American show host, writer, producer, and director, Busy Philipps, 40, has been very open about the triumphs and challenges that come with parenting her two daughters, Cricket and Birdie.
Since becoming a mother in 2008, the actress and host of Busy Tonight who is married to husband, Marc Silverstein has spoken about her adventures in sleep deprivation, discipline and#momfails.
Below are 18 honest parenting/motherhood quotes from Philipps.
On The Changes Of Parenthood
“I mean, it’s incomparable. [Motherhood] breaks you open in a way you never thought possible, and opens your heart and teaches you a love you never knew, but also the challenges are innumerous.
You know, so much of motherhood is doing motherhood. And it’s not just having children, it’s all of the work you have to do to have the children, and the mundane everyday tasks can wear a person down.
I think that people don’t understand until they have children, especially women and especially mothers ― and not taking anything away from fathers ― but there’s a part of your brain that is never allowed to shut down when you’re a mother. Because from the time the children are born, you’re always preoccupied with keeping them alive and happy and well fed.”
On Body Image
I’m able to intellectually appreciate the fact that my body has done a truly incredible thing, but I don’t love the extra skin. People say, ‘Wear it like a badge!’ Um, yeah, that doesn’t speak to me. I’d rather have a flat stomach. But for my girls, I want to lead by example.
Weighing myself wasn’t helpful for my mental state, so I stopped doing that a couple of years ago. Now, I just try to make healthy, balanced choices and don’t call any food ‘bad.’ My girls see me exercise, but they also see me eat nachos. I think both are important.
On ‘Having It All’
If you’re attempting to be a parent that is parenting AND working, it can be really stressful. And there are days where it feels like you’re failing your kids and you’re failing your job, or your killing it at your job and you’re failing your children, or you’re showing up for your kids but you miss your meetings.
It’s like a never ending cycle of trying to balance it. I think the idea of having it all is such bullshit. Like you can have all of it a little bit at a time, but you can’t just have all of it all of the time. I have a ton of help ― I’ve hired help. No one is an island and if they are, I’d like to meet them.
On Doing Your Best
At the end of the day, my girls are going to be in therapy. I get it. They’re going to have complaints. They’ll have notes. But my ultimate hope is that at some point, they’ll see me as a fierce, fearless badass who just wanted to entertain people and change the world.
That’s not going to happen anytime soon. This year, they’ll just be annoyed that I’m working so much, but maybe one day.
On Mom Wine Culture
This may be controversial, but I’m just going to say it: I’m so fucking over the culture of mommy wine and glasses that say ‘Mommy Juice.’ I hate it so much! You go to a preschool birthday party at 10 a.m., and it’s like, ‘Does anyone want a wine cooler?’ Um, no, girlfriend.
I want to make sure my daughter doesn’t fall off this play structure. It’s such a weird thing! And if you know me at all, you know I love a good margarita. I just don’t think the two things need to be tied together. I’m the best mom when I’m sober.
On Parenting Advice
I remember getting some advice when Birdie was a baby that just felt very unnatural to me about letting her cry or how long she should cry. That is one that I’m like, I know that other people have experience, but every experience is different and you just have to do what you feel is right. You just have to listen to yourself as a parent, you know?
On Mother’s Day Gifts
I wait for no one to buy me a gift. I have always subscribed to the treat yourself mentality and if there’s something that you want for Mother’s Day, you buy it yourself. I don’t think there’s anything wrong or shameful about buying yourself a gift and then handing it to your husband or your children to give to you.
That way at least you know you’re getting exactly what you want! … I don’t need a big swing and a miss. I wanna get what I wanna get. So yeah, I buy myself the chocolate, I buy myself the jewelry. And then it’ll just be wrapped perfectly and waiting for me. I sent Marc a bunch of links and I’m sure I’ll get something.
On The Myth Of Perfect Parenting
I just think that there is no one way and no right way. I think we are moving to a place where people are sort of acknowledging that, but these messages come to moms all the time.
You have to breastfeed your baby for five years or she isn’t going to have a good immune system. You have to potty train by this age. You have to stop bottles by this age. There is not one prescription that makes the perfect mom. I think we can dispel that myth. You have to do what is right for you and what is right for your family.
I’ve always struggled with anxiety, but I had intense postpartum anxiety after first becoming a mom. We were broke. We couldn’t afford a sitter. We didn’t have family available to help. And I couldn’t get a job, because I was told I was overweight. I felt isolated.
It was just me and Birdie, and I became paralyzed by fear that something would happen to her. … I still had horrible anxiety when I was pregnant with Cricket. I’d convinced myself she was going to be stillborn and that I was carrying a dead baby.
I wasn’t telling anyone about it, either — not my therapist, not Marc, not my friends. Finally, I had a full-blown panic attack, at which point Marc got it out of me. And as soon as I said the words, I knew it wasn’t true. It was my Oprah ‘aha’ moment.
You can get trapped in these cycles of anxiety, and as soon as you give voice to your fears, you alleviate their pain and pressure. Now, when I’m going through things, I remember to talk about them. I don’t want to be a pretty girl wearing an anxiety necklace. I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about my anxiety in a real way. You have to be open and honest.
On Keeping It Real
I think there was sort of a trend for a minute going in the direction of wanting everything to be Pinterest perfect and you want to be able to Instagram your children’s lunches in the morning. Hopefully, there is a little bit of a trend toward being realistic about those things.
If I am ever able to make my child’s lunch look like I should photograph it, I will photograph it ― for sure ― but that has not happened yet. I think the trend is leaning a little bit more towards being realistic about what it is to be a mom. We are all just doing our best, and everything that you do with your kid is not going to end up being Instagram-able.”
On Parenting In The Me Too Era
“I think that given the events of the last year and with the #MeToo movement, I’m really encouraged by the change that has begun, and I hope it continues. I think that they’re going to benefit from being raised in a time where, hopefully, they won’t have to deal with some of the things that, you know, my generation (or, obviously, older generations) have dealt with.
Also, I guess this might get heavy or whatever, but also, I mean in terms of consent, [I’m discussing] what that means. And I am hopeful that, like, my friends who are raising boys are also working toward raising different kinds of men.
I mean, in a way, weirdly, my husband and I talk about how I’m not saying we have the easier job, but we definitely have a more clearly defined job right now in terms of raising young girls who are going to become awesome women.
I think that the road becomes a little bit trickier to navigate when we see some of our friends who are raising boys. It’s hard. It’s hard, and I think that it has to be a conversation that everyone is a part of.”
On Sleep Struggles
We have a non-sleep-trained 10-year-old, which is emotionally exhausting. Birdie’s little brain just won’t turn off. We’ve tried everything: meditation, meditation apps, therapy. Your job as a parent is to put your own shit aside so you can deal with your child’s, but her refusal to go to sleep every night was very triggering for me.
I wanted to yell, ‘Snap out of it!’ So, Marc took over bedtime with Birdie. He’d say, ‘Busy, I got this. I’ll do it every night.’ And he did. I was always sort of embarrassed about her sleep. But once I started talking about it, other parents would tell me, ‘Oh, our son wakes up with us every morning.’ Once I let that shame go, it became easier to manage.
On Mom Fails
I forget stuff for the kids’ schools a lot. I miss the emails and the memos. A lot of times I am the mom that shows up the day after with the 10 cans for the can drive. My biggest fail last year was that we missed Cricket’s preschool violin recital, which was in the middle of the day on a random Thursday ― the email had gone out, and I totally forgot.
When I picked her up from school, it wasn’t even that she was sad, she was just heartbroken. She said all the other moms and dads were there. I started crying, I mean I couldn’t help it. I was like, I am so sorry I have no excuse other than I was legitimately at Sugar Fish eating sushi, that is the best I can do for you at this moment, I don’t know what else to tell you!
It is important to give your kids that individualized attention, while also making time for your marriage and for yourself. I have had moments where I’ve felt like, I’m going to feel a little guilty if I don’t put the baby down for her nap today, but I really need to go to that spin class.
And that’s good for my health and my mental well-being, so I think the nanny can put her down for her nap and I’m going to be OK with that. You have to make those kinds of decisions every day.
We’re flailing in the dark when it comes to discipline. Nothing works! Birdie is a child for whom no consequence is great enough. I’ll say, ‘If you do that, I’ll take away TV for a week.’
You know what she counters? ‘Fine.’ Or I’ll say, ‘Then no playdates,’ and she’s like, ‘OK.’ And then who have I backed into a corner? Me! So, we don’t really do punishments. The only thing that works sometimes is rewards.
On The Best Parenting Moments
Those moments of parenting that all parents have where you’re just like, I made this person that is so weird, cool, funny, and fundamentally just understands how the world works in a way I never will. That and also Cricket is really big right now, she is 4 and that is just the most delicious age to me.
She is really into hugging and kissing at the same time, and every time we do it, I can’t contain how much I love it. I love it so much. So she like gives you this big hug and kisses really hard on the mouth in a way that is passionate. She is very passionate about her hugs and kisses. She is really cute.
On Winging It
I call myself the all-over-the-place, doesn’t-have-a-plan mom. Is that a parenting philosophy? On a daily basis, I’m just trying to hold it together. Our family has no absolute rules about screen time or sugar or anything. I mean, Marc and I were raised that way, and we turned out fine.
On Mom Friends
Lots of my friends are having babies now, and so I’m like Old Lady Glamour in the corner, smoking a figurative cigarette, signaling, ‘Come over here, kid. I’ll tell you all about preschools.’
I really value my mom friends who have kids the same ages as mine. When I feel like I’m truly failing for whatever reason, one of them offers perspective. She’ll admit, ‘I told my kid that she was a horrible person!’ And I’m thinking, ‘Oh, I feel better. I only flipped mine off.’