THE GREY’S ANATOMY STAR OPENS UP ABOUT HER CHALLENGES AS A MOTHER
The Grey’s Anatomy star opens up about the challenges she’s faced being a mom.
Growing up in Boston, Ellen Pompeo says she was surrounded by racism — even from her own father. “I was trying to make him examine that every step of the way,” she says. “My favorite thing to do was to have pool parties and invite all my black friends over, so that when he would come home from work, there’d be a pool full of black boys.” Later, after Ellen married African-American music producer Chris Ivery, “My husband ended up being [my dad’s] favorite person in the entire world.”
Ellen and Chris are doing things differently with their kids: Stella, 9, Sienna, 4, and Eli, 23 months. “As moms and dads, we have the responsibility to expose our children to all different types of people,” she says. “To show them the differences in the world.”
While it’s not always easy, Ellen says she doesn’t shy away from talking about race with her children. “A lot of people get nervous when you bring it up, and I understand why they do,” she says. “At the same time, these are important conversations to have. And if you’re afraid to talk about them, then that’s a problem.”
Ellen, 49, developed a sense of empathy from a young age. “My mother died when I was 4,” she says. “I think that when you suffer any kind of trauma, especially as a child, you learn compassion. At the root of it, compassion is a great practice.”
So she’s passing along that lesson to her kids — and enjoying every moment with them. Says Ellen, “Being a mother is the most fun job I’ve ever had.”
— Nicholas Adams
Ellen celebrated Halloween with Stella. Husband Chris Ivery bondswith their youngest, Eli. Sienna spent her 4thbirthday in NYC.