As the multi-hyphenate entertainer and mom of two looks forward to post-COVID life, JLo's reflecting on several eye-opening lessons the pandemic has taught her about parenthood and self-care.

By Maressa Brown
January 28, 2021
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An image of Jennifer Lopez.
Credit: Getty Images.

Nearly a year into the pandemic, Jennifer Lopez can't help but miss family and friends and sharing in-person moments with her fans. But as the light at the end of the tunnel grows even brighter, the multi-hyphenate entertainer, entrepreneur, and mom of 12-year-old twins, Emme and Max, says she's feeling "a lot of hope" for 2021.

Parents.com recently caught up with Lopez about what she's most anticipating and the valuable lessons she's learned about parenting and herself during the pandemic.

What She's Looking Forward to Post-COVID

"I think it's important that we all move forward slowly but surely," says Lopez, who has partnered with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) to introduce their WELL Health-Safety Rating. More than 100 leading businesses have enrolled—including baseball stadiums, tourist sites, malls, and hotels—and they will be able to display the WELL Health-Safety seal, offering  visitors reassurance that they've implemented science-backed safety protocols. Lopez says she feels like the program will help offer people the peace of mind they need to begin re-entering back into a normal routine.

In the meantime, she's looking forward to so many aspects of post-social distancing life. "Just going out to restaurants more and not having to wear our masks one day," she reflects. "Being a little bit peaceful and being able to hug someone—it's the little things."

What the Pandemic Has Taught Her

Like most parents, the superstar feels like the pandemic has shifted her perspective on family life. "I think we all felt we were doing great," notes Lopez. "You're working hard, you're doing everything you can for your family, and then, this quarantine happens, and you're home, and you realize, 'Wow, look at all the moments I was missing.'"

For instance, Lopez has loved having dinner with her kids every single night. "It's such a blessing, and oh my goodness, they're growing up so fast," she says.

The experience has led to what the proud mom calls a "big eye-opener" and has taught her to slow down. "OK, yes, I have to work, but I also need more balance. It can't be all work all the time and just be stolen moments with the kids," she shares. "This is where I have my most happiness, my most fun, and I always knew that. But we were kind of on a hamster wheel. And it's like the universe put a stop to it and said, 'Everybody off the hamster wheel! Remember what's most important, and your life can be different.' I had been focused on work for so long, like a lot of people."

The Lessons JLo's Kids Are Teaching Her

In the midst of a dark, challenging year, Lopez has a great deal of gratitude for being able to look to her twins for light—and some of life's greatest lessons.

"My kids are the ones who inspire me every day," she says. "They teach you so much. They're constantly challenging you. They're constantly making you think about life, about what right decisions to make, because you have to make decisions for them. They teach you not only how to love more but patience and understanding."

What Self-Care Means to Her

Known for her love of dance and working out, Lopez is constantly on the move. But whenever she has the opportunity to slow down, she makes sure to squeeze in some time for her favorite self-care activity: taking a bath. "That's like my big pampering thing—just feeling like I'm in total relaxation for just 20 minutes," she says. "If I get to that every couple of days, I'm golden."

The mogul is also bringing her passion for self-love and self-care to JLo Beauty, a line of luxury anti-aging skincare products that launched this month. "We worked so hard [on the products]," says Lopez. "I really feel like if they're [used] regularly, your skin just gets healthier and healthier and more vibrant and more glowing. It's really a joy for me to be able to share that with everybody."

What She's Learned About Self-Love

The singer is also on what she calls a "lifelong journey" to nurture her mental and emotional well-being.

Lopez, who recently opened up in the debut episode of Coach Conversations with Jay Shetty about going to therapy in her late 30s, shares, "As you keep working on yourself, you start realizing that everything that you need is inside of you and that you cannot look to anybody else for happiness. They can add to it. But you have to be happy on your own. You've got to be good on your own. You have to love yourself. And only when you love yourself and care about yourself will you make good choices for yourself. And if you're not, you need to take a look at that part of it."

She also admits something that feels all too timely during the pandemic: Along the way, you'll hit roadblocks, but "you can't beat yourself up about it. And you just have to just try to be better every day."