Celeb Moms Speak Out on Joys of Motherhood

To ring in Mother's Day, we asked some celebrity matriarchs how having kids changed them.

Actress Kate Hudson, 29

Son Ryder, 4

"I'm very impatient. I like to get things done. I move fast. Patience has been something he's teaching me. Your children teach you so much. It's a real mirror of yourself. You recognize the things you do directly affect your children. It hopefully allows you to be more conscious of them and yourself and your actions. When you have kids, it goes so fast. I felt like I was pregnant last weekend, but he's 4 and he's talking and he's gathering his ideas and learning who he is. It's so easy to step in and fix things and make everything right, but you have to let him figure things out on his own. That's one of my favorite things to do, to watch how they treat other kids and how they observe other people. Your life becomes about your children. I wake up every morning and I hear his voice, and that's my favorite thing in the world. There's nothing like it."

Actress Sigourney Weaver, 58

Daughter Charlotte, 18

"It's a very humbling experience. Parenting has changed and evolved so much since I was parented. Parents enjoy their kids much more. It's just fun. It's a potentially blossoming time, because you have to be everything. You have to be a great storyteller. You have to be very organized, very supportive and still. You can't believe you have this without a license, without any training. You learn as you go. You're getting to know your child, who is a complete individual at birth, and you spend years getting to know who that person is and making sure that person is as supported as possible."

Actress Helen Hunt, 44

Daughter Makena, 3

"It gives me real motivation to try and be the person I want to be. You tell them to be patient. But they'll do what you do and not what to say. If I want her to be relaxed, I have to be relaxed. Or at least try as hard as I can to seem relaxed. If I want her to be patient, I have to be patient. If I want her to be kind, I have to be kind. I have a deep wish for her to be happy and serene, and it makes me want to do everything I can to be happy and serene."

Actress Thandie Newton, 35

Daughters Ripley, 7, and Nico, 3

"I've learned the value of stripping it down to the basics: love, respect, compassion, stillness, to be interested, to be able to absorb the moment. I remember the first time Ripley saw her shadow. My god. It was like shadows had just been invented. It was the most exquisite moment. And it was just dish to me. To actively attempt to be a good mother is basically attempting to be a good person. I never look at my kids and feel that they're mine. I am their caretaker. They own the joint. It's a privilege to be able to take care of them. With my first daughter, I remember waking up and thinking, 'My god, I get to be her mum again today. Wow. It's amazing.' They just take my breath away. All I do is serve themselves back to themselves. My job is just to provide a secure environment where they can just be themselves. It's the cycle that keeps going forward. You give to them, so they can give to their kids. You have to be delighted by that."

Actress Salma Hayek, 41

Daughter Valentina, 7 months

"You learn so much. Listen to her. She's in the background. Do you hear that strange noise she makes (like a purr, or a rolled r)? It's the French in her. (Dad is businessman François-Henri Pinault.) It's hilarious. What I learned as a mother is that I have a strong love for things. But the quality of your love gets jaded over the years as you get beat up. What motherhood did to me, when she was born, the amount of love that started pouring out of me was completely pure. Anything anyone ever did to me was erased by this energy. I relearned how to love everything around me, too. My baby is the best thing that has happened to me in my life. It's the most amazing thing."

Compiled by Donna Freydkin