Paris Hilton’s Best Advice on Parenting Through Past Trauma Is To Talk About It

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The pop culture icon has been vocal about her past trauma. The mom of two has learned the power of talking about it.

<p>Peacock</p> Paris Hilton holding son Phoenix.


Paris Hilton holding son Phoenix.

Fact checked by Karen Cilli

After having her life on public display for more than two decades, Paris Hilton has been sharing her story on her own terms. That now includes her most thrilling chapter yet: motherhood.

“This has been the best year of my life,” she says. “I’m loving being in my mom era.”

Hilton welcomed son Phoenix with husband Carter Reum in January 2023. Their squad recently got bigger with baby London, whose birth Hilton announced on Instagram the day after Thanksgiving.

“These two little babies have just brought me so much love, so much joy, and make my heart feel so full,” she says. “I just feel like my life is finally complete.”

Viewers of season 2 of Paris in Love, her reality series airing on Peacock, will be able to grasp that sentiment. But they’ll also see an honest look at Hilton as a mom, as she doesn’t hide the realities of what it entails. There’s the not-so-fun parts like changing diapers, needing help from a nanny, fears of her little one getting sick, and dealing with that nagging mom guilt.

As a businesswoman, Hilton’s schedule is jam-packed with her calendar typically booked a year in advance, she says. Since she kept babies Phoenix and London a secret from the world until they were born via surrogacy, it's been harder for her to adjust her work schedule to be home as much as she wants.

Trying to manage it all can be a challenge.

“Mom guilt is definitely real. Before I was a mom, I didn't really understand it. But now being a mom, I completely get it,” says the founder of 11:11 Media. “I just have to remind myself that I'm doing my best.”

She has also been reminding herself about the power of saying no, something her younger sister, Nicky Rothschild, is proud to see Hilton learning to do. “Paris, and my mom, they both have a very hard time saying no; they definitely have that people-pleaser mentality. So, it's been great to see Paris get stronger and learn to say no,” she says.

Rothschild and mom, Kathy Hilton, have a big presence on Hilton’s show as they navigate mother-and-daughter dynamics that can be relatable whether you’re in the limelight or not. Rothschild, a mom of three, says she’s often in California visiting her sister and is passing on mom advice to her, including how important it is to socialize babies and, again, how helpful it is to be pickier about things she says "yes" to.

But learning to say no doesn’t mean Hilton isn’t focused on continuing to build her empire. “I feel like I could still follow my dreams, work hard, and also have my family and always put them first,” she says, adding that she wants to instill a strong work ethic in her kids.

It helps that her husband, whom Hilton married in 2021, is also part of her support system. “I’ve never in my life been in a relationship like this where I feel so loved and supported; he just lifts me up in every way,” she says. “He is there for me for everything.”

<p>Peacock</p> Paris Hilton and husband Carter Reum.


Paris Hilton and husband Carter Reum.

That includes another aspect of Hilton’s life that she's bringing important attention to: parenting through past trauma. The star, who details her experiences in Paris: The Memoir, has been open about the abuse she endured during her youth while at several facilities for troubled teens. She has been advocating on Capitol Hill to get Congress to pass the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act to prevent the abuse of children in these facilities.

Talking about her trauma is what’s helping Hilton finally be able to deal with it. For years, she avoided thinking about her trauma in an effort to pretend her pain wasn't real.

“Ever since I've been speaking about it and being vulnerable and real, it's just been so helpful to me,” she says. “I feel like I finally have released all that trauma and now I can just leave it in the past. I feel like it's important for anyone—any mom especially—that's been through something to find someone that they can talk to that they can trust. It's just extremely healing."

Finding ways to heal is important, as past trauma can impact how one parents. For example, research shows it can negatively affect a parent's ability to attend to their children.

"I feel like it's important for anyone—any mom especially—that's been through something to find someone that they can talk to that they can trust. It's just extremely healing."

On Paris in Love, Hilton lets viewers hear conversations she has with therapist, Bethany Marshall, PhD, PsyD, LMFT, who dives deeper into how trauma can impact parenting, including how it can make bonding with children difficult.

“After what I went through as a teenager, I did not trust anyone, especially therapists, because of what the therapists at these schools had done to me. So, it was very hard to make that leap into speaking to someone,” she says. “But she was amazing and she really understands trauma.”

Hilton says she has finally found her happy ending, but it took work to get there. By speaking out, she hopes to help other people who have experienced trauma of any kind.

“I just want others out there to know that they're not alone,” says Hilton. “And the shame that they have put on themselves shouldn't be on them; It should be on the people who hurt them.”

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