To celebrate Mother’s Day, here are 13 mums we wish were ours
BY CARRIE LYELL
1. Heather Peace
Like you lot, we were over the moon when Heather and wife Ellie welcomed their baby daughter Annie into the world in April 2015. Shortly after announcing the news on Twitter, the singer and actress told DIVA: “We have been overwhelmed with positive, warm messages to myself and Ellie on the birth of baby Annie. Our little family is complete. We are on cloud nine and times are changing when I’ve only seen positive, genuinely lovely comments.” Heather and Ellie soon welcomed Jessie and Lola to the family.
2. Casey Stoney
It was love at first sight when we met former England captain Casey and partner Megan’s gorgeous twins Teddy and Tilly. Conceived through IVF, Casey says she’s now a mum first and footballer second told us: “It was the best decision we ever made and now we have two gorgeous, healthy twins who’ve completed our lives.” As for who the little ones will support? You’ll have to watch this space.
3. Sara Gilbert
The actress and talk show host is mum to three kids: Levi, 13, and Sawyer, 10, from her relationship with television producer Alison Adler, and in 2015 she gave birth to Rhodes Emilio Gilbert Perry, following her marriage to 4 Non Blondes star Linda Perry. On the breakup of her relationship with Adler, Gilbert said: “I will say that we have beautiful children together, a lot of love for each other. You continue into the next chapter together in a different way.”
4. Kiki Archer
There’s no manual on being a same-sex parent, but author Kiki Archer created the next best thing with a series of hilarious and touching vlogs for DIVA. Featuring the wonderful Archie and Annabel, the three discussed tricky subjects including the birds and the bees and being gay, and they demonstrate perfectly that kids with two mums are as happy and healthy as those with a mum and a dad.
5. Melissa Etheridge
Singer songwriter, activist and Oscar winner Melissa Etheridge has four kids from two past relationships, but works hard to make sure that Bailey Jean, Beckett, Johnnie Rose and Miller Steven have a stable home life, and she says the kids “adore” her wife, Nurse Jackie producer Linda Wallam, who she married in 2014. “When I was single and it was just me and the kids, and Linda would come and help, my oldest said, ‘I wouldn’t mind if Linda was your girlfriend’. They adore her,” she told us last year.
6. Sandi Toksvig
Bonafide national treasure Sandi Toksvig was at the forefront of same-sex parenting 30 years ago. In a recent article for DIVA, her eldest daughter, photographer Jesse Toksvig-Stewart, said: “[My parents] knew no one gay or lesbian who had babies. It seems unnecessary now, but my mum would not leave the house when I was first born because she feared social services would take me away”. The 57-year-old also talked recently that time, and says she received death threats when she came out in the early 90s: “It was truly, genuinely frightening,” she said. “I was terrified that I had done a terrible thing to my children.” She needn’t have worried. Jesse says: “My mothers have co-parented my brother and sister and me brilliantly, with love and devotion our whole lives.”
7. Jodie Foster
Long time DIVA crush Jodie, who married former L Word actress Alexandra Hedison in 2014, is mum to two sons, Charlie and Kit, who she co-parents with ex partner Cydney Bernard. In 2011, she spoke about the struggle of balancing work and home life, and said: “I want to make sure that I feel passionate about the movies I do because it is a big sacrifice… Even if you take the average movie shoot of four months – you have three weeks’ prep, press duties here and abroad, dubbing and looping, magazine covers, events and premieres – that’s eight months out of a year. That’s a long time. If you do two movies back-to-back, you’re never going to see your children”.
8. Jillian Michaels
Fitness guru Jillian and her partner Heidi Rhodes are proud parents to Phoenix and Lukensia, and gave us a insight into family life last year with new reality show, Just Jillian. On raising her “blended family”, Jillian says she’s received “the most racist, disgusting comments” but has grown a thick skin and doesn’t let it affect her. “To be honest, nothing can shake me,” says Jillian. “I love my life”.
9. Maria Bello
We saw just what a lovely relationship actress Maria has with her son Jackson when she came out back in 2013. In a powerful essay in the New York Times, she spoke of the worry of telling him she was in love with a woman, but when she did, he told her: “Mom, love is love, whatever you are”.
10. Mary Portas and Melanie Rickey
Queen of Shops Mary has a son and a daughter with her ex-husband Graham, and in 2013, the TV presenter’s wife Melanie gave birth to Horatio, conceived using sperm from Portas’ brother Lawrence. In 2015, fashion journalist Rickey told the Observer she had “no qualms” about going public about how their son was born. “We are simply sharing something which feels very normal to us all as a family,” she said. “If it inspires people or makes them think differently – or even if it challenges their perception of ‘normal’ – then that can only be positive.” Portas also wrote about the birth of Horatio and in her autobiography Shop Girl and said: ““Lawrence was the first one there [with us] and he picked him up and it was just very emotional. I said to him ‘thank you’, and he said ‘it’s my pleasure’, and we just held each other.”
11. Luisa Bradshaw-White
EastEnders actress Luisa, who married her long term partner Annette Yeo two years ago, is mum to two teenage daughters who they adopted when they were three and four. In 2015, the former DIVA cover star told OK magazine about the process of becoming parents and said: “We saw a picture and I burst into tears. I knew the girls were my children. I’d bought them clothes before we had even been approved to have them.”
12. Emma Donoghue
The award-winning author of Room, who based the character of Jack on her own son as a child, recently talked to DIVA about parenthood. “I feared that having babies and being the one to bear them, might turn me into some total essentialist who’d be like, ‘the birth bond is the only bond’ but actually not at all,” she said. “No matter how much emotion you’re feeling already for this little kicking creature inside you, once it comes out it’s a total stranger. I think motherhood really starts there, at that moment, when you, as a parent who’s come into this child’s life, take responsibility.”
13. Sophie Ward
Actress Sophie Ward integrated her partner Rena into her family life in an era when same-sex parenting was very much a taboo subject, and says finding their way was anything but plain sailing. “For us, it was all quite difficult,” she told DIVA. “Things have worked out fine but I didn’t know that’s how it was going to be at the time. There was an element of jumping and hoping the parachute opened – and I think that’s probably still the case for a lot of people.” As well as acting, Sophie is also a patron for Alternative Parenting, and is passionate about providing support for other same-sex families. “A lot of time people are the only same-sex parents in their class and they need those networks so it is still an issue today even though it’s much easier,” she says.