Thoughtful Quotes About Motherhood From Cate Blanchett

The actor and her husband, Andrew Upton, have three sons and a daughter.
Cate Blanchett gave birth to her first son in 2001.
Jun Sato via Getty Images
Cate Blanchett gave birth to her first son in 2001.

Cate Blanchett knows what it’s like a have a full house.

The actor and her husband, Andrew Upton, are parents to three sons ― Dashiell, Roman and Ignatius ― as well as a daughter, Edith, whom they adopted in 2015. Since becoming a mom in 2001, she’s opened about the challenges, compromise and joys that go into raising kids.

In honor of her birthday, we’ve rounded up 12 quotes about parenthood from Blanchett.

On Being A Working Mother

“I love spending as much time as I can watching my children, playing with them, and being surprised by how fast they learn things and how they’re growing up. It’s very important to me to be able to enjoy taking them to school or making their lunches or cooking dinner at home for my family. I also like being able to be the kind of mother who is not only there to take care of them and love them very dearly but also one who has a career. I think it’s important to set an example and show how the two can work together quite well.”

On The Hardest Parts Of Parenthood

“Trying to apply sunscreen to a 4-year-old ... being kicked in the head by all the small feet in my bed at 3 a.m.”

On Raising Sons And Daughters

“I think women are in a very challenging place at the moment. And the challenge is to band together no matter what your socioeconomic standing is. We’re all female humans. I’ve felt that way raising sons too. Because as a mother of sons you have a responsibility to instill in them the need to respect and the benefits of respecting women. That hasn’t changed. But what’s never been more important is the necessity to impart in young girls a sense of self-respect, a sense of having expectations, and a right to achieving quality. And of course having a young daughter now, one becomes more acute on a daily basis. I wake up to a reminder of that responsibility to lead by example.”

On The Demands Of Children

“Children are spirited, passionate, political, demanding. They are also heartbreaking. They constantly extend parents and so parents are constantly confronted with their failures, don’t you think? I’d rather presently live life this way than not.”

On How Her Kids Keep Her Humble

“I take the wig off and have dinner with my children, who tolerate zero navel-gazing.”

On Encouraging Her Kids To Talk To Her

“I think I’m pretty loving, but what I do know is that you have to let them talk and you have to listen. I hope that when they’re 15, they’re still talking as freely to us as now.”

On Self-Care

“When anything momentous happens in your life ― if you take a big career turn, or you fall in love for the first time, or you have a child, adopt a child, even when you turn a certain age ― it often takes a while to recalibrate and work it out. You realize, ‘I don’t have two legs anymore; I have four legs.’ A lot of things went out the window for me for a while. Looking after yourself is usually the first thing to go. But then I quickly realized if you’re incapable of looking after yourself, you’re incapable of looking after other people. It’s about trying to find as much as you can of a balance. I mean, life is constantly out of balance. I haven’t found a balance.”

On Teaching Her Sons About Feminism

“I always tell my boys that my situation ― having the ability to work or not to work as I choose ― is not the case for all women. And they do understand that, because they see other parents at their school and can see that their lives might be different .... I hope that one of the good things about the more modern way ― and I hope my boys can see this, too ― is that we are all able to see that there is a lot more that unites us than divides us.”

On How Parenthood Taught Her To Compromise

“Children teach one about compromise. Before having children the idea of compromise rubbed shoulders with weakness or deception.”

On Talking To Her Kids About The Pandemic

“My husband and I have told the children this is a virus that, because they are young and healthy, probably won’t affect them, but that their grandmother in Australia is 80 years old, and it probably would affect her. So we all need to behave in a way to protect her and people like her all over the world. Because I think that, just because you are living in England, doesn’t mean you only look at the statistics that affect England. We’re all connected, and we’re all responsible for each other’s well-being.”

On Attempting To Raise Her Vegetarians

“I was a vegetarian for years when my husband wanted to get pigs. I said, ‘I’ll get pigs as long as we tell the kids that the sausages and bacon they eat are from our pigs.’ We called them Benson and Hedges. It was this Machiavellian vegetarian plan that I had for my kids, that they would form this deep connection with the piglets, which were very cute and smelled kind of like smelly people. And then I would tell them that if we eat sausages, they’re coming from these pigs. The kids were just totally fine with that and I was horrified. My plan to turn my family vegetarian was a monumental failure.”

On Being A Strict Parent

“I don’t enjoy being the bad cop, but sometimes I have to be. My husband and I worry about our generation trying to be friends with their children rather than parents of their children. If you’re going to try and make your children like you, you’re in dangerous waters I think.”

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