Felicity Huffman is a versatile actress of stage, screen and television with an Emmy, Golden Globe and Oscar nomination to her name. She’s married since 1997 to the equally successful actor William H. Macy, with whom she has two daughters, ages 12 and 13. So it’s rather surprising to hear her say that not only did she find mothering “bewildering, lonely, impossible and infuriating,” but that, at times, she hated being a mother.
“And there were times that I hated my children,” Huffman admitted. “And even saying that, I want to follow that up by saying but of course I love my children. There’s such a thin band of acceptable behavior in terms of what you experience as motherhood and it made me feel like a monster.”
Finding no conversation for her experience, Huffman launched the Web site “What The Flicka” to capture all the very real and raw emotions surrounding parenthood. Calling it a “virtual kitchen counter,” Huffman said the site is a place where parents would be accepted and not be judged, all done with humor and irony and empathy.
Since she started it up two years ago, What The Flicka (“Flicka” is her childhood nickname) now has 80 contributors and reaches people around the world. But her personal experience was not the only motivation for the site. She also drew upon one of her most well-known roles, that of Lynette on “Desperate Housewives.”
“I was the mom in that show, I appealed to a demo of moms,” Huffman said. “So when I left ‘Desperate’, I wanted to keep ahold of those people and say we need a new clubhouse, we need a place, and I’m going to build it.”
Though Huffman writes with candor and honesty on her site, she and Macy are careful to keep their children and home life – a place where they raise chickens and, very soon, honeybees – shielded from the public. Their daughters have only attended one public event with their parents, the day that both actors got stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
What The Flicka is not the only thing keeping Huffman busy. She has four films in various stages of production and a new drama on ABC called “American Crime.”
“I think what’s ahead is for me to step back and for the [What The Flicka] contributors to take the stage and for it to be a real forum for laughter, for community, and God willing, I think we can take on the icon of the perfect mother,” Huffman said. “I think we’ve taken on the icon of the perfect woman, the perfect wife. Now we need to take on that icon of the perfect mother, with humor.”
ABC News' Brian Fudge contributed to this episode.