Imagine yourself as a toddler, child, adolescent, and teen. If you’ve already been there, remember your college and early workforce years. Remember the temper tantrums, arguments about vegetables and dress code, the fight after the first time you broke the rules at 16, whether or not you needed to clean your room, abide by curfew, and the expectations for strong grades and a solid social reputation. And then think about the parents who put up with it.
If that wasn’t enough of a challenge, imagine them acting as your caretaker, idol, enemy, source of discipline, and personal ATM all in the public eye. In the lives of celebrity parents, it’s an understatement to call that “pressure.” Yet there are always the respected few who parent successfully, with minimal criticisms and relatively normal children. Here are TheCelebrityCafe.com’s favorite public parents:
10. Jennifer Garner – You know her for her roles in 13 Going on 30, Juno, Valentine’s Day and Alias, but these days she’s taken a step out of the spotlight to focus on raising her three children. According to a poll on BabyCenter.com, Garner is a favorite “ideal celebrity mom” based on her family priorities and absence from the tabloids. TodaysParent.com also named her “Celebrity Mom of the Year” in 2012.
9. Angelina Jolie – She may be controversial, but you can’t deny her generosity and dedication to parenting. She and husband Brad Pitt have six kids at home – three of whom are adopted. They’ve also donated countless millions to causes such as UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, Women in the World, UNHCR and the ONE campaign. Their secret to keeping the family close? “We have dinner together every night. No video games at the table, and mom and dad have to turn their phones off,” Jolie said, according to iVillage
8. Sarah Michelle Gellar – Or, as of 2007, Sarah Michelle Prinze. She has two children with Freddie Prinze Jr., advocates and donates to causes like breast cancer research and Habitat for Humanity, and keeps her private life private. She even credits her healthy lifestyle to firstborn, Charlotte. “We’ve already taught her to love healthy food…we go to the farmer’s market and put everything in the juicer. Now we’ve all been drinking it, and we’ve all been healthier,” she gushed (CelebrityBabyScoop). Can’t complain about a cycle like that!
7. Alyson Hannigan – Maybe there was something in the water on set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but Gellar’s co-star Hannigan also glows with the joy of parenting. Whether on set of How I Met Your Mother, or somewhere with husband Alexis Denisof, she’s clearly a doting and patient mom. “[Motherhood] is just the greatest thing ever!” she said to CelebrityBabyScoop.com. “There are so many cherished moments in every day.”
6. Jillian Michaels – Since going public with fiancée Heidi Rhoades two years ago, Michaels has called the transition to motherhood “magical, meaningful, rewarding…and chaotic” (Parenting.com). She makes our list based on her confidence, healthy lifestyle, and endless ability to find a silver lining when there are struggles. “I have accepted that a part of me had died [after motherhood began],” she said. “But another part of me was being born. My kids are remaking me into a stronger, more selfless woman – a woman I can be proud of.”
5. Beyoncé – While Blue Ivy is a debatable name, Queen B is not a debatable title. She owns the stage, the dance floor, and she is one hell of a fierce (Get it? As in “Sasha Fierce?) mama. She explained to Vogue that, “I feel like I have something that has grounded me so much more…she’s my best friend.” Not to mention that she’s not afraid to breast feed in public, is currently assisting in campaigns against gun violence, and she never fails to put baby Blue’s privacy ahead of everything else.
4. Jessica Alba – She has two daughters, a successful producer husband (Cash Warren), and a spotless reputation. Alba knows that her work affects her family, and that her family comes first. She strictly enforces a “please and thank you” rule, and vegetables are a regular part of the family diet. She’s also been publicly applauded for her belief that moms should never judge one another. “Everyone is trying to do the best they can,” she said. “When you become a mom, the last thing you want to do is feel judged” (I’m Not Obsessed.
3. Michelle Williams – Despite the very public loss of late ex Heath Ledger, Williams has managed to keep the life of her children private and productive. She told Hobo Magazine, “The question I’m always asking…How do I live my life in and work in a way that makes me the best parent I can be? I think it’s the ultimate creative act.” She even want as far as to explain that she prefers avoiding Los Angeles because the paparazzi disrupts what she wants her children to be exposed to. Avoiding one of the biggest cities in entertainment for your kids? That’s commitment.
2. Kate Hudson – Penny Lane no more, miss Hudson smoothly transitioned from her band-aid acting days into the role of motherhood. She was listed sixth out of Kid Spot’s “Top 50 Celebrity Moms,” and told People that, “I’m in the phase of my life right now where I hear ‘Mom’ all the time. I love it, but you start tuning out 100 ‘Moms’ a day – [you learn to listen] for the right ‘Mom.” She also gleefully says that sons Ryder (11) and Bing (almost 2) keep her down to earth, and that there’s nobody she’d rather spend time with than her parents, fiancée Matthew Bellamy, and the boys.
1. Michelle Obama – Nothing compares with the chaos of simultaneously acting as the United States’ first lady as well as a mother of two young girls. Michelle is known for her iconic style, as well as healthy national initiatives and down-to-earth relationship with the President. However, she always puts her responsibilities as a parent first by making sure Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, work hard and stay humble. No presidential pardons here.