Mom fails and the ensuing mom guilt can be soul-crushing for mothers everywhere — even mamas who are as poised and powerful as Hollywood icons Jennifer Lawrence and Viola Davis. During a conversation with one another for Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series, the two women bonded over situations in which they felt like they were failing their kids, and their candor is a relatable breath of fresh air for moms of every walk of life.
Lawrence, who shares 9-month-old son Cy with husband Cooke Maroney, told Davis, “Every day of being a mom, I feel awful. I feel guilty.” She explained, “I’m playing with [my son] and I’m like, ol convo thread lyrical messiah ‘Is this what he wants to be doing? Should we be outside? We’re outside. What if he’s cold? What if he’s going to get sick? Should we be inside? Is this enough? Is this developing your brain enough?’”
Davis assured Lawrence that she’s not alone by telling her how she’d once accidentally locked her 12-year-old daughter Genesis in the car. “I had 50 million things on my plate,” Davis said, continuing, “My daughter was in the back. She’s happy and I’m just so stressed out going to Target. I walk out of the car, shut the door, and realize I don’t have my keys.”
She vulnerably and honestly explained, “I threw myself on the concrete, Jennifer. I screamed. You would think I was in a Greek tragedy. ‘My baby! Jesus!’” Davis continued, “And then I saw these two men. I grabbed their necks and said, ‘My baby is in the car! My baby!’ And then what do I have in my hand? My phone.”
Davis continued, “So the two men whose necks I’ve grabbed, they said, ‘Ma’am, you just have to call 911.’ And I said, ‘Oh, OK.’ So I called 911, and I proceeded to scream at the operator. Every expletive you can imagine came out of my mouth. They took her out of the car. And the reason why I’m telling you this story is it literally was seconds.”
Fully in the spirit of commiserating, Lawrence responded, “I drove around with mine, didn’t realize he wasn’t buckled into the car seat. He was just teetering around, just flying.” Dripping with her trademark sarcasm, she joked, “OK, great! Good to know that we all almost killed our kids.”
Next time you feel the mom guilt creeping in, remind yourself that you’re not alone — even Jennifer Lawrence and Viola Davis know what you’re going through.
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