You?d think that being the voice of Elsa from ?Frozen? might help you reach parenting perfection. But Idina Menzel says she still deals with ups and downs as a divorced working mom dealing with guilt and double standards.
The actress and singer and her ex-husband, Taye Diggs, have a 7-year-old son named Walker. Following their 2014 divorce, she and Diggs have committed themselves to amicable co-parenting as they balance their careers as performers with giving Walker a childhood filled with love and support.
In honor of Menzel?s 46th birthday today, we?ve compiled some of her standout parenting quotes ? from her thoughts on mom guilt and the messy reality of motherhood to her son?s relationship with ?Frozen.?
?Your child comes first, that?s all. It?s all about that. He comes first and you have to get past your own egos and you never talk bad about each other.?
On the double standards moms face:
?The guilt is the thing we as women all feel, whether we stay at home or we work. There are a lot of double standards with the way the men in our lives see how we make those choices. I think there?s an accounting for how much time I spend with my son, and men don?t have to account for how much time they spend with their child. It hurts to feel that?s a judgment being made. Because we?re already judging ourselves.?
On the messy reality of motherhood:
?I?m a mom ? I?m lucky if I get to shower in the morning. Luckily, nail polish stays on my toes. I?ve been so bad on the upkeep, though.?
On parenting as a performer:
?I?m pretty disciplined. I really take care of my voice. But what do you do when you have a show and your kid wakes up with a fever in the middle of the night before? You go on stage, you think you?re never going to get through this, and that?s when you say to yourself, ?Well, you weren?t going to not sleep next to your sick son, were you?? Are you going to be mad at yourself because your voice is scratchy? No. You?re just going to change the melody a little and people will care because you?ve made them feel something, not because you?ve hit a certain note.?
On ?Let It Go?:
?I just feel bad that some parents may be sick of me because of it.?
On dating as a single mom:
?It all sucks. I don?t want to keep introducing [my son] to people and having him form bonds and then take ?em away, you know. It?s bad enough his mom and dad are getting divorced.?
On parenting guilt and divorce:
?You have a lot of regret with a child, and feeling like you?re failing them in some way. Not giving them the idealistic scenario.?
On singing for her son:
?He doesn?t like to hear Mommy sing! The few times I?ve tried ? I?d say, ?Want to hear what Mommy did in the studio today?? ? the first song on the album is called ?Small World? and he started cry! He said, ?Mommy, it makes me miss you.? I said, ?What do you mean? I?m here!? He said, ?It just makes me think about when you go onstage and I miss you!??
On telling her son about current events:
?It?s hard to know what?s age-appropriate as far as educating your child and how much to teach him about what?s out there, and that there are bad people out there and there are people who don?t like other people. You want to keep him insulated and safe and not ruin his perspective of the world.?
On work-life balance:
?I?ve struggled with putting off having a child, worried that it would distract me from my ambition and my career. And then I realized once I had a child how that enriched my life, and me as an artist and as a woman. It?s constant, the balancing motherhood now with my performing and my career and the guilt that I?m constantly slaying myself with. But it?s wonderful to have a show that I can at least go and assess those things and work through them on stage.?
On her son?s relationship with ?Frozen?:
?The only time he really likes it is when I was volunteering in this kindergarten class last year and doing arts and crafts and he started talking to one of the little girls. The girl is looking at me and he says, ?Do you want my mom?s autograph? She?s Elsa!? That?s like his game, he?s got game.?
On raising a son:
?I want to do the right thing by my son, and that means balancing my work and my quality time with him. I know he needs to grow up seeing a really happy, confident mother, then he?ll be drawn to those kinds of women.?
On reliving childhood through parenting:
?You get to relive your childhood when you have a baby and you see these toys and these books you read when you were little ? the innocence that you are able to maintain ? to connect with your child keeps you in a special state of mind.?
On how parenthood changes you:
?Motherhood has helped me to stop overanalyzing things. It?s been liberating because I used to be somewhat neurotic. I attribute that to having something bigger than myself.?
On living in the moment:
?[I] better about myself because I like who I am as a mother … Between changing diapers and touring preschools, I?m still getting some other stuff done. I think that?s why being a mommy keeps you in the moment more. You can?t really think much about other stuff because you have life happening right in front of you ? you have to feed him, and change his diapers, and play with him, and read to him.?
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