How Maria Shriver helped Katherine Schwarzenegger cope with ‘nasty’ mom-shaming

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Like mother, like daughter: Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt is crediting her mom, Maria Shriver, for helping her become a "compassionate" parent.

The new mom, 31, who welcomed her first child, Lyla Maria, with Chris Pratt last summer, admitted on Dear Media's "Meaning Full Living" podcast Monday it was initially difficult to receive mom-shaming comments online. But she said growing up with her parents Arnold Schwarzenegger and Shriver in the spotlight prepared her to cope with these criticisms.

"I feel a little bit lucky in the sense that I grew up in a family where my parents were kind of very up to speed on dealing with criticism, whether it was behind a screen or written down or face to face," said Schwarzenegger. "They raised me with the understanding how to deal with that in the best way possible."

Though she acknowledged that comments about "certain things that I do as a new mom" occasionally "hurt," Schwarzenegger revealed the important lesson that Shriver taught her from a young age: "Try and have empathy" for everyone – including the haters.

Maria Shriver with her daughter, Katherine Schwarzenegger, at an event for Fashion's Night Out on Sept. 8, 2011.
Maria Shriver with her daughter, Katherine Schwarzenegger, at an event for Fashion's Night Out on Sept. 8, 2011.

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"I try to look at those things and not let them affect me, which can be harder some days than it is other days. But my mom always said to me when I was growing up, that when people write those things or say those things that they must be in so much pain," she said.

Now, Schwarzenegger said she no longer lets "nasty comments" ruin her day, and instead surrounds herself with those who support her.

"I know a lot of people look at those things and they're like, 'Oh my God, that's so mean… But I always just try to like, send them love, you know, kind of separate myself."

She also credited Shriver for helping her navigate motherhood for the first time, adding that she made it look easy, even when it wasn't.

"Growing up, (Shriver) had four kids under eight years old and a big career, a husband with a big career," Schwarzenegger said. "I remember just watching her with do it all with such ease and such grace and also having so much fun doing it. I talked to her now and she's like, 'Oh, I was overwhelmed,' but she always made us have so much fun."

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Schwarzenegger and Pratt married in June 2019, which Shriver previously recalled as an emotional roller coaster.

“As a mother, you go through many emotions, right? So you’re trying to be both excited, you get a new member of your family, (but) you’re kind of losing your child as they were,” she said on "Today With Hoda and Jenna" in June 2019. “So you’re kind of excited and everybody’s like, ‘Well, isn’t this great?’ You’re like, ‘Yeah, it’s great,’ but it’s also kind of sad.”

Amid the joyful festivities, Shriver said the wedding also made her miss her own mother, who passed away in 2009.

"I wondered, 'What would she be thinking and what would she be going through and what would she think of this? What would she say to me and how would I navigate it?' " Shriver said at the time. "She was very of that era of no emotion. But I'm not like that."

Contributing: Charles Trepany

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Katherine Schwarzenegger: Maria Shriver helped me with mom-shaming

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