019, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at all the celebrities who advocate for moms by supporting important causes or just sharing their own motherhood struggles. We begin with the lovely and talented Olivia Wilde. As a mom, Olivia (seen here holding daughter Daisy Sudeikis at the 2018 Women's March in Los Angeles) is all about empowering other mothers to be authentic and real while supporting causes that recognize the value moms bring to the world. Whether the actress-director is calling out companies for mom-bod shaming or tweeting support for organizations like Mompreneurs Middle East and Half the Sky — or just posting bare-faced Instagram selfies with her kids to show moms it's totally cool to not look like a movie star 24/7 — Olivia makes the world a better place for women with children and we love her for it. Keep reading for more…
From the way Beyonce has shared her pregnancies with the world to her immaculate fertility goddess-inspired 2017 Grammys gown (worn while pregnant with twins Sir and Rumi) to the fact that she's been open and real about experiencing miscarriage, she hasn't shied away from representing motherhood in all its pain and glory. As for the extra curves childbirth has left her with? Queen Bey is feeling her post-baby body, telling Vogue in 2018, "I feel a lot more like a woman. More feminine, more sensual. And no shame."
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On March 24, 2016, Anne Hathaway became a first-time mother when she gave birth to son Jonathan Rosebanks Shulman. Nearly a year later, Anne would stand up for moms in America when she delivered the keynote speech for the United Nations International Women's Day commemoration (she serves as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador) and talked about the importance of paid maternity and paternity leave for working parents and how totally screwed up it was to stigmatize parents for choosing the role of caregiver (or shaming women for wanting to work), saying, "The assumption and common practice that women and girls look after the home and the family is a stubborn and very real stereotype that not only discriminates against women but limits men's participation and connection within the family and society." Anne further proved just how great of a mom she is when she revealed that she gave up alcohol for her son after a really bad hangover. "I'm going to stop drinking while my son is in my house just because I don't totally love the way I do it, and he's getting to an age where he really does need me all the time in the mornings," she told Ellen DeGeneres in 2019.
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Gwyneth Paltrow isn't shy about talking about the difficulties of motherhood. In 2017, she told People magazine that when her children, Apple Martin (seen here) and Moses Martin were little, she was "short-tempered" because she was constantly putting them first and pushing herself to the point of exhaustion. Gwyneth's revelations aren't anything new, either. The "Iron Man" actress and Goop CEO has also been open about her battle with postpartum depression after Moses' birth, explaining, "I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person… I felt very inadequate; I felt like I'd made the worst decision of my life."
Chrissy Teigen (seen here with husband John Legend and kids Luna and Miles Stephens) is known for being blunt and her mission to dispel the myth of the perfect mother is giving us all honesty goals. Whether she's wondering how the hell single moms handle raising kids on their own (she's been open about the fact that she has help in the form of her own mom and a nanny) to her difficulties with postpartum depression to her super-candid social media pictures that include things like post-pregnancy stretch marks and the caption, "LOL My thighs have tributaries," Chrissy is rewriting the script for celebrity moms and making imperfect seem totally cool.
When Gabrielle Union published her memoir "We're Going to Need More Wine" in 2017, she bravely opened up about an issue that many women struggle to talk about: infertility. In her book, Gabrielle wrote about enduring "eight or nine miscarriages" over the course of her marriage to NBA star Dwyane Wade and how painful it can be for women struggling with fertility issues to constantly have to field questions about when they're going to start a family. "People mean so well, but they have no idea the harm or frustration it can cause," she said. Although she's helping raise three of Dwyane's kids from a previous relationship as well as his nephew, the desire to have a child together was strong. She told People magazine in 2018, "I never wanted kids. Then I became a stepmom and there was no place I'd rather be than with them." Gabrielle and Dwyane welcomed their first child together, daughter Kaavia, via surrogate in November 2018.
Mother of three, actress and Honest Co. founder Jessica Alba might seem like she has it all, but she's still struggling like any mom. Whether she's confessing to "missing milestones," saying, "Oh, I didn't even realize that you've been wearing shoes that are too small for you for you for like 3-4 months, my bad," or dropping truth bombs about judgy moms, saying, "Doesn't it feel like the mean girl thing from high school sort of just transforms into adulthood through motherhood?" Jessica is refreshingly real about the hardships of parenting as a modern woman.
Drew Barrymore wants moms to know that celebrities aren't perfect and celebrity moms can experience the same emotional upheavals as any other woman. Drew (seen here with daughters Olive and Frankie Kopelman) wrote about her experience with postpartum depression in her memoir "Wildflower," revealing that it happened after the birth of Frankie, her second child, and put her "under a cloud" for about six months. After moving through the depression, Drew later endured a public divorce from Will Kopelman, which wasn't easy. Now Drew's also proving that motherhood isn't an excuse for not feeling sexy. The "Santa Clarita Diet" star launched her own lingerie line with Anthropologie in 2018 and is all about embracing her inner vixen while still being present and "in the moment" for her daughters.
Bryce Dallas Howard is another celebrity mom who's talked openly about her struggles with postpartum depression and how important support is for new moms. In an essay penned for Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop website, Bryce talked about the moment the fog of depression finally lifted, calling it a feeling like "summer." She further elaborated: "Do I wish I had never endured postpartum depression? Absolutely… but I also feel deep gratitude for those who stood by me, for the lesson that we must never be afraid to ask for help, and for the feeling of summer that still remains."
Alyssa Milano wasn't just one of the messengers who brought #MeToo to the forefront in 2017 — she's also long been an advocate for mothers and, in particular, for positive associations with breastfeeding. The former "Charmed" and "Who's the Boss?" star nearly broke the internet when, in 2014, she shared a picture on Instagram of herself breastfeeding her daughter, Elizabella Bugliari. Even though Alyssa received backlash for the pic, she refused to back down and went on to post many more breastfeeding selfies, inspiring moms everywhere to share their own nursing pics and help normalize public breastfeeding for everyone. She's pictured here with her oldest child, son Milo Bugliari, in November 2018.
Adele has a powerful voice that can bring us to tears, but she managed to keep her own tears and emotional turmoil a secret after struggling with postpartum depression following the birth of her son, Angelo Konecki, in 2012. The British songbird told Vanity Fair in 2016 that she doesn't plan to have more children, explaining that she's "too scared" and that PPD left her feeling "inadequate." Her admission, like those of so many other celebrity moms who've experienced the same frightening condition, is powerful for all women because it raises awareness and shows that any mom is susceptible.
"Grace and Frankie" star Brooklyn Decker isn't shy about explaining what it's really like to be a mother (and it definitely includes sweatpants and boogers). The mom of two (seen here with daughter Stevie Roddick in 2018) told Refinery29, "I would absolutely love to leave the house every day in sweats, because I'm covered in drool, or spit-up or baby food… I actually have left my house with boogers in my hair, and whose boogers are they? Are they my boogers? Are they my child's?" And although Brooklyn's a working mom, that doesn't mean she doesn't feel guilty for not always being home for her children. Thankfully, she has the love and support of husband Andy Roddick, a former professional tennis player, and a nanny. "I'm lucky to be allowed to go and work because I have support at home… Moms need help, and I don't think anyone should be ashamed of that, whether that's sending your kid to daycare or whether that's asking your best friend to babysit," she said.
Though she's private about her children and family life, Thandie Newton has been open about being a proud breastfeeder. She posted a photo on Instagram in 2016 of herself nursing son Booker Parker. She captioned it, "…This is what my body is made for. And the rest is my choice. #Freedom." Years earlier, Thandie opened up about how motherhood was the first time she ever felt beautiful, sharing that when she was younger, she struggled with a "mental disorder" as well as bulimia and said having children helped her escape those demons and feel more "relaxed" about herself and her body. She proved, once again, how important mothering is to her when she supported her daughter, Nico Parker, on the red carpet for her first film, 2019's "Dumbo." The look-alike pair are pictured here at the premiere. Thandie also has an older daughter, Ripley, with screenwriter-director husband Ol Parker.
When model Miranda Kerr was expecting her first bundle of joy, son Flynn Bloom, back in 2010, she felt moved to make a difference for mothers in developing nations. Her motivation? Raising awareness about obstetric fistulas, an abnormal hole that forms between the vagina and rectum during childbirth that can lead to incontinence and even death for more than 3.5 million mothers worldwide. To help give the complication some much-needed attention, Miranda — who welcomed baby No. 2 with husband Evan Spiegel in 2018 and announced her third pregnancy in 2019 — appeared in the video "Fight For Fistula" and has continued to support efforts to provide mothers abroad with lifesaving support.
So many mothers feel like having postpartum depression makes them bad parents, but "Nashville" star and mother-of-one Hayden Panettiere wants them to shut those negative thoughts down. The actress battled recurrent bouts of PPD following the birth of daughter Kaya Klitschko and was brave enough to share her struggles in 2015. Since then, she's become something of a spokesperson for the disorder, admitting that initially, she "felt off" but that she's come to realize her experience has made her "stronger." "You know, women are so resilient and that's the incredible thing about them. And I think I'm all the stronger for it. I think I'm a better mom for it because you never take that connection for granted," she said.
Kim Kardashian West (seen here with eldest daughter North West) didn't have it easy when she brought her first two children, North and Saint West, into the world. The reality star suffered from placenta accreta, a rare condition in which the placenta grows too deeply into the uterus, putting her at risk for bleeding to death during delivery. It also can leave the uterus scarred and unable to carry future pregnancies, which is why Kim and her husband, Kanye West, opted to use a surrogate to have a third child, daughter Chicago West, and a fourth child, a boy due in May 2019. Thankfully, Kim has openly shared her struggles, raising awareness of this condition that affects one in 500 pregnancies.
National treasure Reese Witherspoon (seen here with her look-alike daughter, Ava Phillippe) isn't just an Academy Award-winning actress. The mom of three is also dedicated to making the world a better place for women. Along with spearheading the Time's Up movement, Reese (who currently stars as Madeline on the award-winning series "Big Little Lies") is adamant that women (not just mothers) have a right to be ambitious and get the same chances and respect that men get. While she's busy setting the example of being a dynamic woman who can be a caretaker, nurturer and businesswoman, she's also using her platform to speak out about gender discrimination. Proving she also puts her money where her mouth is, Reese actively chooses films that employ women, are created by women and star women.
New mom Mindy Kaling might not be talking a whole lot about her daughter, Katherine, but what she hasn't said is revolutionary for moms everywhere. The "Late Night" star has refused to disclose the identity of her child's father, offering no explanation or excuse. In a society that prioritizes paternity (whose surname do women and children take?), Mindy's choice to unapologetically be a single mother shows how far we've come in society when a woman (especially a woman of color) can successfully be the boss of her career as well as her reproductive life and not even bat an eyelash.
Cuban-American actress Eva Mendes wants moms to know that even when you're a Hollywood celebrity in a long-term romantic relationship with one of the hottest men in the industry (cough, cough, Ryan Gosling), you still feel mom guilt for not being with your children every minute of the day. Eva told E! News in 2017 that as the mother of two little girls (who she's raising to be bilingual), no one warned her about how terrible she would feel trying to balance her own career with raising her family (which literally every mom can relate to). And when it comes to celebrity red carpets and award shows? Eva's happier to forego the glitz and glam in favor of cuddling up with her kids, Amada and Esmeralda Gosling (seen here).
"Bad Moms" star Mila Kunis is definitely no bad mom to her and Ashton Kutcher's two children, daughter Wyatt and son Dimitri. In fact, Mila's probably smarter than most of us because she's dead set on not raising materialistic kids. Whether she's explaining why she and Ashton won't give their young children Christmas presents or how neither of the kids will be inheriting their parents' wealth, Mila's committed to not letting Hollywood or fame dictate how she raises her children. She's also vocal about how competitive women can be with each other, saying, "It's the competitive energy that is so destructive… You only are a mommy in this way for such a brief amount of time anyway that you don't wanna look back and be like, 'Why did I care about that stupid nonsense?'"
Fellow "Bad Moms" alum and current "The Good Place" star Kristen Bell is making it OK for moms everywhere to admit they can't do it all on their own. The mom of two daughters, Lincoln and Delta (with husband Dax Shepard), has been vocal about her need for time off, telling Us Weekly that she and Dax often "swap kids" and that he understands when she's "reached capacity" and needs a date with her girlfriends or time alone to go hiking. While some Hollywood moms perpetuate the myth of having it all, Kristen's happy to share Instagram pics of her kid-trashed living room and admit that she gets totally frazzled being a mother.
Former "Friends" star Courteney Cox has always been real about motherhood, talking about her experiences with miscarriage, postpartum depression and raising a teenager before it was cool to admit to being flawed. In 2005, Courteney admitted that after the birth of daughter Coco Arquette (seen here), she developed late-onset PPD, which caused physical symptoms like sleeplessness and a racing heart. She said the support of her friends (like bestie Jennifer Aniston) was crucial to helping her get through the difficult time. She also revealed that prior to having Coco, she experienced miscarriage, something that, at the time, was rarely discussed by celebrities. Now that Coco's a teenager, Courteney's all too happy to talk about the very real struggle of how tiny her daughter's shorts are and how important it is for her to have an open line of communication with her child (proving she's basically every mom).
Another aspect of motherhood that doesn't get the attention it deserves is adoption. Actress Katherine Heigl is a mom of three children, two of whom are adopted. Her openness about her decision to adopt with husband Josh Kelley is reminiscent of another famous actress, Angelina Jolie, who also adopted as well as gave birth to biological children. Of the experience, Katherine has said that she "always knew" she wanted to adopt, adding that her own sister, Meg, was adopted from Korea three years before Katherine was born. In the end, what matters most to Katherine is her children: "I just wanted to be a mom. So however we do that, it's fine with me."
Brooke Shields (seen here with daughter Grier Henchy) put postpartum depression in our common vernacular with the publication "Down Came the Rain" in 2005 — a memoir about her experiences with PPD and infertility. The former child actress and model put it all on the line when she talked about the difficulties she had conceiving her children and how, much to her surprise, after their births, she was struck with depression that was difficult to overcome. Thanks to Brooke's bravery, many other mothers were able to seek out help from their doctors and get treatment for this very common disorder.
To this day, a few aspects of motherhood still seemingly remain taboo for women to talk about. One in particular is the choice to give a child up for adoption. Actress and comedian Roseanne Barr refused to be shamed for her decision at age 17 in 1971 to put her first child, a girl named Brandi Brown (right), up for adoption. Although Roseanne claims she initially wanted to keep her child, she knew that as a single mother with no support, she had no way of providing the life her daughter deserved. Miraculously, 18 years and three children later, Brandi and Roseanne were reunited and have remained close ever since. The importance of Roseanne's story is that it allows society to discuss the other side of adoption and provide more support for women who make this often difficult decision.