I Love Lucy’s Lucille Ball said she worried her children would struggle as a result of her celebrity. Maybe growing up in the public eye with two world-famous parents could keep them from reaching their potential, she worried.
Of course, there are plenty of upsides to having rich and famous parents. But the bonuses all come with drawbacks. And Lucille Ball admits her two children “had their ups and downs” growing up, but they had come through them fine.
“I’m very proud of my children, and they’re going great guns these days,” she told Warner Roberts. “And they’ve gone through their ups and downs. They’re learning. They’ve gone through all the phases like all the other kids. I think they’ve even had a tougher load on their shoulders than children whose parents aren’t so well known. But they’ve learned to live with it, and I love their vitality and their respect for their bodies and their good health and their curiosity about their job and the way they have attacked their lives you know at this point.”
Though her children aren’t as sympathetic toward their mother. Both Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Arnaz said their mother was very strict on them growing up, but Ball said she worried she was too lenient. Though, she admits she was a very hands-on parent.
Lucie Arnaz Calls Mom, Lucille Ball, ‘Control Freak’
Speaking with Joan Rivers in 1990, Lucie Arnaz said she wanted to raise her children differently than how her mother raised her. She wanted her three kids kept out of public view and would try to give them as normal a childhood as possible. Both Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. were part of Lucille Ball’s later shows. So, they got a taste of fame early.
She doesn’t want that for her children. Unless it’s their choice. Though, Arnaz said she’d try to steer them from show business unless they “have to do it.”
“Well you know it’s very tough,” she said. “If they have to do it if they want to do it for the right reasons because they can’t do anything else. … If it makes you that happy you’ve got to do it, but you didn’t know that as a child.”
She told Rivers that should didn’t want to be like her mother, whom she said was a “control freak.”
“You know she had to be in charge 24 hours a day,” Arnaz recalled. “She loved us in her own way. I’m sure she loved us in the only way she knew how.”
Arnaz said she didn’t blame her mother for her overly strict parenting, however, she said it was most likely a learned behavior from her parents. Arnaz says she’s trying to be more open and forgiving with her kids.