If You’ve Ever Wondered How High-Profile Moms ‘Do It All,’ Here’s Your Answer

“There is no way I could work the way I do … and still try to be the mom I want to be without it,” one CEO said.

Celebrity moms seem to have more hours in their day than the rest of us. They appear to be loving parents with highly successful careers and tidy homes. Somehow they manage to find time for socializing and self-care, too.

You wonder how you’re barely holding it together while these moms are getting it all done — and then some. There’s an essential but under-discussed key to their success at home and at work: great child care.

Recently, a few high-profile mom have peeled back the curtain to bring this conversation to light. Stars like Chrissy TeigenBusy Philipps and Kaley Cuoco thanked their nannies and other caregivers on social media for allowing them to work and be the kind of parent they strive to be.

“Grateful for all the people who make it possible for me to be the best mother I can possibly be,” Teigen wrote on Instagram on Mother’s Day. “I am endlessly thankful for your presence in this home and all our lives. we love you.”

The same day Philipps wrote: “I wouldn’t have made it this far as a mom and a human without the incredible women who’ve helped me show up for my kids as my best self. Their love and care for my kids has allowed me to go to work and travel with the knowledge that the two humans most important to me will be taken care of.”

Danielle Weisberg, co-founder and co-CEO of the digital media company theSkimm, shared a similar message in a June 5 Instagram post, writing that without her “fantastic” child care, “There is no way I could work the way I do — the hours, travel, mental space, stress, etc. — and still try to be the mom I want (/try) to be.”

Her family’s support system includes a nanny they adore, relatives who live nearby and a part-time babysitter on the weekends. In the post, Weisberg called her care team “the backbone of my ability to work and still feel like a human (on good days).”

Weisberg was inspired to talk about this after one of her followers commented, “I don’t know how you do it all,” in response to a picture she posted of her sons watching her on the “Today” show.

“It hit me. I wasn’t transparently sharing what my day-to-day really looks like because if I did there’s no way they could think that I was doing it all,” Weisberg told HuffPost. “I certainly don’t feel like I am. The truth is no one can do it all. And I certainly don’t want to perpetuate the myth that you can or feel like you should have to.”

It’s impossible to have a discussion about child care in the U.S. without talking about the exorbitant cost. Child care is a necessity for working parents, but many cannot afford it, which pushes people (mostly women) out of the workforce. And yet child care providers are “incredibly underpaid and undervalued,” as Stephanie Schmit, a child care expert at the Center for Law and Social Policy, told The New York Times.

Recent proposed federal legislation included funding for child care costs, paid family leave and universal pre-kindergarten. But those provisions were cut from the final bill.

Though some companies offer backup child care, on-site day care and strong parental leave policies, these benefits are the exception, not the rule. More support for families is needed.

Why Being Transparent About Child Care Matters

In the comments on Teigen’s, Philipps’ and Weisberg’s posts, many women wrote how grateful they were to see caregivers being recognized for the integral yet often behind-the-scenes role they play in families.

Amber Noelle, a career nanny and host of the podcast “A Nanny’s Life,” told HuffPost that these posts make her “unbelievably proud.”

“On one hand, I’m immensely proud of the work we do to both support and empower parents through parenthood,” Noelle said. “More importantly, I am so proud of parents who are transparent enough to acknowledge that raising tiny humans requires a village.”

Highly visible parents opening up about what it takes to keep their households running helps to “normalize asking for help, hiring support and delegating some responsibilities,” Noelle said.

Allison S. Gabriel is a professor at Purdue University’s Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. School of Business who studies women in the workplace. She said being transparent about child care arrangements “is so critical to help make the invisible visible.”

“Often we look to high status or successful people with families, and we may have a knee-jerk reaction that they are just superhuman and able to do it all,” she told HuffPost. “But the reality is it takes a lot of support to raise a family and develop one’s career.”

But The Onus To Talk About Child Care Shouldn’t Be On Women

Historically, moms have been the ones tasked with care-taking duties. And even women who work outside the home today are usually responsible for figuring out child care arrangements.

Moms are also the ones expected to be forthcoming about the support they have. This is a double standard, given that men also benefit from the child care providers in their lives.

“It is fantastic that women are giving recognition to their care teams, but it is often because we still have societal norms where we ask questions of women such as, ‘Who watches your kids when you’re working?’ or ‘How can you juggle work and family?’ Gabriel said.

“We often don’t ask these questions of men, despite the fact that they are likely to also be benefiting from having support behind the scenes,” she added.

Carly Zakin, Weisberg’s business parter at theSkimm, pointed to an article she read recently with a headline “that insinuated women were hiding the fact that they have help — from nannies to housekeepers to chefs,” she told HuffPost.

“And I had this reaction that this is something you’d never call men out for. Because historically they have leaned on their wives to handle all the child care and housekeeping responsibilities. It really made us stop and think about how women have been shamed and made to feel guilty if they can’t handle balancing their careers with having a family and managing the household.”

It’s not that women are hiding the support they have, Zakin said, “it’s because no one’s talking about it.”

Moms are often caught in this double-bind. Either they try to manage work, kids and the household stuff on their own and end up totally overwhelmed, or they get support and feel guilty that they couldn’t hack it alone.

Weisberg said she’s been on both sides of the equation.

“I have fallen into two buckets. The first is not having enough of the right support or resources and then feeling the overwhelming weight of responsibility and anxiety because of it,” she said. “The other is feeling guilty or ashamed of the amount of support that I have and then feeling like I’m not doing it all and I’m cheating. Neither of these are good. And it’s not what I want others to feel.”

For change to happen, it’s crucial for dads to be a part of the child care conversation, too.

“The more women and men talk about the complexities of child care — and how challenging it can be — the better,” Gabriel said, in order to “nudge organizations” to offer much-needed child care support for their employees.

Weisberg and Zakin are hoping to start an open dialogue about child care within their community and beyond.

“We need it as a society, and it hasn’t been made accessible,” they said. “The more transparent we all are, the more we can stop feeling guilty for needing help and start seeing that for women to stay in the workplace, it’s largely unsustainable unless we have some type of child care support.”

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