Reese Witherspoon has been through so much in the last few years: marriage to CAA agent Jim Toth, welcoming a third child, baby boy Tennessee in 2012, and famously getting arrested and caught on video last April.

Despite all the significant ups and downs the Oscar-winning actress has endured, Reese says she is now so much wiser than she was, and it’s all due to her kids. In a recent interview with Elle magazine, the blonde beauty was celebrated, along with Melissa McCarthy, Penelope Cruz,  and Shailene Woodley, as one of four ‘Women in Hollywood.’

In the interview, America’s sweetheart came clean about what specifically her three kids, Ava, 14, Deacon, 9, and Tennessee, 12 months, have taught her. She says, "Having kids made me clearer about who I was as a woman,”adding, “I just wanted to exhibit good qualities for my daughter. I was a little competitive before I had kids – probably really competitive, to be honest. It really made me let go of that."

Of course, the famously driven actress, who even named her production company Type A Films, is no stranger to competition. In 2005, she famously beat out Judi Dench and Charlize Theron to win the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Walk The Line.

She also adds that her kids made her feel less “confused” about her role as an actress and a mom in Hollywood with a responsibility to portray roles of substance. She explains, "I started noticing a couple years ago that I wasn't seeing women as the stars of movies. I'm seeing them as the guys' girlfriends, or so-and-so's wife. I just thought: God, if I don't start buckling down and start producing some movies, what's my daughter going to see in the movies?”

We’re excited for this new chapter in this busy mom’s life, and can’t wait to see the fruit of her labors.

Source: Elle

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Teddie McCormick is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+!