"I didn't know how to balance work and motherhood."


It's easy to forget that Reese Witherspoon went from starlet to serious actress right before our very eyes — and that included becoming a mom. During an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show, Witherspoon explained that when she added that specific title to her résumé, like many new moms, she was completely unprepared and overwhelmed. She managed, however, somehow balancing being a mother to her kids, Ava (21 years old), Deacon Phillippe (16), and Tennessee (7), while being an actor, producer, and entrepreneur. 

"I got pregnant when I was 22 years old," she told Barrymore. "And I didn't know how to balance work and motherhood. You just do it, you know?"

There was a lot be worried about when she was still starting out, Witherspoon explained. At 22, she wasn't an established actor and was still going from job to job. Well, we all know how that worked out, but as a new mom, it was something that stressed her out.

"I'd made movies but I hadn't, you know, established myself as someone who could demand that it shoot close to my kids' school or, you know, I didn't have any real power, leverage within my industry," she said. "I was just like every other mom trying to figure it out — and dad out there, and partner, and grandparent who's raising a child."

Looking back on her path to motherhood, Witherspoon says she wouldn't change anything at all, noting that her proudest achievement isn't the Oscar she won for Walk the Line, it's that she gets to be a mom to her kids.

"You take the food out of your mouth, the clothes off your back, the sleep out of your life," she finished. "But every bit of it — every bit of that sacrifice is truly worth it because you feel like that's what makes me wake up on a Sunday. It's not movies or my job, it's my kids."