Hollywood actress and activist Jane Fonda is no stranger to talking about tough topics, and this time she’s getting real about motherhood.
In a recent interview with CNN, the 85-year-old admitted that she feels some parenting regrets about the type of mother she was to her three children, Mary Luana Williams, 55, Vanessa Vadim, 54, and Troy Garity, 49.
Fonda had her first child, Vanessa, with her late first husband, producer Roger Vadim, and shares her other two kids, Mary and Troy, with her late second husband, Tom Hayden.
“I was not the kind of mother that I wished that I had been to my children,” Fonda said.
“I have great, great children — talented, smart. And I just didn’t know how to do it.”
“I’ve studied parenting, and I know what it’s supposed to be now. I didn’t know then. So I’m trying to show up now,” she continued.
“What I’m really scared of is getting to the end of life with a lot of regrets when there’s no time to do anything about it. It’s one reason I’m trying to get it all done before I come to the end.”
This isn’t the first time Fonda has opened up about her parenting mistakes. In a 2017 interview, the Grace and Frankie star shared similar sentiments.
“I regret that I wasn’t a better parent. I didn’t know how to do it,” she said at the time.
“But you can learn, so I studied how to be a parent. It’s never too late. I am trying to make up for what I didn’t know before,” she said before emphasising the importance of family relationships.
“When I die, I want my family to be around me, I want them to love me, and I have to earn that. I’m still working at it.”
In another more recent interview with the Call Her Daddy podcast, Fonda cited her years-long battle with her eating disorder as one of the reasons why she struggled to be present as a mother for her children.
“I was married, I had children, I was politically active, I was raising money, I was an actor, I was making movies. I couldn’t do it all because the older you get, the more toll it takes on you,” Fonda said.
“If you binge and purge, it’s like three or four days to really recover. And I just couldn’t do the lifestyle that I wanted to do.
“I thought my life was worth improving, so I just decided that I would stop. And it was really, really, really, really hard.”
Now fully recovered from her bulimia, Fonda has been able to steer her life in the right direction, focusing on her health and finding ways to support her family.