“Can women have it all?” I hear that question all the time. And I hate when people ask it. Because when they do, it implies they think women aren’t capable of accomplishing something. As if every woman needs assistance. “Wow, you have kids, a husband and a career? Wow, you’re a unicorn. Wow, there aren’t many people out there like you.”
The sad part about it is even I used to believe I couldn’t have kids if I wanted to maintain a career in Hollywood. For years, I put off the having-children conversation with my husband. But I gave in eventually, when realized I wanted a big family and I couldn’t go against time.
I reconnected recently with my old friend, Ty Hunter, who’s styled Beyonce for the past 17 years. We remembered having dinner in Dubai three years ago. I was throwing up at the dinner and terrified that I might be pregnant. After I complained for hours that I couldn’t deal with a pregnancy and that a baby could be the end of my career, Ty looked at me and said, “If Beyonce can have a baby and do world tours, then so can you.” And I paused. Suddenly, it made sense to me. Because it was true: Beyonce did have a baby and performed for millions of people all around the world. If Beyonce could do it, why couldn’t I?
Three months later, I got knocked up. And motherhood’s been one of the most amazing things that’s ever happened to me. Having children hasn’t stopped my career; it’s actually opened up new avenues for me. Not that you should use kids to advance your career, but being a mom hasn’t stopped opportunities for me. Yet I was programmed to believe that my life would be over after having kids.
Having kids hasn’t gotten in the way of my marriage either. It’s made my marriage richer.
It’s shown me the world and my work in a different light. What a shame that, when I was growing up, there weren’t many women on television who did what I’m doing and had kids too.
Now it’s a different time, thanks to people like Jessica Alba, who proves that you can act, be an entrepreneur and build an empire. Kim Kardashian proves daily that you can have kids and still look just as good in your 30s as you did in your 20s. Just because you’re a mother doesn’t mean you can’t be sexy. In fact, it’s the opposite. Because when you look your best, you feel your best. That in itself will make you a better mom, because you’ll be in a good mood.
I look in awe at a woman like Victoria Beckham, who has four kids, is a wife and runs her own fashion label. Victoria is a big inspiration for me because she’s successful and is open about how she likes to be very present in her kids’ lives. She once told the Sunday Times Style that, despite her busy working life, her children always take priority. She revealed that she and husband David Beckham haven’t ever missed a parents’ evening or a sports day.
I had a “Kylie Jenner moment” recently when I was criticized for attending Coachella. I attend Coachella every year with my friends. It’s my Christmas and my Disneyland in one, and something I look forward to every year. When I was there this year, a publicist who works with some amazing mom entrepreneurs came up to me while I was watching Cardi B perform — Cardi was six months pregnant with Kulture at the time, by the way — and said, “Why are you here? Didn’t you just have a baby?” He went on to call me a ”bad mom.”
I was upset at first. But then I realized this person just doesn’t know any better. This person doesn’t know what it’s like to not sleep for months because of a newborn. This person doesn’t know what I struggle with each day dealing with two kids under 3 years old as well as running a company. All this person knows is what he’s been programmed to think: Moms shouldn’t have fun. It’s sad that he thinks that. It’s sad that he, a publicist who represents well-known working mothers, would judge me as a bad mom because I took two days off to be with my friends.
Of course women can have it all! But part of what makes that possible is for women to support other women and to educate those who don’t know any better.
So let’s keep the conversations going and keep educating. We women have superpowers. And we can have it all. Because if we can give life to a child, then we can do anything.