Milana Vayntrub is giving the world a glimpse into her home life.
The actress, 35, who was introduced to many as AT&T saleswoman "Lily Adams" in the media company's advertisements, joined Rebecca Lee for the latest episode of her podcast, How The F*** Did You Bounce Back?, where she spoke about how keeping a healthy relationship with her husband makes her a better parent.
"I was honestly a little judgmental of moms before I had a kid, just because I was so ignorant," she shared with Lee. "If they’d talked about how hard it was, I would judge them for being, like, I dunno all sorts of things, like, yeah well you sound a little selfish or you sound like you’re probably doing this wrong."
Now that she has an infant son at home whom she shares with her husband (both of whose names she's kept under wraps), her views have shifted entirely.
"If, pre-baby, I had heard myself, I would judge myself," the Marvel Rising star acknowledges now. "There was just so many things that I wasn’t prepared for. I was unprepared for the time commitment."
"I’m so in love with him and I think he’s so funny and cute," she says of her son. "The complicated thing is that I both want to spend all of every minute with him, and I also am very grateful when I have time away, so it’s complicated."
A huge part of maintaining a healthy perspective on motherhood, she explains, also involves strengthening the relationship she has with her husband by practicing what she calls "state of the union meetings," a time when both parties speak freely about anything weighing on their minds about each other.
"We’re just better parents when our couple needs are being met, when our individual needs are being met," she said. "I grew up with my parents not getting along and that was really hard, duh, like if anyone sees their pillars of safety fighting each other it probably destabilizes your sense of security, your sense of self your sense of home."
In fact, Vayntrub approaches her parenting style with the clear intention of breaking the patterns she believes fueled much of her early trauma.
"There was a time in my second or third trimester where I was really freaking out about all my childhood trauma," the Ukrainian-born actress said, noting that she's forgiven both of her parents, who fled the Soviet Union when she was 2 before making a life for their family in Los Angeles.
"I think about all the ways that I have been mis-parented, or all the ways that I would like to do things differently," she added. "I was just thinking about all of that and really, really afraid of repeating, you know, passing down some of those mistakes."
One pattern she's breaking with her son is the idea of corporal punishment. "I know that I will not ever spank my kid. That is just never gonna happen," she explained. "Spanking was just part of the culture for me, but I know I’m never going to ever ever ever do that."
Beyond working hard at parenting, the actress has used her platform to evolve conversations on other important issues — including sexual harassment.
Been getting a lot of “why are they placing her body like that in those ads?” Well, I direct the ads. I place myself like that. And it’s because of the thousands of unwelcome comments I receive about my body. You’ve lost the privilege of looking at it until I feel safe again.
— Milana Vayntrub (@MintMilana) March 21, 2021
Last year, Vayntrub responded to viewers about the online sexual harassment she'd experienced after ads that aired during the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
"Been getting a lot of 'Why are they placing her body like that in those ads?' Well, I direct the ads. I place myself like that," she tweeted at the time. "And it’s because of the thousands of unwelcome comments I receive about my body. You’ve lost the privilege of looking at it until I feel safe again."
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