Not Today

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 15: Sophie Turner attends the 2nd Annual Academy Museum Gala at Ac...
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Sophie Turner Is Allowed To Want More Than Motherhood

Sorry “sources,” being a working mom is not the insult you seem to think it should be.

I hope Sophie Turner went out for drinks last weekend. I hope she sat on a beach somewhere in her native England and stared out at the ocean with a coffee and a book. I hope she’s checking out new scripts for new projects, taking meetings with new directors who see the fire in her to keep going, to be more. More than just a mom. Because bad news to those “sources” who keep planting seeds that she is daring to work and live beyond the gilded cage that is being a mom of two little girls: Being a working mom is not the insult they seem to think it should be.

Over the weekend, TMZ reported that Turner and Joe Jonas, her husband of four years, were heading for divorce. The outlet also included a little dig about Jonas caring for the couple’s two daughters, 3-year-old Willa and her 1-year-old sister whose name they have not shared, “pretty much all of the time” over the past three months while Turner is filming a new TV series in the UK.

After the couple went on to confirm that they were indeed seeking a divorce in a joint statement on social media, another source commented to TMZ that Turner “likes to party, he likes to stay at home. They live very different lifestyles.”

This was presumably meant to be the final verdict on Turner’s character. A woman who is also a mother who likes to party. Many fans rushed to her defense, noting that Turner has been home with their children since giving birth in 2020 and is a self-described homebody. She even called herself “less cool” and an “old woman” after becoming a mom in a 2022 interview with Elle UK.

“See?” the comments all seemed to say. “She IS a good mother!”

As though she can’t be a good mother who wants to go out. As though she can’t ever want to leave her children to be anything else other than their mother. As though she cannot want more even as Jonas is being praised for finding time to watch his children while he is on tour as a working musician. Because fatherhood is allowed to be just one of his roles, while motherhood for Turner, and for all of us, is expected to be our only role. Anything that takes us away from our children must be handled begrudgingly, with a long-suffering sigh. A chore. Something that must be endured instead of desired. As though we are somehow teaching our children more by our constant presence than we might by our drive to have anything for ourselves.

When my sons were little, I worked. I worked at jobs I didn’t like and jobs that barely paid the bills. I did this begrudgingly and they knew. But there was something else I did for me — I wanted to be a writer. I took time away from them all the time to write. I kicked them out of rooms for some peace and quiet to write and I wrote on the beach while they played without me and I wrote while they played video games. This is the thing they remember most. My head bent over a journal or a laptop, frowning. Lost to them. This was their takeaway. That I was more than their mom. That I was passionate about something outside of them and, maybe even more than that, I didn’t feel bad about it. They knew how to entertain themselves and figure out their days while I went about the business of becoming.

This was what I modeled for my kids. That they were the loves of my life but not my entire life. It stuck. It was the greatest gift I gave them, I think. They learned to be independent, to pay attention. To not expect me to live only in service to them.

Sophie Turner’s life with her children is just starting out. She has a whole lot of years ahead of her before the great shift happens, when they grow and stretch and leave and leave and leave. She doesn’t have to wait to become herself until they go. She gets to be her own thing now. We all do.