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Liv Tyler's Unfiltered Thoughts On Being A Mom
by Eliza Dillard, Refinery29, May 2017
Motherhood is no easy feat. And it's a lot more difficult thanks to the added stress - be it from the media, mommy blogs, or other strongly opinionated mothers - to do things the "right" way. Think: breast milk versus formula or sleep training versus just letting things be.
But actress and mother-of-three Liv Tyler is standing up to that BS. In partnership with Gap and in support of the nonprofit Every Mother Counts, which raises money to support global maternal health programs, Tyler co-directed Mama Said - an uplifting video that embraces motherhood in every form and celebrates the special bond between mother and child. In it, Tyler joins forces with a sisterhood of sorts, including Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Cass Bird, Coco Rocha, and Candice Swanepoel, plus all of their adorable offspring, to create a video that gives all the feels.
We caught up with Tyler about why this project is so important to her, her best Mother's Day to date, and the unique strength of mothers everywhere.
From left to right: Leo Bird, Cass Bird, Ali Bird, Mae Bird, Sailor Gardner, Liv Tyler, Lula Gardner, Candice Swanepoel, Anaca Nicoli, Ioni Conran, Coco Rocha, Hunter Bell, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell.
As an actress, you're typically in front of the camera. How did it feel to go behind the lens and work on this short film for Gap? "I was very excited to be a part of this special Gap film celebrating mothers and children and to work with Every Mother Counts to help support making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother everywhere."
How does the mission of Every Mother Counts resonate with you on a personal level? "As a mother of three, I know how scary and incredible being pregnant and giving birth can be. Every Mother Counts is an amazing organization that tries to create a safe, clean, and supportive place for women to have their children. Every woman deserves that."
What was the best part about participating in this project? "The whole day of filming was so special. Seeing these incredible women on set with their beautiful children was so touching, and for us to be able to capture that on film - it was really incredible."
What was the most inspiring thing you took away from your day on set? "I was truly blown away by the clarity and strength [of these women], and I felt a profound sense of togetherness. Though all mothers and children around the world are different, there are common experiences and emotions we all share no matter where we come from."
How would you describe the other mothers you worked with on this film? "Loving, compassionate, and brave."
For you, what's the special bond between mother and child like? "It is strong, it is profound, it is really deep. You know them and they know you like no other. You can communicate without words - just with looks, sounds, and feelings. It is very unique to the child because they are all so different, so your connection and the special little things you share are completely different with each one. The challenge is making sure that you're able to give them each the quality time they need to have their needs met."
There's a common stereotype about motherhood that suggests it's a sacrifice - you give up your dreams or yourself in order to raise children. What's your take? "Being a mother has given me the strength and experience to know myself more and a desire to truly do it all. I constantly feel inspired by other mothers - working mothers, stay-at-home mothers, all kinds of mothers - and I feel so grateful that I am able to realize my dreams of motherhood and feel fulfilled creatively and professionally."
Liv Tyler with Lula and Sailor Gardner.
What's been the most rewarding part of being a mother? "Oh, it's impossible to just choose one. It's a constant evolution. It's filled with love, joy, and challenges. Getting to watch [over] this little person is very magical. I always say to my children, 'Thank you for choosing me to be your mother. I am so grateful.'"
And the most challenging part? "Multitasking, juggling, and coming up with smart answers to all of their amazing little questions."
What's one piece of advice you'd give to a fellow mom or soon-to-be mother? "To not worry so much and to just spend as much time as possible loving them and enjoying them while you can."
Mother's Day is right around the corner. What's the best gift you've received? "The gift of motherhood."
How will you celebrate the holiday this year? "Well, I'm living in London, and Mother's Day is a few weeks earlier here, so I technically already had Mother's Day, but I'm so excited for a second one. My children made me breakfast in bed and woke me up - all standing around in their pajamas - and gave me handmade cards. We all snuggled in bed together in the morning and giggled. It was so fun and sweet. That was the best day ever."
In your opinion, how can we all be allies to moms everywhere? "Be kind, be compassionate, and be supportive of all women and all mothers. Women need each other."