By Isabel Jones
Updated: Sep 18, 2018 @ 2:16 pm
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Reese Witherspoon is not one to shy away from a challenge — be it starting her own production company and lifestyle brand, earning an Oscar before her 30th birthday, or raising three children while she maneuvers one of the heftiest careers in Hollywood (or Nashville, or wherever Reese damn well pleases).

Though her list of accomplishments is impressive, to say the least, the 42-year-old is the first to admit that having it all isn't easy — in fact, it's even a little scary. “If you’re not a little bit scared, you’re probably not livin,’” Witherspoon told the intimate crowd at Crate & Barrel’s “Four Extraordinary Women” panel discussion in N.Y.C. on Sunday evening.

Part of Reese’s motivation and struggle to change the industry — no matter how frightening a task — is her children.

instagram/reesewitherspoon

“There’s a mission at the heart of Hello Sunshine [Witherspoon's production company] that is so important to me, that comes from wanting my daughter to see herself, and her friends to see themselves, represented in media, in television,” the Draper James founder explained. “So I think that outweighs my fear. My drive to leave my business a better place is more important than how scared I am to fail.”

Of course, lending her voice and talents to such an important and time-consuming cause means she’s not as hands-on of a mom as she’d like to be.

“I don’t get to go to every school performance; I don’t get to go to every football game. Sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes it disappoints the kids, and sometimes they say heartbreaking things to me,” the mother of three admitted. “My 5-year-old said to me in the car, he said, ‘Why can’t you be more like Jimmy’s mom? Because she works but she still gets to pick him up after school.’ Ohh, it’s brutal!” Witherspoon recalled.

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“I remember how hard my mom worked, and how passionate she was, and that she was happy. She loved her work,” Reese shared. “I try to tell my children every day, ‘I love my job.’ I have a great job that I get to do, and sometimes it’s hard and I don’t get to see them with as much frequency, but the time I do have with them is so powerful and important, and I feel like I’m showing them a path that I would feel proud if they took it.”

What, like it’s hard?

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