Now that she's in the thick of motherhood, "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria is reflecting on the difficult double standards women must navigate when it comes to motherhood and careers.
The 47-year-old actress welcomed her first child, Santiago Enrique Bastón, in 2018 with her husband, José Bastón. She spoke with People at a voter mobilization event, Vote Like a Madre, on Aug. 13, about the topic: "Women are multitaskers, decision makers, problem solvers," she said. "Every day all day. I was just talking with someone the other day about parenting and consequences versus punishments and rules and there's just so much to do, so much to think about!"
Longoria has been a long-time advocate for Latinx voting power, which brought her to Miami over the weekend (her impressive résumé includes cochairing former President Barack Obama's 2012 reelection campaign; cofounding the Latino Victory Fund and She Se Puede; and supporting Latinas in STEM programs). This event was focused on Latina mothers and voting to combat climate change. But Longoria also took the opportunity to discuss other challenges women with children face, referencing long-time friend Serena Williams's recent announcement that she's leaving professional tennis as evidence.
"If I were a guy, I wouldn't be writing this because I'd be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family," Williams wrote in her announcement in Vogue. Longoria said Williams was "absolutely right" and went on to say, "If this were a different time, if the genders were switched, she wouldn't have to take years off to breastfeed. Years off from healing from a C-section and a near-death experience." Williams has spoken publicly about her traumatic birth experience with her now 4-year-old daughter Olympia — which included medical gaslighting after undergoing an emergency C-section.
"[Williams] also mentions that she's no different than any other mother, [playing tennis professionally] just happens to be her career," Longoria continued in the interview with People. "The mom who is a teacher also has to understand, 'How do I balance work and family?' The woman who is a dentist has to say, 'How do I balance my career and family?' You know, we all bear that cross."
Bringing the conversation back to the polls, Longoria said that mothers carry incredible responsibility for their children, themselves, and their communities.
"We are caretakers, we are mothers, we are helping in the community, we are helping our co-workers, and so much more falls on us. Voting like a mother means a big thing, it usually means you're thinking about people outside of yourselves. And, that includes the planet," Longoria said.