Claire Danes: ‘I would make a lousy stay-at-home mom. It just wouldn’t suit me’

Claire Danes is the February cover girl for Elle (US). I don’t really understand why she’s gotten a February cover though, unless she’s promoting her award nominations for the awards season. She doesn’t have any movies coming out and Homeland Season 2 ended last month, and Season 3 won’t begin until September or October! So it’s just like Claire got the cover because she just wants to remind people that she’s up for a Golden Globe and a SAG. You can see the Elle slideshow here, and here are some excerpts from the interview:

On her husband Hugh Dancy: “Hugh was just the right partner for me. I got very, very lucky… There’s only so much credit you can take when it just sort of works, you know? And obviously we work hard at maintaining our relationship — that is central to both our lives — but at the same time, it’s just this kind of ease that I can’t really account for.”

Meeting Pres. Obama, who is a huge Homeland fan: “Hugh was like, ‘We have to meet Obama,’ and we walked over before we could think and found ourselves shaking hands with him. Hugh realized that he’d forgotten to actually properly introduce himself, and [President Obama] was like, ‘And you are?’ And Hugh was like, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. President,’” Danes tells ELLE. “I said, ‘I’m Claire Danes,’ and he said, ‘Oh, you’re a fine actress.’ And I said, ‘You’re a fine president!’ And he said, ‘Oh, you’re a finer actress than I am president.’ I didn’t have any retort. Hugh and I went immediately to the bar and had a big shot of vodka.”

On teenagers growing up in Hollywood today: “When I was younger, I was a little bit more restless, but there weren’t as many eyes. There weren’t as many tabloids or the number of cameras that everyone’s armed with. I feel huge sympathy for teenagers who have suddenly found themselves as public figures now, because it just sucks for them.”

On waiting to have children: “I’ve always wanted to have kids, but I’m glad I didn’t until now. When I was thinking about [working and being a mother] originally, I was really nervous about it…I think I would make a lousy stay-at-home mom. It just wouldn’t suit me. I feel so fortunate, in that I’ve had this arrow-straight focus…that I wanted to act.”

[From Elle]

Do you think it’s funny that Pres. Obama had no idea who Hugh was? Poor Hugh! I also think Claire’s comments about stay-at-home moms are kind of pointed, especially given the tabloid rumors that she might leave Homeland now that she’s a mom. It’s like Claire is saying, “Leave a hit show? Are you cray? I LOVE TO WORK.”

Back to the Obama thing – POTUS is a big Homeland fan, and I like that he complimented Claire on her (substantial) talent. But I still think Damian Lewis’s story about meeting Pres. Obama at a state dinner was way funnier.

Photos courtesy of Elle.

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89 Responses to “Claire Danes: ‘I would make a lousy stay-at-home mom. It just wouldn’t suit me’”

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  1. Bird says:

    Sorry, I understand working because you have to, but saying that it ‘wouldn’t suit you to be a stay at home’? I feel like that is just saying it doesn’t suit you to be a mom. Newsflash- moms take care of their babies. If you don’t think that sounds like something you’re interested in, then WTF???

    • Christina says:

      Where did she say looking after her child wasn’t something she’s interested in? It’s just not the ONLY thing in her life. Just because you’ve given birth doesn’t mean you want to deal with nappies and teething pains all day, every day. I actually think it’s much healthier when mothers take an interest in something other than their children – whether that’s work, a hobby, a social life or whatever.

    • Lol says:

      some mothers go to work because they want to, not because they have to. Doesn’t mean they don’t love their children, it only means they need more in their daily life than dirty nappies.

    • RocketMerry says:

      Bird, you’re reading it in a wrong way, I think. She is saying that being at home taking care of the kid/s would not be right for her personality.
      Not everyone has the kind of strenght and attitude required to be around kids 24/7. Some mothers do, other don’t.
      My mother was like that, too; if she wasn’t working she was even more negative, irritable and aggressive than usual – because she was frustrated about being constricted into a role that she was not suited for. In the end I was glad she had a job to go to.

      • Kosmos says:

        I have to agree here. People may not be interpreting her comments accurately. Not everyone is good at being stay at home mothers. I think Claire is saying that she could do it more now than before, years ago when she said she wanted children. I really like her and hope that she and her husband stay happy. She’s her own authentic person and a strong role model for some women.

    • Brookie says:

      Way to go showing how ignorant you are, bird! I have been a stay-at-home mom (not by choice!) for the last 15 months, and it is the hardest job I have ever had! It is a very lonely, thankless job that never ends. Just because someone loves to work does not mean they don’t want to be a mom. I love my kids dearly, and was truly excited to have this time with my kids, but the isolation that can come with it is harder than people realize. I can’t wait to go back to school in 3 weeks because finally I will have something to do besides stare at four walls, two kids, dirty diapers & PBS for a few hours a week. I learned the hard way I am not suited for stay-at-home mommy duties. Like others said, at least she knows that before having kids, and has the resources to take care of her family & work at the same time. Some of us are not that lucky.

    • says:

      Newsflash- moms who work also take care of their babies. And the house, and the cooking, and the cleaning.

    • Sweet Dee says:

      Heyyy Bird, way to let your ignorance flag fly. Good job.

    • PrettyTarheel says:

      I see that you’re a stay at home mom, and you’re to be commended. I recognize how hard you must work, and what a high-stress job with little external validation it can sometimes be.

      That being said, mothers who work take care of their children. I have a high-earning position that I love-it keeps me challenged, fulfilled, energized, and happy. I have an 18 month old who is off the charts on his verbal and physical skills because despite the fact that he hangs out at a daycare for 7-8 hours a day, his father and I still somehow manage to spend several hours a day on his physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I set his schedule, manage his diet, and keep him active, healthy, and happy. I think you could have phrased your response in a more positive light-feminism is all about doing what’s right for your family. For you, it’s staying at home. For me, it’s going to work. And for Claire, it’s getting paid crazy money to be successful.

      • MoxyLady007 says:

        I think the bottom line is this. Bird is a stay at home mom. She felt slighted/ maligned by what Claire Danes said. And then moms who work outside the home felt the same way about what bird said.
        Being a mom is HARD. Staying at home or going to work. It’s hard. And women are made to feel guilty about not managing to be both a stay at home mom AND a mom who works a 40hr week outside the home. The extent to which women feel they need to explain their choices SUCKS. It’s not fair and it’s not right.
        Ladies, lets all give eachother a little love and benefit of the doubt. We are all doing the best we can. Lets be proud of how well we all take care if our families, regardless of the different ways in which we manage it.

    • Merritt says:

      @ Bird Amazing how Dads never get all this criticism. Being a stay at home parent isn’t for everyone. Because newsflash Dads should also take care of their children.

      I have to say I’m really sick of the pass men get in not knowing how to parent their children. Too many people act like financial support is enough when it comes to dads.

      Being a parent is a full time job. It doesn’t stop when you are at work. And to act as though parents who work, are somehow less of a parent is ridiculous.

    • Sam says:

      Uh, we can do both. I do both. And why do you assume that if a mother does not stay home, her child is not being cared for? My husband and I divide the childcare duties. You’re just regutitating the idea that if a mother is not at home, the child is not being taken care of. Lots of homes have multiple people in them that are all able to care for a child.

  2. RN says:

    I became a Homeland fan a bit late, after season 1 ended. But once I discovered it, I was hooked immediately. I think Ms. Danes is an amazing actress, and she’s fortunate to work with such a talented ensemble.

    As far as her choice to work, I have no comment. Every mother has to figure that piece out for herself. I’ve both worked outside the home and stayed home with my children. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Also, she would have assistance and a set up that most working women don’t have, so that’s in her favor.

    • hmm says:

      Its kind of strange t come from Scandinavia where 80 % of mothers work – the last 20 % procent is either stay at home moms, on social welfare or unemployed. But really stay-at-home-moms are very rare. I’m 26 and non of my friends had stay-at-home-moms when I was a child. But but women do get 52 weeks of maternity leave (some can be taken by the father though).

  3. lucy2 says:

    I figured that rumor was bogus, or just a bargaining ploy from her agents.

    I don’t see anything wrong with what she said. She wants to be a mom and work too. They can probably balance their schedules pretty well, and I would think her kid can come to set every day with her.

  4. Mrs. Ari Gold says:

    That bracelet is h-i-d-e-o-u-s!
    Is it me or does she kind of look like a guy in drag?

    God I am so bitchy today! Must be Monday!

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      Not just you…That is a remarkably unflattering shoot for her. It’s like the photos are a little too high-def or something…the stylists and photo editors really hated her here, IMHO…she is a fantastic actress! Big Homeland fan

  5. Sam says:

    Not everyone wants to stay at home with their kids. I can understand that. It isn’t for everyone. Doesn’t make her a horrible mother or person.

  6. Christine says:

    I’m a mom, and at times I worked full time and at times I was a SAHM. It’s hard both ways; it’s finding what’s right for yourself and your family that matters. I work from home now part time. Anyway, I’m a new fan of Claire’s since I saw that kindness reveal on CDAN where she has been helping out wounded veterans and their families.

  7. WendyNerd says:

    Her comments are pretty much why the old system didn’t work. If she had lived in the fifties, she, like other women like her, would have ended up boozing heavily. I know I probably would have. Thank God for the second wave, eh?

  8. marly says:

    You want someone else to feed, change & take care of your baby, but still have the luxury of calling yourself a mom, we’ll maybe you shouldn’t have a baby. this has nothing to do with being a working or stay at home mom. So many selfish people bring children into this world who don’t really like kids or taking care of them.

    • Sweet Dee says:

      Even for mothers, there’s usually more to life than being a mom, and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Agree with Sweet Dee, LeeLoo and others. I’d like to have kids, but no, I don’t want to sacrifice the career that I’ve BUSTED MY ASS to have. So because I might have children, I’m expected to suddenly forgo everything I’ve worked so hard for? Are men expected to do this or are you just saying that I *have* to choose because I’m a woman? So much sexism in a lot of these comments and so much self-righteousness. Newsflash: you’re not automatically a great mom because you chose to stay home.

        Men don’t get the rash of sh-t that women feel so entitled to give each other. Gah! I am so tired of the Mommy Police. Get over yourselves. Your way is not the ONLY way.

      • Chatcat says:

        I too thought I would not be a good “stay at home Mom” and was very career oriented. I told my employer I’d be back in “6 weeks” with my first. HA!…that little baby boy was put in my arms and I knew that I had to change some things about myself and process. I was a good hard working employee so as my “6 weeks” was up I met with HR and told asked them to work with me…I decided I wanted part time, they worked with me and I took my full 3 month leave, went back part time and had my cake and ate it too! I sacrificed little in my career (money yes, motivation and promotion no). They worked with me because I was a good loyal employee and I worked harder for them because they valued me enough to let me have the best of both worlds. Hell by the time I was tired of “work work” I’d be off with the kids and by the time I was sick of the “kid work” I had 20 hours of work work to look forward to. I proceeded to do this 2 more pregnancies and didn’t go back to work full time until my oldest was 10 and my youngest 4. I was lucky, but I also made my “breaks” and thank God every day.

        Oh and after I went back full time, hubby and I made it one year with the two of us working full time…these last 10+ years HE has been the ‘stay at home’ parent and it all has worked out OK for ALL of us! :)

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        That would be my ideal scenario, Chat-work part-time or even have a few days a week where I am working remotely (I know it’s easier said than done when you have a little one!) from home.

        People do this all the time but the point is that women shouldn’t be forced to chose. I had a stay-at-home mom and it was wonderful in so many ways but I knew at a young age that I didn’t want that life. Of course, never say never-things can change but as of now, I have no intention of ditching my career (not a job to me-it’s a CAREER) to stay at home and I think as women, we should support each other-at the end of the day, it’s a personal choice. The focus should be on good parenting-not whether one mother chooses to work or not.

    • Brookie says:

      Well, when you work for eight hours a day, someone has to wipe your kids ass for that eight hours. And feed them two meals, too. So yea, you’re statement is all about choosing to work instead of staying home. Some households need a second income to pay bills. For some, it’s not a choice to work outside of the home.

      I stay home because it would cost me more to pay for 2 kids in daycare than it would cost me to pay my mortgage every month. I literally would be working for 25 bucks a week after paying daycare with my income. That’s not enough to put gas in my car for the week. It was not feasible to go back to work, but after living on credit cards for the last year to make up for the lack of income, it is not a choice to go back to school to earn an education to get a better job than I had before. It is a neccesity. Don’t pass judgement if you don’t know everyone’s personal struggles.

    • LeeLoo says:

      I will never understand you and those like you who think it’s all or nothing. Just because someone chooses not to be a stay-at-home mom doesn’t mean she won’t be doing the lion’s share of care giving for her little one. Besides, how many moms here would have a nanny to help them if they could afford it?

      I get sick of reading comments from women like yourself who think it’s okay to bash on anyone who doesn’t have the hardcore approach to parenting like you do. Most of the kids I’ve met with behavioral problems these days have parents who make them the center of the universe, dote on them, spoil them nd tell them what a unique snowflake they are and that turns these kids into little narcissistic terrors with overinflated egos. I think you are doing your kids a FAVOR by having interests outside of them. It’s the best way to teach your kids humility and empathy.

      • Christina says:

        Not to mention the fact that Claire is at the peak of her career. Who knows, when ‘Homeland’ eventually winds up, she might never get offered any roles, because it’s a fickle business. She’d be absolutely NUTS to even consider giving up a plum role that is earning her hundreds of thousands of dollars an EPISODE!

        Besides, given her position, she’ll be able to take her baby to work with her if she wants, and spend time with him during her working day. I very very much doubt that those people who are criticising Claire would do any differently than her if they were in her (very privileged) position.

      • Chordy says:

        @Christina. Exactly. She has an amazing career that she’s passionate about. She’s arguably the more successful in the marriage. Notice Hugh Dancy isn’t getting any criticism for not being a stay at home dad.

  9. KellyinSeattle says:

    She is so boring; just bland.

  10. Amory says:

    I can’t look at her and not think about her stepping out in public with Billy Crudup when his girlfriend was 7 months pregnant. While fault for that was with Billy, I just can’t imagine being interested in a guy who was so willing to do that to the mother of his child.

    And didn’t she then cheat on Billy with this current guy?

  11. PrettyTarheel says:

    Pretty horrified by what I’ve seen here today. Don’t we, as women, get enough criticism from the media, our mothers-in-law, and our passive-aggressive friends? Why are we coming to a place where we all have the same interest (gossip!) and turning into a judgy bitch-fest about how we are choosing to raise our children? There is no ONE right way.
    Borrowing from my comment upthread:
    I have a high-earning position that I love-it keeps me challenged, fulfilled, energized, and happy. I have an 18 month old who is off the charts on his verbal and physical skills because despite the fact that he hangs out at a daycare for 7-8 hours a day, his father and I still somehow manage to spend several hours a day on his physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I set his schedule, manage his diet, and keep him active, healthy, and happy. Feminism is all about doing what’s right for your family. We should be supporting each other-NOT seeing how quickly we can tear each other down. Clearly, Claire is doing what’s right for her family and herself at this point.

    • T.Fanty says:


      I’m equally appalled by how much our culture is making it taboo to admit that motherhood might not be 100% satisfying. It seems to me that there’s a real attempt to swing back towards a culture that insists our ambitions should be fulfilled by maternity, and this conversation is riddled with implicit condemnation of those who don’t conform. Moreover, the celebrity moms trying to make a career out of being such (too many to single out), and doing it amazingly, while looking gorgeous, is starting to feel like the modern equivalent of 1950s advertising. Say what you like about GOOP, but she is so insane, it’s impossible to feel inadequate next to her cr@ck-headedness. I can’t say the same about many of the celebrity mum interviews I see.

      I’m a mother of two, with a somewhat demanding, intellectual career. I love my children to death, but the SAHM lifestyle is deeply unsatisfying to me. To admit that on many online forums – I might as well admit that I like to club baby seals. I think it’s refreshing that Danes is stepping out of this box. I hope she stays true to who she is.

      • MoxyLady007 says:

        See, I am a stay at home mom. I feel like I am admitting to clubbing baby seals too when I say I love it. It’s hard but I am so lucky I can stay home – I find it fulfilling and stimulating.
        I think that women are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Like I said up thread, moms who work outside the home are made to feel guilty and defensive. Moms who stay home are made to feel the same. Society basically says until you are a stay at how mom who also works a 40 hr work week (impossible btw) you are a failure.

    • T.Fanty says:

      Isn’t it awful that we’ve come to this point. My sister is a SAHM, and she’s an excellent cook, she crafts, and gardens, and loves all that kind of stuff. She’s the anti-me: I’m just no good at that kind of thing, and don’t enjoy it. It’s simply a different choice she has made. And both our kids are going to turn out fine, regardless of what we do. Which, ultimately, is all that matters.

      I like the point a lot of people are making about a father not taking any kind of criticism for saying that. It certainly didn’t bounce back on Ben Affleck with such vitriol.

      There’s actually an interesting article in The Guardian about this today. The video is nothing short of brilliant:

      • Becky1 says:

        I don’t know why women in our society judge each other so much. You really can’t win-you’re judged if you don’t have kids, you’re judged if you’re a SAHM and you are judged if you are a mother who works full-time. The only women that seem to get somewhat of a pass are mothers who are able to work part-time.

        Men don’t tend to judge women for these sorts of things (at least not as much as women). Why are women so hard on each other?

  12. Cel says:

    After a baby is born,aside from breast-feeding, there is nothing a mother does that a father can’t do – its all a huge learning curve for both parents.

    I wonder if those above passing such harsh judgement on Claire would make the same comments if it was Hugh making this statement.

  13. Lori M. says:

    Women can make choices today and for that we should very thankful! Personally, I enjoy being a full time stay at home mom. My son knows that there is no other place on the earth I would rather be than with him, raising him, teaching him, and guiding him through this world. I don’t want my son to think my career was more important than him. I think (my opinion only) that young kids these days often feel that they are not the most important thing to their parents – careers and money come first. No wonder kids get pissed off at the world…even their own parents didn’t sacrifice to stay home with them at the start of their life. BUT – I respect that everyone can make a choice for themselves and their own families.

    • LeeLoo says:


      However, I have met several stay at home moms who use their kids as a crutch to avoid what is wrong in their personal lives. My very soon to be husband’s mom was one of those women. She also has a personality disorder so she probably never should have had kids period. She tried doting on her kids too much and controlling them even into adulthood. My DF’s kid brother was her favorite. She lavished attention onto him. His ego is severely overinflated for his abilities and he doesn’t care about anyone other than himself. So I do think to avoid such behaviors of kids feeling like they are the center of the universe, it is beneficial to the child to see their parents engaging in other activities once they are out of infancy.

      My point is, I think parents screw their kids up no matter if they work or stay at home. Sometimes, despite the best parenting, kids will be screwed up no matter how much effort the parents put into raising them. Any decision made should be made with their best interests at heart. You are right there are a lot of parents who do not put their kids first but I don’t think it is fair to say that of every person who has a career to provide for their family.

  14. Brookie says:

    @ Marly – quit trolling and read the comments – it’s not about being angry at what is involved of taking care of children, it’s anger at close-minded people like yourself who seem to think it’s ok to pass judgement on people who make different choices than you, and putting it out there in such a snotty, know-it-all, condescending way.

  15. Kate (newer one) says:

    You do know babies only remain that way for 18 months, right? And that parenting doesn’t stop then?

    I loathed being mother to a young baby. It was relentless and it was drudgery. I loved my son more than I knew possible but the actual labour involved was mindless and miserable. BUT… once he grew into a toddler, everything changed and he is funny and wonderful and looking after him is a blast. And I so, so want more.

    Saying someone who doesn’t like caring for babies shouldn’t have kids makes no sense. They’re babies such a short time. And I say that coming from a country where we get a full year of paid maternity leave, so almost everyone is a SAHM for at least that first year.

  16. Brookie says:

    “You want someone else to feed, change & take care of your baby, but still have the luxury of calling yourself a mom, we’ll maybe you shouldn’t have a baby.”

    This statement ^^^^ right here that you posted is snotty & condescending. It smacks right in the face of women who need to work to be able to provide a roof for their family and feel guilty to leave their children with daycare or a sitter.

    My argument that some women have to work, and some choose to work. Because they choose to work and put their kids in daycare, which means for a good part of the day someone else is feeding, changing, and taking care of their child, should not be told not to have kids. That is rude, and you totally did say that. And some women stay at home not by choice, but because of neccesity. And they should not be told that they should not have children because they express the desire to do something besides cater to another persons’ needs 24/7/365.

    And I used “you” figuratively. All “you” people who seem to think it’s ok to shame people for doing something that you don’t agree with. On any topic.

    • Marly says:

      You hate being home with your kids. You’re a miserable stay at home mom. Do I feel bad for you? No. Do I feel bad for your kids? Absolutely.

      “I can’t wait to go back to school in 3 weeks because finally I will have somethng to do besides stare at four walls, two kids, dirty diapers and PBS.”

      Well, why don’t you try reading to your kids or interacting with them. Maybe get off the gossip sites instead of plopping them in front of the tv while you write angry retorts to strangers who have the audacity not to feel bad for you.

      “I learned the hard way that I am not suited for stay-at-home mommy duties”
      I feel like it’s your kids,unfortunately, who probably learned the hard way. “It is a lonely, thankless job.” Most moms would probably disagree with you. You are lonely, not because of the kids, but because you sound like a bitch. Being a parent is a 24 hour job, whether you work or stay at home, You are not catering to your kids – you brought them into this world and it is your job to take care of them.

      • LeeLoo says:

        Marly, that’s uncalled for. I feel sorry for your kids when the times comes for them make a decision you disagree with. I will feel bad for all of the insults they will have to endure from you.

        Never once did Brookie say she hated being around her kids, she just said she wishes she had more to do and she is excited for going back to school as it will be more for her to do. There is nothing wrong with that.

        @Brookie never let people like Marly get you down. Good luck in school!

      • andy says:

        “Well, why don’t you try reading to your kids or interacting with them. Maybe get off the gossip sites instead of plopping them in front of the tv while you write angry retorts to strangers who have the audacity not to feel bad for you.”

        Take your own advice.

      • Brookie says:

        That’s ok. Marly’s resorting to insults because they know I called them out on their condescending attitude, and have nowhere else to go now.

        My older kid is in her room playing with her dolls, she was coloring a few minutes ago. We colored a cat. My younger one is napping. I interact with them enough to the point that my older girl wants to play by herself by this time of the day. THAT makes you feel lonely, yup it does. And stay-at-home mom I’ve talked too says that of course they feel lonely at times. Comes with the territory. I’m sure some here will agree. Doesn’t make me a bitch. And as someone else noted, it is a pretty thankless job until they are about 18 months and can say “Thanks!” Or “Love you!”

        And so what if I’m excited to go back to school? A happy mom is good for their children, and the kids will get to learn that they are not the center of their parents attention & will have to share their time eventually. I learned after these last 15 months that I am a happier person when I get to spend part of my day interacting with adults without having children involved. That does not make me a bad parent. Why is that so hard for you grasp? Ohh, because it’s not what you think. That doesn’t make me a bitch, it makes YOU look like a bitch. Good job.

        *slow clap*

        And thanks LeeLoo! I’m going for something I love (international business) so at least I got that going for me!

  17. MoxyLady007 says:

    @marly – take a hike. You are giving stay at home moms a bad name and causing strife where there should be only love and support. Bugger off.

  18. mercy says:

    It would be interesting to hear Claire explain why she thinks she would be a lousy stay-at-home mother. By the way, I think the term “stay-at-home” is somewhat misleading. I’m sure there are some who are more mobile and social than your average working outside the home parent simply because they have more freedom and control over their days activities.

    • mercy says:

      Let me add, my mother had two advanced degrees and was well regarded in her career but she loved being a “stay-at-home” mother. She got to be her own boss in many respects, and it allowed her to express her creativity more than her paying career did.

      In Claire’s case, she’s been acting since she was a child and her job on a TV show allows for a lot more time with her child than most. She has long periods of time off, she gets to take her baby to work if she wants to, and she can afford help with shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. She also has a husband with a relatively low-key acting career. Seems like a no-brainer for her to continue, and not nearly as difficult a balancing act as it is for most.

  19. H26 says:

    Jeez this thread got brutal. I work part time and I kind of think that’s the perfect thing for me. There are times I wish I could stay at home completely but it wouldn’t work finacially for us. But I also realize I get obsessed a bit with my kids and it is probably better mentally for me to have something outside to get my mind off home things.

    I love my kids and I do the MAJORITY of their daily care. Don’t feel sorry for my kids because sometimes I need to do something for myself. My kids are great, thanks.

    A happy mom is good mom.

    My hubs mom was miserable at home and to hear my hubs and his brothers talk they knew it and knew she was unhappy and felt it was their fault.

    My mom was SAHM when we were little and then had to go back to work for finacial reasons when we were older. We always knew her priorty was us no matter where she was and never felt neglected or that she was miserable because of us. We felt cherished and that is what I hope my kids remember.

    Motherhood is hard enough without women judging each other so harshly.

    • PrettyTarheel says:

      Dear H26:
      Sending good thoughts your way! Sounds like you’ve found the balance. You made a great point-a happy mom is a good mom. Everyone has to find their own way to make it work.

      Happy Moms Unite, no matter what the employment status!

  20. Sam says:

    I understand her argument about staying home just not suiting her. I wanted to go back to work. I’m a public interest lawyer who mostly works in civil rights, disability and immigration work. My clients are largely underserved and discriminated against people. Frankly, I see the work I do for my clients and caring for my child as equal. My child needs me and gets me in the morings and evenings and weekends. But my clients also need me and I love my job. The whole argument against working mothers to me is always selfish – it presumes that you should care about your child to the exclusion of everything else. My child’s needs are met – by myself, by my husband and by our big families. He doesn’t want for love or attention. Its also a hideously sexist view because it assumes that a mother should be the primary caregiver to the exclusion of all others. I like to think that my son is proud of his mother because he knows that I work trying to make the world more equal and decent, and that benefits him as well.

  21. Edie says:

    Obviously there is a lot of unnecessary name-calling on this post, but I can see how both sides are naturally defensive. Working moms for being told they’ve made a lesser choice and stay-at-home moms for being told they’re lesser women. Same insecurity, different situations.

    As a SAHM, I can only speak to my group, and I’m growing weary of increasing messages that a working mom is superior because she has a life outside of her children or won’t let her intellect/degree be wasted on the monotony of childcare. That is insulting and untrue. Logic says if raising a child is important enough for parents to carefully select a qualified daycare or nanny, then raising a child is worthy of a mother’s daytime employment as well. Do you think all nannies or childcare providers are doltish people with no interests outside of diaper changes? Of course not. Besides, most jobs I’ve had (and I worked as a successful journalist before having children) are generally monotonous within their respective field. Computer screens and meeting rooms may be quieter than children, but are equally repetitive and mind-numbing at times.

    Staying home with your own children is a valid and honorable living. Working outside of the home is a valid and honorable living. Now, can we take the same credit for our parenting as so many WMs insist? I tend to think that a SAHM does deserve credit for the additional hours and physical exertion she puts into parenting. Not that it makes her a better parent, but it definitely earns her more “billable” mom hours, and it certainly gives her greater access to and awareness of her children’s personality and daily routine.

    In the end, neither position is right or wrong. I’ve known good and bad SAHMs; I’ve known good and bad WMs. I’ve known self-indulgent children that were products of both environments due to spoiling. But on behalf of SAHMs, please don’t suggest we raise our children out of ignorance or apathy or sheer stupidity.

    • H26 says:

      I agree.

      Some of the smartest women I know are stay at home moms. They have college degrees and I don’t think they are wasted because they stayed at home. They use their knowledge to their children’s benefit.

      My mom would have been completely happy being a SAHM but she didn’t have the option at a certain point. Regardless, she was a great mom and home or work didn’t have anything to do with her abilities as a mother.

  22. PrettyTarheel says:

    Hi Troll! Guess what I’m doing RIGHT NOW! I’m at home, in my gym clothes, working! While my child is in daycare! I dropped him off about 10AM. His daddy is going to pick him up at 4:45 and then we’re going to wander around the neighborhood for an hour, get our exercise, and come home for a family dinner!
    I hope you didn’t hurt yourself when you clutched your pearls and shouted, “The Horror! A working mom…hanging out with her child?!?!?! It can’t be…Mind…breaking…”

    *Sorry CBers, I know better than to feed the trolls, but I just couldn’t take it anymore.

  23. Brookie says:

    Keep throwing the insults. It makes you look like such a winner. What, can’t pick apart anything else I said? Only a smart retort about a sentence that got taken out of context. Get a life.

  24. MG says:

    I liked CD comments because I feel the same way and sometimes I feel guilty about it. We relocated due to my husband’s job and I resigned from my job. I’ve been home with my almost 3 year old for over 3 months. As much as I love it, it makes me a little crazy too. I love being a mother and enjoy time with my kids but I don’t feel like I provide the best at home environment. I don’t have our days planned out in a structured manner or have arts and crafts lined up etc. She takes a nap everyday, we read stories and we usually do some kind of physical activity everyday. We sing ABC’s and count and talk about colors but I feel like she would be learning more at a pre-school. I don’t feel like I’m a good teacher and sometimes that makes me feel like a bad mom. Plus I like to work!!

  25. Kate Nonymous says:

    What’s nice is that we can each determine what’s best for our own families and try to provide it as best we can.

    What’s not nice is that too many of us feel the need to criticize someone else’s actions. Sorry, but until you live that life and have that family, you have no idea what you’re talking about. And if there were only one way to do this right, there would be so many more serial killers in the world.

    We should all take a deep breath and remember that someone else’s choice has nothing to do with us. Don’t get bent out of shape by someone else’s snark, and don’t feel the need to snark someone else.

    Seriously. Everyone’s doing what they think is best. Calm down. Butt out.

    And don’t believe everything a star says. (a) They have images to maintain, and those images vary, and (b) they’re not always the best at expressing themselves. Being a good actor doesn’t mean you’re a good impromptu speaker or interview subject.

  26. Cece says:

    I think her comments are a bit naive. Frankly, no one knows how they’ll feel about working outside of the home until that baby arrives. At let’s face it — she in no way would be a typical stay at home mom even if she was not working — with her resources, she would not be trying to keep expenses down to save $$ from a loss of a job, and she would have plenty of help so that she could work out, have lunch with friends and go on extravagant vacations without the kid.

    I also think women here are reacting to the fact that so many of these celebrities seem to have babies for the PR, and the kids are more like accessories than treasures. Comments like hers feed into that perception, whether she meant to or not. They may think that she was placing herself above “merely” being a mom.

    I think the public has just ODed on all of the celeb baby stories — honestly, celeb couples, we do the same thing as you, but with much less help and much less applause!

  27. Brookie says:

    I am a Winner!! My husband works full-time and goes to school full-time for biotechnology. I manage our household, care for a 4 yr old and a 15 month old, and in 2013 I will also be going to school full-time. My four year old knows how to read & write and can count to thirty, and she’s not even in pre-k. My 15 month olds first words after mama & dadda was thank you. I am raising polite, smart, well-adjusted kids. So yea, I am a winner and I am A Mother of the Year. Thanks for the compliment!!! Have a nice life!

    • m says:


      It would probably be very difficult for you to raise polite, smart, well adjusted kids as you seem to lack any of those attributes yourself. Your first post insulted bird as “ignorant’ because she had a different view. You scream out “troll’, childishly, every time someone has a differing opinion.

      I remember when Brooks Shields came out and told everyone that she wanted to harm her baby after she was born. She thought everyone should admire her as she was so brave to tell her story. Then I recall while she was on Broadway, she explained that she would not be able to stay home with her kids. She also feels like she is a mother of the year so you are in good company. Saying you don’t like to be around your kids, but you want to be a mom is a little like saying you don’t like to be around your husband but you love being married. Some people don’t make great moms despite hilariously screaming out their children’s ability to speak and read and what a winner they are. You are completely delusional.

  28. blouson says:

    I guess the problem is that the argument “I have a job but I am still a full-time mom just like a SAHM” is a misleading argument. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you have chosen to stay at home and raise children despite no income then lets be a little fair about it…these women really are doing full-time parenthood. A WM can LOVE their child as much, sure. You can pick great nannies and daycares.But its nonsense to deny the FACT that a SAHM’s CAREER which she devotes 10 hours a day to (the development and care of her children)does not influence the quality of parenting. She WILL know better than a WM how their schoolwork is going or who their friends are or who the best maths teacher in the 5th grade is. FACT people. And they will probbaly do a better job looking after the children than a paid carer (in most cases) as they love them. Its not for money. This doesn’t mean that WMs don’t do a great job. But I’ve been both and while the WM’s increased income and career development is recognised, for some reason SAHM are not allowed to ever discuss their expertise. Most SAHM don’t choose to stay home beacuse they can’t get a job. They choose to do it beacuse they see their choice as having value…something which many people try to deny them.

    • Becky1 says:

      I think it’s interesting that the whole SAHM vs. WM argument is often presented as a choice. I would love to be a SAHM, but if my husband and I would have a child I would have to work. It would not be a “choice” for me. I could stay home for up to 6 months and then I would have to go back to work. Even with cutting out all “luxuries” like cable TV we have bills that we could not pay without my income. Nobody should EVER make any woman feel guilty about whether she works outside the home or not.

  29. Smaug says:

    As someone who has recently (6 months now) quit her full time job as an architect, I have seen both sides to a certain degree.
    Money is not an issue and I have a live in nanny who is wonderful with my now 19 month old.

    The truth is, I salute working moms because I used to come back from work dog tired and not have the energy to engage with my kid. I felt horribly guilty for missing his major milestones. It was a terrible time for me. And as much as I loved my job and the intellectual stimulation it offered me, I just couldn’t do it all the time and still be a a good (for me) mother.

    Now that I am at home more, I feel happier that I spend so much quality time with my kid. I can take him to the park, throw a ball with him and just be there to see him do things for the first time. Yet, I feel insecure and embarassed when I tell people that I don’t work because we seem to have internalized that every woman needs to work to be seen equal to a man. It’s so sad and and I struggle with it everyday.

    Discussions like this are so polarizing. And unfair. Every woman- whether she works outside or at home, faces pressure. And I wish we would just support each other rather than pull each other down.

  30. normades says:

    I took a year off after the birth of my 1st child. I really didn’t want to go back, but once I did I realised how much I did like my job.

    The person happiest about it though was Daddy. He didn’t like me as a sahm. He likes the fact that I have a career. That’s the woman he married.

  31. Laura H says:

    I kind of get why there is woman on woman hate here I genuinely do. It’s a deeply personal choice and if someone even hints at challenging our ability to do something as fundamentally important to who we are as raising children then of course an emotive response will be received.

    What I find frankly concerning is that this is all centred at one gender. We all like to think and say we are equal to men even if the feminist word is sniffed at. I bet many of you also were appealed by the comments of celebrities like Cameron Diaz and Gwen Stefani last year which reinforced old fashioned stereotypes and to a degree the idea that we are in a way inferior to men. The housewife role remains a challenging and rewarding one but what has changed is that it is no longer a role that western society confines us to and that should be embraced. We can now make individual choices about how to live our lives much more freely and that is a blessing. Judging individuals for making that choice – whether it be to stay at home or not – seems like a massive step back to me.

    I personally have no children but a thriving career. I would fully expect to sit down with a partner when I do become pregnant and discuss our careers, job security, finance and what makes sense for us. If that meant that it benefited our family more for the father to be at home then I would be comfortable with that and be grateful that we have such equality between genders that it is a viable option. I would be happy to be a stay at home mother but not happy with the expectation that I do that. Or indeed that it is only one parents responsibility to make that choice.

  32. Faye says:

    Marly, there’s a saying that people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Claire does not state anywhere that she has disdain for childrearing. And none of the women here who work have equated working outside the home with disdaining childrearing. That’s crap you made up. So no, you’re not entitled to make up things about what other people feel. Especially when you’re using your “opinions” to trash other people. If that’s the kind of person you are in your daily life, I feel sorry for your children, being exposed to that 24/7.

  33. Ida says:

    This is such a sensitive subject, and sadly unnecessarily so. In order to contextualize the debate I think it is absolutely necessary to take into account the different expectations applied to men and women AND question their validity. The assumption that men will not take considerable paternity leave and/or choose to stay at home with their children reflects the status quo in most societies so there is no point in questioning its veracity on that level. But we must question whether these different sets of expectations are entirely justified. I think they are largely completely unjustified and unfair towards women. It is one thing to discuss whether it is generally more beneficial for a child to grow up with a stay-at-home parent, whether it’s the mother or the father, and quite another thing to discuss whether a woman should be a stay-at-home mother at any cost. Personally, I’m open to discussing the first but as far as the second is concerned, to each their own.

  34. m says:

    To whom it may concern:
    Karma is a bitch. You will get old one day and I’m sure those of you who think it’s a pain in the ass to take care of your kids, your son/daughter will probably feel the same way about you and drop your ass in a nursing home.

  35. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Who cares about what other people do?

  36. joeyG says:

    Miss Claire is famous celebitch…. sure she’s going to stay home and watch kids+ quit her pain acting job!