Felicity Huffman: My Daughters Nicknamed Me "The Grump"
Felicity Huffman is not unlike her Desperate Housewives alter-ego Lynette Scavo: As a working mother-of-two, Huffman often feels as if she's "drowning in motherhood."
"When I am home I want to be away. When I am away I want to be home," Huffman, 49, writes in her iVillage blog. "I am no longer the person I was before having children, but not quite comfortable with whom I have become."
The actress has two daughters (Sophia, 11, and Georgia, 9) with husband of nearly 15 years William H. Macy, 61. Describing herself as an "anxious mother," Huffman recalls a turning point in her life as a parent.
"One Saturday, when my girls were about 3 and 4, we were pulling out of the driveway on our way to the Natural History Museum. I had worked a long week -- lots of 15 hour days -- and finally gotten to sleep by 1 a.m., and then woke up at 6 a.m. with the kids."
Macy decided to stay home because he "had been working hard" and need to relax, much to his daughters' chagrin. "'Papa gets 'Papa time' and we get 'The Grump,'" Huffman recalls one of her daughters saying.
"After all my effort and exhaustion and sacrificing, she wasn't going to remember the museum or the snack or the wonderful adventure. She was just going to remember that she was on an outing with 'The Grump.' Something snapped and I knew what I was doing wasn't working."
The ABC star phoned one of her sisters that night "sobbing so hard I could barely talk." Huffman later realized that "any damage I would inflict by trying to be a 'good mother' far, far outweighed any damage I would do by just being myself."
"Maybe good mothers can pretend to be Poobah for two hours and go on endless trips to museums and parks. But I can read out loud for hours, I can build forts all afternoon, I can really listen when things go wrong and I am great when the flu hits," Huffman writes in her iVillage blog. "I now try and accept my limits."