Rose Leslie says parents don’t need to be ‘automatically enamoured’ by their children

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Actress Rose Leslie arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel (AFP via Getty Images)
Actress Rose Leslie arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel (AFP via Getty Images)

Rose Leslie has pushed back against the “narrative” that first-time mothers should be “automatically enamoured” by their children right after giving birth.

The Game of Thrones star, who gave birth to her first child in February 2021, said she found being able to share the “trials and tribulations” of new motherhood with others in her community to be “a glorious thing”.

Leslie, 35, told Harper’s Bazaar: “When my son was born, the narrative seemed to be that you’re automatically going to be enamoured with this little person.

“But why should that be the case when you have never experienced having a child? Why should it come innately?”

The Scottish actor, who is married to fellow Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington, added that both she and Harington acknowledged that love “gets built”.

“There’s an element of me saying, ‘Hey buddy, we’re here now. It’s amazing. But I’ve got to get to know you, and forge the relationship that’s going to see us through our lifetime’.

“It’s something my husband also found. Once we recognised that the love gets built rather than being 100 per cent there from the start, once we voiced that opinion to each other, it felt like a real release.”

Leslie also spoke of the difficulties in juggling being a new mother and working, as the family moved to Tribeca for six months when her baby was 10 weeks old for Leslie to work on a new series based on the book The Time Traveler’s Wife.

She said that although she felt “mentally prepared” to balance working and caring, she found “it very brutal, being wrenched away from him”.

However, the actor added that the series’ producers, which included Doctor Who’s Steven Moffat, were accommodating when she needed some mornings off.

She said: “It’s mind-boggling to me that women who come back to work after giving birth don’t feel supported.

“How can your employer expect you to sustain the mental capacity, the energy and the drive to do it with clout otherwise?”

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