Danielle Brooks is sharing her approach to childcare as a working mom.
The Orange Is the New Black alum, 31, is mom to 16-month-old daughter Freeya, whom she welcomed in November 2019 with fiancé Dennis Gelin, and in a new cover story for Parents' May 2021 issue, Brooks opens up about finding a work-life balance between her career and parenting. She admits leaving Freeya with a childcare provider can be "tricky" for her sometimes.
"You adjust to not being with your child 24/7 and trust someone to take care of them. It's tricky, but I'm grateful to do what I love," says Brooks, who stars in the new Lifetime biopic Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia.
Brooks says Gelin is known to call her a "super mom" while she shoots HBO Max's Peacemaker in Vancouver along with Freeya, away from him at their home in New York City.
"I'm learning how to balance being a mommy and working in another country without him. Trying to handle everything on my plate has been like trying to juggle eight balls — and I'm not a juggler," she says.
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Brooks says one of the harder aspects about motherhood is the balancing act and learning "how to say no to things."
"When you have a child, you really have to decide what's important," she says. "There are times when I feel guilty for not being with Freeya, but having down time in my dressing room has given me moments to rediscover myself."
She adds, "I put goals and quotes on the wall that say things like, 'I am pure magic,' or 'I am safe to be my true, authentic self.' "
And for Brooks, becoming a mom gave her newfound confidence.
"I'm gaining patience, and I did not have a drop of it before," says Brooks. "I'm caring less about B.S."
"When I was pregnant, I played Beatrice in Shakespeare in the Park's Much Ado About Nothing in New York City. Normally, I would've been freaked out that I got all these lines, and 1,200 people a night were watching," adds the actress. "But when I had a child inside of me, I was more fearless. Just walking around with a little more bravery, that was cool for me. That was a big piece of power I discovered."
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