Brooke Shields is giving herself praise for the way she's parented her two daughters Rowan, 19, and Grier, 16, after experiencing a complicated relationship with her own mother.
The 57-year-old model and actress spoke about her journey with motherhood on Chelsea Handler's Dear Chelsea podcast, where Shields talked about the difficulty in raising children. "Even though I've always wanted to have kids, it's really not easy," she said of the two she shares with husband Chris Henchy. "Sometimes loving that much, it's just a pain in the ass."
After opening up about the reality of growing up with her mother Teri Shields in the 2014 memoir titled There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me, Shields shared that she's inclined to look at the positive things she's learned from her mom's parenting style.
"I had done so much work on myself in therapy for decades, that I focused on the things that I want to replicate, rather than just the things that I didn't want to replicate," Shields said, noting that comparing herself would be futile as her mom was "so broken and couldn't do the work on herself or for herself."
Shields's mother was famously the actress's manager for some time, but behind closed doors was an alcoholic that Shields said put her in precarious situations as a teen. In 2012, Teri died of a dementia-related illness at the age of 79.
"I think that her humor was so important. Her willingness to have fun with me, her belief that I should always have someone my own age around me, even within this industry," Shields went on. "Her very frank way of discussing anything. You know, she was ballsy and that really protected me, and so I try to remember those things."
Ways that Shields has made efforts to show up in a different way than her mother include being "careful about my drinking because I know that [alcoholism] is in my blood." The mother-of-two has also cultivated an open flow of communication with her daughters than she ever had with her mom.
"I'm surprised at how much freedom emotionally I give my kids. I never thought that talking to them about sex … because my mother never talked to me about anything. You just were told, 'Don't do it, you'll burn in hell,' and then I became sort of known for being a virgin," Shields reflected. "We talk about everything together and I have no judgment and I'm shocked at myself. I mean, we talk about it all and I didn't think that I'd be comfortable with it on that level."
Shields has previously talked about carrying "the responsibility of keeping my mother alive," as a young girl and told Handler that she now makes her role as a mother and trusted confidante very clear.
"I always say, it's important that you have an ally within these times in your life because you're gonna need it. And who better than your mom?" she said. "I'm always going to be here for whatever it is. I'm like, 'But don't be an idiot.'"
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