Jenny Slate Talks About How Motherhood Changed Her For The Better

Jenny Slate on how motherhood helped her become more herself
(Rich Polk/Getty Images Entertainment)

The star of ‘I Want You Back’ said that motherhood ‘really caught me by surprise’

A lot’s changed for Jenny Slate in the past year. The comedian and writer and artist Ben Shattuck welcomed daughter Ida Lupine in February 2021, and on New Year’s Eve 2021, the couple tied the knot after their wedding had been postponed multiple times thanks to the pandemic.

The actress and best-selling author has opened up about her whirlwind year to several outlets while promoting her upcoming Amazon movie I Want You Back.

“A lot of my life has been getting back to a place where I felt like myself again after having a baby,” Slate said to Elle. The process is just that — a process! — and Slate is letting Ida lead the way. “Ok, how do I do my work and have a child? How do I let my child’s sweetness and courage and curiosity be the torch bearer for how I want to be? A little baby has no need to be defensive or brag or to flatter. There’s a lot to learn from the tiny sage that is a baby.”

Slate was worried she would lose herself in motherhood, but her experience has been the exact opposite

“You know, having a baby really caught me by surprise in a way. I mean, I wanted to have a baby. It wasn’t a surprise when I got pregnant… But what I thought would happen was I will become absorbed into the caregiver role and I won’t be able to reach back into what I did before,” Slate explained to USA Today.

“I thought being a mother would be like a replica of my own mother’s experience with motherhood,” she told Marie Claire. “At least, how I perceived it: in which she really, really, really loves us so much, and also, she often seemed really stressed out, and at loose ends, and at her wits’ end, and exhausted, and splattered in clay.” Listen, there definitely are days like that! But as Slate has quickly realized, motherhood has a way of opening new doors.

“Instead, I feel like it’s been the opposite of that for me. Not at all that it’s not difficult and challenging to have a newborn baby. There are so many profound challenges, but I’ve never been happier in my life. I feel like I can finally be what I want to be,” Slate explained. She told Parade that being a mom has gotten her closer to the ideal version of herself.

“I do feel like becoming a mother has gotten me closer to me more consistently being at what I enjoy… feeling at my best. I don’t think I’ve ever been so consistently happy.”