Although Balancing Her Career and Family Has Made Cate Blanchett’s Life Chaotic, She Wasn’t Afraid to Adopt Her Fourth Child
Cate Blanchett is, first and foremost, known as a talented actress who has managed to win two Oscars, as well as many other awards. Moreover, she and her husband Andrew Upton are raising four children: three sons and an adopted daughter. The star admits that her children and spouse remain her top priority, but she doesn’t always manage to find a balance between her career and family life.
At first, Cate Blanchett didn’t like her future husband at all
Cate met screenwriter Andrew Upton in 1996. They were wary of each other at first. Andrew thought Cate was too distant, while she thought that Andrew was moody and arrogant. They were in and around the same circles and their paths often crossed, with sparks flying between them each time.
At one point, the former foes were caught kissing at a social event. Three weeks later, the couple announced their engagement and soon after tied the knot. Since then, Cate and Andrew have been inseparable for 25 years. Not only do they share love, family, and common interests, but they also work together. As the actress put it: “It’s been a great creative partnership with my husband and also a great love affair. It’s been fantastic.”
Cate and Andrew are raising four children
In 2001, the couple had their first child, Dashiell. The boy was named after Upton’s favorite writer. In 2004, he was followed by Roman Robert, who was named after director Roman Polanski. In 2008, Ignatius Martin was born. Cate admitted that by the time their third son was born, her and her husband’s imagination failed completely, and they didn’t even know what to name him.
That’s when a series of books, called Captain Underpants, caught the actress’ eye. One of the books contained a list of different names, and it was there that Cate found the name Ignatius, which she liked. In the family, they simply call the boy Iggy. In 2015, there was another addition to the family — Blanchett and Upton adopted a baby girl, Edith.
They planned the adoption of their daughter for a long time
The decision to adopt Edith was not a spontaneous one; in fact, Cate and Andrew had been discussing it since the birth of their first child. The couple revisited the issue after Iggy was born. Although the adoption process in Australia is far from easy, the actress felt their family had enough love, energy, and resources to welcome another little human into their midst.
Whether the fourth one would be a boy or a girl was of no concern to her. In the end, the older boys were delighted to welcome their baby sister, and Edith literally lit up the lives of the entire family. “She has been an extraordinary blessing for all of us,” admitted Cate.
The actress prefers to not rely on babysitters
Kate believes it’s important to show her children that she is capable of balancing her career with taking care of her loved ones, and that she enjoys both. She tries to explain to her sons that not all mothers can afford such luxury and tries to instil respect for women in them.
The actress takes her children to and from school, cooks lunch for them and simply watches her sons and daughter grow up. At the same time, Cate tries do it all without the help of nannies, so she may well appear at school without having done her hair, or in very simple clothes. Some people judge her harshly: after all, the star could afford to have a whole staff of servants and assistants. But she doesn’t.
When it comes to choosing between work and family, Blanchett gives preference to the latter
Before having children, the actress chose her projects based on the director’s name and the script. Now, she’s interested in where the filming will be taking place and how long it will last. She has no regrets about the offers she has to turn down. In order to not be away from her family for too long, she prefers to take up theatre productions, especially since she can bring the children to rehearsals and at the same time introduce them to the fascinating world of theatre behind-the-scenes.
She knows that she needs to take some time for herself, too
As a mother of four children, Blanchett is well aware that she has to give up some of her usual activities. For example, she hardly has time for exercise, so she keeps in shape with the help of a balanced diet. What she cannot do without is a bath and a face mask.
In addition, the face mask is also a signal to the rest of the household that mom is resting and would prefer not to be disturbed. Everyone needs to spend time alone sometimes, and the actress doesn’t want to hurt her children and husband by saying this directly.
Her children don’t care about her fame
Blanchett’s children, of course, know that their mom is a famous actress, but they care little about her celebrity status. Cate says they have absolutely no interest in her fame, but in the sweetest, most natural way. If the actress is up for a prestigious award, the family simply wish her luck, but they don’t go overboard with excitement.
The children sometimes come to watch their mom’s theatre performances, but they don’t always show admiration. They may applaud, or just doze off in boredom. This helps Cate not to get too carried away with her own status. As the actress notes, “The recognition is important as long as you don’t let yourself get too carried away by it.”
Kate believes that sometimes parents need to be strict
Blanchett is not too keen on being the “bad cop,” but sometimes it has to be done. The children need to be shown clearly what’s good and what’s bad, and have clear boundaries. The actress is not afraid of the children’s resentment because she has to be a mother first and foremost, not a friend. It seems to Cate that many parents of her generation are trying to make friends with their offspring, and in doing so they’re doing themselves, and the kids, a disservice. She believes you shouldn’t be trying to turn your children into a version of yourself.
At the same time, she’s not shy in talking about her parenting failures
Cate honestly admits that she doesn’t always get what she wants out of her offspring. For example, the actress has long been a vegetarian and at one point she wanted to inspire her family to give up meat as well. She got two adorable piglets and gave them names. Blanchett decided that when her children would ask for sausages or bacon, she would tell them that these products were made of cute little creatures like their two pets. But the boys weren’t fazed by that at all, and Cate’s brilliant plan failed miserably.
The actress recently had to teach some lessons to her daughter, and it turned out to be quite a traumatic experience. Edith demanded that her mother dress up as a teacher and speak in exactly the same voice. The lesson couldn’t begin until they had seated many soft toys around the classroom, each of which had to be given a name. In the end, poor Cate couldn’t even explain basic mathematics to her youngest child. So now the actress has even more respect for teachers.
Cate admits that life for their family, where both parents work freelance, is sometimes chaotic. But that doesn’t scare her. Although the presence of children in the family forces the adults to adapt to new circumstances, the actress has never been afraid of change. She prefers to not fight against domestic turmoil, but rather just live in it, even if it brings her to tears sometimes. And the cause of her frustration is usually not something serious, which is something she’s always prepared to deal with, but rather something trivial, such as a car that refuses to start.
The actress says that primarily, motherhood has taught her patience. Her life is essentially no different from the daily routine of any working mom: Cate never gets enough sleep and the daily chaos is reminiscent of juggling in a circus. Blanchett admits that she often says “yes” to requests from loved ones, or work proposals, and as a result, she ends up biting off more than she can chew. This results in even more bedlam in the house. But she actually enjoys this sense of chaos, to an extent. If it does reach its peak, though, the star simply hides from everyone in the bathroom or wardrobe.
How do you manage to combine your career with family life?