Jennifer Lopez talks about the ‘guilt’ of being a ‘famous’ parent

"They didn’t choose that”

Jennifer Lopez
(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

Jennifer Lopez has opened up about the 'guilt' she feels as a famous parent, sharing that her kids have to live with fame even though 'they didn't choose' it.

Appearing on a roundtable interview with Audacy, the mum-of-two spoke candidly about parenting and 'protecting' her 15-year-old twins, Max and Emme, whose dad, Lopez's ex-husband Marc Anthony, is also a famous singer, songwriter, and actor.

The actress, who was promoting her latest Netflix project The Mother, gave rare insight into life in the spotlight, explaining that she feels 'guilty' about her children not being seen for 'who they are' but instead for who their parents are. 

She shared, “Being the child of famous parents is really not something that many people can understand, and I feel for [my kids] for that because they didn’t choose that. They have just started letting me know, like, how people treat them … When they walk into the room, that’s what people are thinking about. They’re not seeing them for who they are, and I think that that has to be a really hard thing for them. So I would love to be able to protect them from that.”

“Being judged by people that you don’t even know ... it’s I think really difficult for them to grow up and be themselves. They know that there’s a lens on them, and that’s—that’s hard. Probably not a very relatable thing to say ’cause a lot of people don’t understand.”

Jennifer Lopez

(Image credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

Lopez went on to explain how she feels 'guilt' over causing their struggles by choosing to pursue fame. She explained emotionally, “I did that to them, and so that again, we have this guilt as moms about what we do and what we brought into their lives."

However, while her work has had some negative impact on her children's lives, it has also impacted her own view of parenthood, leading her to explore and rejoice over the wide range of ways children can be brought up.

Speaking about the reflections brought on by her recent project The Mother, she said, “What is the perfect mum? And what does that mean? The truth is, we all do it differently. And we do it differently to different children in our family. … So there really is no perfect version; it’s just about being the best version of a mum you can be, with your specific set of skills, your specific set of experiences, and who you are as a person.

“I love that idea, because I’m not a traditional mum. I’m not a stay-at-home mum. I’m a single mum, I’m a working mum. In a way, I’m kind of a famous mum, which is a weird thing for kids, too. So I have a whole set of things that is … what people think of as not normal. So I like that idea of bringing that to the table, like you don’t have to be a specific type of mum to be a great mum.”

But while her children may experience life differently to others as they grow up in the spotlight, Lopez has previously shared that, despite the differences, their behaviour really doesn't differ from that of any typical teenager.

She revealed on The Today Show earlier this month that the pair both have 'strong personalities' and aren't afraid of 'giving it to' her in arguments. But the understanding mother was still quick to praise the twins and share her admiration for them.

She said, "They're becoming adults. They are challenging everything in life. They're looking at everything. And these kids have so much information, so much more than we had. They're thinking and talking about things and about life in a different way than I did when I was 15 or 16 years old."

"I think they're gonna change the world and make it so much better, so much better than what we did."

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.