Emma Thompson: Great Moms Can’t Work All the Time, Talks Her Year Off

Emma Thompson and daughter Gaia Wise at an event on February 16, 2014
Emma Thompson took a year off from her career to spend more time with her daughter Gaia. She thinks mothers who work all the time can't be great for their children. David M. Benett/Getty

If Emma Thompson had it her way, there would never have been a need for a Nanny McPhee! The British actress, 55, gave a controversial interview in the Daily Mail on Sunday, May 25 about motherhood and her decision to take a year off from her career to spend more time with her daughter Gaia Wise, 14.  

"A year off was my birthday present to myself," the Saving Mr. Banks star revealed. "I didn’t actually act or write. I was just a mum. I taught drama at my daughter’s school, cooked meals, and had fun. I highly recommend others to do the same, if they can afford it."

Though some criticized the Oscar winner's suggestion, noting that she's worth more than $50 million and that she can therefore afford such a luxury, it was her next comment that really raised some eyebrows. 

“You can’t be a great mum and keep working all the time," Thompson continued.

The story was picked up by the Today Show's Twitter account causing many fans to angrily respond. 

"I resent that. If you aren't obsessed with housework, prioritize and share chores with hubby you can work AND be a great mom," @vickyderd wrote. 

Memphis Tennessee-based news anchor Kym Clark also tweeted, "WOW! Really?!…"

Tell Us: Do you agree with Emma Thompson's thoughts on working mothers?

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