Currently starring on Broadway, and set to move into Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane this fall, Vanessa Williams is a force to be reckoned with. In the the latest edition of Working Mother, the stunning 47-year-old mother of four opens up about her staying power in Hollywood, Botox, co-parenting with her exes, and the most important lesson she’s learned as a working mom.
On her role as mom to Melanie, 22, Jillian, 20, Devin, 17, and Sasha Gabriella, 10: “I became a mom when I was young, so I’ve always had my career along with my children. Just eight weeks after I’d had my second child, I had to go to England to promote my album for ten days. So I dragged my breast pump through airport security. I was so weepy to be leaving my newborn. Maybe ten years later, I’d have said no to the trip. As you get older, you get stronger and more confident, and you get more accustomed to saying no and to knowing your boundaries. Things change as you mature. But you still try to do everything you can to be with your kids. I remember flying from Tokyo to New York for a confirmation party for my daughter, and then back to Tokyo to perform. But you can only do so much, and you have to forgive yourself.”
On motherhood’s most important lesson: “My biggest lesson is to surrender, to stop trying to control. You never know what life has to offer. Yes, have a plan, but also be open to the possibility that you don’t know what’s next. The best things that have happened in my life have been complete surprises. I never intended to meet certain people. I never knew certain opportunities would come up. I know a lot of working moms want to stay in control. My advice: Let go of the wheel. Let life happen. And when you get an opportunity, go for it. You can miss opportunities if you’re always trying to control everything. So be open to something new, and you may be pleasantly surprised.”