Sarah Jessica Parker: I Get So Nervous “I Lose My Appetite”

 VOGUE/Mario Testino

Sarah Jessica Parker is definitely a Type A.

Detailing her sleepless nights in Vogue's August issue, the 46-year-old mother of three says she constantly frets over "the internal lists, the children's doctor's appointments, the letters to write, the school projects" — not to mention her bustling acting career.

"The thing that's most surprising to me is how much we do in a day," she says.

Given her personality, it makes sense that Parker signed on to star in September's I Don't Know How She Does It, an adaptation of Allison Pearson's 2002 best-seller about Kate Reddy, a financial executive who struggles to balance her heavy workload with the needs of her family.

"I loved the part, and I can obviously relate to Kate," Parker says, telling the Vogue writer that she "tried to make myself look more presentable" for their interview.

Despite her lengthy acting resume, Parker still gets nervous taking on new roles. "I lose my appetite," she says. "By Wednesday of the first week on I Don't Know How She Does It, I was sobbing. I was apologizing. I was feeling so awful and ashamed, like I had let the director down…I'm like that two weeks into every movie. But the beauty of nerves is that you can always find a comrade in it."

Fortunately for Parker, her costar Pierce Brosnan "was a nervous wreck! Of course, by then I was really relaxed, but I was so comforted by it."

The actress insists she's not alone in struggling to find a balance between work and motherhood. "There are probably more women, even now, who are trying to be all things to all people," she says.

People pleaser or not, Parker says she's never been happier than when it comes to raising her three kids with husband Matthew Broderick, 49. "Tabitha's very, very outgoing, but physically she's very shy. She shakes in elevators; it's very sweet, like Bambi."

As for Tabitha's 2-year-old twin, Loretta? "She is pale, like my husband, with piercing blue eyes. But she's physically bold," Parker says. "I think it's funny how much she looks like my husband, except then I look at Loretta and she has my husband's mouth and sort of sad eyes, you know the kind that go down? The Broderick eyes. They both really look like him."

Being an older parent, Parker says, means she's more easygoing than she might have been years earlier. "I guess I think there are things about it that I hope have made me a better mother," the actress explains. "I've had a lot of opportunities to do the things that I wanted to do, like sleep. I have slept until 11:00 for a lot of years. Honestly, the only thing that I'm concerned about is the energy: I hope I can maintain the energy."

That's not to say Parker and Broderick don't have help around the house. The couple employ a nanny to help care for their toddler twins, and someone else helps manage 8-year-old James Wilkie's schedule.

"We don't have any live-in help. We're pretty hands-on parents," Parker insists. "That's something that's important to both of us, and we don't shirk it, because what's the point in having a family if you're not going to really participate in it, you know?"

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