Morena Baccarin ‘never expected to be a teacher, caretaker, mother and cook’


Morena Baccarin is spending lockdown with her husband, Ben McKenzie, and her two children, Frances, four, and Julius, six. Like the majority of parents in the US, Morena suddenly found herself performing many more roles once the mandatory Safer At Home measures went into place in mid-March. And like other parents, Morena is struggling with being all things to everyone.

Keeping an open dialogue! Morena Baccarin wants her children to freely share their “fears” about the coronavirus pandemic.

“We answer the questions asked and not too much more than that,” the actress, 40, said of herself and her husband, Ben McKenzie, on Friday, May 29, while promoting Walgreens’ Red Nose Day. “We try to create an environment where they feel safe expressing their fears and anxieties. It’s important that they don’t bottle those up.”

The Deadpool star, who shares Frances, 4, with the actor, 41, and Julius, 6, with her ex-husband, Austin Chick, went on to tell Us, “The great thing about kids is that they can really entertain themselves. They have amazing imaginations and as long as they feel secure and allowed to express their feelings, they can play endlessly.”

When it comes to homeschooling her brood, the Brazil native feels like doing the work “isn’t that dire” for her little ones. “They will read. They will learn math. All at their own pace,” Baccarin explained to Us.

The Homeland alum “never expected to be a teacher, caretaker, mother and cook,” she went on to tell Us. “I’m beginning to feel like a pioneer woman! It’s a lot on parents right now. Being everything for your kid’s and your partners. We have good and bad days.”

[From Us]

Upon first read, Morena’s comment about not expecting, “to be a teacher, caretaker, mother and cook,” seems a bit short-sighted considering those are the roles anyone who becomes a parent takes on when they have a child. But in context, I can see where she’s coming from. I think the first part is due to the obvious, that Morena and Ben hire people to look after the children while they work and probably others to cook and clean for them. Assuming all those roles at once would be a shock for anyone who’s not used to it. But even those of us who perform the majority of those tasks regularly, becoming all things to all people has been tough, especially if you had to take on becoming a multi-hyphenate while performing work responsibilities from 9-5. And none of that factors in the emotional toll any of this has taken.

I do like Morena’s approach, though, in letting her kids learn on their own time. Hopefully schools will be as understanding as they say they will and any grade slippage will be weighed against these extraordinary circumstances. Morena is right, the kids will still be learning whatever it is and being able to do so at their own pace might be the best thing that happened to some, it takes the pressure off. I also like the idea of seeing myself as a pioneer woman doing everything, like they’ll write novels about me some day. I should probably invest in some gingham and a butter churn.



Photo credit: WENN/Avalon

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30 Responses to “Morena Baccarin ‘never expected to be a teacher, caretaker, mother and cook’”

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  1. Renee says:

    She is so pretty. I loved her in Deadpool & Homeland.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      I agree I think she’s beautiful but these pictures don’t do her justice. like, they’re some of the worst I’ve seen of her.

      the top one looks like she got caught in a rain storm and then had to have her pic taken. the second one looks like she either stuck her finger in a socket or she forgot to put conditioner in, and the third one is also not very flattering though it’s better than the first two.

      it strange…some really beautiful women just don’t photograph well.

      • lucy2 says:

        I thought the same thing, she’s very beautiful, but these photos aren’t great.

      • Sojaschnitzel says:

        She is definitely in the top 3 or 5 of most beautiful women I have ever seen. She was mind-blowing in Firefly <3 But yeah the 2nd picture is just weird. The one with the red background. It looks like an entirely different person.

      • Moo says:

        Yes, these photos look nothing like her. She’s drop-dead gorgeous. Her husband also looks unlike himself. He was pretty good-looking in Gotham and their chemistry was palpable.

  2. Erinn says:

    “Morena’s comment about not expecting, “to be a teacher, caretaker, mother and cook,” seems a bit short-sighted considering those are the roles anyone who becomes a parent takes on when they have a child. ”

    That got me too, Hecate. I was just like “ummm….? my mother and father were both teachers, caretakers, parents and cooks” and that’s the norm here. I guess when you’re wealthy enough though, that would be a bit of a culture shock. I mean – hopefully all these rich folks will realize their privilege and recognize that the ‘regular’ people out there have to fill SO many roles – they don’t typically just get to birth a kid and hand it off to nanny’s while the private chef cooks everyone lunch.

    The way I look at it, though, is that a lot of kids are going to be at least somewhat behind. Even the kids with parents who are literal teachers are probably going to be behind what the previous year’s classes would have been at this late in the year. I don’t think you’ll see just the odd kid struggling to keep up, I think it’s going to be all kids in SOME way or another, which means they’ll end up having to reset some expectations for grading.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Yup. I don’t care who she is, when you have children, you’re everything 24/7, and if you’re not, you’re doing it wrong. Mom’s can have full- or part-time jobs, they can work at home or away, they can homeschool or do public or private, whatever circumstances your children came to you and live their lives, you are the alpha and omega. End of discussion.

    • lucy2 says:

      Caught my eye too, and I thought about how my mom was all of those things, AND a full time teacher at a school, AND had a little side craft business.

    • holly hobby says:

      Well yes we do all those jobs in normal times but those tasked were segregated. Now you have to work, mind the kids, cook etc all at the same time. When I’m at work, I can go out and buy a lunch. Now I have to cook three meals a day while also on the job. So yeah it’s harder.

      • Lucky Charm says:

        Not to mention that most kids are at school with someone else teaching them, and now parents are suddenly thrust into homeschooling them. Even if you’re a full-time stay at home parent, you’re probably not homeschooling in addition to everything else.

    • O says:

      I am a teacher and my son is behind. I totally understand the struggle and it’s all way too much, especially for women. I was told to take on more for my school (even though I am part time) and that they “understand I have a 5 year old and 18 month old at home but at the same time I am getting paid…”. Classy!

  3. Ali says:

    It’s funny how many parents do not raise their kids.

    This lockdown has been an eye opening experience for some people.

    • runcmc says:

      Yeah I agree with this! This lockdown is also showing some of the downsides of moving away from collaborative living/child-rearing… lots of other cultures and countries still have multi-generational households (so- grandparents, parents, and children sharing a home) and everyone pitches in with everything, which ends up being cheaper in a lot of ways and better for the kids. I wonder if there will be a cultural shift in the US and U.K.?

      • Meg says:

        You just explained why i loved full house growing up and now really enjoy fuller house too- joey and i believe jesse werent related to Danny, they moved in to help danny with his kids after his wife died suddenly. they chose their family because he knew he needed help and didnt want his kids raised by nannies and at the time may not have been able to afford that? I always wondered if i loved the show because as a kid i was jealous of michelles clothes, the nice climate they lived in while i grew up in Minnesota, but a big reason was they pooled their resources so a parent was always accessible to those kids to meet their emotional needs and money that would gone to a nanny was kept for their needs clothes and extra curricular activities and hobbies etc.

      • frenchtoast says:

        I agree. Like Meg said, in certain countries parents don’t have to pay for a babysitter to look after their kids. A grand parent, an aunt or even a neighbor can be available.
        The nuclear family I think doesn’t work that well. The burden is totally on the parents’ shoulders. And as someone said it takes a village to raise a kid.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Even people who do “take care of their kids” are struggling. The MAJORITY of parents work and their children are in the care of other people for up to 8-9 hours a day. What she said may sound privileged but it’s no different from what I hear other mothers and parents saying.

  4. OriginalLala says:

    So many of my parent friends are really struggling, and realizing just how much of their childcare was on other people in the before times – teachers, daycares, grandparents, babysitters, extracurriculars etc. I do not envy them at all.

  5. EviesMom says:

    I get what she is saying about being everything to everyone … I didn’t expect to be a teacher (high school & elementary), cook, caretaker AND do my job from home from mid March onwards… it has been exhausting to lose our village.

    It’s not so much that people didn’t look after their kids before the pandemic. It’s truly about losing all of your support networks all at once – school, after school care, sports, dance, grandparents and neighbours. Kids aren’t meant to be alone in their families. It takes a village.

    I can’t believe her youngest is 4 years old … I remember all the tea when she left Chick for Ben… time flies!

  6. nic says:

    Child lead learning is not an effective strategy to raise an educated person. I get that people are stressed out, but if you are actually assuming the role of a teacher for your child (ie, if you have the luxury of time and are not burnt out from work) then you might try encouraging your children to work beyond the “I don’t want to” giving up stage. Early childhood education is a right. Child-led education is nonsense. Again, if you are overworked and cannot do this for your kids because you are too busy providing for them, that’s entirely different. A 6 year old has the right to a grade 1 education. That’s learning to read. It’s drawing time. It’s some math concepts. And it’s some structured games. If she is unable to provide those things because it’s too hard for HER, she should get some online tutoring help for herself and get her act in gear.

    • Tanya says:

      Cite? Most experts agree that preschool should be play-based, and plenty of children go to progressive schools which are child-led. Many countries don’t start formal instruction until 7, and those kids are fine.

    • emmy says:

      It’s been a few months. The kids will be fine. Preschool isn’t a thing in a lot of countries that do much better than the US.

  7. Coz' says:

    I’m pretty much sure she meant she did’nt expect to be all this things 24/7. I don’t have kids but all my friends or coworkers who are parents feel the same way as she does. It’s a lot!

  8. Jessica says:

    As a mom of a three year old and an infant, I definitely see myself in her comments. And I know it comes across as privileged and I say flip the coin and think of “it takes a village.” Raising kids and doing it all at home hardly ever occurs in a vacuum with such isolation. Usually there are grandparents, aunts, uncles, adult siblings, family friends, and yes, paid help like babysitters, teachers, nannies, housekeepers, cooks, who round out all the work it takes to bring up children and run a home… And you know for sure that women are getting the short end of the stick in sacrificing their 9-5 to take care of the kids and assume home front responsibilities.

    For me, i miss having my 3 year old at preschool to just play with friends. I am now his playmate, but I am his mom first and there will always be an imbalance there.

  9. savu says:

    I’m just here to say no sentence should have TEN commas in it. Get it together, US!
    (first sentence third paragraph quoted here)

  10. frenchtoast says:

    She’s one of those women who look better without makeup. Too much makeup makes her look older imo.
    And I don’t like her eyebrows. But she has a nice skin.

  11. frenchtoast says:

    Wait, this woman is 40!!!

  12. Kayleigh says:

    Tired of this “I’m a TeaChEr” crap. Just no. Did you make a lesson plan? Did you read and plan a lesson? Did you make sure your kids accommodations were being fulfilled? No. You babysat your kids while I taught them.

    • Tanya says:

      Yeah, I do make a lesson plan, and sit with my kid and helped her through it. It’s no one’s fault, but not many 6 year olds can do true distance learning.

      • Lucky Charm says:

        My 6 year old grandson is more concerned with making silly faces on Zoom than listening to the teacher. He, and my daughter, are really struggling getting him to do any lessons while at home. Meanwhile, my 19 month old granddaughter is into literally anything and everything when she’s not napping or asleep. My daughter is exhausted, and I just wish that I could be there to help out, but even though I’m at home I am still working full-time myself. I try to facetime with him a several times a week, and encourage him to do fun “school” projects and assignments to at least keep him engaged and interested. If all else fails, I ask him to build an obstacle course for his baby sister to use, at least it keeps them occupied and he’s using math and science without knowing it, hahaha!

  13. Levans says:

    Everytime I see her, i just think of her super messy divorce/cheating scandal.