Jessica Alba Opened Up About Her Decision to Step Away From Acting After Becoming a Mom

"I couldn't go back to what I was doing before and be authentic."

Like so many other parents, everything changed for Jessica Alba when she had her first child—daughter Honor—in 2008. As she explained to Romper on March 24th, the health of her baby became of the utmost importance, so much so that she decided to step back from her life as a Hollywood A-lister to focus on doing the whole family thing right.

“My mother had cancer at a really young age, in her early 20s. I grew up with chronic illness. I had five surgeries before I was 11 years old. I had chronic allergies, and I was hospitalized a lot as a child,” Alba said. With her health history in mind, she said, “I had this real moment of, I want to live, and thrive, and spend as much time with this little person that I’m bringing into the world as possible and stay.”

So, my health matters, Alba said. I want this little person to be healthy. And it’s really freaking hard to be happy when you don’t have your health.

Experiencing such a massive shift in her priorities gave Alba an entirely new outlook on her career as an actress. She had just come off of acting in popular movies including Good Luck Chuck and the Fantastic Four franchise. “Frankly,” Alba told Romper, “I was at the top of my career.”

My motivation was not like, ‘Am I ever going to get hired again?’ she continued. I couldn’t go back to what I was doing before and be authentic. I just couldn’t. I didn’t care about it the same way…It was something bigger.

“I felt like if I was going to have this platform, then what can I do with it that could be meaningful and make a difference? That just felt so real when I became a mom for the first time,” she said.

Now a mom of three, Alba has successfully pivoted her career into the clean beauty and living industry with her Honest company in an effort to better the lives of kids and parents worldwide. Though we miss seeing her on the big screen, being able to shop her eco-conscious brand has greatly improved our day-to-day.

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