Parenting is a tough gig for anyone, and in Hollywood the parts that are tough might be a little different from what the rest of us encounter. While we’re scrimping and saving to get by and trying to arrange a sitter for a much-needed night out, stars have the benefits of fat bank accounts and nannies to take over from time to time. However, with those perks come some major drawbacks, like having to shield their toddler from the glare of paparazzi cameras or explain a particularly embarrassing moment in their career to a child once they’re old enough to ask.
For some celebs, the first issue is the biggest one and, with the use of social media, the most pressing. In order to combat sneaky photographers, they refrain from sharing images or any info at all about their children with the public. Keeping them tucked away from prying eyes seems to be the safest bet, after all.
Then there are the celebs who refuse to keep their kids out of the spotlight. Perhaps their life is lived online, and so removing their child from that is too big a gap. Perhaps some celebrities simply want to share everything with their fans. Or perhaps they see their kids as a cash grab. These 20 stars are polar opposites from one another: 10 who keep their kids on the DL and 10 who show them off.
20 PRIVATE PARENTS: Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher (Wyatt and Dimitri)
Considering how high-profile their romance is, it’s understandable that these two would want to keep their children out of the glare of the limelight for at least a little while.
In an interview with Ariana Huffington in 2017, Kutcher stated, “We don’t share any photos of our kids publicly because we believe that being public is a personal choice…My wife and I have chosen a career where we’re in the public light, but my kids have not, so I think they have the right to choose that.”
Photos of the family are relegated to sneaky paparazzi shots when they’re out and about.
19 SOCIAL MEDIA SHARER: Snooki (Giovanna and Lorenzo)
When we first met Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi on MTV’s Jersey Shore, she didn’t seem like mom material at all, thanks to her partying, fashion choices, and romantic decisions. Fast-forward to 2019 and the pint-sized reality star is the proud mom of two, daughter Giovanna and son Lorenzo (with a third on the way)!
On her social media, Snooki shares personal pics of her family life, as well as her growing baby bump. The star and entrepreneur has used her new role as a “mawma” as a source of entertainment as well, co-hosting the digital show Moms With Attitude alongside Jenni “JWOWW” Farley, with regular appearances from both of their daughters!
18 PRIVATE PARENT: Alexis Bledel (No Baby Name Released)
Not the only star on our list to refrain from announcing the name of her child, Gilmore Girls star Alexis Bledel has remained uber-private about the son she has with Mad Men actor Vincent Kartheiser. In fact, she didn’t even release news that she had had a son – Gilmore Girls costar Scott Patterson spilled the beans!
Speaking to Glamour, Patterson revealed that Bledel was “a proud new mother and married and happy,” confirming rumors that the actress had given birth.
In addition to her top-secret ceremony with Kartheiser, no images of the unnamed son have been seen, proving that Bledel is accomplishing exactly what she sought to do.
17 SOCIAL MEDIA SHARER: Jennifer Lopez (Max and Emme)
J.Lo has walked down the aisle a number of times, but it was only with her third husband, Marc Anthony, that she became a mom to twins Max and Emme. Now, as the new fiancée of baseball star Alex Rodriguez, she’ll also be adding “stepmom” to her list!
As a celebrity, Lopez has been more than happy to share cute snaps of her mixed brood, and in April 2019 decided to let her kids in front of the camera by allowing the 11-year-olds to interview her for her YouTube channel! Thanks to her decades in the business, it seems the star feels she has the experience to let her kids safely step in front of the camera.
16 PRIVATE PARENT: Adele (Angelo)
Adele may bare her heart and soul in her goosebump-inducing music, but she stops short at sharing her son, Angelo, a child she co-parents with former partner Simon Konecki. In fact, the songstress didn’t even release the baby’s name or date of birth, but through paparazzi sleuthing (and photographs of the new moniker tattooed on Adele), fans figured it out.
Aside from a few snaps of Adele taken without her consent at airports or when she’s out running errands, there’s very little visual imagery of her son, who is now six years old. In the wake of her recent split from Konecki, we imagine the mama bear will be even more protective!
15 SOCIAL MEDIA SHARER: Reese Witherspoon (Ava, Deacon, and Tennessee)
It could be due to her children's ages (Ava and Deacon, from her marriage to actor Ryan Phillippe, are 19 and 15, respectively), but Reese Witherspoon doesn’t mind having her kids in the spotlight, even with newest addition Tennessee, a child she's had with husband Jim Toth.
Witherspoon has transitioned from actress to lifestyle guru, and perhaps that's why she's grown more comfortable with sharing her family life with her fans. She also became a mother at a young age when her career was just beginning its ascent, so that might further explain why she’s fine with sharing her children on social media.
14 PRIVATE PARENT: January Jones (Xander)
One scroll through January Jones’ IG feed and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any evidence that the Mad Men actress is a mother! Son Xander is now eight years old, but Jones still has yet to reveal his paternity.
In a 2013 interview with The Edit, Jones said this was intentional by saying, “I don’t have room for anything else, so I don’t know how I would have done it with a partner. I knew I would be raising my son alone. It was something I went into knowingly, I was prepared mentally – and I was excited about it.”
13 SOCIAL MEDIA SHARERS: Olivia Wilde & Jason Sudeikis (Daisy and Otis)
Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis seem like pretty low-key people, which could help explain why the former is so relaxed when it comes to sharing images of her children, Otis and Daisy, with the world. Using social media, the actress and director has opted to give us some super cute moments when it comes to raising her kids, rather than have them be caught unawares by the paps.
In 2015, the new mom opened up about motherhood in an essay for Shape magazine in which she discussed her changed body, her changed perspective on life, and how motherhood as a whole makes her feel.
12 PRIVATE PARENTS: Diane Kruger & Norman Reedus (No Baby Name Released)
Diane Kruger and Norman Reedus are so protective of their little one that we don’t even know her name! In fact, we’re even lucky to know that the couple has a baby girl at all! The unnamed offspring of Reedus and Kruger was born in 2018, and after paparazzi began hounding the family for glimpses of the infant, Kruger made an emotional plea on IG urging them to stop.
“While we understand that some people would like to see a picture of our daughter,” Kruger wrote, “We as parents want nothing more than [to] allow her to grow up in privacy and safety.”
11 SOCIAL MEDIA SHARER: Hilary Duff (Luca and Banks)
Hilary Duff has always been pretty open about her journey to motherhood, first with son Luca and now most recently with daughter Banks. Much of her social media is made up of cuddly photos of her family and she hasn’t hesitated to lay down some major truth when it comes to being a mom the second time around.
In a recent post, the actress opened up about her decision to stop nursing Banks, explaining that she had “zero down time” when she was pumping at work, saying that she got to six months of nursing before deciding to stop. Praising other mothers for being like “superwoman,” Duff earned plenty of kudos for being so open about motherhood.
10 PRIVATE PARENTS: Beyoncé & Jay-Z (Blue Ivy, Rumi, and Sir)
As their eldest daughter Blue Ivy has gotten older, we’ve been privileged to see shots of the family out and about, at awards shows and sitting courtside at basketball games. However, that wasn’t always the case for Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
When Blue was born, the couple kept things pretty quiet, only choosing to post about her (and her fabulously expensive lifestyle) as she got older. As for twins Rumi and Sir, we’ve seen even less about them, and Beyoncé only recently opened up about them in her Netflix documentary Homecoming. The singer revealed that the twins spent weeks in the NICU after one of their hearts stopped, which no doubt informs her desire to protect them from prying eyes.
9 SOCIAL MEDIA SHARER: Neil Patrick Harris (Harper and Gideon)
If their OTT Halloween costumes, Easter outfits, and Christmas clothes weren’t reason enough, it’s pretty safe to say that Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka are pretty chill when it comes to sharing photos of their twins, Harper and Gideon.
The couple regularly documents their family vacations and outings together for the benefit of sharing with their fans. While Harris has been a child star, he’s not exactly encouraging of similar pursuits for his own kids, telling Parents, “I’d be really happy if they didn’t do that job…[But] it is a very sadistic profession. You have to really love it.”
8 PRIVATE PARENTS: Ryan Gosling & Eva Mendes (Esmeralda and Amada)
Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have a highly private relationship, but when it comes to their daughters Esmeralda and Amada, family always comes first. In fact, their kids have taken such priority that Mendes has essentially retired from Hollywood to stay at home with them! (Her last acting credit was in 2014.)
“I feel more ambitious in the home than in the workplace,” Mendes said in an interview with Cosmpolitan in May 2019 about her decision to leave acting.
The couple is tight-lipped about their children and do whatever they can to keep them out of the public eye, rarely speaking about them and never sharing photos online.
7 SOCIAL MEDIA SHARER: Kim Kardashian (North, Saint, Chicago, and Psalm)
Considering the fact that Kim Kardashian-West and her sisters have been on TV for over a decade, spurred on by their mother’s ambitions, it’s not all that surprising to see that Kardashian-West has opted to be just as public with her own children, North, Saint, Chicago, and their newest addition, Psalm!
As a woman with a staggering 138 million followers on IG, Kardashian-West has made her personal life her public brand – and that includes sharing photos, videos, and stories about her kids. The entrepreneur and media personality has made motherhood very public (for better or for worse).
6 PRIVATE PARENTS: John Krasinski & Emily Blunt (Violet and Hazel)
For a lot of fans, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt are their favourite Hollywood couple. They work together, have fun together, seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and happen to look completely gorgeous on each other’s arms! They also agree on not sharing images of their daughters, Violet and Hazel.
In 2014, Krasinski shared a single photo of daughter Hazel on Twitter with the caption, “Pics of kids should only come direct from parents. So I’m thrilled to introduce you guys to Hazel!!! #NoKidsPolicy.” Since then, photos of the family have been few and far between, although the couple is happy to share stories about their daughters.
5 SOCIAL MEDIA SHARER: Chrissy Teigen (Luna and Miles)
Model and Twitter comedian Chrissy Teigen has made a name for herself for being unfiltered – and why should it change after she popped out a couple of kids?
Prior to giving birth to daughter Luna, Teigen was open about her struggles with fertility and her decision to use IVF to have her daughter. Since then, the model has kept it real when it comes to the trials and tribulations of motherhood, including the times when her kids are a pain in the butt!
Never one to keep quiet in the face of her critics, there have been plenty of times when Teigen has snapped back at mommy-shamers who think they know best.
4 PRIVATE PARENT: Mindy Kaling (Katherine)
Mindy Kaling is happy to talk about her little one, Katherine, but she refuses to share any photos of her daughter that show her face – and she’s staying mum about the paternity of her mini-me!
On her IG feed – where she is very active – the Office star peppers in some cute images of Katherine, but always with her face obscured, turned away, or out of the picture entirely. A proud mama who’s dished that her daughter has met Oprah and that her godfather is longtime friend, costar, and ex B.J. Novak, Kaling is still very protective of her daughter’s identity.
3 SOCIAL MEDIA SHARER: Jessica Simpson (Maxwell, Ace, and Birdie)
Jessica Simpson had a reality show documenting her marriage to Nick Lachey before reality shows had sunk to the depths in which they now exist. All of that to say that the woman doesn’t have any qualms about being her most revealing, unpolished, and frank self – whether people like it or not.
Media outlets may have scrutinized Simpson’s weight gain throughout her pregnancies, but such vitriol hasn’t stopped the singer from sharing her kids, as well as her issues throughout her most recent pregnancy, with the world. Like, remember when she broke a massive toilet seat? She’s even cashed in by designing a maternity line for Motherhood Maternity!
2 PRIVATE PARENTS: Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard (Lincoln and Delta)
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard aren’t what you would call shy people. On social media, they share plenty about themselves and their lives, including Shepard’s journey to sobriety and the tenuous state of their relationship.
When it comes to their daughters, Lincoln and Delta, however, these two put their foot down. In fact, the stars have spearheaded a campaign called the “no kids” policy, which targeted paps to stop publishing photos of celebrity children without parental consent! Speaking to Access Hollywood, Bell said, “We don’t want our daughter’s face anywhere ever until she decides because I have the utmost respect for her.”
1 SOCIAL MEDIA SHARER: Farrah Abraham (Sophia)
There is arguably no mother more willing to put her child out there than ousted Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham. Hardly the poster child for motherhood, Abraham’s parenting choices have raised more than a few eyebrows, including allowing her only daughter Sophia to have her own IG account and YouTube channel (Sophia is 10 years old).
Abraham is more than willing to use her daughter to further her career, encouraging her modeling pursuits and sharing videos that many be deemed unsavory. While Kris Jenner may be the OG momager, Farrah Abraham is reaching new lows to share her daughter’s life with the world.
Sources: ET Online, Glamour, Access Hollywood, Parents, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan