No two stay-at-home parents have the exact same story, but a surprising number of A-list actresses have gone on a similar trajectory when they have kids. Over the years, some of Hollywood’s hottest leading ladies have opted to turn a corner when they became moms for the first time, turning down movie roles they previously would have leapt at and finding that nothing felt quite as fulfilling as being home with their kids for all the little moments. One other things these actresses typically have in common? The financial means to make the decision to become a stay-at-home mom if they wanted to — and moms including Eva Mendes, Jennifer Garner, and Demi Moore all found at one point or another that they did want to.
For every example of a celebrity mom who slowed her workload way down, however, there’s another famous mom who’s rushed back right away, fearing they’d become irrelevant or develop a reputation for being difficult. Megan Fox spoke more about this phenomenon on The Kelly Clarkson Show, where host Clarkson was all too familiar with the struggles she described too.
Fox described the new mom pressure in Hollywood as so intense, she found herself thinking about weight she needed to lose midway through delivering one of her three sons: “I had to be on a TV show. So in your brain, you’re delivering, and I’m like, ‘OK, well I’ve got to lose 30 pounds in eight weeks,'” she shared. “Those things are really stressful, and you’re supposed to be bonding, and nurturing yourself, and nourishing your baby. That creates a lot of tension and a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety for us to go back to work too early.”
With that in mind, we can understand more than ever why moms like Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore weren’t rushing back to movie sets after welcoming their babies — and why so many of these celebs-turned-stay-at-home-moms emphasize their gratitude at being able to do this above all else.
Read on for more moms who took a break from Hollywood when their kids arrived, and why.