Wisdom//

Jennifer Lopez and Other Celebrities On How They Embraced Self-Care After Having Kids

These powerful women put themselves first to be better parents.

Kevin Mazur / Contributor / Getty Images
Kevin Mazur / Contributor / Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez recently opened up to Harper’s Bazaar about how motherhood made her put her own self-care regimen under the microscope, saying, “Once I had kids, I realized that I had to be better and do better. Not just for them but for myself. There’s something about being responsible for another human being that makes you go, ‘Okay, what am I doing for myself? How can I take care of someone else if I can’t even take care of myself? How can I teach them how they should be treated if I allow people to treat me in a way that’s not nice? How can I teach them to be hard workers if I’m not working hard?’ I started examining myself from all different angles.”

The Second Act star previously shared how she learned to be in a healthy relationship with herself before she could thrive in her relationship with Alex Rodriguez, and it’s clear that Lopez continues to invest in her own well-being as a parent. Here are some other powerful mothers who’ve done the same.

Mindy Kaling lets go of “mom guilt”

The actress told InStyle last April how this technique also helps her prioritize her career. “I’ve had to learn to release myself from mom guilt at least a couple times a day… That’s been a big one for me,” Kaling said. “I’m also learning to feel better about asking for help, whether it’s from family or hiring help. It’s not profound, but I love my career and I don’t want to make myself feel bad about pursuing both. Just cutting myself some slack has been very helpful for me.” Kaling shows that working parents can find success at home and in their careers without being too hard on themselves.

Debra Messing knows when to sit it out

The actress told PopSugar how she’s learned to take breaks when her son wants to play. “Roman just has boundless energy. When he was 6, I thought, ‘My God. He’s going to start to slow down.’ But he just keeps getting more and more energized, so [the challenge is] just really keeping up with him and being able to have the physical energy to stay present with him after working all day. You know, in an ideal world I would be fresh as a daisy and have energy to play soccer inside the house. He plays hockey inside the house and he’s like, ‘Mom, come on! Come on!’ Sometimes I’m just too tired to do it, but I’ll say, ‘I’ll watch you.'” Messing may not physically run around with her son every time he’s playing, but she’s still able to share the experience with him.

Hoda Kotb embraces gratitude in the early hours

The TODAY co-host, who didn’t think she’d have kids before she adopted her now-toddler daughter, Haley Joy, told Arianna Huffington about how she remains thankful on the Thrive Global Podcast last year. “When I open my eyes, every single morning, I’m happy, because I have a baby in the other room and I have a boyfriend next to me… It’s just a feeling, like you open your eyes and you’re like: ‘Wait, I get her, and I get him?’” Taking a moment to reflect on what brings you joy can help set you up for success.

Jennifer Garner gives herself permission to start over

“The absolute [greatest] thing about being a parent is that every day is a fresh start… You always can say, ‘Today we’re going to try this!’ And if it goes horribly, you can say, ‘Today we’re throwing that out, and we’re trying this!’ That’s part of what I like about being a mom in general,” the actress told PEOPLE. When it comes to her kids, Garner knows not let one bad day stress her out.

Jessica Alba demonstrates body positivity for her daughters

The actress and entrepreneur told Arianna Huffington about the importance of being a positive role model for her two daughters on the Thrive Global Podcast. “I don’t look at my body critically in front of them… I know they’re watching me, and even if I say something, if they see their mom treat herself a certain way, then that’s going to be their reality,” she said. This is a win-win: Alba makes an effort to be kind to her body while showing her daughters that they should also value theirs in the same ways.

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Jennifer Lopez (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images via Getty Images) // Ariana Grande (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Billboard) // Michelle Obama (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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