Sarah Jessica Parker’s Poor Family Often Couldn’t Celebrate Christmas or Birthdays, so Now She Teaches Her Kids the Value of Money

Everyone’s favorite Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City had a tough road to success and recognition. Growing up in a large, poor family, she never imagined she would become a real star. But now the actress knows exactly how to make sure that her own children can achieve anything they want.

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Sarah Jessica’s family wasn’t just “ordinary” — it was closer to the opposite of glamour and luxury. The girl’s parents got divorced when she was just three years old and Barbara, the mother of the future actress and three other children, had to cope all alone.

However, she soon met Paul, a truck driver. He became her new husband, and the family had four more children. Yes, Sarah Jessica now had seven brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, Paul was often out of work, and times were getting tough for the large family.

The actress with her stepfather and mom in 2008

Sarah Jessica describes her childhood as “Dickensian.” Like the characters in the author’s books, they were often without electricity and far from celebrating every birthday or Christmas.

’’I remember being poor. There was no great way to hide it. We didn’t have electricity sometimes. We didn’t have Christmases sometimes, or we didn’t have birthdays sometimes, or the bill collectors came, or the phone company would call and say, ’We’re shutting your phones off.’ And we were all old enough to either get the calls, or watch my mother’s reactions or watch my parents shuffling the money around.’’

Sarah Jessica takes part in a play in 1977.

Of course, her family’s poverty had an impact on how the future actress felt at school. She wore second-hand clothes, received free lunches, and still remembers when the teacher would read out the names of the children getting this state aid. Yes, she wasn’t the only one on that list, but the feeling that she was very different from the majority hurt her deeply.

However, all this proved irrelevant the moment the girl started going to the opera and ballet theater regularly.


Sarah Jessica on the right, 1977

Thrifty Barbara regularly took her children to various free matinee performances, and it was there that Sarah Jessica developed her love of acting and theater. And when it became clear that this passion was real, Barbara started an additional part-time job as a cleaner so that she could pay for the future star’s lessons.

And later, she did even more. To support 11-year-old Sarah Jessica’s dream of becoming an actress, the entire family moved to New Jersey.

Courtesy Everett Collection / Everett Collection / East News, Courtesy Everett Collection / East News

This support from her family proved to be truly meaningful. As Sarah Jessica’s career gained momentum, she started helping her family and friends financially. And later, she was able to start helping those in need. She supports a huge number of charities and honestly admits that she could never have imagined her life would turn out like this and that such a success story would be about her.

“Welfare is for all varieties of people, it can be people who are cultured and educated, who just find themselves in need of help. That doesn’t mean they’re lazy or uneducated or have low standards. It’s just that they can’t manage at the moment and my family was a good example of that.”
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To date, the actress has been happily married for over 30 years, raising three children and being very protective of her personal life. Sarah Jessica’s own journey has led her to a very important decision: her children must live a normal life. She will only provide them with what they need, not everything they want. This will instill in them the motivation to strive for something.

“Things they want, I think they should yearn for, and in some cases, as my son gets older, I think he should earn. I think it’s good to pine for something so that when you get it, it has such meaning. You aren’t casual about the possession.”

Sarah Jessica and her husband keep to another important principle in the upbringing of their children — open communication within the family. Because both parents adore their jobs and devote a lot of their time to their work, it’s the conversation that keeps the real family intimacy alive. And, of course, Sarah Jessica isn’t afraid to say out loud how proud she is of her kids.

“I’m proud that our children talk to us in the way they do. I’m glad they’re curious people.”

The actress with her husband and children in 2022

Sarah Jessica has learned first-hand just how important family support is and is now ready to give just as much (and more) to her children. And knowing this, they will really be able to accomplish anything.

Did you know Sarah Jessica Parker’s story before? Do her parenting methods resonate with you?

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