Gabrielle Union would be the first mom to admit that she doesn't know everything there is to know about parenting — but that suits her just fine.
In a new interview with Parents, the 48-year-old actress — who's mom to 2-year-old daughter Kaavia James, as well as stepmom to husband Dwyane Wade's children Xavier, 7, Zaya, 13, and Zaire, 18 — opens up about her "very large village" of loved ones who help her and Wade, 38, with the kids.
Sharing that both their mothers, plus Union's niece and younger sister, moved into their home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Union says that needing help "doesn't make you a failure."
"Needing help does not make you weak or vulnerable — it just means you need help like everybody else," she noted.
What's more is the L.A.'s Finest actress admits she feels less pressure now to know everything there is to know about parenting. "That I don't have all the answers and that, 'I don't know' is a real answer that more people should embrace," Union says of a big parenting lesson she learned in 2020. "It's been very humbling."
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Gabrielle Union Encourages Fellow Moms to "Advocate" for Their Self-Care: "Start with You First"
As for how the family is getting through the global health crisis at home together, Union admits she had resorted to desperate measures — including little white lies here and there — to get a moment to herself.
"I can't even front. I will claim a gastrointestinal issue so fast to get a little extra time," she jokes.
The Being Mary Jane alum also prioritizes "me time" when it comes to balancing work and her personal life, telling Parents, "I've had to talk to all of my business partners and just be really transparent, like, 'I want to be my best employee for you or leader for you, but I am going to need some time for me.' "
"Everyone has offered me that kind of compassion, that space, and that grace to do what it takes to function," Union continues. "And I just hope more companies and schools offer that time and that space and that grace that we all need to try to figure out how to survive in this pandemic."
Union previously opened up about the importance of self-care as a mom, telling Katie Lowes during an August episode of Lowes' Katie's Crib podcast, "We're super conditioned to not center ourselves in our own stories."
"Anything less than giving every part of ourselves to other people [and] we're that selfish bitch, we're the bad mom, we're the bad wife, we're the bad friend when you don't give every piece of yourself to everyone else whenever they feel like they need it," she continued.
But the star believes it's "okay to center yourself and your needs and advocate for yourself and be the center of your own story and be the best self for yourself, so you can offer — in reasonable doses, and as you see fit — parts of you to other people."
Union added, "We say in our family and in our crew, 'We all we got.' Start with you first."
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