Amanda Peet Strives to be a Positive Role Model

01/19/2009 at 05:00 PM ET

Being a good role model is a job that many parents take seriously and actress Amanda Peet is no different. While it’s hard for her to balance motherhood to daughter Frances ‘Frankie’ Pen, 23 months, and her acting career, Amanda tries “to remember that it’s better for me to give her a model of striving for a career.” The 37-year-old tries “to be selective” about the roles that she takes and “obviously having a husband and a daughter makes it much easier, because it’s easy” to walk away from a role. Even though “there’s a huge incentive now to walk away from something,” Amanda notes, she also believes that now is the time to be working more.

“You know, as [Frankie] gets older, it’s only gonna get harder. So I feel like now is sort of the time, while she’s kind of not mobile, and she’s not in school yet, and she’s not super-attached to anybody else yet, other than her father and myself. And her nanny.”

Amanda is married to screenwriter David Benioff.

Source: Dark Horizons

FILED UNDER: Parenting

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Mary on

Attached to her nanny?!? I’m sorry, but that bothers me. I just don’t like the whole nanny concept. I do like Amanda though and Frankie is utterly adorable! I really would like to see them have a few more!

Sarah on

I agree Mary. I realize a lot of celebrities have nannies and it’s the norm for them, but…I don’t know. It’s kind of weird to have a parent mention their child being just as attached to her nanny as she is to her parents. It makes it sound like mom and dad aren’t as involved as they should be, whether or not that’s actually true. I guess I just wouldn’t be comfortable with some 3rd party being just as close (if not closer) to my child than I was. Oh well, none of these celeb kids are mine.

April on

^ I think it’s great. I work 3 days a week and I have a part-time nanny because daycare didn’t work out well for us. We’ve had the same woman for close to three years and I am so happy with the arrangement. She is so attached to the girls because she’s seen them grow, and they trust her implicitly because as far as they know she’s always been there. I also like when celebs acknowledge their nannies like this, so kudos to Amanda.

Colleen on

I have worked in the childcare field for years now, both as a licensed family daycare provider and as a nanny. I become very attached to the kids I care for at both jobs, but especially to children I nanny for as we share so much one on one time. I see nothing wrong with parents having a nanny or other childcare provider for their children. Not everyone can afford to have one parent stay at home, but that does not mean they shouldn’t have children. I think it is important for children to like and become attached to their caregiver- that consistency and attachment is very important. However, that does not mean children love their parents any less.

Stephanie M. on

I am a stay at home mom and an Air Force reservist. I have two daughters, 3.5 and 2. Last summer I worked for 100 days 2,000 miles from home, and I brought my girls with me (we moved away from my stateside duty station for my husband’s work and I brought them with me most times I went back until after this 100 day trip. I have since been stationed closer to home). They had a nanny that they adored and were very attached to for the duration, and it was an incredible experience. She is now a good friend of mine.

For those of you who have issues with this–if for some reason you worked away from home, would you want merely a business arrangement for your child? What about family members watching kids full time? Would you be scandalized that the kids were attached to them? What’s wrong with an attachment to other people? My kids basically forget their dad and I exist when we go to visit my in-laws. They love several of my good friends and ask when we get to visit them next. Kids get attached to all sorts of people besides their parents–it’s our job to make sure these people will love and protect them like we do. I have never once doubted that both of my kids love me deeply (their daddy, also) at this stage of their lives–when they are sad, angry, frightened, etc, they will want me or Daddy first of all. But to think they shouldn’t be very attached to their caregivers…huh? It’s not a business arrangement and often, as one of the previous posters remarked, it goes the other way, too. My good friend, their nanny, asks after them often and misses them terribly. More than she does me, and that’s touching and just as it should be.

Maybe I’m just missing your point, and I apologize if that’s the case. But if I’ve gone through the trouble of seeking an excellent person to receive my child’s trust, it seems petty that they wouldn’t be allowed to give their love to that adult as well.

MZ on

i used to nanny part-time for a family and got to be very close with the kids. i think they kind of thought of me as an older sister. years later we still keep in touch; i just went to visit them last week. i don’t think being super attached to a nanny means the same as being super attached to your parents. as a child i was very attached to one of my uncles, but i didn’t view him the same as my dad. there isn’t a limit on how many people a child can love 🙂

eva on

It’s hard for children not get attached to people they see everyday.I don’t have a nanny to look after my kid,but if I did,I would much prefer for the two to bond and feel comfortable with each other.It would give me peace of mind to know that on top of the salary these ladies recieve,they also have a genuine interest in my child and viceversa.It would be so strange and uncomfortable to have a nanny who is impersonal and cold with my kid.Why would it make people uncomfortable that a child loves a person external to their blood relatives?does it mean that the kid loves his/her family less?so love is divided and not multiplied?

emma on

It’s not so bad having a nanny and being attached to her/him. The kids turn out okay. What I’m not wild about in some celebrity’s comments is that they want to work in order to set that example for their children. If you want to work because YOU LIKE to or you need to, fine. But as far as an example I think most little children if they were asked, would like to grow up with at least one of the parents staying at home with them. Nannies are wonderful, but there is a hurt deep inside for many people that never goes away, knowing that neither of your parents thought that you were the thing important enough to devote their time to (when they do CHOOSE to be gone at work). People you know are being paid to watch you and be nice to you it’s never the same.

Paula on

MZ – you said it beautifully. Increasing the circle of people your child loves and who love your child is a gift, not something to feel guilty about or threatened by.

finnaryn on

She did not say that Frankie was AS attached or MORE attached to her nanny. Simply that she IS attached and I think that is great. When I worked outside of the home my kids were in daycare rather than having a nanny and my kids became attached to their teachers. Once I started staying home, they still asked to visit their former teachers because they missed them. Do they love their teachers more than their dad and I. No, but it is good for children to form bonds with other adults besides their parents and their relatives.

Jane on

If the parents are putting most of the parenting duties on a nanny and hardly spending time with their kids, that’s one thing. But for working parents, it’s either daycare or a nanny/babysitter, and I think it’s great for the kids to form a bond with their caregiver while mom and dad are gone. It’s just one more person to love that child and one more for the child to love, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

brannon on

I choose to work so I am not putting my child first? Seems a little silly. I’ve worked hard for my career and spent years in school to do what I do. I want my child to see those efforts and have that drive. This in no way means I wouldn’t give it all up for my children If necessary. Its just not. I can certainly balance both and it IS the best thing for my child. That being said he had a nanny the first two years before beginning preschool and I am extremely grateful for the bond they shared. She is like family now and while she certainly didn’t replace me, I am certain my son now has an additional person to love him for life.

Sarah on

Haha, I should have known this would blow up. I completely recognize the fact that some parents do actually need caregivers so that they can go to work and I have no problem with that, none at all. I have no intentions of being a stay-at-home mom myself. I said absolutely nothing about whether or not someone should be allowed to have kids if they choose to work. And, I admitted that I do not know how involved Amanda actually is.

I was speaking about this one interview. It just struck me as odd that Amanda mentioned the nanny as someone her child was “super-attached” to next to Amanda and David. It’s just not something I would choose to mention in an interview because of the impression it leaves. Sorry if that offended anyone.

suzanne on

Last time I checked, Amanda hasn’t been working since having Frankie (who is asorable by the way) so why on Earth does she even need a nanny? I never understand why celebrities insit on having nannies…don’t get me wrong, having a nanny is crucial when you are working, but it seems like more and more celebrity moms quit working to care for their children but they all seem to have nannies as well!

April on

^ She did the second x-files movie recently, which was great BTW.

Anna on

From the comments I thought she said that Frankie was as attached to her parents as to the nanny, so I went back to the article and it doesn’t say that at all. It just says she is attached to the nanny. I would be more worried if she wasn’t attached to someone that she’s with a lot of the time.

Personally I don’t like using a nanny, but she’s not my child and if she wants to use one, why not?

lizzielui on

Suzanne, I guess you haven’t checked. If you go to it shows at least four movies that Amanda has filmed in the last two years, two of which have yet to hit the theaters and are in post production. Just because we do not readily see someone on the big screen does not mean they are not working. Auditions, rehearsals, filming, and production qualify as work as well. Furthermore, I have a nanny because my husband and I work full time. My kids are attached to her, meaning that they have bonded with her and love her like she is family member. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

tootoo on

the whole “it is better for my daughter to see me striving for a career” thing strikes me as sexist. How and why does paid work differ from the work of raising small children (other than the obvious financial element)? If you stayed home and looked after your daughter wouldn’t she see you striving to be a great parent? Why does the hard, stressful and skillful work of raising little people not count as much as making yet another movie?


a women’s studies 101 rant can be so cathartic.

Fevvers on

Go emma. I agree. This “I want to set an example of striving for a career” thing that I also hear from Christina Aguilera etc etc is a load of codswallop. A 23 month old child, if they could organise the universe the way they want would want one of their parents to be the primary caregiver and to spend relatively little time with any other form of carer. The fact that being the primary caregiver of a small child can be boring, is always badly paid ie never paid, lonely and undervalued means that if you have a choice to work (as lots of women do), many choose to work part-time or full-time. I support that right, but I think you have to be big enough to say I am doing this FOR ME beacuse you are NOT doing it for your 4, 12 or 23 month old child. I take my hat off to stay at home mothers with law and medical degrees, doctorates etc etc. (and I know several). They are really brave generous women. I am sorry if that offends anyone, but thats just how I see it.

Alex on

Stephanie M – bravo! You said it all really. There is nothing wrong with hiring a nanny. I am lucky enough to be able to work part time and from home but I would feel no shame in hiring a nanny if that wasn’t the case. Nor should I feel shame. You have to do what is best for your family, and that’s subjective to the family unit in question. I’m also a bit disturbed that people can possibly feel that it is wrong for a child to be attached to a carer. *If* I was in the position that I needed childcare for my daughter and son, I would be pleased to find someone who would bond with my children so that they were happier with the situation. Seriously, I think some people (not necessarily here) would be secretly pleased if their children were unhappy with carers just so they could feel like the number one! They should feel that anyway! A child’s happiness and security is the most important thing and for some families, that means working mums and dads, and a nanny or a childminder. I’m not really a fan of Amanda Peet (mainly because of things she has said in the past), but she should be absolutely applauded for encouraging Frankie’s relationship with her nanny. A happy child is all that counts.

Shannon on

I have a 4(he will be 5 in Feb) and one on the way. I work FULL time because I HAVE to. So when comments are made about being a stay at home mom is whats best for baby, it bothers me to my bones. My son has been in daycare since he was 6 weeks old. He has grown very attached to the teachers he has had over the years. Yes I do get upset that I can’t stay home with him, but I have to work and I feel so much better knowing that he has a special bond/attachment to the person caring for him on a daily basis. It makes it so much easier on everyone involved. I also want him to see how hard I work to provide him the life he has. He is not a spoiled child but he does get rewarded for good things he does and I want him to learn that nothing in life is free and you have to work for whatever you want so that way when he gets older he will want to go to college and get an education to pursue whatever his dreams are. So my point on that is what exactly are you teaching your kids when you sit home with them? Everyone says that “If you work then you put your kids Second” IMO, if I saw that my mom sat home all day with the kids and had no job I would think then why do I need to go to college and get an education or why do I need to finish school if I just sit home with the kids. Oh and another benefit of nannies/daycare etc.. he has great friends and excellent people skills and can speak better then some adults. So think before you speak when you go around knocking working mothers.

Amy G. on

Thank you emma and Fevvers! So well put I have nothing to add!

Fevvers on

Shannon it is obvious you have indeed never stayed at home with small children given the fact you seem to think full-time mothers at home seem to “sit” sround all day! Hysterical. I SOOOOO wish that was true!

MZ on

I think it’s great that now women have the choice to work or stay at home (at least in theory; I know not everyone has the choice). There is a place for both types of moms in our society and they both contribute. We need to be supportive of each other. It’s definitely a sensitive subject. But, at the end of the day, many of us are moms or will be moms and what we all have in common is that we love our kids and want what is best for them (and what is best for one family’s children is not always what’s best for another family’s children).

Fevvers on

tootoo you are fantastic.

Fevvers on

Shannon, I apologise for my vaguely snide comment above. I am sure you are a great mum and your child sounds lovely. Really. Truly. But I do feel sad that we live in a world where mothers feel they have to put a 6 week old baby in full time care. Often these children do have accelerated language skills and so on. And while I do not agree with Steve Biddulph on everything I do agree that parents forget that children have their whole lives to develop language skills (earlier does not mean better always) and that early childhood is the time for babies to experience a warm responsive loving environment that will later form the basis of their emotional health and their own ability to parent. Having said that being a full-time mom is such a tough job that I don’t know many people who don’t use some form of paid support and I agree that in that case a loving attatchment with a carer is the ideal.

emmajlw on

i think it is great frankie is attached to her nanny – she/he is obviously a big part of her life. it is only like having grandparents that look after your kids while you work – the get really attached to each other.

whilst amanda hasn’t worked much she probably still goes to auditions and business meetings.

Amanda has stated she had post natal depression some time ago – i suspect she still has it.

why would her 23 month old not be mobile?? this is very late isn’t it?

Shannon on

I am not saying that stay at home mothers do absolutly nothing all day, I have stayed home with my son, after Katrina wiped away our home we lived in another state for 6 months and I was with him all day everyday. The point I was trying to make is that working parents, parents that put their kids in daycare or have nannies or even don’t/aren’t able to breastfeed feel bad that we can’t stay home with our children or can’t feed our children but instead of having compassion from others we are ridiculed(sp?) and made out to be horrible people and I speak from experiance on that one. And on a side note even if I could stay home with my son I would put him in some sort of daycare/pre-school so he can learn and be around other children, not everyday but a few hours a few days a week.

Joy on

I also find it disturbing that she thinks Frankie will appreciate her career more than having her mom close. That is just weird; I don’t think a 2-year-old sees things that way.

I totally support working moms who choose to work, and I wish there were options for women who want to stay home but are not able to do it. Women need support for their choices, period, and should have options for either choice.

Fevvers on

Well I agree with you Shannon, thats awful.