“It wasn’t hard to love. It wasn’t hard to dedicate myself to someone and something greater than my life,” the actress writes.
Though Angelina Jolie is a mother of six, she has now revealed that she “never thought” she would have children.
While guest-editing a special edition of Time’s Parents newsletter, the 44-year-old actress reflected on her decision to become a parent and explained what was most difficult for her when it came to starting a family.
“I was not a very stable youth. In fact, I never thought I could be anyone’s mom,” wrote Jolie, who shares kids Maddox, 18, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 13, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 11 with ex-husband, Brad Pitt. “I remember the decision to become a parent. It wasn’t hard to love. It wasn’t hard to dedicate myself to someone and something greater than my life.”
“What was hard was knowing that from now on I needed to be the one to make sure everything was okay,” she continued. “To manage it and make it work. From food to school to medical. Whatever would come. And to be patient.”
“I realized I stopped my constant daydreaming, instead staying always ready for any break into what I was doing or thinking to answer a need,” Jolie explained, adding that it “was a new skill to acquire.”
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Jolie said she’s thinking of parents isolating at home with their children and pointed out how it’s “impossible” for them to always be “perfect.”
“I think of all the mothers and fathers with children at home,” she wrote. “All hoping they can do everything right, answer all needs, and stay calm and positive. One thing that has helped me is to know that’s impossible.”
“It is a lovely thing to discover that your children don’t want you perfect. They just want you honest. And doing your best,” Jolie concluded. “In fact, the more room they have to be great where you are weak, the stronger they may become. They love you. They want to help you. So in the end, it’s the team you build. And in a way, they are raising you up too. You grow together.”
As a contributor editor for Time, the Oscar winner has written several op-eds during the pandemic, including one that highlights children who may be vulnerable to child abuse while being quarantined at home with their parents.
“Isolating a victim from family and friends is a well-known tactic of control by abusers,” she wrote in an essay published earlier this month. “This means necessary social distancing could inadvertently fuel a direct rise in trauma and suffering for vulnerable children.”
Also during the global health crisis, Jolie has been working with UNESCO on the establishment of a Global Education Coalition, in addition to donating to the UN Refugee Agency and giving $1 million to No Kid Hungry last month.
“As of this week, over a billion children are out of school worldwide because of closures linked to coronavirus,” she said in a statement at the time. “Many children depend on the care and nutrition they receive during school hours, including nearly 22 million children in America who rely on food support. No Kid Hungry is making resolute efforts to reach as many of those children as possible.”