Emotional Wellbeing

Scarlett Johansson on Motherhood: I’m Barely Holding It Together.

This week actress Scarlett Johansson admitted to the world that as a mum and working woman she’s really struggling. With guilt. With being everywhere. With being nowhere.

And real mums across the world nodded in agreement.

Being Mum is one of the best jobs in the world, right? Sure, the hours are hideous and the pay is lousy (well, non-existent) but raising a lovely little human is pretty damn rewarding, so we happily sign up for the long-haul.

But, usually, we’ve still got plenty of other stuff going on too. And we know love ain’t enough to pay the bills, so there’s work. Working. And Mumming.

Then we strive for some sort of balance. And herein the problem lies, dear friends.

Now Scarlett Johansson – gorgeous, talented, mega-rich movie star – has recently piped up about the difficulties of being a working mum. With two-year-old daughter Rose in tow and amid reports her marriage has broken down, Johansson talked about the struggle to balance motherhood with everything else. And, for sure, we were intrigued.

Because yep it’s a hard transition, practically, physically and emotionally. And often, we’re pretty quick to assume in Celebs-ville, with all the trappings it has to offer, that the full-on shift from being ‘footloose-and-fancy-free’ to ‘responsible mama’ is easier. But perhaps it’s actually not. Perhaps we’re really all just the same… or are we?

At a New York charity gala last week, Johansson told Entertainment Tonight, “I don’t profess to know anything about parenting, anything more than anybody else, (but) being a working mum is an incredible challenge, and it’s an incredible gift…” 

But she went on to say, “I think you always feel a little bit of guilt… If you’re at work, you feel like you’re missing out on those special moments with your kid. If you’re with your kid, you feel like you’re not giving enough to your job. It’s a balance.”

“I have a lot of huge admiration for working mums,” before adding, “I’m barely, barely holding it together.”

Barely holding it together, she said, and many mums across the globe nodded quietly.

Unfortunately that mother guilt – whether it’s a little, as Johansson mentioned, or a lot – has a sly way of taunting and troubling us. Trying to hold our heads above water, keep all the balls in the air – while making sure everyone’s got a packed lunchbox, or a clean nappy on, or no cornflakes in their hair, and then getting into the office on time – isn’t always easy.

We so want to have kids, we want the family, but there’s other stuff in our lives too, things we’re really bloody good at, opportunities we’re not going to let slide. So it turns into an endless juggling act. And sadly it seems that crappy self-reproach can affect anyone –even A-lister’s. Bravo Scarlett Johansson, we respect a woman that says it as it truly is.

Are celebrity mums really just like us? Is motherhood truly the great equaliser? Tell us what you think below! 

Avatar of Sacha Burkett

Sacha has been a writer and journalist for over a decade. A happy mama of two, wife to one, Sacha is a lover of books, wine and sleep - all of which she would generally like more of!

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