What It Means to Be a Mom

Jessica Alba, Mindy Grossman and other "outstanding mothers" discuss one of life's hardest jobs.

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Jessica Alba

Photo By Thomas Iannaccone

Mindy Grossman

Photo By Thomas Iannaccone

Mother’s Day is around the corner and some of the industry’s hardest-working moms are getting some well-deserved recognition. At the Outstanding Mother Awards in New York on Thursday, organized by the National Mother’s Day Committee, four honorees weighed in on balancing a family and career, and how they planned to celebrate on Sunday.

JESSICA ALBA, actress, co-founder of the Honest Company
On balancing a career and being a mom:
“I always feel like I’m compromising something. But at the end of the day, my kids’ happiness is all that really matters. As long as they’re happy, my mind is freed up.”
Advice for new moms: “One of my girlfriends told me when I was pregnant with my first that you have to have the baby on a sleeping schedule, and it saved my life. I could be a human again. You can get stuff done or hang out with your husband. I think that was the key to sanity and sleep.”
Mother’s Day plans: “[We’ll] watch whatever we’ve TiVo’d or DVR’d and just hang out.”

On balancing a career and being a mom:
“There are so many facets to being a mother. Especially in this world, you can have a career, a family and other interests, but it comes down to being able to have everything in concert, which makes it challenging and fulfilling at the same time.”
Advice for new moms: “Realize there’s no such thing as perfect. Don’t let yourself feel guilty; always make the decision you think is right for the time, for your family and yourself. Always put your family first, but realize you can’t control everything; you can just do your best.”
Mother’s Day plans: “My daughter, husband and I are all playing golf together in the morning, then [having] brunch. In the evening, we’re going with a group of my daughter’s friends and their mothers to see an outdoor performance in Florida of the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show.’”

GAYLE KING, co-host of “CBS This Morning;” editor-at-large, O, The Oprah Magazine
On balancing a career and being a mom:
“If you talked to 10 mothers, you’re going to get 10 different answers on how to balance [a career and a family]. There isn’t an easy answer. You make mistakes along the way, but you do the best you can.”
Advice for new moms: “Maya Angelou always said when you know better, you do better. If you drop the ball, don’t beat yourself up. Just do better the next time.”
Mother’s Day plans: “My son is working in Shanghai, so he’s not coming. I’m very proud of him though. My daughter is in Washington, D.C., so she’s coming over. She didn’t tell me what we’re doing. I just know she’s coming, and that’s all that matters. I don’t care if we just sit around the apartment.”

On balancing a career and being a mom:
“Being a mother is the most wonderful thing in the world. It’s a privilege to learn from my mother and grandmother to try to raise our daughters. It’s so rewarding.”
Advice for new moms: “Enjoy every minute because children grow up way too fast. Before you know it, they’ll be older and you’ll have missed a lot. So just remember everything.”
Mother’s Day plans: “We’re celebrating here [today] because my daughters are older and they’re both working. The best gift of all was having my whole family with me here today.”

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