Candid Quotes About Parenthood From Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks is open about the challenges and joys of parenthood.

The actor and director and her husband, producer Max Handelman, have two sons ― Felix and Magnus, both born via surrogacy. Since becoming a mom in 2011, she’s spoken about her experience in various interviews.

In honor of her birthday, here are 15 quotes about motherhood from Banks.

On New Motherhood

“I underestimated the amount of joy it brings. I’d love a bigger family, but I don’t want to say I’m not completely satisfied with my perfect one.”

On Work/Life Balance

“I balance it by always putting my children’s health and safety first. Then I feel OK to go and do the job I love. It’s important to remember that I face the same challenges as many other working parents out there. I don’t think dads do it as well as moms, quite frankly, as I don’t think there’s any pressure on them to balance anything in their lives when it comes to parents being at work. I try not to feel that pressure, either. I actually have a girlfriend who works in the justice department, going after criminals and the Mafia, and she’s got three kids. Parenting is challenging any way you slice it.”

On Having Help

“Build a good village. I slowly had to come to terms with that I can’t do everything. It’s very humbling raising a child. Mostly having a child brings a lot of clarity to your life.”

On Choosing Surrogacy

“I definitely think I’m still judged for what I’ve done and that people don’t understand my choices, but I don’t feel I owe anybody any explanation. And, if my story helps people feel less alone on their journey, then I’m grateful for that.”

On The Power Of Technology

“The fact that FaceTime exists is amazing. I don’t need to even go home. I can just parent from here.”

On The Mental Work Of Parenting

“I’m trying to [balance everything], too. As a working parent you got to have a good village and it takes a village. I have a running tally 24-7. If I’m not there I ask, ‘Where is he, who is he with, what is he doing, does he miss me?’ Once I know the answer to those questions I can go about my life. It’s just checking that list every day.”

On Going From One Kid To Two

Two is very different from one. When you have one kid, you feel like you can jet set around and you can throw him on the hip and you get your life done. You don’t realize how easy one is until you have two. Now I’m really a mom. Oh, I am a mom now! This is for serious — I am responsible for two people now.”

On Romance For Parents

“The last romantic thing Max did for me was [taking] the kids to soccer in the rain while I got a massage for my birthday.”

On Acting And Parenting

“I think a lot of parents work long hours and raise their kids. I got great advice from other actors who are parents. I feel very lucky in that I have a great job for being a mom in that my kids can go to my job with me.”

On Baby Names

“Felix means happy in Latin and he is very happy-go-lucky. Magnus is definitely more serious. He’s going to be the deep thinker of the family for sure.”

On Being A Working Mom

“Well, my kids love to come to movie sets… mostly for the craft services. I feel so excited to show my kids their mom at work, I grew up with a working mom, and she imparted an incredible work ethic in me. I like involving them in my work and I think it’s important as a working woman and as a leader on my movie sets that I show other women that it’s okay to bring your kids. I think that parenting is your number one job. I think getting on the phone on conference calls and hearing children in the background, I’m excited that happens more and more when I’m on the phone with both men and women… I throw all the rules out and I invite my kids into my work life.”

On Parenting Challenges

“So many parents put their heads in the sand about their children’s issues. But even when you do acknowledge that your child has issues, you still don’t necessarily know how to respond or react in the right way. I think that’s a balance every parent can relate to ― how much do I discipline him? How much do I love him? How much do I give support, how much do I offer criticism?”

On Self-Care

“I do really long showers. It is so important. I get all my thinking and all my relaxing [done] in my 20-minute shower.”

On Raising Brothers

“[Felix] loves to say how cute Magnus is and he loves to give him kisses and he’s very gentle. He loves to bring him gifts ― sometimes that means shoes that are thrown in the bassinet, but that’s okay… I would say [Felix] is mostly unaware of what’s going on because Magnus doesn’t touch his stuff. I’ve heard that around 10 months — when baby can actually influence the realm of Felix — that Felix will not be happy. We’ll see how that goes.”

On Doing Your Best

“There’s always a balancing act but we just make it work as much as we can.”

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