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Claire Danes: ‘Being A Mum Is Incredibly Challenging’

Section: Celebrity Mums

The Homeland actress has spoken about the struggles of parenthood and the pressures placed upon mums

Claire Danes plays her part as bipolar CIA agent Carrie Matthews in Homeland so convincingly that it’s easy forget that she’s actually a down-to-earth mum. And while the actress, who has a 17-month-old son, Cyrus, with her actor husband Hugh Dancey, may be lucky enough to have a nanny to help out, but she still admits to struggling with the trials of parenthood. 

In the latest issue of Harpers Bazaar, the actress says, ‘Being a mum is incredibly challenging. But we still feel a pressure to talk about it in very romantic terms. And it’s not just that. We all have anxiety about being trapped by the role, that responsibility.

'The hormonal swings are so extraordinary and singular to the female experience'


‘And then chemically it can run riot,’ she continues. ‘Your mental state, the hormonal swings are so extraordinary and singular to the female experience and they haven’t been taken very seriously or considered very deeply… I mean, post-partum aside, even if you have the most healthy relationship with your child and have support and resources, it’s tough.’

'It’s really tough and there’s no “off” button. [For me] that was the hardest adjustment. You always feel beholden to somebody… And for so long they’re like koala bears, you just feel a physical responsibility to be there for them to cling to. It’s pretty primal.’

'It’s really tough and there’s no “off” button.'


Claire, Hugh and Cyrus are now living in Cape Town, where Claire’s filming the new series of Homeland. The family have taken a new nanny with them for their stay who will help out with Cyrus while Claire’s on set. And now Cyrus is a toddler, Claire admits he’s going through the usual development changes.

‘He’s a toddler, so he says ‘no’ more and ‘more’ a lot and he’s just started to have temper tantums,’ said Claire. ‘It’s scary.

‘He’s kind of revealing himself to be a bit of a ham. Which shouldn’t really be a surprise. A babysitter gave him a kiss goodbye the other night and now he does “Mwah mwah” to everybody. Or he says “ciao”. It’s ridiculous. I did not teach him that.’


Read the full interview in the October issue of Harpers Bazaar.

Do you find motherhood harder than you thought it would be? Let us know in the comments box below.

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