Fear is at the root of so many of the barriers that women face. Fear of not being liked. Fear of making the wrong choice. Fear of drawing negative attention. Fear of overreaching. Fear of being judged. Fear of failure. And the holy trinity of fear: the fear of being a bad mother/wife/daughter.
It used to be the one or the other, right? You were the bad girl or the good girl or the bad mother or the good mother, the horrible businesswoman who eschewed her children or the earth mother who was happy to be at home baking pies, all of that stuff that we sort of knew was a lie.
There appears to be a disturbing trend in this nation to try to force single moms to choose between their children and their careers. If they take their careers seriously, they are labeled as bad mothers. If they spend time with their children, they are labeled as people who can't be serious about careers outside the home. This is a sexist double standard. No such guilt trip is imposed on men, who are generally not forced to choose between their children and their jobs.
And that's the insult of it, how always it comes back to a woman being a "good" mother in the world's eyes or a "bad" mother, how everything in a woman's life is funneled through her body between her legs.
The 'good' mother, with her fixed smile, her rigidity, her goody-goody outlook, her obsession with unnecessary hygiene, is in fact a fool. It is the 'bad' mother, unafraid of a joke and a glass of wine, richly self-expressive, scornful of suburban values, who is, in reality, good.
I think that, when you play a mother, whether you play a bad mother or a not so great mother or an amazing mother, being a mother is already so complicated. It's already three-dimensional, automatically, no matter what the role is, because you're playing a mother.