Helena Bonham Carter is familiar with the challenges and joys that come with raising children.
The actor has a son, Billy, and daughter, Nell, with her ex-partner, Tim Burton. Since becoming a mother in 2003, she’s talked about childbirth, being a working parent and more.
In honour of her birthday, we’ve rounded up 10 quotes about parenthood from Bonham Carter.
On Taking Parenting Classes
“I’m not working right now. I need to be a mum. It’s much harder being a mum than an actress. I’m taking parenting classes. You know, no one taught me what to do ... They’re teaching me some really interesting things, like it’s not your job to know everything ...You’ve got to get them to think for themselves. What a relief. I don’t have to know everything.”
On Becoming A Parent
“It’s like an explosion of heart, love, everything ― and it’s extraordinary. It’s changed everything. Everybody told me it would and of course, I didn’t really listen, and there’s no real way of describing it.”
On Working As A New Mum
“I’m in the early days of motherhood at the moment and I am very obviously breastfeeding, so I live from feed to feed. It is all-consuming ― but I wouldn’t ever try to put the baby back.”
On Practising Singing While Pregnant
“Maybe the baby’s going to come out with his hands on his ears. ‘Shut up!’”
On Her Daughter’s Birth
“She’s very chilled, with lots of hair, and I’m totally in love. I even loved the birth. I’d do it again in a flash. I just got the drugs, sat back, and enjoyed it. It was all so casual that she didn’t even cry when she came out. [I had her at St. Mary’s, Paddington] and it was like my Christmas holiday — the happiest days of my life have been spent in that hospital. [Since then, I’ve been in a chair on breastfeeding duty, trying to think of a name.]”
On Taking Her Husband To Parenting Classes
“What it does is make people think for themselves instead of me, the mother, doing everything for them. Tim used to say ‘where’s such and such’ and I would scurry around looking for it. Now I make him do it ― and the same with the kiddies. It just stops you running around doing every single thing for them. It has changed my life. I think because it has taken the stress out of parenting, or some of it at least, I will probably live 10 years longer.”
On Work-Life Balance
“Juggling motherhood with acting is hard and I’m dropping all the balls at the same time. You always feel like you’re doing everything badly. The multi-tasking is tiring. I’m not saying it’s a big deal, not if you enjoy your work, and I’m lucky enough to make a living from something I love, but there’s always something.”
On Playing Music For Her Unborn Children
“I basically played Mozart and violin concertos again and again because it stimulated the inner ear of the unborn baby. And everything that they promised happened to both my children. They came out alert, unbelievably clever, and very relaxed.”
On Getting Golden Globes News While Pregnant
“We were talking about inducing, and Tim got a call from his assistant. I do look like a globe, so it’s kind of funny. I am very round.”
On Her Hopes For Her Kids’ Futures
“I want them to be lawyers or accountants. I don’t think any actor wants their children to follow them into the profession.”