Audra McDonald opens up about motherhood at 46

Photo credit: Audra McDonald/Facebook
Audra McDonald/Facebook

Beauty and the Beast star Audra McDonald opens up about motherhood after 40.

Previously reported, the six-time Tony Award-winner welcomed her second child, daughter Sally James, nearly two decades after giving birth to her first-born, daughter Zoe Madeline.

“[Will] and I are overjoyed to welcome Sally James McDonald-Swenson, born last night at 11:16 p.m. Our hearts are bursting,” McDonald tweeted at the time. Meanwhile, a rep for the singer and her husband, fellow Broadway-vet Will Swenson, revealed that the couple settled on the name of “Sally” in honor of Swenson’s late mother — by the same name — and McDonald’s late father, Stanley James. The pair welcomed their baby girl in New York City on October 20. She weighed in at 7 lbs., 2 oz.

Fast forward a few short months and McDonald reveals she’s “calmer this time around, 16 years later,” she tells People. “Or maybe it’s that I’m just tired because I’m older, but I don’t sweat the small stuff as much.”

Of course, it helps that everyone seems well adjusted. “Zoe is such a fantastic big sister to Sally James,” McDonald said of one of two of her teenagers from a previous marriage. “That’s just who she wants to hang out with. Every time Zoe walks into the room, Sally lights up. And that’s so important to me.”

“Zoe is a rock star as far as Sally James is concerned,” she admits. “If you wanna make me melt, just put my two daughters together, and I’m a puddle.”

The singer went on to admit she’s already got her hands full — with personality. “In some ways, I don’t worry about her — this is a very strong personality, I’m seeing it already!” McDonald explained. “This is someone who’s not gonna let anybody walk over her at all. In fact, she’ll be the one doing the walking.”

Meanwhile, when it comes to McDonald’s proudest moment as a parent, she said, “While I was giving birth to Sally James, Zoe wasn’t planning on being in the hospital room, but she got too curious so she came in … I was so worried about her being overwhelmed that literally, as I was pushing out Sally, I was looking over at Zoe saying, ‘Are you okay? Is there anything you need from me, are you okay? … And Zoe kept saying, ‘Mom, would you just concentrate on having the baby!’ But I was literally trying to give birth and parent at the same time.”

Congrats again to McDonald on her expanding family.

R. Hawkins
R. Hawkins

Humble with a hint of Muhammad Ali...

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required