As an actress, producer, entrepreneur and mom, Reese Witherspoon may seem like she has it all together. But even the 44-year-old Oscar winner admits there was a time when she was still trying to find her way.
Witherspoon spoke candidly about this chapter during a recent episode of The Drew Barrymore Show. The topic came up after Drew Barrymore recalled seeing Witherspoon with her first two kids Ava Phillippe, 21, and Deacon Phillippe, 16—who she shares with ex Ryan Phillippe—years ago during the early stages of the moviemakers' careers. "How did you balance work and motherhood at that point?" the host asked. "Because I was just trying to balance work."
Witherspoon acknowledged she was "terrified" at the time. "I got pregnant when I was 22 years old," she said. "And I didn't know how to balance work and motherhood. You just do it, you know?"
The Big Little Lies star also remembered how she didn't know if she was going to have "steady work" back then.
"I'd made movies but I hadn't, you know, established myself as someone who could demand that it shoot close to my kids' school or, you know, I didn't have any real power, leverage within my industry," she recalled. "I was just like every other mom trying to figure it out—and dad out there, and partner, and grandparent who's raising a child."
Needless to say, Witherspoon's hard work paid off. She has starred in Legally Blonde, its sequel, Sweet Home Alabama and earned an Academy Award for her portrayal of June Carter in Walk the Line. Plus, there's Wild, The Morning Show and Little Fires Everywhere. She also runs her own media brand, Hello Sunshine, and has since welcomed son Tennessee James Toth in 2012 with husband Jim Toth.
So yes, she has a lot to be proud of these days.
And while Witherspoon said there's a lot of compromise with parenting, she noted she wouldn't have it any other way. "You take the food out of your mouth, the clothes off your back, the sleep out of your life," she told Barrymore. "But every bit of it—every bit of that sacrifice is truly worth it because you feel like that's what makes me wake up on a Sunday. It's not movies or my job, it's my kids."
Watch the video to see a snippet from her interview.