Vanessa Williams is an actress and mother of four children. She and her mother Helen recently talked with CNN about the joys of motherhood for a special Mother’s Day segment.


Although she could not understand many of her mom’s tactics as a child, Vanessa sees the bigger picture now that she has been given the opportunity to rear her own children. “As a mother now of four children,” Vanessa says, “I can see [my mom] much more wholly as a woman, a mother, someone who has had a past and someone whose past has influenced her choices as well as mine. The wiser you get, the more experience you have, and the more you see people for who they are as human beings, as opposed to figures you have to fight against. I think I am much more conscious of back story, temperament and even going through perimenopause and how it can affect your mood, attitude and relations and how you deal with people. There are a lot of things that you don’t realize that your parents are going through when you’re a kid.”

Not only can Vanessa relate to her mother now that she is older, but she also sounds like her in raising her children. The actress states, “When I heard it loud and clear was when I was on location shooting a show called ‘Who Do You Think You Are.’ I was on the phone with my 12-year-old daughter. She started with violin, played piano and percussion, then she wanted to switch to the trumpet, and then wanted to drop it altogether. I remember saying, ‘We don’t drop our instruments in this family. Everyone takes an instrument until they graduate, and that’s what we do as a family, so you’ve got to figure out if it’s violin or trumpet or something else. And I don’t ever want to hear the music teacher telling me you’re not showing up again.’ And that’s when I knew, I am the same parent, I have heard this before.”

Williams and her mother have released a new book entitled You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-Nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (And Each Other), especially for Mother’s Day. The publication gives readers a detailed look into their mother-daughter relationship, and talks about how they survived public scandal together.

Vanessa’s youngest daughter Sasha Fox(dad is Rick Fox) is pictured above.

Photo: @Rickafox



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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