Keke Palmer Reveals One Crucial Change She Made Since Welcoming Baby Leo

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Becoming a parent is life changing. Suddenly, your world — and your heart — get just a little bit bigger to accommodate your child. There is someone else to think about, provide for, guide, and love. But also, it can change how you think about yourself, too. That’s exactly what happened to Keke Palmer, actress, singer, podcast host, and entrepreneur extraordinaire. When she welcomed her son Leodis “Leo” Andrellton in Feb. 2023, she made one crucial change to her life.

Self Love

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Keke Palmer poses with the Outstanding Host for a Game Show award during the 2024 Creative Arts Emmys at Peacock Theater on January 07, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 07: Keke Palmer poses with the Outstanding Host for a Game Show award during the 2024 Creative Arts Emmys at Peacock Theater on January 07, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

In a February 2024 cover interview with Teen Vogue, the “Big Boss” singer shared that she is focused on loving herself more now that she’s a mom. “Because I love my son so much, I gotta love me so much,” she told the outlet about her baby Leo, who she shares with ex Darius Jackson. It’s the same put-the-oxygen-mask-on-yourself-first concept — you have to love yourself fully first to love your baby the best.

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Palmer is putting this into practice by going back to Pilates, focusing on “me time,” and enrolling in cooking classes, which she said, “I’m really freaking thrilled about it, girl, because I always wanted to be that girl that’s like, ‘I cooked. I’m the host. I made Beef Wellington from scratch.’”

And even though Nope actress has been busy winning an Emmy and launching KeyTV, she is cognizant of the work she takes on. “I don’t know if it’s that the work has changed or it’s the way that I’m working that has changed,” she told Teen Vogue, wich reported that it’s “easier for [Palmer] to discern which jobs are absolutely necessary and which would disturb her — and Leo’s — comfort.” Specifically, she wants jobs that will allow Leo to bet with her on set or jobs that will allow her to work from home with her baby nearby. It seems that part of loving herself more includes allowing herself the time to spend with people she loves more, number one on the list baby Leo.

Speaking of her son, Palmer also shared that he is now “stoic yet expressive, social yet introspective, heedful yet goofy.” “His personality… He’s really the best, best, best,” the True Jackson VP star added.

Feeling Like a Kid

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 29: Keke Palmer, Leo Jackson and Darius Jackson attend the "Big Boss" Closing Night Screening during the 2023 Atlanta Film Festival at Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University on April 29, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carol Lee Rose/FilmMagic)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 29: Keke Palmer, Leo Jackson and Darius Jackson attend the “Big Boss” Closing Night Screening during the 2023 Atlanta Film Festival at Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University on April 29, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carol Lee Rose/FilmMagic)

Last month, Palmer reflected on her pregnancy with baby Leo and what being a mom has taught her. “Reminiscing on this beautiful experience in my life!” she wrote on Instagram, adding that she recently had a “great epiphany” during therapy about her own childhood.

“Due to traveling and scheduling both of my parents had to stop working to support my career and be present for my three siblings, leaving me with the financial responsibility around age 12,” she explained. “Which I took great pride in because I knew what it would do for generations to come and a huge blessing that I could even help out.” Despite this, Palmer felt like she “had to abandon my childhood feelings and desires, becoming like a parentalized child.”

Now that she is a mom, though, she is able to find that childlike joy once again. “Life can be such a tragic comedy because how funny is it.. that now becoming an actual parent, and the responsibility I’ve always carried being more valid now than ever, has in fact given me the chance to feel what it’s like to be a kid again 🥹,” Palmer continued. “I get a chance to explore a lot of the things I missed out on with my son. His freedom is like, the most priceless gift to me. He is already teaching me so much, it’s like he awakened the little me inside that I thought was long gone.”

These celebrity moms opened up to SheKnows about the best ways motherhood has changed them.

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