Exclusive: Katherine Heigl Talks Motherhood & Happy Endingsby ModernMom Staff
ModernMom was delighted at the opportunity to interview the intelligent and beautiful Katherine Heigl! And the feeling was mutual. Katherine made sure to mention how ModernMom and mommy sites like ours are so important because we create a community of moms.
In fact, that's one of the reasons Katherine took on the role of Holly in her latest flick, "Life As We Know It." The film is about two single adults who become caregivers to an orphaned toddler when their mutual best friends die in an accident. Katherine believes this movie is so relatable to all parents who can watch it and say "hey, we're not alone."
And as for any critics who bash the movie, Katherine says, "I am proud of it. Yes, there's a formula. Yes, there's a happy ending. But it's a story that has moments that parents can relate to on some level or another. I love a happy ending. Life is hard enough. Not everything turns out the way we hope it would. But I love being a part of a movie that creates that - a happy ending. I can walk away feeling inspired and hopeful about relationships and motherhood."
Katherine even admits that "Life As We Know It" is the project she is most passionate about. "I sacrificed the early days of motherhood to do this movie. But I love the director and the character and story we told...It related to my life at the moment."
So, we asked Katherine if she ever felt overwhelmed and confused about parenthood, just like Holly. "I did. But the more I felt like I could keep control of her schedule, what diapers to use...I felt like I was more in control as a mother. Of course, 50% of what you plan on goes out the window and you have to scramble. I used to wonder, how do I know if I am doing this right or if I am going to scar my child's life?" We share the same sentiment!
We also asked Katherine about her decision to adopt her daughter, Naleigh. "My older sister is Korean and she's always been a part of my life. I always knew that would be a part of what my family was going to look like," said Katherine. She sat down with her hubby long before they got married to make sure they were on the same page. "I am going to adopt a baby," she told him. "Are you down with that?" And as for the whole adopting process, "it was a lengthy process," she said. "because you're just dying to get that baby in your arms. But I'm sure that's typical for anybody having a baby -- adopting or not." But one thing Katherine particularly liked about the adoption process was the massive questionnaire the agency individually gave to her and her husband, Josh Kelley. Seriously! "The questionnaire included questions about preferred parenting styles, what we didn't like when we were growing up...I think every parent should do this! It was a great conversation starter and a way to get on the same page and learn what compromises to make together."
After the lengthy adoption process and all the waiting, when it was finally time to meet her daughter, the one whose picture she had been carrying around for months, Katherine admits, "it was so surreal. But also I felt sheer panic. We were both like a deer in headlights. It was the most exciting and terrifying moment of my life."
So, how does she manage to do it all? Katherine says, "You can have it all. You can be a mom and be passionate about a career, too. It's important for all working moms to know it's ok and there are going to be times when you sacrifice at work to be more active your child's life. Then there's times you sacrifice an aspect of motherhood for a career you're passionate about. Understand one way or another: it's going to hurt. It's not always a picnic or a happily-ever-after outcome. Something will have to give a little bit."
But, career and child go hand in hand. Katherine says that being a mom has made her feel "like a more complete person. I can love myself more because I have my child to inspire me."
And finally we asked Katherine about the most surprising thing about motherhood. She said, "Well, at this moment, it's the confidence I finally feel I have in being a mom. I'm so grateful that I've evolved to a place where it's become more innate. I'm sure I'll fail and make mistakes, but I know for certain I'll never fail in loving her and doing right by her."
And after our wonderful interview with Katherine, we kind of fell in love too! Katherine tells it like it is and well, we love that about her.