Sandra Bullock Discloses Her Biggest Parenting Struggle

Sandra Bullock looks like she has everything under control. Her career is still hot after more than three decades, she has good friends to lean on, she’s in a loving relationship with a handsome guy, and she’s mother to two beautiful children. But of course, every person has their own challenges, and that’s especially true for parents. 

Bullock takes her job as a mother very seriously, and she has a hard time with one part of that work. 

Sandra Bullock, mom first, movie star second

Sandra Bullock in a hot pink and black dotted shirt dress, smiling slightly off camera
Sandra Bullock | Nathan Congleton/Getty Images

Bullock started acting in movies in the late ’80s, but her breakout role was in the 1994 film Speed. She’s been a constant presence since then, winning an Emmy Award for her part in the movie The Blind Side in 2009. Recently, she starred in the Netflix movie Bird Box

But the thing that is the most important to her is her role as a parent. She has two children, her 10-year-old son Louis, who she adopted in 2010, and her eight-year-old daughter Laila, who joined the family in 2015. She says that her kids have clarified what matters to her.

“Being a mom, I finally realize, ‘Oh, this is what I was supposed to do when I grew up,'” she said in an interview with Hoda Kotb. “Not be an actress; to be a mom.”

This is what convinced her to be a mom

At one point in her life, Bullock wasn’t sure if she would ever have children. But when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, she realized something important. She says that during that time, “something told me, ‘My child is there.’ It was weird.” It was four more years before she was able to bring Louis home.

Adopting another child wasn’t her idea at first

She probably would have been content to have one child, but Louis had other ideas. When he was three years old he came into the room where Bullock was visiting with some good friends. One of the friends was talking about her daughters, and Louis interrupted to explain that he didn’t have any daughters, but followed that up by announcing, “But I’m going to have a baby soon!”

Rather than just laughing it off, Bullock thought about what he said. “I realized at that time, maybe he knew something. And when I think about it, it would have been around the time that Laila was born.”

Laila came to them from the foster care system when she was three. Bullock couldn’t be happier or more grateful to have her kids in her life – and now she really wants to protect them. 

She worries about this part of parenting

Recently Bullock interviewed her good friend Jennifer Aniston, and one of the things they talked about was how depressing and negative the news can be. Aniston said that things that are happening “can make me really sad and really angry. The division that’s been taking place. The complete chaos that’s existing. When people show greed and bad behavior and a lack of gratitude…When you see people behaving badly and hurting other people, that makes me very angry.”

Bullock agreed, pointing out how hard it is to shield kids from all this negativity. “I look at everyone who is trying to raise kids, and I go, ‘How are we supposed to raise children outside of a bubble? And show them the difference between right and wrong, and what kindness looks like, when it’s really hard to find it with all the noise on a screen?’ Screens are everywhere.”

As a mother, Bullock’s instincts are to protect her kids. And although she joked with Aniston about keeping Louis and Laila home with her through college, Bullock knows that she can’t keep them safe forever. Some day they will have to leave home and deal with the real world. 

For now, though, Bullock is relishing her time with her two children and the joy they bring.