by the Forward

Natalie Portman’s Guide to Motherhood and Parenting

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Dear Natalie,

I’m 7 months pregnant, and I’m already exhausted! I can’t imagine how I’m going to manage when the baby is actually born. Any tips for dealing with the fatigue of being an expectant mother?


Dear Worn Out,

I hear you! The late months of pregnancy can be exhausting, with doctor visits, red carpet appearances, Lamaze classes, and of course, Oscar season. One of the most important things you can do is to make time for yourself to rest and recharge your batteries. When I need a break, I like to kick off my shoes, relax on the couch, and throw a copy of “Black Swan” on the DVD player.


Dear Natalie,

I have a teenage daughter who is precociously attractive and hangs around with a trained assassin. What steps should I take?


Dear Nervous,

If the assassin is a handsome Frenchman or a Jedi, she will be OK.


Dear Natalie,

I feel silly saying this, but I’m feeling really self-conscious about all the weight I’ve gained. I’ve always been thin, but now it’s not just my stomach growing, but my hips, my buttocks — everywhere! My husband says I still look beautiful (he’s so sweet), but I don’t feel beautiful. What can I do?


Dear Zaftig,

Don’t feel silly — we’re all self-conscious about the weight we gain. Here’s a few tips that have helped me feel like I’m looking my best:

• Work with your fashion designer to create gowns that suit your new body. They can do wonders with flowy fabrics and master seamstresses.

• They say the camera adds ten pounds — don’t believe it! It’s amazing what a good cinematographer can do with lighting and camera angles.

• Exercise! I try to stick to a schedule of five to eight hours a day of intensive ballet practice.


Dear Natalie,

What are you going to name your baby?


Dear Curious,



Dear Natalie,

I’m a working woman, soon to be a working mother, and I don’t know how I’m going to manage everything. My schedule is packed, and I worry that the additional stress will drive me crazy. How do you juggle so many commitments — and how do you think motherhood will affect that?


Dear Busy,

The most important thing is to always remember what’s most important to you. When I get stressed, I close my eyes and dream of the day when I can be alone in my house, with my precious little one cradled quietly in my arms, gazing at his tiny little hands and feet, and his cute little bald head, and polishing him to an immaculate shine. Those are the moments you live for.



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