A Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy nominee, Jessica Biel is a familiar face on both cinema and television screens. She married singer and actor Justin Timberlake in 2012 and the couple have one son, Silas, who was born in 2015.
1White noise helps babies sleep
The theory is that white noise mimics the sounds your baby has listened to while you were carrying him or her – such as amniotic fluid swishing around. Biel swears it helps Silas sleep better, and her too.
She also says parents have to accept they’ll worry about their kids while they’re asleep: “There are so many fears. You’re leaning over, looking at them and thinking, are they breathing? It’s so intense.”
2It’s ok not to love every second
Biel was upfront about how difficult she and Timberlake found the ‘terrible twos’ with Silas. She openly admitted it was hard to give her son everything he needed while finding a good life balance for herself. And, she said, that’s ok.
“You think you’re a selfless person and then you realise you’re not. These little people come around and they require so much, and your schedule is really not your own. Nor is it important any more – it’s very clear your life now revolves around this dude.”
3Teach kids gender equality
Silas is already learning about the importance of respecting women. Biel doesn’t allow him to speak to her disrespectfully and is trying to teach him to treat others as he would like to be treated.
She believes the way adult men behave towards women is strongly linked to the relationships they have with their mothers – so she’s trying to lay the right foundations now, while Silas is young.
4Don’t pressure yourself to be perfect
If it looks like everyone around you is effortlessly juggling parenthood alongside the rest of life, don’t worry – chances are they’re finding it as difficult as you are. Biel says that while many celebrities post pictures on Instagram that make their lives seem perfect, she’s more interested in keeping it real.
She says there are times when she messes up, doesn’t eat well and misses her workouts – and that’s totally fine.
Both Biel and Timberlake have agreed to be open with their son about the human body – they don’t want him to ever feel embarrassed about asking questions. They speak as openly as they can and use the technical names for body parts so Silas understands there’s nothing wrong or shameful about them.
6Nap when they nap
Lack of sleep is a given for most parents, so Biel decided early on that when Silas sleeps, she sleeps. Her approach is to curl up with her son, either along or with Timberlake too. She says Silas sleeps better knowing one or both of his parents are there with him, and snatching extra rest definitely gives her an energy boost too.
7Trust your instincts
Every child is different. It doesn’t matter how much advice people give you, the bottom line is listening to your inner voice about what’s right for yours. Biel is all for reading parenting books and gathering information, but she picks out what she knows will work for Silas and ignores the rest.
According to Biel, one of the most important ways to foster confidence and a positive self-image in your child is to communicate openly. She believes children should know they can ask their parents anything they like without feeling embarrassed, ashamed, afraid or stupid. No subject is taboo.
It’s just like talking to a small adult, she says – you need to explain things rationally. She wants either herself or Timberlake to be the first person Silas turns to if he has any questions or fears about anything in the world.