Lovely Quotes About Motherhood From Michelle Williams

The Academy Award-nominated actor has two children.
Actor Michelle Williams won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series for "Fosse/Verdon" at the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 19.
Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images
Actor Michelle Williams won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series for "Fosse/Verdon" at the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 19.

Michelle Williams knows the joys and challenges of motherhood.

In 2005, the actor welcomed a daughter, Matilda, with the late Heath Ledger. Following his tragic death in 2008, Williams found herself navigating the challenges of single parenthood in the public eye. In June, the news broke that Williams had welcomed a second child with her new husband, director Thomas Kail.

In honor of her birthday, here are 14 quotes about motherhood from Williams.

On Becoming A Mother

“I think when you become a mother, it’s sort of difficult to separate yourself from being a mother. Being a mother is not only who I am in my relationship with my daughter, but it’s a part of the kind of work that I wanna make and the relationship with the person that I want to be for her, so there is really no area of my life that is untouched. It’s at the center of everything that I do.”

On Coping With Ledger’s Death

“When you’re a single parent and that element of provider and protection is missing, it’s scary.”

On Work-Life Balance

“I feel like I’m so good at raising a kid when I’m not working. I don’t forget anything. I’ve got everything covered. It’s a real luxury to have a moment when I’m not scrambling. I feel like most of my life, I’m trying to do two things at once, both to the best of my abilities. So that leaves me feeling pretty exhausted. I’m the person who falls asleep all the time. You invite me over for dinner or to a party, and there’s a whole scrapbook of pictures of me napping. I’ve even been given a nickname because of my snoring.”

On Letting Kids Discover Themselves

“For Mother’s Day, my daughter gave me a card that said, ‘Mom, thanks for letting me be me,’ and it was a picture with somebody in high heels on a skateboard. That’s my ultimate [goal]. That’s what I want them to do.”

On What She Tells Matilda About Love

“I always say to Matilda, ‘Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented or pretty or had nice clothes. Don’t settle. Don’t settle for something that feels like a prison, or is hard, or hurts you. If it doesn’t feel like love, it’s not love.’”

On Leaving City Life

“It was unmanageable to be stalked like that every moment of the day. So I left, in a desire to create a sane home environment. ... I’ll never forget going to the post office and seeing a sign hung on the wall for anyone with information about myself and my daughter to please call this number. Um, so I took that down.”

On Entering The Teen Years

So far, so good. Every morning, we wake up and I look to see if the transformation has happened and if it’s turned into the next level that I keep hearing about, but so far, we’re not there yet.”

On Working Around Her Daughter’s Schedule

“She hasn’t had her routine disrupted and hasn’t missed class.”

On How She Sees The World

“Being a mother is my primary identity, and it relates to everything I see and do and think. Motherhood has sort of reinvented me completely, so the lens that I see the whole world through is as a mother.”

On What Her Daughter Teaches Her

“Matilda, it’s one thing to be completely honest as an actor — it’s another thing to be completely honest as a human being and that’s just who you are and how you live, and you teach me just by being you. I love you and I’m coming home.”

On Celebrating Her “Fosse/Verdon” Emmy Nomination

“I was somewhere I couldn’t check my phone when the news came out, but then I had a lot of messages. My kid hugged me and said she’s proud of me, and nothing really touches that.”

On Seeing Ledger In Her Daughter

“Every time I really miss him and wonder where he’s gone, I just look at her.”

On Challenges

“I really wanted — and I really expected or imagined — that Matilda would have siblings that were close to her age. ... And now that she’s 6, that isn’t even a possibility anymore. So something that was making me feel impatient, that’s been removed. For whatever reason, that’s not our luck or our path. You know, as hard as certain things have been for me, it’s been harder thinking about how things will be for her. I have a lot of things that she doesn’t, and some of what I have, I can give to her — the memories that I have, the objects that I have, the physical reminders that I have, the stories.”

On What Her Daughter Means To Her

“I consider myself a mother first and an actress second, and so the person I most want to thank is my daughter, my little girl, whose bravery and exuberance is the example that I take with me in my work and in my life.”