Familia is everything and Latina mothers are often the heart of the family. Though celebrity moms have certain privileges that the average Latina doesn’t, they aren’t exempt from the challenges every mom faces. This list is about the good as well as the harsh reality of parenting from celeb moms including J.Lo, Cardi B, and Shakira. The fierce mamas on the list are mothers to twins, kids with more than a decade between them, and have also adopted so every kind of family is featured on this list. From balancing work and motherhood to becoming a mom later in life to postpartum depression, the knowledge these 20 women share is honest and relatable.
Actress/activist Rosario Dawson, who is currently starring in Jane the Virgin, adopted a 12-year-old girl in 2014 named Lola. Dawson, 29, knew she wanted to adopt at a young age since she was adopted by her mom’s husband when she was about a year old. “It’s the best role of my life. It’s the most incredible thing. Especially when you get a kid at that age. It’s really powerful that she was old enough to choose me back. I got to meet my daughter and she met me, and it was very clear from the get-go. We are a family. I am absolutely her mom and she is absolutely my daughter. It is remarkable.” she told Motherhood magazine.
Entrepreneur and actress Jessica Alba has three kids with husband Cash Warren, daughters Honor and Haven born in 2008 and 2011 respectively, and son Hayes born in 2017. She co-founded The Honest Company in 2012 selling natural household goods, diapers, and body care products inspired by her own intentions to use natural, non-toxic products with her kids. “I just cart them along and bring them along with me. It’s kind of my way of doing it. I don’t know if it’s the right way, but it’s kind of how I figured it out to try and get those moments in and still feel like I have a presence in their lives,” she explains. “I get to bring him to work, and I have in my office a little play mat and a Pack N’ Play,” she told Mother.ly about bringing her kids to work.
Avatar and Guardian of the Galaxy Dominican/ Puerto Rican star Zoe Saldana, 40, is a mom of three boys, Zen Anton Hilario, 2, and twins Bowie Ezio and Cy Aridio, 4 with husband Marco Perego. Her husband took her last name so he’s Marco Perego-Saldana, same as their children.“So far it’s been the most exciting, most challenging role I think I will ever get to play for the rest of my life. And it’s just about allowing them to teach me how you want to be treated. So there’s a lot of listening that takes place besides talking,” she told ETOnline.
The multi-talented J.Lo, 49, is the mother to 11-year-old twins Max and Emme and recently released a video where they interviewed her. She and her ex-husband Marc Anthony have famously been able to co-parent since their divorce and now she and fiancé Alex Rodriguez have blended their families. “I take it one day at a time — I have a lot of help. I don’t claim to be Superwoman and do it all by myself. But I love what I do. I love my kids, and they come first, and everything else falls into place after that. I take it one day at a time, trying to do the best I can.” she told People.
Superstore actress America Ferrera, known for Ugly Betty and Real Women Have Curves, is a new mom to 11-month-old Sebastian with husband Ryan Piers Williams. Last year she released American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures, an anthology of stories by 31 contributors straddling life between two cultures. “I think that’s been one of the mantras for me in all of motherhood — to try and not be so hard on myself,” she told Health. “Which is a challenge because, like so many women, I demand so much more of myself than I would ever demand of someone else.”
Actress and activist Eva Longoria, 44, and husband José Bastón Patiño welcomed their first child, Santiago in June of last year. She’s been working with her eponymous foundation to aid Latinas to attain educational opportunities and raise awareness of how poverty affects the Latino community. “It’s changed everything in my life process and everything else in a beautiful way. It just makes you want to work twice as hard to make this world a better place. Because the fact is that I’m going to leave it to him, so I want to make some kind of dent in making sure it’s a world that he would be proud of,” she told Glamour.
Mexican singer-songwriter Ximena Sariñana recently had a daughter and has been open about balancing the demands of her career with family life. She recently released ¿Dónde Bailarán Las Niñas? and will be touring with her daughter. “I didn’t grow up with the idea that there was something other than a working mom because my mom always worked. Not only was it OK, it was something that I was very proud of, and I think thanks to the fact that she was her own self, she wasn’t just my mom, she was her, as a woman with her aspirations and dreams and pursuits. I always felt that oh, that’s just the way it is. So in that sense, I never considered myself a ‘working mother,’” she told The Muse.
Dominican actress Dascha Polanco, 36, has a daughter in her teens named Dasany whom she had when she was 18 and a son named Aryam she had years later. The Orange is the New Black star has kept details of her private life out of the media but her daughter did portray a younger version of the actress in season 5 of the series. “My favorite part is knowing I created them. That’s something that is a part of me — biologically, DNA-wise, they’re a part of you. You see that little seed grow, you see them develop, you see how much they look up to you and depend on you. That’s beautiful, the dynamic of being a mother. At times, of course, you’re dealing with a lot of personality, but also, a lot of love,” she told PopSugar.
La La Anthony
Actress and reality star La La Anthony married basketball player Carmelo Anthony in 2004 and they had a son named Kiyan in 2007. “I still learn that it’s not an easy job, and one day you think you have it all figured it out and the next day you do not know what the hell you are doing. That’s just what being a mother is, and I try to not put too much pressure on myself and try to be the best mom I can be and lead by love — that’s the way to do it,” she told Celebrity Insider.
Mexican actress Salma Hayek, 52, and French billionaire husband François-Henri Pinault got engaged in 2007 and that same year they had their daughter, Valentina Paloma. They got married on Valentine’s Day in 2009 in Paris and had a second ceremony in Venice later that year. Her breakthrough role was in the 2002 film, Frida, for which she received an Oscar nomination. “I don’t say the sort of things to Valentina that my mom said to me because her life is different,” the actress explained. “What my mom taught me was very important to me, but I don’t pass that on to my daughter because she needs the opposite,” she told HOLA.
Grammy-winning singer and actress Christina Aguilera is mother to son Max with ex-husband Jordan Bratman and daughter, Summer with boyfriend Matthew Rutler. She recently released her eighth studio album, Liberation and announced The Xperience, a concert residency at the Zappos Theater in Las Vegas. “As much as we all love our kids, ultimately we all have ourselves that are separate and it’s important to have a release just for yourself,” she added. “We literally give so much of ourselves, it’s important to make time to be able to find a creative release or pampering release,” she told TODAY.
Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara had her son Manolo when she was 19 with her high school sweetheart, Joe Gonzalez. They divorced in 1993 and she left Colombia not long after for Miami to pursue a career in entertainment. Manolo, who occasionally works as a model, can be seen in the Head & Shoulders commercials with his mom. “I was really young when I divorced his father, so I raised him trying to set the best example and give him the best that I could. When people compliment me on him, on how well mannered, how charming, funny and well-behaved he is, it makes all the sacrifices worthwhile,” she told PEOPLE.
Claws actress Judy Reyes Reyes and her boyfriend George Valencia have a daughter, Leila Rey, born in 2009. Reyes, known for her role as Nurse Carla Espinosa on Scrubs for eight seasons, was open about not wanting kids but says she completely in love with her daughter now that she’s a parent. The Dominican from the Bronx explained what was most surprising was that “I’m built for it! Because I’m 43 years old and I’ve been avoiding it all my life,” she told Latina magazine. “I don’t have to like anybody’s kid,” she says with a laugh. “I just have to like my kid.”
Cuban singer/actress Christina Milian, 37, welcomed daughter Violet with ex-husband singer/producer The Dream in 2010, they divorced the following year. Her most recent album was released in 2015 and she co-owns Viva Diva Wines with her mother. “It’s like I see the world with new eyes: Not only is this my life to live, this is for my daughter. If you really go into it with the mentality that you can do it and this has all been placed into your life for a reason at this time, then, hey, you gotta go with it,” she told ABC News.
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) December 9, 2018
Broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien, 52, is a mother of four to daughters Sofia and Cecilia and twin sons Charles and Jackson. “Things are always going to be challenging. I come from a family of six kids — I knew that when I wanted a lot of kids that it was gonna be hard, you know? It’s a lot, and it can be challenging. But if you can sort of manage the logistics and laugh at the craziness and just not take everything so seriously when everyone is healthy and OK, which is usually our case, then it’s not so bad,” she told SheKnows.
Cardi B had baby girl Kulture Kiari with rapper Offset in July 2018 and was open about the struggles she’s had since becoming a parent. The Afro-Latina star and Offset married in 2017 and broke up but are now back together and attended the Grammys together where Cardi accepted the award for Best Rap Album. “I thought I was going to avoid it. When I gave birth, the doctor told me about postpartum, and I was like, ‘Well, I’m doing good right now, I don’t think that’s going to happen.’ But out of nowhere, the world was heavy on my shoulders,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.
Colombian fashion journalist and editor-in-chief of Elle Nina Garcia is mom to Lucas and Alexander. She’s been open about working on balancing her commitments as a fashion expert and wife and mother. “When you are at home with your family, it is important that you are as present as you are when you’re at the office with your colleagues. I think what falls through the cracks is my social life. I don’t have much of that lately. But they are both very fulfilling, what I do at home and what I do at work. And a lot of people at work are my friends so that’s how I get my fix,” she told Newsday.
Shakira, 42, and Gerard Piqué, center back for FC Barcelona, are parents to boys Sasha and Milan. The Colombiana has maintained a low profile since becoming a mom but was featured in the animated film Zootopia and released her 11th studio album El Dorado last year, for which she won a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album. “It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. I never thought it’d be so difficult because it takes a lot of your energy. I think of my family a lot; I’m concerned about them all day. It’s physical, emotional, and intellectual wear and tear. Thinking of making an album seemed like a Herculean task, like climbing Mount Everest,” she told HOLA.
Actress Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling have protected their kids from the paps and don’t share images of their daughters, Esmeralda and Amada on social but occasionally do speak on their experiences as parents. She and Gosling have been together since 2011 and had their daughters in 2014 and 2016 and she recently dropped the spring collection of her clothing line with New York & Company. “Oh my God, nobody warns you about the guilt that you feel when you do work! I don’t know how I find balance, because I think it is like a day to day kind of struggle, you know?” she told EOnline.
Basketball wives star Evelyn Lozada, 43, had daughter Shaniece, 25, when she was 17 years old and later son Carl with fiance, former baseball player Carl Crawford in 2014, they broke off their engagement in 2017. “Always keep the lines of communication open. My daughter and I talk about everything with no judgment from me, so she always comes to me for advice instead of her friends,” she told Daily Vitamina. “Raising a boy is very different than raising a girl. Shaniece was very calm and quiet; Leo is very active and has so much energy. The technology the second time around is way more advanced too.”