Ryan Gosling is many things: a thinker, a successful actor, a Hollywood heartthrob, a loving partner and also a doting dad. It’s his role as a father the actor touched on during his interview for the January 2017 issue of GQ magazine.
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Here are his standout quotes on having children — he shares two daughters, Amada Lee and Esmeralda Amada, with Eva Mendes — and his own experience of childhood: Spoiler, he hated it!
1. All the clichés when it comes to being a parent are true
Before you have children you hear a lot of things about what it’s like to be a parent, and Gosling can successfully confirm that just about everything you’ve heard is true. He said, “You hear what it’s like to have kids, and all the clichés are true. I felt I knew that everything would be different, but until you experience that, there’s no way to really know what people mean.”
2. He can’t believe how lucky he is
Gosling counts his lucky stars because not only does he have an amazing woman in his life who’s a fantastic mother, he also views his children as “dream babies.” “I only know what it’s like to have my kids,” he said. “And in my situation, Eva’s the dream mother, and they’re dream babies, and it’s like a dream that I’m having right now. I’m dreaming it all. So I feel so lucky.”
3. Becoming a father was not premeditated
During his interview, Gosling revealed that although he never really thought about becoming a father, when it happened, it fast became one of the most incredible experiences of his life.
“It’s not something I really thought about [becoming a father], or even thought I wanted,” he admitted. “I didn’t have a romanticized idea of it.… It came about in a very surprising and kind of organic way. There was nothing kind of premeditated about it, you know. It just suddenly was: My life had changed. And thank God it did.”
4. Being a parent can be absolute chaos
Gosling spoke about how becoming a parent affects everything else in your life, but it’s a special kind of change. He said, “There’s a kind of chaos in it that I love. Maybe in my life I sort of put myself in situations that were chaotic, outside of my life. And now I have it at home, and I don’t have to go looking for it.”
5. He wants to get fatherhood right
Gosling comes from a broken home (his parents divorced when he was aged 13) and he was raised by his mother.
Speaking about wanting to be a great parent and do things right, he told GQ: “When you meet your kids you realize that they deserve great parents. And then you have your marching orders and you have to try and become the person that they deserve.”
6. Sometimes you just have to let go
We all know that there are certain traits about ourselves that are less than desirable, and as a parent you worry that you may pass on those bad qualities. However, Gosling has realized that sometimes it’s just best to stop worrying.
“You’re nervous that they’ll get all the qualities of yourself that you have been struggling with, and then you realize that they’re not you. And it’s a relief…” he said.
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7. He hated being a kid
Gosling, surprisingly, didn’t much care for being a child. However, he was lucky enough to have a mother who understood him. Speaking about his feelings as a kid, he said, “I just felt this sense of: I have a limited amount of time and, you know, I’ve got to get started. I also didn’t like the arbitrariness of control that people seemed to have over me.”