Danielle Brooks On How To Love The Skin You’re In: ‘I’m Caring Less About BS’

Danielle Brooks is embracing her body post-baby while working full-time as a Tony-nominated, Grammy and SAG Award–winning actor and mother to 1-year-old Freeya.

So what is her secret to success?

“You adjust to not being with your child 24/7 and trust someone to take care of them,” she says. “It’s tricky, but I’m grateful to do what I love.”

The mother and daughter have been staying in Vancouver, filming HBO Max’s DC Comics series Peacemaker, coming in 2022. Time on location has given the family a break from New York City, where the 31-year-old normally lives with her fiancé and Freeya’s dad, Dennis Gelin.

“Where God put me right now gives me time to quiet my head and my spirit,” she says. But she misses Gelin, at home in New York for work, “who FaceTimes every day and is present and says things like, ‘You’re a super mom.'”  

“I’m learning how to balance being a mommy and working in another country without him,” Brooks says. “Trying to handle everything on my plate has been like trying to juggle eight balls—and I’m not a juggler.”

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So how has being a parent helped Brooks grow?

“I’m gaining patience, and I did not have a drop of it before. I’m caring less about BS. When I was pregnant, I played Beatrice in Shakespeare in the Park’s Much Ado About Nothing in New York City. Normally, I would’ve been freaked out that I got all these lines, and 1,200 people a night were watching. But when I had a child inside of me, I was more fearless. Just walking around with a little more bravery, that was cool for me. That was a big piece of power I discovered.”

For Brooks, it was the balancing act parents know all too well that she least anticipated being the toughest adjustment.

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“The balance and how to say no to things. When you have a child, you really have to decide what’s important. There are times when I feel guilty for not being with Freeya, but having downtime in my dressing room has given me moments to rediscover myself. I put goals and quotes on the wall that say things like, “I am pure magic” or “I am safe to be my true, authentic self.”

Brooks also goes onto state how being a mother changed her perspective — especially when it came to self love.

“I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy, and I think I did go through postpartum depression. I was trying to stay positive when it felt like my whole world had flipped upside down. Creating a human takes a toll on women’s bodies. Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough love or patience about that. You may think you’re going to bounce back miraculously, but that’s not true for a lot of people. I’m one of them. While I want to return to my pre-baby size, at the same time, I want to love this skin that I’m in now.”

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