Kerry Washington slays it in the role of Olivia Pope, the D.C. crisis manager on ABC's Scandal — and she's also slaying it with a role just as big, if not bigger: Mom. The 40-year-old actress and progressive activist is mom to two kids with her former NFL cornerback husband Nnamdi Asomugha. Washington has an absolutely radiant personality that inspires others, so it's no surprise that her approach to motherhood is equally as inspiring. Not only do Kerry Washington's quotes on motherhood reflect her progressive values, they are incredibly empowering to moms everywhere.
Washington gave birth to her first child, daughter Isabelle Amarachi, in April 2014; her third birthday is just a couple of weeks away on the 21st. In October, Washington welcomed her second child, son Caleb Kelechi. After the birth of her daughter, she opened up to The Los Angeles Times about how awesome it was being a new mom: "I just feel really blessed that I'm kind of living extraordinary dreams come true in my work life and in my personal life."
For Washington, it really is a bit a of a dream come true: The actress has been nominated twice for a Golden Globe, four times for an Emmy, and three times for the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Even with an obviously full schedule of work and activism, Washington still manages to take motherhood in stride.
On How 'Scandal' Inspired Her To Become A Mom
Speaking to ELLE Magazine in 2016, Washington revealed an unsual inspiration to try her hand at motherhood: Her character on Scandal, who on the show has chosen not to have kids.
Even though Olivia Pope has obviously made the decision that she is not a mom, playing her made me feel like I could be a mom. Because she knows there's always another way—there's always a way to fix it, there's always a way to solve it, to win. And I feel like playing her made me feel like, All right, I can do it. I will figure out how to juggle it all.
On Protecting The Legacy Of Mothers Before Her
At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Washington gave a powerful speech about her generation's responsibility to continue to fight for the rights hard won by generations of women before her:
Today there are people trying take away rights that our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought for: our right to vote, our right to choose, affordable quality education, equal pay, access to health care. We the people can’t let that happen.
On Teaching Kids To Fight Hate
The first role that parents provide to their children? Teachers. In an interview with The Advocate, Washington said,
We don't come out of the womb filled with prejudice, racism, and homophobia. Kids are taught to hate, so we have to protect our young people's minds from those evils.
On Being Unafraid To Put Family Time First
Washington told People last May that she had no problem saying no to certain parts of her work because her family comes first.
My team would agree there are a lot more interruptions now. It's a lot more of me saying, "Hold on; I'm just going to get up for a second." These days I'm also looking for ways to make my style and makeup sessions happen more quickly, because the more time I have to be a mom, the better.
On Being Honest About Motherhood
In 2015, Washington received The Giving Tree Award from the non-profit organization, Baby2Baby. In her acceptance speech, Washington spoke of how motherhood has changed her — as well as the fact that moms should stick together and lift each other up.
It's really useful when as moms we can just be honest about our process, because it's so challenging. And so I really love being a part of this community of moms in the world now where we get to share our experience in this magical adventure.