Jennifer Lopez is mother to four-year-old Maximillian and Emme, the twins she had with her third husband, singer Marc Anthony.
In her latest movie What to Expect When You’re Expecting, the 42-year-old American actress-singer and American Idol judge plays Holly, who adopts a baby from abroad with her husband Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) after having problems conceiving.
Holly and Alex are among the five couples with childbirth issues featured in the romance comedy inspired by the bestselling pregnancy guide of the same title by Heidi Murkoff.
Directed by Kirk Jones, the movie boasts a stellar lineup that also includes Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, Rodrigo Santoro, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Brooklyn Decker, Chace Crawford, Chris Rock, Dennis Quaid and Joe Manganiello.
While the show does not exactly reflect Lopez’s experience having her son and daughter, it reminds her of own pregnancy and her role as a mother.
Here, the thrice-divorced star recounts how a positive attitude helped in her getting pregnant and, like most mothers, has her share of worries as a parent. But the rewards make it all worth it, she’ll tell you. And where does the yummy mummy find her “heaven on earth?” Read on to find out in the following transcript provided by Nusantara Edaran Filem.
Do you think there’s a “right” time to get pregnant?
I always wanted a family, but I had been married for about three years and I wasn’t getting pregnant, and I was thinking maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I remember feeling like I had already blocked it in a sense. Then I had a conversation with my dad (a former computer technician) and said to him: “Maybe my life is about something else.” He said to me: “Why can’t you do both?” And I thought: “Why is it that we think we can only do one really big thing?” I had put that block up, and when I let it go, I got pregnant a month later.
I kept saying I wanted a baby, but I’d started believing it couldn’t happen to me. When I started believing it could, it did.
That sounds nice, but making it work day-to-day can be exhausting, right?
My sanctuary is my bathtub. That’s really the only time I get to myself. It usually lasts around 15 or 20 minutes, but for me, those minutes are like heaven on Earth. Sometimes I even say a little prayer while I’m in there. I’m like: “Lord, help me get through this day!”
What part of motherhood surprised you the most?
I remember after the babies were born, about seven to 10 days in, I was like: “What is going on with me?” I felt sad and depressed and thought the babies didn’t love me. I actually remember picking up the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting to try to see what was happening to me, and it says how you have this huge hormonal drop about seven to 10 days after you give birth. It’s called the “baby blues.” But I just thought they didn’t like me!
There’s been a lot of talk about the new-generation dads – how handson they are. What do you think: Is it real, or is it hype?
I think parenting is primarily a woman’s domain. I do think there are men out there who pitch in on their own, or whose wives make them pitch in. And then there are those men who do nothing. I think men step up to the plate when they have to, but if there’s someone else around to clean up the projectile vomit, that’s good.
The cravings, the moodiness – it’s huge for guys to deal with. And, of course, you’re enormous too, when you’re pregnant.
I did get huge. But when it’s his baby in there, there’s something really magical about it (for him). But being realistic, I’m sure most men prefer the original. They can’t wait for you to get your real body back and have the girl they fell in love with.
Even though the up-sides are high, do you ever get to the point where you just want to cry because it’s so difficult to manage it all?
Oh my God, all the time! There’s a constant worry that comes along with being a parent. It never goes away. I’m sure women who don’t have kids have more carefree attitudes about life. I think all women ask themselves: “Can I really do all of this?” But, for me, the rewards are so great, and that love you feel for them is so fulfilling – even when they’re driving you nuts. When kids enter the picture, it’s like you keep moving into another level. Kids open your heart and your soul in a different way. It changes you as a person.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting opens in local cinemas nationwide on Friday.
The guys speak up
The male stars of What to Expect When You’re Expecting offer their take on childbirth, parenting, dating, and more.
Matthew Morrison – on labour and delivery
My dad is a midwife, so I grew up hearing all these stories. I was so scared of sex ! He’d show me every possible venereal disease and say: “I delivered a 14-year-old’s baby today.”
When I was a senior in high school, I helped him deliver two babies. In fact, I want my dad to deliver my baby – what a great story that would be for my child to tell, that his grandfather brought him into this world. Though, obviously, my wife would have to be okay with it!
Chris Rock – on the modern dad
I can’t be friends with a guy who’s not a decent father. You don’t have to be as hardcore as me, but honestly, 80% of the job is just showing up. I had kids late, for where I’m from. And the moment I had one, I thought: “Why didn’t I have these kids earlier?”
I wish I’d done it 10 years earlier – really. I don’t understand guys who talk about all these things they can’t do because they have kids. I’ve never been with my kids and thought: “Man, I wish I was on stage now.”
It’s the other way around. Kids, they love you to a fault, even if you’re a bad parent. That’s the crazy part! They don’t know how not to love you – for 16 years. It’s pretty unbelievable.
Joe Manganiello – on sex and dating
As a guy, a lot of your job is defining what the relationship is before anything physical happens. You have to talk about expectations and where this is going, and let the other person know what you want. Being a man is a lost art – most men don’t have a clue. It’s being responsible for a woman’s feelings, getting outside of your immediate animal needs and caring about where the other person is coming from.
Rodrigo Santoro – on settling down
My mum and my dad are still together, but so many of my friends who got married just a few years ago aren’t. Maybe it’s what we compare ourselves to our parents’ generation, thinking: “Who’s still together, and are they happy?” The world we live in now, there’s so much more access (to other people) and that makes it difficult to make a choice. You always wonder: What about this one? Or that one? But there is no perfection. And I will not be waiting forever.
Chace Crawford – on strong women
I’m not threatened by successful women. There’s sometimes the sense that she’s out of your league, so you don’t want to risk the rejection. But I’ve been around women who are very outspoken, and I think that’s the most attractive quality. When a girl knows what she wants, the guy’s going to respect you, and he’s going to come running.
Ben Falcone – on helicopter parenting
We’re so under the gun now – there’re all these classes and this constant “Did you take your kid to that thing that’s going to change their lives? Because if you didn’t take them to the Long Beach Aquarium today, their lives aren’t going to be the same!” When I was a kid, we sat around the house. If I got bored, I’d have to figure out something to do. Now, there’s this: “My kid has to be stimulated, learn French by age four, and take piano.” I think our kids would be better off if we take some of that pressure off.