Jessica Alba is explaining why she’s so transparent about going to therapy with her eldest child, 13-year-old Honor. ET spoke with the 40-year-old actress and The Honest Company founder at the Baby2Baby 10th Anniversary Gala honoring Vanessa Bryant, and she talked about the importance of normalizing mental health conversations.
During Alba’s appearance on Katherine Schwarzenegger’s Instagram series Before, During & After Baby in July, she said she and Honor had started attending mother-daughter therapy sessions two years ago to work through communication barriers. Alba told ET that being a member of the Latino community, she wanted to make prioritizing mental health more acceptable.
“I grew up in a family where it’s still not totally accepted,” she said. “And I think the more we break down those walls, and make it, you know, easy for people to understand and accept that it’s just about you showing up for your family members or for yourself in a different way, and trying to be better. Be better tomorrow than you were today, you know?”
Alba said that her Honest Company is donating 10 million items to Baby2Baby — a nonprofit that provides children living in poverty with diapers, clothing and other basic necessities — over the next year, and has already donated 26 million items. Alba has had a long relationship with Baby2Baby co-CEOs Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein, and said that from day one, she was committed to The Honest Company giving back.
“Luckily I had Kelly and Norah as my girlfriends, mom friends, we were in baby class together,” she shared. “And as I was thinking up, you know, the dream company, I knew that I could really trust partnering with them and bringing this mission forward of really providing those basic essentials for babies and families, not for people who can just afford it, but also, for those who can’t afford it.”
During Alba’s candid chat with Schwarzenegger in July, she talked about some of the positive things that have come out of going to therapy with Honor. Alba shares three children with her husband, Cash Warren, including 10-year-old Haven and 3-year-old Hayes.
“Like my 13-year-old, I’m struggling with not treating her like a little — I want to treat them all like babies. I want to baby them,” she shared. “Still my tendency is to parent them as if they are little. I started going to therapy with her I think when she was 11. For me it was really out of, I felt like my relationship really suffered with my parents because they didn’t know how to communicate with me and how I needed to be parented. So I didn’t want that breakdown with Honor, so we went to therapy together.”
Alba said Honor felt empowered to open up to her during their therapy sessions, including telling her mom what she liked and didn’t like.
“[She[ was like, ‘You need to spend more time with me alone without Haven around.’ That was a big one,” Alba said. “And, ‘You need to treat me like I’m me and she’s her. You can’t mush us together.’ I have to say, I kind of still struggle with that.”