Anna Friel Tells Working Moms to 'Keep Going, Keep Looking Forward'

07/16/2009 at 02:30 PM ET
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Working motherhood isn’t what it used to be, Anna Friel, 33, notes in a new interview with Closer magazine. “I think it’s very different nowadays,” she opines. “Before, a woman could take two years off — a year for her pregnancy and then the first year, but I don’t think that’s possible for women in show business or in any industry any more.” Her own return to the workforce was fraught with worry, and her advice for other new moms is to “keep going — keep looking forward.”

“If you stop, you’re like, ‘Oh God, it’s too overwhelming.’ And believe me, I’ve had my fair share of those moments.”

One came while filming Goal! shortly after the 2005 birth of daughter Gracie Ellen Mary, 4, when an “over-tired” Anna went a full week without sleep. “The ground was moving and I felt I was going to faint,” she shares. “If you can get through that, you can get through anything.”

“You want to be there for your child at night — and I was still breastfeeding, but then I’d get to the point where I couldn’t sleep when I did get to bed. It went on and on. Eventually, a doctor gave me a sleeping tablet and I slept for a weekend.”

Gracie is Anna’s daughter with partner David Thewlis.

Source: Closer via Telegraph

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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kai on

a full WEEK without sleep? um… I’ve had insomnia, so I know what a torture it is, but… yeah.

I feel like celebrities always want to prove what troopers they are. Newsflash, life’s hard. Moreso for others than it is for you.

sorry for being so negative.

Sharon on

no i agree they have nannies most people don’t!!

Jane on

I don’t like that when someone tries to give advice about something so personal based on their own opinions. Many women can take a year off after having a baby, and many really want to and are happy doing so. Of course, many can’t or do not want to, like her, but she is discounting all of the people who want to do it and can handle it. Her advice is bad advice for them! Also, it wasn’t clear what would be overwhelming to her when she said
““If you stop, you’re like, ‘Oh God, it’s too overwhelming”

I feel like telling her to keep her advice for herself!

Lorelei on

I agree with Kai that some celebrities want to prove what troopers they are. I worked in a professional career until my due dates with all three, went back 8 weeks later (for financial reasons) and when my youngest was 18 months after much debate I quit to stay at home. We’ve sacrificed and given up a lot, but we set our priorities. Granted I’m not in show business and I know that they need to strike when the iron is hot, but my advice is figure out what is right for your family, never look back, and don’t expect any kudos along the way.

Bitsy on

What’s so pathetic about this Friel’s comments is that she most likely DOESN’T have to work to continue caring for her family while other moms out there are forced to go back to work because they can’t afford to stay at home. I’m glad moms have a choice these days and can do what they want for them and their families, but Friel has lost touch with reality.

Motherhood is tough for all moms because it requires self-sacrifice, but puhleeze. . . it’s tougher on moms without nannies who don’t get all the affirmation that “hot” celebrity moms get.

Bugs on

This is not the first time that i see how celebrities totally lose track with reality, and forget that the rest of us DONT have the same salary, lifestyle, access and comfort life that they have. And yet they still complain to sound like any normal person.

Brandi on

Lots of negative nellies on this thread? I actually found her story about going without sleep pretty relatable.

e on

‘keep going, keep looking forward,’ is pretty generic but solid advice. i’m amazed by all the negativity here! a week without sleep while filming or working full time sounds pretty awful to me. i’ve had 5 rough months without much sleep at all, and i often remind myself not to dwell on how difficult it is. otherwise, yeah, it is quite overwhelming, especially during those early months of breastfeeding.

AL on

Man, people on this site have been so negative lately! What she said is absolutely normal, most new parents don’t get a lot of sleep and her advice at the end is solid. It seems like most people here are quite jealous of celebs. Sure a lot of them have nannies but a) nanny doesn’t always equal live in help like a lot of people seem to think and b) unless you’re a stay at home parent, who doesn’t have some sort of baby-sitter/daycare/nanny arrangement? Having money doesn’t solve everyone’s problems, generally the more you make the more you have to spend in order to continue making that amount. Besides she’s a celebrity, of course she has things us normal people can’t afford. Why visit the site if that bugs you so much?

Caitie on

Jane, her advice isn’t for those who can take the time. That’s why the title of this post clearly references working moms.

DrSticky on

I agree, it’s not that mothers HAVE to go back after a year or two to keep in the workforce (whether showbiz or any other career) BUT it can certainly feel like you must/should go back to keep your profile high and ensure you can be employed (irrespective of whether you need the money.) I have an Oxford University degree and a PhD and never returned to work after the birth of my children and for me to get back into the workforce would be tremendously tricky at this stage – or so I understand it🙂 Luckily for me, the stay at home mom thing is working well for me, but if I am aiming to sustain a career outside the home over time once the kids have finished high school, it’s going to entail a lot of work, re-adjustment so on. So I can see Anna’s point! It takes a lot of confidence/a strong desire to be at home with your baby to take a long ‘career break’ or choose to be a stay at home mom.

Linda on

I think someone in show business needs to go back unless they are Julia Roberts and are big enough stars people won’t “forget” them if they take time off (some would say even her career suffered from time off). Angelina Jolie probably could take time off but she doesnt want to. But I feel for someone like Vera Farminga who felt they couldnt say “no” to a George Clooney movie even though she had JUST given birth. It’s different to go back to work after a baby as a teacher and nobody cares if you have 15 extra pounds. If you are an actress they tell you to lose it in 2 weeks!

Sarah on

I love Anna and I miss the heck out of Pushing Daisies.

CelebBabyLover on

Linda- Um, Angie IS taking time off! Between Wanted and Salt, she did not do any films, and that was a time period of more than a year! Now that Salt has wrapped, she is taking another year to a year and a half off (she said she was going to in an interview last Fall).

Emma on

Hmm my nanny friend in London is good friends with Anna’s maternity nurse. Who while she said Anna is lovely and hands-on did work 6 days a week 24hrs a day for 3 months from Grace’s birth.
Also Guiness book of record puts 7 days as the longest without sleep. I dount somehow Anna beat/met this.
Anna-don’t exagerate.

CelebBabyLover on

Emma- The article DID say that Anna went back to work “shortly after” Grace’s birth. 3 months definently qualifies as shortly after birth!

As for Anna’s comment about a week without sleep…Obviously she was probably exaggerating a bit, but we all do from time to time. It’s called creative license.🙂

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