Keira Knightley: We don’t give women enough credit for the ‘marathon’ of motherhood

Keira Knightley visits Good Morning America

Keira Knightley was in New York last week to promote her latest film, The Aftermath. I seem to remember that The Aftermath was originally supposed to come out late last year, possibly for the awards season, but I might be hallucinating that. It’s already been released this month, although it obviously got overshadowed by Captain Marvel and Madea and such. I always feel bad for those costume dramas – they deserve more than being dumped in March with a limited release. The Aftermath looked like a typical overwrought WWII-era love story, starring Jason Clarke, Keira and Alex Skarsgard. I was into the trailer.

Anyway, when Keira was promoting the film, she talked a bit about motherhood. Her daughter Edie is three years old, and Edie’s birth marked the big change we see in Keira lately. Keira had some stuff to say about privilege and how difficult motherhood is:

Keira Knightley may be hoping for baby number two soon after praising women for attempting to juggle work and motherhood. The Oscar nominee, wed to musician James Righton, gave birth to daughter Edie in 2015.

Since then, she said: “I don’t think we give women enough credit for the physical and emotional marathon they go through when becoming a mother. I come from a place of amazing privilege. I have an incredible support system; I’ve been unbelievably lucky in my career; I can afford good childcare, and yet I still find it really f—ing difficult.”

[From Page Six]

I don’t think we give Keira enough credit for recognizing her privilege, talking about it and still using her platform to discuss social inequities, sexism and women’s economic issues. Like, Keira has never been one of those judgy “if you eat a donut while pregnant, you’re a terrible person” women. She talks about pregnancy and motherhood in a very direct and honest way. She’s never been here to whitewash on those experiences. I love her for that.

Here’s a photo of Keira at the New York premiere of The Aftermath last week. Her gown was Valentino and I HATE IT.

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty, Backgrid.

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63 Responses to “Keira Knightley: We don’t give women enough credit for the ‘marathon’ of motherhood”

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  1. Cait says:

    I don’t know, on the one hand I agree that there aren’t enough social supports for mothers, particularly working mothers and single mothers, but on the other hand there is a certain deification of motherhood that I find really distasteful and disrespectful to childless women (and I’m a mother). I guess I agree with her points, but not with the title of the article!

    • Lightpurple says:

      I thank you for recognizing that the deification of motherhood (I like the way you phrased it) can be very disrespectful to those of us who can’t or choose not to be mothers. Especially when it’s put in the “Women aren’t truly women until they’re a mother” jargon that is particularly galling when it comes from other women. If they want to speak to their own experience, use “I”, not broad generalizations. Those generalizations can be so hurtful. But here, I think Keira is talking more about the lack of support systems for parenting, how hard it can be, and how so much of it does fall on the woman, not that having a kid made her a goddess (she already was one) or super powerful.

      • Wilady says:

        I understand how painful that could be for someone who wants to be, or can’t be a mother, but it’s really unfair to those who are validating the honest struggles and joy it is to be a mother to tell them they aren’t allowed to speak about how fulfilling or hard it can be. To silence their experience because someone else is wishes, or doesn’t wish to have their own just didn’t make sense and isn’t fair.

        With so many things, like this, silencing others joy so you don’t feel the pain isn’t the answer. It’s learning how to not let others words and situations affect you, and that’s when you really grow.

        I always wished a had a proper graduation, and a long lasting positive college experience, but I didn’t, and it was extremely difficult to come to terms with that once I had kids and it essentially was off the table financially and time wise. I would get really emotional and down hearing my husband’s exceptional experience for years, and was dealing with the fact it could never be me. However, dampening him and cutting off his words wasn’t the answer. Having several moments with myself where I looked at what I had in a new light, and seeing how blessed I was with my job and family, made my life better, and I became a happier, more supportive person. It was because I wanted something I couldn’t have that there was so much pain. If I didn’t want that experience anyway, why be mad about someone talking about how life changing and amazing theirs was? No point.

        It’s not quite the same, but in many ways it is. And I have to note- Keira NEVER says it’s the only way to be a woman. That’s bull. There are many ways to be a woman. But being a mother changes you for life. Like having a wonderful relationship can change you for life. So can an amazing pet, Traveling the world, getting the career of your dreams. Gotta support each other, ladies.

      • Vanessa says:

        I appreciate Wilady’s thoughtful and respectful comments and agree with them.

      • runcmc says:

        The problem isn’t that anyone is trying to “take away your joy”. Everyone literally in the whole world recognizes the happiness and struggle of being a parent. And we all absolutely band with you when you (rightfully!) request better supports.

        It’s that mothers specifically are fairly tone-deaf about how they talk about motherhood and womanhood. It’s not painful for me personally- I have chosen not to be a mother, I don’t have fertility struggles and neither does my husband. We don’t want children, period. But the way motherhood is spoken about it’s…well, Cait said it best. It’s deified. You’re not a god or better than other people because you chose to be a mother, and THAT is what her comment is about…not saying you can’t discuss your happiness and the unique lifestyle of being a parent (compared to a non-parent). It’s that we’re all kind of sick of you pretending you’re better than other people because you chose to have kids. Parents are no better nor more important than non-parents. They’re people too.

      • Lightpurple says:

        Excuse me? What part of asking people to use “I” to express your joy or your pain with parenting instead of projecting it on all women stifles your ability to express your joy? It doesn’t. Yet I am constantly told that I’m not really a woman because my body decided to have a life-threatening tumor before I found a suitable partner to have a child with and I should just learn to accept the insulting insensitivity from others not so afflicted. A woman can still talk about her parenting experience without hurting others. You want a child and your body can do it? Wonderful. You want to express your happiness? Fine, I’m very happy for you. But please celebrate in a way that doesn’t insult others. As I pointed out above, Keira did it beautifully. Others have not.

      • Wilady says:

        Light purple I really didn’t mean anything like that. I don’t think anyone can steal your joy unless you let them, and I don’t think that people who have children are gods or goddesses in any way, and if anyone thinks so, I guess their ideas don’t affect me like that because I don’t subscribe to that truth or let it change who I think I am. If someone thinks I’m not a woman because I don’t have giant breasts or curves or a soft demeanor or whatever the case may be, well, it doesn’t make me any less of a woman because I don’t believe regardless. I guess I don’t understand what you meant about “I” phrases, and I could maybe learn something there.

        I wholeheartedly support any woman who chooses to be child free or had to live with situations that are out of their control, and you are no less woman than any other woman here and their choices or circumstances. In sorry you have to deal with that. Anyone who thinks you aren’t a woman for that can shove it, and you don’t have to listen to that crap, and I hope you don’t take it to heart.

        I do think people who speak about their experience is coming from the mindset that nearly ever person in the world is how they are because of a parental figure, be it for the positive, negative, or neutral. For myself, the day I had my first, every choice I made would affect how this person see the world, interacts with the world, and the fact that I could potentially make someone strong or destroy them accidentally is a daunting and terrifying task. Even being a half assed parent is hard, and I think that’s what most parents are talking about. But then, it’s hard when “whataboutism” comes into play, because obviously there are a million things as important, and speaking about parenthood isn’t (for me) an attempt to rate every job ever, but literally everyone had some sort of parental or guiding figure, good, bad, evil, or apathetic, and can understand the impact of that person. Again, this makes nobody a goddess, I think this is what most people talk about when they try to discuss the stress and joys of coming to terms with the role.

      • Agirlandherdog says:

        I think you need to go back and re-read lightpurple’s original comment. She said she has NO problem with people couching it in terms of THEIR personal experience of being a mother. So you can talk about how much joy motherhood has brought *you* to your heart’s content. What she’s addressing is women making overgeneralizing comments linking womanhood to motherhood, and intimating (or in some cases, flat out stating) that a woman isn’t a “real” woman, or is “less” of a woman, if she doesn’t have a child. Which such comments have been made, and reported on this site, by many celebrity women.

        And LP, I’d love to have a conversation with sometime about the deification of motherhood, its origins, evolution, and its role in creating our current social norms. Because I find it fascinating & always appreciate your commentary. But alas, as much as I love the social commentary on CB, I’d hate to hijack a forum with a socio-political dissertation.

      • Lightpurple says:

        @Agirlandherdog, thank you for saying exactly what I was drafting as a response in my head. As I said above, Keira got it right. Others, Olivia Wilde for example, can be quite insufferable with their “a woman just isn’t a woman until she’s had a baby,” which constantly perpetuates the right-wing mantra that we just exist as vessels for men to play with and to carry and raise their seed and that those of us who can’t or won’t are worthless.

        @Wilady, I really think you don’t understand. As I said, if you want a child and can have a child, then, by all means I am happy for you. I attend baby showers and baby christenings and baby-naming celebrations and baby brises quite happily and love to see families welcome their new little ones. I’m happy to hear their joy and share their joy. I also am very supportive in the fight for better childcare options, more flexible work schedules, and family leave policies (not just for families with new babies but families with older kids who need care or frail elders.) I also am quite aware of how I see my value in my family and in this world and how others view me and others like me. But again, speak in personal terms of your happiness and hardships – this makes YOU happy; this makes YOU sad – when it comes to parenting, not ALL women need to experience this. It’s the sensitivity. I am reminded of a story of my oldest sister, who has four kids. Her first baby would weigh in at just under 12 pounds. My normally tiny sister was huge and swollen and could barely walk in the final month. She hated every minute of being pregnant. At their final prenatal class, the couples all ended with their feelings on their pregnancies. She said the other women all sat there and talked of their joy and how they loved being pregnant and how they loved feeling the baby move inside them. My sister told them she hated every second of being pregnant and had had enough of that “damn baby” kicking her in the back when she was trying to sleep and in the stomach when she was trying to eat and making her have to pee every 15 minutes. She couldn’t wait for it to be over, not because she would finally see that “damn baby” but because it would finally be out of her. She had three more. And she ended up being a good mom.

    • Jay says:

      Thank you for talking about the deification of motherhood and how harmful it is to some women who can’t have kids. Thank you. It sucks.

    • Monicack says:

      Caut
      Well said but this is equally harmful to women who have given birth as well. It’s all garbage thinking.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      Agreed. Motherhood is deified in theory, but devalued in policy and practice.

    • insertpunhere says:

      Yes!

      I have a lot of respect for parents. I recognize it isn’t easy. Further, especially in the US, there are not enough supports for parents.

      Having said that, I’m over hearing how it’s the hardest job in the world or you don’t really know love until you have kids or any of the other nonsense that I get to hear about momming. Is it hard? Absolutely. You are responsible for another human being. Is it the hardest job out there? I’d argue no. Do I know what it’s like to love my child? Nope, but that doesn’t mean that the love I feel for various people in my life is somehow less than or not really love.

      It’s just so offensive to any woman who chooses not to/cannot become a parent. I am totally here for it if my mom friends want to talk about the crap they’re going through, both parent-related and not. All of my close friends are moms. What I am not here for anymore is people deifying parents in general (and moms in particular). Plus, I just have to think that parents would prefer some practical support in the way of paid maternity/paternity leave, affordable daycare, etc. rather than the constant empty verbal support.

  2. Weaver says:

    Motherhood is actually the one thing women are effusively praised for over everything else they may accomplish in life.

    • MoxyLady says:

      Noooooo.

      • isabelle says:

        yesssss. All woman can give birth if she is fertile and people believe you should be awarded for it. It is nothing special or remarkable and billions of women do it. Nope you aren’t special because you have children. No better or no worse than someone without children.

    • Mia4s says:

      Good lord is this true. I have had conversations about Christiane Amanpour and how I always admired her work as a foreign correspondent growing up. Inevitably:

      Them: “oh she’s a mother too you know”
      Me: “I hope her kids are happy and healthy… but honestly? I don’t give a f**k.”

      • Lucy2 says:

        Yes! And it almost never happens to men. 2019, and there is still an underlying expectation for the man to have a career and accomplishments, and the woman to stay home and be a mother.

    • perplexed says:

      The royals and other celebrities constantly get praised for being mothers.

      I agree with her that motherhood is hard (you can tell just from looking from the outside), but I feel that’s also the one thing women are expected to excel at beyond other things. Maybe she needs to have a chat with Jennifer Aniston. It would be interesting to see how the conversation would unfold. They’d likely hug it out since neither is particularly obstinate, but still…..I’d like to see them both on a panel to talk about the different sides of the issue. No matter what you do as a woman, you’re constantly asked to answer for the choices you’ve made in life (whether they conform to what society expects of you and whether you don’t. You can’t really win).

    • Marigold says:

      Until they go back to work. Then they’re sh*t upon endlessly. There is a subset of people (typically right wing politicians and their ilk) who deify the theoretical idea of motherhood but in practical circumstances, mothers are so far from deified. Seriously, health care, maternity leave, pay-all areas mothers are absolutely 100% not deified.

      • Kk2 says:

        Yea US society (and others too, but sticking to what I know best) is very hypocritical about this. It is deified in a patronizing kind of way (to me), but when it comes to practical things that support mothers (Especially working mothers) society/government is really not interested. You get a nice pat on the back and a weird instant validation from strangers, but you aren’t supposed to complain too much about any of the work involved. Keep your pumping and childcare woes and all the less pretty parts private please. Also please keep your body as close to the same as possible, don’t let it affect your work/career too much or be upset when it does, etc. And you will be judged harshly for any perceived failures of yourself and your kids. It’s weird and uncomfortable to me.

        I honestly think it’s mostly the flip side of the same coin of what childless women experience. Women are defined by motherhood status, whether they are or are not, much more than men are. And that can be annoying.

      • Millenial says:

        All of this. I would happily take deification from whomever is apparently handing out goddess trophies…. but speaking from reality, that is just not happening. They care that you *have* babies, but once those babies are out, that’s it. There’s no help, you are just expected to do all things and be all things to all people.

  3. Erinn says:

    There needs to be more support for mothers. More studies into what we need to do to help those with post-partum depression. More learning available. So many things are needed, and I completely agree with that aspect of it.

    But at the same time I can’t seem to walk through the mall without seeing like 20 different “mom life” “#boymom” “mom life, best life” shirts, mugs, hoodies, etc. Women aren’t being supported in the right ways – but there’s become such a culture surrounding everyone who gives birth that just seems like a caricature at this point. Yes, we get it. You’re stressed. You’re busy. But you also have chosen that lifestyle. There are so many people out there caring for sick family members, or struggling with infertility, or who have an illness themselves that don’t get glorified in the way that mothers do. And it’s like… great, you have a kid. That’s wonderful. But it doesn’t make you a better person. And you constantly see the outrage when someone gets killed by a drunk driver and that outrage is cranked up to 11 if it was a mother -when the outrage should always be that level. Having kids doesn’t mean you’re the only person going through things, and it doesn’t somehow make your life drastically more valuable than anyone else. And that mentality drives me nuts and it’s so prevalent. But with the amount of energy that people put into that culture – where is the kind of help that’s ACTUALLY needed. Where is the support for places like Planned Parenthood. Affordable and SAFE day cares. Mental heath initiatives. It’s so much a case of wanting to look supportive without doing anything that actually supports people, and it’s crazy.

    • Victoria says:

      So much this!!!!

    • Jerusha says:

      The Baby on Board stickers on cars drive me crazy. What, I’m supposed to be more careful driving around you than I am around a 30 year old or a 65 year old? They count just as much. I’ve never thought being a mother(or father)automatically made you a better person.

      • Alissa says:

        I used to think that too but I think they’re mainly for if there’s a car accident or something, they know that there’s a kid in there. Similarly to those stickers stating you own pets you can put on your house in case you have a fire.

      • TheFarrellWife says:

        Those stickers are actually for emergency doctors! Let’s say there has been a terrible accident, and the situation is chaotic. Maybe it is not immediately clear how many people are in the (maybe badly damaged) vehicle, and the other people in the car are non-responsive. Then said sticker can let first aid know that there is a baby in there, too. Which might otherwise be overlooked, if for example it has lost consciousness hence can’t scream. And let’s face it: the average baby is probably more fragile than the average adult, therefore might have to be the first to be attended to. Or the emergency team should simply know it is there. Because looking for two adults and a baby is most likely better than looking for two adults and finding a “surprise” baby as well, right?
        Of course other groups of people might need “special” or primary attention, too. But there are stickers for that as well, aren’t there? I recently read this interesting article on driving stickers in Japan. They have some for the elderly, beginners, impaired and a few more. I find that to be rather practical actually. It also lets the drivers around them know, so they can be considerate. Because most of us remember how nerve wrecking driving school could be or how (hopefully) we’ll be old someday and won’t be able to react as quickly as we used to.

        I hope I worded this nicely and clearly because I’m not a native speaker :)

      • claire says:

        Thanks for explaning this one Alissa and The Farrell Wife.
        While I don’t doubt the original intent and purpose of the sticker, in some cases it’s still tempting to wonder about other motivations on the part of the car owner – e.g. “Baby on Board – translation, please excuse my distracted driving”

      • Jerusha says:

        @Alissa and The… Okay, I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks for the explanation. I actually haven’t seen as many of them as I did a decade ago. But we have some lousy parents down here. Just in the last two days a mother was arrested for leaving three very young children alone while she went on a meth binge, a father was arrested for stabbing his three year old son to death and a 73 year old was arrested for shooting his son in the head for banging on his trailer wall. Parenthood!

      • LivePlantsCleanAir says:

        I always thought those signs ‘baby on board’ just meant ‘could do an erratic or stupid thing cause the small human with me is driving me crazy – best to steer clear of this vehicle’………

      • Manda says:

        Fun fact: the “Baby on board” signs are actually to let first responders know to look for a baby in case of an accident. Like those stickers on front doors with the number of pets in the house. People just use the signs incorrectly and I totally agree with you.

    • Josephine says:

      It’s not an either/or proposition, and I think modern politics has inserted that kind of poisoned division into debates.

      There really is enough support and funds for people who need it, if only we had the will to go after it. It’s not a matter of mothers versus caregivers, teachers vs. bus drivers, the working poor vs. those in need of mental health services. It’s a matter of huge corporate interests and the 1% versus everyone else.

      As a nation we don’t give enough support to FAMILIES. It’s not about mothers, it’s about supporting humans, kids, the elderly, those who need more care. It just so happens that women (and sometimes mothers) are often the ones with those responsibilities and advocating for more help.

      Let’s not be reduced to feeling affronted anytime someone wants recognition or support. I can support those caring for their parents (that’s me right now, and it’s brutal, frustrating, unfair, etc,.) and young mothers. We’re all champions.

  4. Sojaschnitzel says:

    Love the gown. Seriously. And yes to her opinion. Motherhood is the hardest. I have mad respect for anyone going through that.

  5. Megs says:

    Agree with her comment and her admitting her privilege, I have great childcare and parents that are “only” 3 hours away, good health insurance, flexible-ish job hours but I still feel like we expect so much from, I don’t know, ourselves? From other moms? I love my kids but wow, I’m exhausted and I realize I have it easy.

  6. Hanahk says:

    The mother/baby connection is the foundation of our society. Babies create their inner world from bouncing their ideas off of their moms. Those kids grow up projecting those inner worlds into their outer world. The lack of maternity leave in America, the pressure to have a perfect body shortly after giving birth, the emphasis on having an amazing career aswell as being a mom, the lack of patience we received from our own mothers, the expectation of being “perfect” etc etc etc makes it so difficult to for moms to foster the relationship and patience necessary to enjoy and embrace the relentless work of being a new mom. The book Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller is a really interesting read on this topic.

    I agree with who said there’s this rather empty support from our culture in the way of t shirts and news programs morning a mother’s death over others. People don’t fully embrace or understand motherhood’s importance because our culture is a strange beast. And this isn’t to say that people who are not parents or who are caring for other sick or needing people aren’t important and valuable. Everyone deserves a lot of respect for this work, it’s undeniably important and undeniably undervalued.

    • Lady Keller says:

      Very well written. Thank you. I was struggling to come up with the right words. I dont want to sound self important as a mother, but children are our future and it serves all of us, parents and non parents alike to ensure that the future generations are nurtured and cared for. It is hard. Do you stay home to focus on your kids and have society judge you as lazy and stupid for not having a career or do you have a career and send your kids off to be raised by strangers for most of their waking hours? All while your children’s father can do whatever he likes without judgement.

      The strange social media/mass merchandise deification of mothers does exist. But like most things in our society it is shallow and has no heart. I dont need a letter board to post cutesy quippy remarks while my children wear cute costumes so I can be insta-popular. That seems to be the message I get most about what motherhood should be. I need a shoulder to cry on and someone to watch my kids for a few hours while I turn off my phone and have a shower.

    • Gen says:

      Great post!

    • Tatmarigold says:

      I read a comment somewhere about how the push towards “attachment” parenting is at it’s heart a re-domestication of women. I’m a new(ish) mom and that spoke to me, because it puts so much pressure on parents (specifically mothers) to give up their bodies for months, if not years after giving birth.

  7. Monicack says:

    Is this why she was giving Duchess Kate shit for doing her post-labor photo op in hair, makeup and designer duds? I thought each new mom gets to own her own experience/narrative.

    Keira bugs.

    • Meg says:

      British tabloids would’ve criticized her to death if she’d worn flats no makeup hair up etc so she knows there really is only one accepted way to look which is what Keira is complaining about, ‘dont show signs of how taxing labor is cover it up to make us feel better’

      • Monicack says:

        Or maybe Kate wanted her appearance to match how she was feeling inside? We don’t know so why project and then slam another woman for what we think are her motives?

  8. Reeta Skeeter says:

    I’m not a mother myself but I absolutely believe that mothers and fathers (PARENTS) need a lot more support. Mother’s and fathers are literally the bedrock of society. If I died tomorrow, my family would be devastated but I wouldn’t be leaving behind any orphans. It’s not necessarily that a mother is more important than any other person but at the same time the saying ‘women and children first’ existed for a reason. Women RAISE the next generation. That is the hugest job in ANY society or culture.

  9. CharliePenn says:

    It is an absolute marathon! I have two, a very active one year old girl and a very emotional, needy (at the moment in his development) four year old boy.
    Every time I think I have a relatively “easy” day ahead of me… someone gets sick, injured, or decides to do the day-long inconsolable meltdown lol.

    I might get flack for this, but I often envy working moms. I know I’ll be back to work in a few years and yes I’m super grateful to be at home with them. But it’s grueling at times. I miss adult conversation, adult goals to reach with other adults, getting dressed for work, getting out of the house alone, not being touched all day long, all that stuff that comes with working.
    It’s a grind and it’s sometimes hard to keep my disposition right for my sweet little kids. Some days I want to mentally check out. There’s no point at which it feels like everything is accomplished on a given day. There’s no end to the self doubt I can get involved in! And I do believe I’ve aged ten years since I had my second baby lol. It’s a marathon!!
    Just this past week we’ve had an ear infection, a sleep regression, an emergency doctor visit for a rash, and a deep dive into what death is and means with a four year old (his grandfather died recently but for some reason the death of his fish really brought out the deep questions… for which I have to do my best to answer as honestly as I can). You’re firing on all cylinders: their physical and emotional development, health, education, a clean and healthy home, their diet, their constant need for larger clothing as they grow before my very eyes, their need for one on one time and their need to get outside, fostering their self expression and confidence and compassion and kindness – all of it is all happening at once and you really do feel like you haven’t come up for air in days sometimes.

    And yet… I would never ever take it back or want anyone else to do this with them. My kids are an absolute cosmic blessing. But it’s nice to acknowledge that it’s a grind and it’s damn hard, when they are so little.

    • Lady Keller says:

      I feel you. My boys are 1 and 3 and are so busy. I do work part time so I feel I get the best and worst of both worlds. The downside to being a stay at home mom is that there seems to be (at least in my experience) the perception that you have it easy.

  10. Canber says:

    Motherhood blah blah. Is that real fur?

  11. Annabel says:

    The bizarre contradiction in our society is that motherhood is seen as something of a deifying event in a woman’s life, but that absolutely does not translate to any kind of practical support. The cost of childcare is staggering. Parents are forced to put tiny infants in daycare because they have no paid leave from their jobs. Parenthood is just way harder and more stressful in the US than in other developed countries.

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Everyone has their own experiences, their own stories, their own lives. None are more, or less, important than any other… woman or man. If it seems discussions surrounding motherhood are more prevalent or antiquated, it’s because a larger audience connected and is responding in some measurable fashion. Which, in turn, defensively wakes those without children. It’s all a gamble really. What your neighbor or friends make look effortless could be destroying his, or her, sanity. Perhaps the woman who can’t have children is actually ecstatic. Believe me, the discussions we’re having today are far superior in every way than the discussions of yore.

  13. Harryg says:

    Knightley was very good in Colette, I just watched it.

  14. lucia says:

    she looks pregnant.

  15. minx says:

    That top picture is so unflattering.

  16. Angie says:

    This is an interesting discussion. I weirdly see both sides. I have four kids, and I am a partner in a law firm so I am very much the busy working mom. It is super hard and it is a marathon. But I did also choose it and I love my life. I also agree with the weird glorification if mitherhood but the lack of support for it and I also agree with the comments that mothers weirdly get very narcissistic like “I am doing the best and most important thing in the world.” I have close friends without children and I have to check my big fat mouth. All. The. Time. I’m not that special and neither are my kids. Honestly as I age I get more and more annoyed about other mothers who don’t at least try to check it. Shut up already about how hard and special motherhood is

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      See, this is how I am. I find diplomacy in most things because there are multiple sides and various layers. It’s how I think and how I’ve raised my boys. I only wish politics would evolve in efforts to address everything that lays at its feet. Everything can be true, and simultaneously, everything can be false philosophically speaking. Facts, however, are facts.

    • Ali says:

      Do you think it’s as you age or as your children age and you’re farther removed from both the exhaustion and miracle of watching/helping a new person emerge into the world?

      Asking seriously because my youngest is 5 and it does get less physically demanding but he’s still so innocent and curious and completely uncynical in a way my 11 year old no longer is and I think there is something about parenting babies/young children that is not like anything else so that when you are in it, you’re all the way in it and you (I) do feel special to be part of it.

      • Angie says:

        Ali, yes I think it is that my kids are older. It’s just part of it. I have three teenage sons now and my youngest, my daughter, is 10. I love them to death but I no longer think I’m a perfect parent and I see that my kids have lots of gifts but lots of weaknesses too. They’re ordinary. Just like I’m ordinariy. But in the beginning I agree that it seems and feels like it has only happened to you ever and the intensity of the love you feel makes you believe that you will be the best mother ever.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Three boys, ages 28, 21 and 13 lmao. God thinks he’s funny. I can’t lie, some days I miss the six and under business of children. They’re exhausting, frustrating and perfect. But as far as parenting is concerned, emotionally, the phases carry their own significant distinctions. The problems broaden and require deeper reflection and maturity. No, you don’t have to get juice every five minutes or watch them do flips on your sofa, but you do have to actually think and weigh responses all day, every day. I’ll never forget, however, the public tantrums, feedings, crying over everything, demands, my back, cleaning, mom…mommy…mom…mom…mommy…mommy….. In the end, as crazy little shits they can be, your heart melts at some point every day.

  17. Boo says:

    She looks soooo different here

  18. Gigi La Moore says:

    Over this subject.

    • Patty says:

      Agreed. In large part because there are multiple things that people refuse to admit.

      Number one, why is that the women overwhelming complaining about how difficult motherhood is, are the very women who have loads of support and resources. I cannot remember the last time I heard a working class, lower middle class, or flat out poor woman complaining about how hard motherhood is.

      Number two, we need to address the fact some women overcomplicate the idea of motherhood by overscheduling their children and buying into the competitiveness of motherhood amongst certain social sets. Let’s be real here in an era of smaller and smaller families and with all of the trappings of modern life is motherhood really that much harder than raising children in the past? Back then, people had larger families and yet again, you rarely hear women of a certain age complaining about how hard things were for them when they were raising their children.

      Number three, the whole cottage industry around certain types of mother’s and a very specific class of mom’s is icky and gross.

      • perplexed says:

        I think this is an interesting point. It does seem as though celebrities (i.e privileged women) tend to complain more about motherhood than those from other social sets. I wonder if it’s like a “platform issue” for celebrities to seem more relatable. On Facebook, I don’t really see opinions on the notion of motherhood itself. I just see people posting pictures of how cute their kids are, but no one complains about the downsides (I’m sure they exist, but I don’t see these complaints from the people I know who are regular middle-class. Perhaps they don’t want to make their kids feel bad? In real life, people seem to just get on with things, so it’s hard to know what they really think about some of these issues.

  19. DS9 says:

    I’d love to see her conversations on motherhood include intersectionalism.

    Because from where I sit as an often lower income biracial woman, white women use their motherhood as a weapon.

  20. margie says:

    That middle part in her hair is not her friend.

  21. Mina says:

    No offense, but does Keira Knightley talk about anything else these days? She’s repeated this same discourse over an over,