With her kids growing up quickly – Ava is 11, Deacon is 7 – the Water for Elelphants star says she’s still surprised by motherhood.
“I know it’s corny, but being a parent to me is such a great privilege; that I get to chaperone these beautiful little souls through life. They astound me with their knowledge and their humor. Parenthood is not at all what I expected it to be. I thought you make little people in your image. But they are just nothing like me or their father [her ex-husband, Ryan Phillippe]. They are their own individuals.”
Having recently celebrated her 35th birthday, Reese admits that the milestone caused “some “some sad moments.”
“I think 35 for a woman is a big thing,” she explains, though she adds that she doesn’t wish she were younger. “I remember when I was a little girl looking up at my mother at 35 doing her hair in the mirror, and I thought, my mother has never been more beautiful. She had years of wisdom you can’t erase. And now I feel the same way when I look in the mirror. You can’t pretend you are an ingenue. You can’t pretend you are wide-eyed and innocent. It’s on your face! It’s in your body. It’s in your voice.”
Though she’s wildly successful and has found happiness again in her personal life with her “wonderful” new husband Jim Toth, Reese insists that she has her share of insecurities and self-doubt.
“You know, it can be a crazy life. Sometimes you feel like you are on a speeding train and you just don’t know where it’s going. You can start to lose your identity and what it is that you are really working for,” she muses. “I don’t wake up to make movies. I wake up to have a wonderful family and to cultivate the best life for all of us, and it’s great to now have a partner in that. We have a lot of family meetings. ‘Mom’s going to be away and coming home on the weekends. How does everybody feel about that?’ It’s always military operations around here. Lots of different moving parts. I have my moments when I feel like I’m just going to collapse and I can’t do it anymore and I’m failing at everything. Like, you’re kind of good at a bunch of stuff but not really good at anything.”
In the end, the mom-of-two says that she really has no regrets about her life until now – heartbreak and all: “With whatever I’ve lost, I’ve gained tenfold in life experience,” Reese says. “I have an interesting life.”