"We're providing this awesome life for them, but...They need us in a different way."

Olivia Harvey
Nov 19, 2020 @ 12:38 pm
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Credit: Jeff Kravitz / Contributor, Getty Images

This year has been challenging for many families around the world. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic causing school closures, office shutdowns, and cancellations of tours, shows, and concerts, famous and everyday parents alike are getting the chance to get to know their kids on a deeper level now that they're with them 24/7. And as Jennifer Lopez has learned, her twins Max and Emme Muñiz "weren't fine" with some aspects of their family's lifestyle pre-pandemic.

"I actually loved being home and having dinner with the kids every night, which I hadn't done in probably—ever," Lopez said in a November 18th interview for the Wall Street Journal Magazine's Innovator Issue, in which she's named 2020's Pop Culture Innovator. "And the kids kind of expressed to me...the parts that they were fine with about our lives and the parts they weren't fine with."

The conversation, Lopez said, was "a real eye-opener and a reassessment" of the way she's been parenting them for the last 12 years.

"You thought you were doing OK, but you're rushing around and you're working and they're going to school and we're all on our devices," she told WSJ Magazine. "We're providing this awesome life for them, but at the same time, they need us. They need us in a different way.

Lopez realized, "We have to slow down and we have to connect more. And, you know, I don't want to miss things. And I realized, 'God. I would have missed that if I wasn't here today.'"

Max and Emme are also going through that phase of childhood where they're kids one day and then grownups the next. "I feel like everybody aged, like, three years during this pandemic," Lopez said, adding that she watched her kids "go from kind of young and naive to really, like, grown-ups to me now."

"When did this happen? They're not our babies anymore," she continued. "They've been given a dose of the real world, with the knowledge that things can be taken away from you and life is going to happen no matter what. They had to grow up….So did we."

As is true for many, the pandemic is giving us an opportunity to recenter ourselves and refocus our priorities on what makes us truly happy—family, friends, and home life. For Lopez, she got the chance to "reassess" and grow with her kids to better become who they need her to be.