Answering Instagram questions, February 2024

Written by CLAIRE HOLT | Feb 14, 2024
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Do you have tips on becoming more confident?

You’re catching me at an interesting time because I currently feel like Shrek, but I’m still pretty confident because I know my worth isn’t derived from how I look. I’m confident because I’m a good mum. I’m confident because I can take a joke. I’m confident because most days I can swiftly add a tip to my bill without carrying the 1. Confidence also comes with age and since I was born in the Cretaceous period I’ve earned a good amount just by existing.

Have you ever noticed that you’re drawn to someone with a really strong sense of self? I definitely am, and it has nothing to do with the size of their jeans. I love to be around a person who belly laughs. A person who is down for an adventure even if they haven’t filled in their eyebrows yet. I always remind myself of that whenever I’m having a moment of insecurity and it really helps. 

What helped you with stopping breastfeeding? Losing my mind but also hard to let go.

Ohhh man I really do feel for you. This is such a challenging part of motherhood and I struggle with it every time. I know that it's more than ok to feed my baby formula. I know that it’s important to take care of my mental health. I know it's ok to stop even if the only reason is “because I want to.” And yet I still feel selfish when I start to wean. Whenever those thoughts creep in, I rely on others to remind me that I’m making the right choice. So I’ll be that person for you. If you want to stop breastfeeding, you can! Your baby will grow and thrive on formula. You’re a good mother. Fed is best! I breastfed my kids for different lengths of time and they’re all healthy and smart and cool. Make the choice that’s right for you and try to tune out the noise. 

How do you deal with postpartum body changes/not feeling like this new body is “you”?

I wish I could tell you I’ve been marveling at my naked body but the honest truth is that I’m not that into it. And maybe that’s ok? Maybe it’s not crucial that we are 100% comfortable with our bodies at all times. That feels like another thing to add to the list of “successes/failures'' in the early stages of motherhood. Perhaps it's enough to be fine with it. To respect it and be grateful for the beautiful child it gave you, without creating some narrative around beauty and self worth.

I know that I’ll feel good in my skin again at some point. I know that no one really cares about the extra lbs I'm carrying. I also know that it’s normal to feel a little disgruntled about the fact that we have to do alllllll the work and then deal with a new body that feels very unfamiliar.

I’m not going to pretend that I spend my precious free time reciting mantras about loving my loose skin and weird boobs. I just get on with it and try not to get into a mental sparring match with myself. Most days I manage pretty well, others I throw all my clothes on the floor and refuse to leave the house. It’s called balance!   

Can you share your knowledge about manifesting? If you do it? 

I am a die hard believer in manifestation and the power of positive thinking. When I was a teenager with absolutely no idea how to get to America (let alone have a successful career), I made a vision board for myself. I put pictures of the iconic Hollywood sign, a film premiere with a beautiful red carpet, and a hunk of a man with dark hair. IT ALL HAPPENED. I’ve made many vision boards since — the finish line of the NYC marathon, the Cannes Film Festival. Things that all seemed impossible until I found myself there.

When I was going through a particularly hard time in my life in 2017, I used to go on really long walks and beg the Universe to bring me what was meant for me. Over and over again. In a matter of weeks, I met Andy and everything changed.

I realize that skeptics will scoff. I know it can be so hard to pull yourself out of a dark time. It seems insane even to me! But why not try it? Who cares if it’s a little crazy? The worst outcome is that you spent a few hours doing arts and crafts lol. Make a mini version, fold it up, and carry it with you. Allow yourself to dream of what might be possible. I’m all fired up to make my 2024 board now!! 

Did you quit acting?

Nope! I’m just having a really hard time figuring out how I’m supposed to do it with 3 little kids. I’d love to go back for the right project, but picking up my family and moving to New Mexico for 6 months feels like it might be hard right now. One of the things I always struggled with in the early days of my career was moving to another city. Now that I have a family, I hate the idea of leaving them behind for weeks or months on end since they’re in school and can’t just travel with me. I really do miss acting so it would be amazing to find a project that works for all of us, but I guess I’ve got to leave that up to the universe (or anyone reading this who wants to write a show set in Miami lol).

How did you deal with pregnancy loss?

I am not shy to say that my pregnancy loss was the darkest I’ve ever felt. I was completely shattered. Before I’d been through it myself, I was guilty of minimizing the experience. I saw it as some kind of blessing — the body rejecting what was non-viable. Now I understand just how insensitive that mindset was. When I lost the baby I felt like a complete and utter failure. Like I hadn’t just let myself down, but that I’d failed my husband too. Everything I’d dreamed of was ripped away from me the moment the doctor quietly uttered, “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.” Beating one moment, gone the next.

How was that possible? How did the baby grow for weeks and then just stop? I had so many questions and so few answers. I sobbed for days. I shut myself in my bedroom and didn’t want to talk to anyone. I was mad at myself. I was mad at anyone who was pregnant or had children. I was mad at those who tried to tell me I’d be ok.

As the days and weeks crept on, things got easier. I spent many hours on blogs and forums reading the experiences of other women. Those who understood what I was going through. Those who went on to have healthy pregnancies. I let myself believe that maybe it would be the same for me too. I leaned on my husband who was a rock, despite his own sadness. I started to do things that I enjoyed (exercise was a big help).

Eventually I felt my hormones stabilize and I started to feel like myself again. When I fell pregnant with James, Elle + Ford, I was terrified. I often wonder what it would feel like to be blissfully unaware of the pain of loss. I wouldn’t change it though. It made me who I am today, and I got my happy ending. Just like the women on those message boards. 

SKINCARE ROUTINE NOW!!

Please don’t yell at me, I'm sensitive! Here’s where it currently stands: 

AM:

Sharni Darden Moisture Boost Plumping Serum 

Fig 1 Vitamin C Eye Cream and Ceramide Moisturizer

Supergoop Glowscreen OR Tower 28 Tinted Sunscreen 

PM: 

Wash with Fig 1 Clarifying Cleanser or Micellar Oil Cleanser if I’m wearing makeup 

Musely Spot Cream (prescription for the gorg melasma I got during pregnancy)

Boatloads of Kora Organics Face Oil

When do you know your firstborn is ready for a sibling?

I don’t think there is such a thing as a firstborn being ready. Just have another baby when YOU feel ready. Siblings are awesome. I have 3 of them and the only time I didn’t want them was when I was a teenager and my sisters’ stole my Juicy Tubes. There will be moments of jealousy, but that can happen at any age. There will also be moments of pure bliss, like this morning when James pinched Ford’s cheeks and said "Hola, little Cachetes!” The only thing I will say is 2 under 2 is no joke. It’s amazing when they're older and can play together, but it’s not for the faint of heart. If you’re down for that, start reading those romance novels and get busy!! 

Should I have kids one day or is it overrated? (I like my sleep & quiet house)

Being a mum is 10000% the best thing I’ve ever done. I would also never encourage someone to have children if they didn’t want them. It’s the most physically and mentally challenging thing you’ll ever do. I don’t think you’re any less of a person if you don’t want to procreate.

I don’t think that children are the only way to bring meaning to your life. I firmly believe that if you’re not completely dedicated to doing your absolute best as a parent, you should probably reconsider. It will test you and trigger you in ways you never thought possible, and it is your responsibility to remain a calm and steady leader. It’s your responsibility to provide for them, nurture them, and love them no matter what you’re going through personally.

I really believe that some people are not made for that, and our society would be a much better place if we all understood that concept. With that being said, if you want kids but you’re scared, I want you to know that it is the most unbelievably beautiful experience. Do you want to pull your hair out some days, YES. But other days you feel like you’ll die of love. The sleep and the quiet house might disappear for a little while, but what you get in return is even better.

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  • H
    Haylee | 03.14.2024 | 02:57PM

    Absolutely love your vulnerability and honesty. Can’t wait to read this forever

  • R
    Rachel | 02.29.2024 | 04:36PM

    Just discovered this (and vampire diaries while breast feeding!). Your vulnerability and completely honesty (at the risk of being criticised) is so refreshing and appreciated 🙏🏼 getting use to the “new body” after baby is confronting. Can’t wait to read what’s next.

  • L
    Lexie | 02.29.2024 | 04:36PM

    I love ur writing style and just everything u have to say ❤️😭😭

  • A
    Amy | 02.29.2024 | 04:36PM

    I love this so much! Thank you!

  • G
    Giselle Avila | 03.14.2024 | 02:57PM

    This was so beautiful to read. Thank you for letting us into your life. What a vulnerable time, I sincerely appreciate it.

  • H
    Hannah | 02.22.2024 | 05:42PM

    I wish this post was around when I had my daughter 7 years ago. I loved her so much but I didn’t like my body and struggled with who I was now; am I just a mum, was I still me; who was I?

    Thankyou for sharing your experience and being so honest to help new mums and dads x

  • T
    Trinity | 02.22.2024 | 05:42PM

    Absolutely love reading your responses ❤️❤️

  • Y
    Yasmin | 02.22.2024 | 05:42PM

    I really related so much to you about the miscarriage, the anger I felt at everyone including myself, feeling like I failed my husband, not wanting to do anything or get out of bed and everything else.
    Time helped me a lot, as did the strength of my husband, who also had a hard time but who was strong in my eyes and nothing could break him.
    Just like you, I had my happy ending with my baby girl who arrived despite the fear and little faith I had in my pregnancy.
    I hope with all my heart that if anyone is going through this, do not lose faith… Your little miracle will arrived soon.

  • j
    juliane | 02.22.2024 | 05:42PM

    thank you sooo much for sharing the skincare stuff (I wasn’t yelling, sorryyyy that was just excitement to know abt it) love u 🩷🩷

  • E
    Erica | 02.22.2024 | 05:42PM

    I will definitely be attempting to manifest more positivity into my life. Thank you for a great article 💜

  • C
    Cassie | 02.22.2024 | 05:42PM

    P.S. I dare you to write a book. I will eat it up.

  • C
    Cassie | 02.22.2024 | 05:42PM

    Can I just say…I tend to avoid blogs like this because I don’t have kids and I can’t relate, but I love reading what you write. I loved you as a mermaid, then a vampire…now I just love you as a human being. You are magical.x

  • S
    Sarah | 02.22.2024 | 05:42PM

    I always love reading your posts and appreciate your sense of humour! I’m 4 weeks post-partum and breastfeeding has been such a mental struggle that I feel too many well meaning midwives, doctors and lactation specialists are just not hearing me and kind of judge me that I have been mixed feeding my baby so I can catch a sensory break. Thanks for your honest and relatable insights as usual! Hoping you and your family are doing well x

  • A
    Anastasia | 02.22.2024 | 05:42PM

    Wow! I think everyone has something to relate to every time I read something of yours. The way you describe and write is really amazing. Funny, serious and just beautiful all in the same time. Thank you for sharing! It really gives me hope in a lot of matters.

  • J
    Jennifer Homesley | 02.22.2024 | 05:42PM

    I LOVE your honesty. I’m not a new mom but I can share your thoughts with my daughter in law. Thank you and keep doing you because you are amazing and an inspiration to so many people. ♥️

  • M
    Montse | 02.22.2024 | 05:46PM

    Thank you for this! I feel like I’m having a conversation with a friend, plus I read everything with your voice in my head lol! Thank you for being so open and honest about topics almost no actors talk about. It’s rlly nice to know the lifestyle we see actors have in social media is just a minimum part of their real life. I’m not a mom and I don’t know if I want to be one, but reading this helps me understand a different point of view plus it really feels nice feeling like it’s a normal conversation about normal everyday things. Love your humor and the way you express yourself! Sending much love!!

  • J
    Jj | 02.22.2024 | 05:46PM

    You have really inspired me regarding the vision board making, thank you! Do you think a digital vision board is as effective? xx

  • J
    Jessica | 02.22.2024 | 05:46PM

    Thank you for your raw honesty! All the things baby related is so true. You normalise not being okay but being okay at the same time!

    Thank you!
    Love to you all x

  • V
    Veronika | 02.22.2024 | 05:46PM

    Thank you for such an emotional post. Greetings from Belarus ❤️❤️❤️

  • D
    Diana Moșoiu | 02.22.2024 | 05:46PM

    I feels so good to read something positive lately! I am pregnant with my first baby and nausea is awful plus all the negativity around.

  • G
    Grecia | 02.15.2024 | 12:45PM

    Wow!
    I always click on your articles because i love your sense of humor, and i know i will laugh and get a good advice on things.
    But damn, i just wanna say thank you because some things in these article really made me got a lump in my throat, in the good way, especially the manifestation part. Sometimes we get a bit overwhelmed by life, and the wants and needs of the future we desire without really knowing how to get there; and it really made me feel like everything i want will eventually happen, and even if they don’t the chances are probably something better will.
    It’s faith i guess, which i sometimes struggle identifying myself as one of those people.

    Anyway, thank you.
    And also, really beautifully put all of your experiences, i hope life keeps blessing you and your family.

  • E
    Eleonora Miteva | 02.15.2024 | 12:45PM

    You are the best! Thank you!❤️

  • L
    Lena | 02.15.2024 | 12:45PM

    Thank you for this amazing Q&A.
    Loved to read every sentence.
    You are giving me hope and confidence for the future.

    Greetings from Austria (not Australia lol).

    - Lena <3

  • V
    Victoria | 02.15.2024 | 12:45PM

    Could you please share which formula do you give Ford? Want my baby to eat the best there is but there are so many options. Of course I know the best doesn’t mean it will be well tolerated by every baby but still share please which one do you have as a starting point for us 🙏

  • M
    Meagan | 02.15.2024 | 12:45PM

    I just want to say reading your “ How to deal with pregnancy loss” gave me hope and made me feel understood! I’m currently pregnant with my rainbow baby and the fear is definitely overwhelming but it’s nice to hear your point of view on how you pushed through -and thanks for sharing your story and being so real and raw about it! Thank you for sharing!
    - From a pregnant girl who needs hope and positive thoughts!