Keira Knightley and husband James Righton are mum and dad to three-year-old Evie, and the Colette and Love Actually star just opened up a little more about how that plays out.
“I don’t think we give women enough credit”
In a new interview with Balance magazine Keira detailed her early struggle to adjust to fame, appearing very relieved she’s not as hotly pursued by the media as she once was and putting it down to parenthood.
“There’s nothing sexy about trying to control a three-year-old,” she told Balance. “So I’m pretty much left alone now.”
She noted that the significance and effort involved in becoming a mother is often taken for granted. (Indeed they don’t call it labour for nothing and birth is just the beginning!)
“I don’t think we give women enough credit for the physical and emotional marathon they go through when becoming a mother,” Keira said, explaining that no matter the circumstances it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like you’re not measuring up.
Read more about Keira Knightley:
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“I come from a place of amazing privilege,” she clarified carefully. “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*cking difficult.”
“It’s OK to say that,” Keira stressed. “It doesn’t mean I don’t love my kid, it’s just me admitting that the sleep deprivation, the hormonal changes, the shift in relationship with my partner, are all things that make me feel as if I’m failing on a daily basis. I have to remind myself that I haven’t failed, I’m just doing what I can do, but it’s not easy.”
They’re feelings that will be familiar to many exhausted mothers, and hearing that even with the best support in place things can still feel fraught illustrates the complicated emotions that motherhood can bring.
The weaker sex?
This reveal is nothing new for Keira. She’s shared similarly raw views on parenting very openly before. In a 2018 essay, she dedicated to her daughter – titled The Weaker Sex – Keira didn’t hold back.
“You came out with your eyes open. Arms up in the air. Screaming,” she wrote in feminist essay collection Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies).
“They put you on to me, covered in blood, vernix, your head misshapen from the birth canal. Pulsating, gasping, screaming.”
“You latched on to my breast immediately, hungrily, I remember the pain,” Keira continued. “The mouth clenched tight around my nipple, light sucking on and sucking out.”
As confronting as this writing is, it’s also refreshing to hear a high-profile mum talk about parenting without the rose-coloured glasses and personal branding filter in place. Real talk helps other mums have realistic expectations of pregnancy, birth and parenting and reassures them that they’re not alone.
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“We live in a male-dominated society and it can only be helpful to talk about a woman’s whole experience, as opposed to the very fine line of femininity that we normally see in our culture.” As #KeiraKnightley's new film @ColetteMovie is released, the actress discusses the duty she feels to speak openly about womanhood. At the link in bio, read about her experiences of growing up in the spotlight and of motherhood.
Is Keira OK?
And before you think that Keira’s worryingly less than positive about parenting, note that in an interview with People magazine last October, she proudly describe Evie as “phenomenal.”
“She’s great in every way,” Keira told People. “She’s obviously a genius and obviously the best child in the entire world. And very well made. But yeah, I’m very lucky. She’s great. She’s totally great!”
Real talk and sweet talk can happily co-exist because that’s kind of what parenthood’s all about.