Why Reese Witherspoon is one of our favourite celebrity mums

"People ask me how do I do it all- having three kids and a full time job? This is how."
"People ask me how do I do it all- having three kids and a full time job? This is how."  Photo: Instagram

She's gorgeous, talented and successful - but when it comes to motherhood, Reese Witherspoon is also an expert at keeping it real.

The Hollywood superstar has posted an amusing Instagram photograph showing how she copes as a working mum-of-three.

The picture shows Witherspoon in a dressing gown, asleep on a couch in a less than perfectly tidy room. 

"Every day, I'm so thankful to have this amazing man as my partner." Reese shared a photo of her son Tennesse and ...
"Every day, I'm so thankful to have this amazing man as my partner." Reese shared a photo of her son Tennesse and husband Jim Toth on March 6.  Photo: Instagram

It's captioned: "How do I do it all- having three kids and a full time job? This is how. Just. Like. This. #Naptime"

The post is the latest example of Witherspoon, whose children are 15, 11 and 2, being honest about the fact motherhood is not all roses and sunshine.

Yes, there was the awkward run in with the law last year, when she was arrested for disorderly conduct, but that just showed that Reese, like the rest of us, is human. "I saw him arresting my husband and I literally panicked. I said all kinds of crazy things," she later said. "I made a mistake. We all make mistakes. The best you can do is say sorry and learn from it and move on."

Here are five other reasons the 38-year-old Oscar winner is our favourite celebrity mum.

1. She lets her toddler have treats

Earlier this month Witherspoon posted photograph on Instagram of two small cinnamon scrolls and slice of apple arranged in a smiley face with caption: "Good morning! #ISeeAFace #ToddlerBreakfast".

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Some huffed and puffed about how the celebrity mum was guilty of giving her two-year-old son "too much sugar". The rest of us who parent in the real world were impressed with her smiley face efforts and secretly felt a bit better about that time we let our own toddler have a Chupa Chup for lunch.

2. She doubts herself

Nobody parent wants to be friends with a mum or dad who thinks they know everything about raising kids and doesn't admit to at least the occasional mistake.

Jim Toth and Reese Witherspoon at the Oscars after party, 2015.
Jim Toth and Reese Witherspoon at the Oscars after party, 2015. Photo: Kevin Mazur/VF15

So news that Witherspoon "constantly" questions herself as a parent is comforting.

"Have I exposed them to the right amount of culture (no), do I spend enough time with each of them as individuals (probably not), do I have the right amount of work/family balance (who knows!). I'm trying!" she wrote on the Cricket's Circle blog last year.

3. Her kids find her embarrassing

Who wouldn't want to be seen hanging out with a Hollywood superstar? Witherspoon's children apparently.

While speaking to Ellen DeGeneres last year, Witherspoon revealed only one of her three children are happy to be seen in public with her. While toddler Tennessee is still a mummy's boy, his brother Deacon, 11 and sister Ava, 15, would rather not hang out with their famous parent.

It has gotten so bad Deacon is even embarrassed by the way his mum drinks coffee.

"The other day we were driving and I had my coffee cup and he said 'The lipstick on your coffee cup is so embarrassing'. Wow, well, get over it kid, 'cause I have a lot of lipstick," she told DeGeneres. 

Thanks for your honesty Reese! Now the rest of us don't feel as bad that our precious offspring cringe and run when we try to give them a kiss goodbye at the school gate.

4. She admits her brain went into shutdown mode when her children were born

Remember when your baby was a newborn you woke feeling refreshed every day and felt like you could take on the world? No, neither do I. 

Which is why it is comforting to know celebrity mums like Witherspoon are not immune to the mental fuzziness that can last for months after the birth of a baby.

"I felt like my brain was scrambled eggs, and I think it is, understandably, hard to get dressed or even get out of the house," she wrote last year. "You have to go easy on yourself."

5. Her kids come first

Despite divorcing in 2007, she and Ryan Phillippe, the father of Ava and Deacon, have worked hard to keep their relationship a positive one for the sake of their children.

In an interview with the Huffington Post last year, fellow actor Phillippe told how "proud" he was of his parenting relationship with Witherspoon.

"I think we've gotten to a really great place … It's going well, and she's happy and remarried, and our kids are incredible," Phillippe said. "I'm proud of the way we've handled it and who our little people are."