|Donato Sardella/Courtesy of Ralph Lauren|
When it comes to balancing work and motherhood, Julianne Moore admits she has the best of both worlds. “I think that what we’re looking for as parents is a certain type of flexibility,” she muses in a new interview with WowOWow.com. “The nice thing about the stuff that I’ve done is that it does afford me plenty of time to do both.” Although she is grateful to be able to spend extended amounts of time with husband Bart Freundlich and the couple’s two children Caleb, 11 ½, and Liv Helen, 7, nurturing dual careers as an actress and author is still a struggle — but you won’t find Julianne complaining.
“Sometimes you feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, how will I do this?’ And you don’t always do everything well. But one of the things I do say is that it’s a very nice problem to have. The fact that I do have this wonderful, beautiful family, and work that I enjoy – I’m lucky to have the problem.”
As she has said previously, Caleb and Liv show “very little interest” in her work. “They really are interested in you simply as a parent,” she says. Case in point? Recently Julianne was working on a re-write of her third book in the Freckleface Strawberry series, and she sought Caleb’s input. ”I said, ‘Hey honey, will you just do me a favor and take a look at it?’” she recalled. “And he said, ‘Yeah, sure Mommy.’ So he starts to read it, and I’m watching him, and there’s a TV screen right above the computer screen, and his eyes start to drift up to the screen.”
“So I said, “You know what, you don’t have to read it.” And he said, ‘Umm … maybe some other time.’ So, you know, he could care less. I think they’re proud of me, and they love me, but I’m [just] their mother.”
Click below to read about how Caleb and Liv handle bullying.
Despite its title – Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully — the second book in the series is not about bullying, Julianne says. Instead, she clarifies, ”it’s about a child who perceives one child to be a bully.” Looks can be deceiving when it comes to children, she notes, and often there is more going on than what is displayed on the surface.
“This is one thing I talk to my kids a lot about, when they come back and say, ‘So and so is mean,’ or ‘They don’t like to play,’ or ‘I don’t like the way they play,’” Julianne explains. “And I say, ‘Well do you think the kid is not necessarily mean, but the kid is shy or the kid is scared, or someone has been mean to that child and that’s why they’re being mean? Why don’t you try to figure out what’s going on with that child?’” Adding that children “aren’t naturally bullies,” Julianne says she instead encourages Caleb and Liv to dig deeper.
“Often they say, ‘You were right Mommy, she’s not mean, she’s shy,’ or ‘She didn’t feel like she had any friends.’ The whole thing about bullying is you can’t wait till kids are nine, ten, eleven, twelve and say, ‘Hey this kid’s a problem.’ Start young when they are really, really little and try to talk to them about empathy and compassion and take a look at what this child’s situation is. Nip it in the bud that way.”
Although she suffered “childhood trauma” on the dodgeball court, Julianne says Caleb and Liv are “sporty kids” who don’t share her fears. “Actually my kids love it,” she says. “They’re not afraid of it at all.”