The actress, model, and New York Times best-selling author says it’s time to stop bullying moms about their parenting decisions. Her new book, Everyday Chic, is out October 10 and available for pre-order now.
I’m the proud owner of a minivan. It’s a big, white Chrysler Pacifica with automatic sliding doors—my kids call it “The Stormtrooper.” I remember the first time I drove it to pick up my son, Brooks, from school and thought, “Oh my god, I’m that mom in a minivan.” And sure enough, the other moms made fun of me. I even dressed up so I didn’t look schlumpy.
Mom-shaming is a real thing. You’ve got the working moms, the moms who go to lunch, the single moms. Everyone notices who dresses up and doesn’t dress up. It becomes the mommy wars: Do you breastfeed or do you not breastfeed? What stroller do you use? What stroller do you not use? The pickup and drop-off at school is a real danger area.
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The thing that bothers me the most is that men aren't nearly as hard on men as women are on women. I’m a real girl’s girl—people call me a connector in that way. I love giving out information, whether it be an amazing beauty product or a kid’s lunchbox. So I have a little bit of a problem when other moms are judgy. I prefer to play on the same team. Being a woman is hard enough. It takes a village. And you have to be careful who you let into that village.
I get self-conscious all of the time. If I’m carrying my baby, Grey, in a Babybjörn, I’m thinking, “If someone’s going to take a picture, do I have it too low? Do I have it too high?” Sometimes I carry him in just one arm and I can’t let the paparazzi see that because people will start saying that I’m going to drop him. Those kind of thoughts come into my head all the time. You get over it, but it’s exhausting.
I think certain women, when they see someone with a lot going on who seems like they have it all together, they mom-shame out of their own insecurities. People think they’re not doing enough, or they’re doing too much. These days, everything has to be eco-friendly, non-GMO, non-diary ... it’s a lot to live up to.
But we’re all trying to make it work. My baby might not be as smart as yours because I didn’t breastfeed, but so what? It’s important to be understanding. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. You don’t always know their situation. We have to band together and give each other a break.
So what if you bought the carrots? If you didn’t pick them and grow them and cut them, who cares?
By the way, now I’ve got two minivans, one on the east coast and one on the west coast. And I f—cking love them.
As told to Claire Stern.