Gisele Bündchen opens up about new motherhood: 'I kind of lost myself'

Gisele Bündchen's list of accomplishments are tremendous: Brazil's first international supermodel, a ranking as one of Forbes Magazine's most influential women in the world, the face of Victoria Secret's angels, and even Hollywood star and producer.

Yet even for Gisele, the transformation to motherhood made her question everything about herself, her identity, and the life she once knew.

The supermodel, who shares children Benjamin (8), Vivian (5) and step son Jack (11) with NFL superstar Tom Brady, writes in her new book , Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, that motherhood was a massive psychological transformation for her.

According to a People interview of Gisele on the topic of her new memoir, becoming a mother was incredibly challenging, even for her, telling the magazine:

"When I became a mom, I kind of lost myself. It was like a part of me died. I'd been this very independent person. It was all about me. But now I had this little being, and I suddenly felt l couldn't do other things and that was very hard for me. All I ever wanted was to be a mom, but when you're actually experiencing that, it's a shock."

YES, girl. Preach. Because no matter what you've done before becoming a parent, that tiny little person absolutely rocks your world.

Gisele also shares all-too-common feelings of guilt she experienced as a working mother, telling People: "I had all this horrible, self-imposed guilt. I thought what a terrible mother I was for leaving my child even for like a day." When she would bring her children along on jobs, "I was feeling guilty for that too. Like, 'Here we are on a plane and the baby is crying.'"

From her book, she writes:

"I think of this stage of my life as The Valley. Not because it is in any way negative, but because once you've been on top of the mountain, there's nowhere else to go back down. On top of the mountain, it's always sunny and bright and you get a big view. In contrast, life in a valley is quieter and more contained. The Valley gives me the opportunity to understand a different side of myself, and to devote myself to being the best wife and best mother I can be, all while I get to experience the love of my children."

While acknowledging that she has tremendous financial freedom that most new mothers lack, she writes in her memoir of the identity-shift she experienced in new motherhood:

"When the kids were very young, there were times when I felt overwhelmed or conflicted, sometimes a little depressed, though I tried my best to be strong. I felt the massive new responsibility of motherhood. I wanted to do my best, and to do it right. The thing is, I was an experienced mom, in on-the-job- training, plus I sometimes felt torn, since I knew I had so much more I wanted to create in the world.

"Now that the kids are older and in school, I know that soon Ill be ready to begin climbing another mountain. I've never lived in The Valley for this long, but I wouldn't give back the time I spent there for anything. My children have given me a greater sense of purpose and motivation."

Gisele may be a one-of-a-kind woman (I mean, how many of us wear literal wings at work?), but her experience of the mind-blowing transformation of motherhood is absolutely universal. It's where you can feel guilt for working—or guilt for not working. It's where you can feel the purest love you've ever experienced—but also miss the freedom you once had.

Motherhood is full of the highest highs and the lowest lows. In so many ways, it's the essence of the human experience itself—full of conflict and sacrifice, pure love and profound meaning. It's everything—even to Gisele.

You might also like:

Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.

This article was sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

Keep reading Show less

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play