Balancing work and family is hard for any mother, but it is especially challenging if you happen to have paparazzi following you around all the time, taking photos of your kids, and dozens of snarky magazines just salivating at the chance to point out how pregnancy has left you with a little bit of cellulite.
Beyoncé cradles her baby bump at the Aug. 28 MTV Video Music Awards (©Retna)
Beyoncé will soon join the ranks of those mothers. The singer recently announced that she and her husband, Jay-Z, are expecting a baby early next year. The public is already fascinated with her pending motherhood. There are conspiracy theories that she's been wearing a fake baby belly along with praise from a British newspaper for the singer taking an "old-fashioned approach to pregnancy" (that is, having a child with her husband).
Also on Forbes.com: Photo gallery: Hollywood's richest moms
If Beyoncé's baby was born today, she would rank third on our list of Hollywood's Highest-Paid Moms. The pop star earned $35 million between May 2010 and May 2011. But since the singer still has a few months to go, she'll have to wait until next year's list.
Reality star Bethenny Frankel tops our list, hauling in $55 million in earnings from May 2010 to May 2011. (All earnings numbers are taken from research for our Celebrity 100 list.) The birth of Frankel's daughter in May 2010 helped provide story lines for her television show "Bethenny Ever After," which follows Frankel's life as a new mom trying to build a business and be a TV star all while raising a child. Frankel's honesty about her struggles (like declaring that her post-baby sex life was "kind of a rusty tricycle for a while") has helped the show average 1.6 million viewers per week.
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Supermodel Gisele Bundchen and TV's "Judge Judy" Sheindlin tie for second, earning $45 million each. Bundchen, who is married to football player Tom Brady, went back to work just six weeks after giving birth to her son, Benjamin, in December 2009. That's a remarkable feat for any mom, but especially one whose job requires her to often be photographed in just a bra and undies.
All star moms have to deal with the reality of their children constantly being photographed, but few seem to handle that reality as well as Angelina Jolie, who earned $30 million in the year to May, tying her for fifth on our list with Sarah Jessica Parker.
Jolie and her partner, Brad Pitt, keep their family life front and center by allowing themselves to be photographed with their children on a weekly basis. You never see either one of the parents trying to take a swing at an obnoxious photographer. Because of this, Jolie is known as much for her parenting as she is for her acting. The six children travel the world with their famous parents to filming locations and tougher areas that Jolie travels to through her work as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
Fellow actress Parker and her husband, Matthew Broderick, have an 8-year-old son and in 2009 had twin girls via a surrogate. Parker will address the struggles of working mothers in her upcoming film, "I Don't Know How She Does It," where she plays a finance executive trying to balance work and a family with two kids. The film hits theaters Sept. 16.
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