TIME Parenting

Katherine Heigl on Being a Working Mom: ‘My Priorities Were Messed Up’

"The Nut Job" - Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals
Gregg DeGuire—WireImage Actress Katherine Heigl and daughter Naleigh arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Nut Job" at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on January 11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

The actress explains why she quit Grey's Anatomy to spend time with her family

Katherine Heigl vented some of her frustrations about being a working mom in an interview in the September issue of Good Housekeeping.

“I felt like my priorities were messed up,” Heigl said of the period when she was shooting movies, the ABC show Grey’s Anatomy and trying to raise her young daughter all at once. “I was putting so much time and energy into just my work, but I was raised [to believe] that family comes first.”

Heigl and her husband, musician Josh Kelley, adopted their daughter Naleigh from South Korea in 2009. The adoption process can be long and complicated, and Naleigh arrived earlier than the couple expected, just as Katherine was beginning to shoot a movie for three months in Atlanta.

“I would come home angry and frustrated that I’d missed everything with my kid that day,” she says. “I didn’t get to wake her up from her nap, or do bath time or bedtime. I’d have to sneak into her room and kiss her when she was sleeping, hoping not to wake her up.”

Heigl decided to take a leave from Grey’s and then soon after permanently quit the show. She and her husband adopted another daughter, Adalaide, from Louisiana in 2012, at which point Heigl was staying at home in Utah full-time with the exception of a few short movie shoots.

“We had big dreams of expanding our family, moving to the mountains and having a quieter life,” Heigl says.

Heigl is now back at work: she will return to TV this fall as the star of NBC’s State of Affairs.

[Good Housekeeping]

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team