Kate Winslet Turns Down Help For Kids' Sake

06/27/2009 at 06:00 AM ET
Splash News Online

For Kate Winslet, being a hands-on mom is a source of pride. While many of her peers outsource domestic duties to housekeepers and full-time nannies, the 33-year-old actress and mother-of-two usually opts to go it alone with husband Sam Mendes. “There are things I could implement within my life that would probably make it easier,” she notes in a recent interview with Hello! “But I deliberately don’t do it because if I did, I would be living that movie star existence that I really try and resist.”

“I mean, it’s very tempting to have a nanny and live in a gated community and have a chef — I’d love to have a few dinners cooked for me. But I don’t want that for my children. When they’re older, if people say say to them, ‘Did you have a chef?’ I want them to be shocked by the question.”

Shortly after the interview was conducted, however, Kate relented and hired a part-time nanny according to the UK’s Daily Mail. The actress and her husband — married since 2003 — often alternate acting and directing jobs but their collaboration on Revolutionary Road meant that Mia Honey, 8 ½, and Joe Alfie, 5, were along for the ride, much to their chagrin!

“The children were with us the whole time,” Kate reveals. “It drove them crazy because usually one of us is with them while the other is working; ‘The fact that both of us were out from six in the morning until eight at night was frustrating for them.” The end of the process was celebrated by all, Kate adds.

“‘They were almost as excited as we were when the film was coming out. And they got to see a lot of [co-star] Leo DiCaprio again so it was very, very sweet.”

Mia is Kate’s daughter with ex-husband Jim Threapleton.

Source: Hello! via Daily Mail

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Elizabeth on

I wuv her… soooo glad she is happy and sensible and FINALLY won the Oscar she has deserved for so many years.

Chelsea on

I loooooooove Kate. I too am happy she finally won an Oscar! (I do wish it had been for Revolutionary Road though…I loved her in the Reader, but honestly, the RR character really got to me more, but anyways… 😉 ) Kate sounds like a really downtoearth mother. It amazes me when a celebrity will have two kids and have a nanny for each (or more!)…Yes, somebody like Angelina obviously needs help, but some of these other moms? Eh…

Heather on

I adore her acting. But is is just SO obvious that she has been carrying a torch for Leonardo DiCaprio. Her award acceptance speech said it all, telling him over and over again how much she loved him, and thanking her hubby once. Not that I’m complaining, b/c their chemistry is hot and I wish he had been smart enough to scoop her up 10 years ago!!

Diane on

She has always had a nanny. In that interview with Hello! she either 1. lied or 2. they messed it around on their own to make it appear like she didn’t have one.

She obviously has a nanny. Although I belief, through interviews with her husband, that this isn’t of the live in variety.

Her children also accompanied Sam and Kate to the movie set of RR. Again Sam has said this in an interview. However they hated it, and asked to be left at home. Which makes perfect sense. Movie sets are boring places.

Bird on

What’s the big deal about not having a nanny? The kids are the easy part. The stuff that makes parenting such a challenge is all the grocery shopping, bill-paying, toilet cleaning, vacuuming, dishes, etc. etc. etc. I could go on all day but my dryer just stopped.

Diane on

You go girl!!!

MZ on

Diane, I am curious how you know. Are there pictures somewhere? Do you know her? Or is it an assumption based on her being a celeb? I’m not trying to goad, just curious. 🙂

Caroline on

I remember seeing her on a late night show and she was talking about how she was at a doctor’s office with her daughter and her daughter picked up a magazine that had a picture with Leo Dicaprio on the cover and she told her mom they should call Leo and tell him he was on the cover. The little girl has no idea that he is a huge star and didn’t understand why he was on the cover of this magazine. I thought it was hilarious. I love Kate. She really is an incredible actress.

Diane on

Interviews with her husband have stated that they don’t have a live in nanny. Interviews with her husband have also stated that the children were brought to the set of RR, but that they found it boring and asked to be left at home (I presume the one that did the asking was the daughter. Her son was very young then).

She herself has mentioned, in many interviews since the birth of her daughter, that she had a nanny. In one she stated she did not hire a nanny until Mia was 9 months old (or something like that)

The offical line is that she has a part time nanny, as stated by her spokesperson after this interview.

It’s all on the internet, if you’re interested. The Daily Mail (because they hate Kate) recently went over many articles where Kate mentions a nanny. I think that may be the one linked here.

As for Sam’s I read them all in the British Boardsheets. A good place to look would be the Times website. They have had many interviews with him over the last year.

Heather on

All I know is that I wish I could have one for a few hours a day so that I can properly clean the tub, fold the laundry and make a nice meal for dinner rather than the quickie 20 minute dishes I serve. I love my kids but I miss a thoroughly clean house!

Marissa on

I saw Kate this spring in NYC with Joe. She was chatting with a friend as their boys rode their scooters in front of them. There was no nanny with them and she seemed very hands on, just a normal mom chatting with a pal and walking with their boys. (I couldn’t help but smile when she called him ‘darling’ in her British accent!)

Mary-Helen on

Good for her, turning down alot of the frills in favour of providing her kids some normalcy.

Shannon Craig on

I saw Kate and Sam with their kids a couple of years ago at brunch in NYC, and they were such hands-on, normal parents that I didn’t even recognize her at first. She was sitting in the booth beside my family enjoying her brunch, eating whipped cream on her food just like everyone else. LOVE her! She’s one of the few celebrities out there that I can completely respect.

Amanda on

Does she want a medal? Welcome to the real world, Kate.

Emily on

I adore her! She is one of the few who has not let fame go to her head! She seems so down to earth and grounded. It would be incredibly easy to have all those luxuries in her life. Good for her for wanting to give her kids some since of normalcy and shielding them from a typical Hollywood style upbringing!

Erin on

Unless I’m not reading the above post correctly, nowhere does she say she doesn’t employ a nanny. Maybe she has one but not of the live-in variety? Whatever. Nanny or no, she and Sam appear to be loving, attentive parents. If I could, I’d have a nanny sometimes and not feel one ounce of guilt about it! Everyone likes help, yes? Even if you can handle life without sitters, nannies, chefs, gardeners, etc., it doesn’t mean having them makes you a failure. I wish we wouldn’t beat ourselves up about accepting/hiring help. It’s only a very recent phenomenon to try to do so many things totally alone. I know more about the subject than I wish – I did a thesis on it in college. It pretty fascinating stuff. Anyhoo, I just love Kate. She seems like a real girl’s girl!

Tee on

You know, when I read this article I was impressed. Yes, that is the lifestyle of the “everyday” parent. However, Kate and her husband have the means to hire all the help that they want to. The very fact that they don’t hire help (or excessive help) is impressive to me. Of course she can do it herself… just like any other mother would. I look at Kate as being grounded because she chooses not to lead the typical “Hollywood Mommy” lifestyle. I firmly believe that whenever possible, a mother should stay at home with her children. But even the most loving and patient mother has days where they would happily hand over their baby to a nanny for a few hours!

Lauren on

Caroline, I remember that story and thought it was hystrerical as well. The fact that Mia was totally baffled why “Uncle Leo” was on a magazine cover and wanted to call him to tell him says all one needs to know about the way Kate’s raising them. Love her.

And I think think/hope she’s very happy with Sam, I’ll admit it-there’s a huge part of me that just wants Kate and Leo to get it on already. They have killer chemistry and really balance each other out.

Sadie on

I say good on her for the minimal house help. Of course they could afford all the help in the world but Kate’s right, it’s all to do with wanting your kids to grow up with the right perspective.
On another note – Heather, I thought I was the only one who noticed Kate’s mega crush on Leo! Her eyes positively light up when she talks about him. Too bad Leo seems to prefer stick-thin supermodels to a gorgeous girl like Kate 🙂

Daisy on

I really, really like Kate as an actress. However, I don’t understand why she is celebrated so much for being such a “normal” person/mother. There is a normal mother that lives next door to me, my sister is one, heck even my mother is a “normal” mother who cares for her own children. Why are people so quick to praise celeb’s for doing things that most people do day-to-day? Yes, I know, she is famous, papparazi, busy job etc….but it is no reason for it to be spectacular that she lives a regular life.
Plenty of people have money and are perfectly normal, my parents both had demanding jobs and managed to raise 8 children with no outside help. Surely the fact that she has the financial means to raise her children herself is even more reason not to be impressed that she does things herself?

sdfsd on

“But is is just SO obvious that she has been carrying a torch for Leonardo DiCaprio. Her award acceptance speech said it all, telling him over and over again how much she loved him, and thanking her hubby once.”

Can’t a person love another person without wanting to be romantically involved? I really don’t think that it is “SO obvious” that Kate “carr[ies] a torch” for DiCaprio. I do find their good relationship very touching, however.

On another note, while I can understand why Kate doesn’t use a full time nanny, what’s wrong with hiring a chef or a housekeeper? If you can afford one and want one, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. They leave you with more time to spend with your kids, afterall!

sdfsd on

“I firmly believe that whenever possible, a mother should stay at home with her children.”

What about dad? I also think it’s better for a child to have a stay-at-home parent, but I don’t think it matters whether it’s the mother or the father. It should be which ever parent is better suited for the role.

Benigna Marko on

Girl and keep that pride. It is so important to hold on to your kids while you are able to. They do grow up and then the nanny’s have all the great memories. Good for you Kate.
Benigna Marko