Martin Freeman: Men should not be too hard on themselves over parenting skills

The Sherlock actor stars with Daisy Haggard as stressed-out parents.

Martin Freeman says men should not be too hard on themselves for failing to live up to modern-day standards of parenting.

The Sherlock actor, 48, plays a stressed-out father in the new comedy Breeders.

He suggested it was difficult for men to be as hands-on as they would like to be because their forebears had not been very involved in parenting.

Asked whether this generation of fathers had tried to change too quickly, Freeman replied: “Yes.

“Why did we think things had changed so much in 30 years and that we were going to be free of those feelings that our parents had?

“I had a reasonably happy childhood, but neither my dad nor my stepdad, who were both great people, really lovely men, were expected to bring up their kids in the way that we’re trying to bring ours up now.

“I think we’ve tried to fast forward about a 1,000 years in a generation. We should relax. We shouldn’t be amazed when it falls down. ”

The Hobbit star, who has two children with his former partner Amanda Abbington, said Breeders is a more honest portrayal of parenthood.

Ex-partners Amanda Abbington and Martin Freeman
Ex-partners Amanda Abbington and Martin Freeman (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

“I just noticed that when people ask new parents ‘How’s it going?’, they always say ‘It’s just amazing, isn’t it?’, no matter how awful it actually is,” he said in publicity material for the show.

“I think, ‘When are we going to cut this nonsense?’ Yes, of course, it’s amazing. Once you’ve had kids, that is the reason to be alive, the most important thing in your life. That, to me, goes without saying.

“But what doesn’t go without saying is how angry you are at times. It’s individual, of course, and I can only speak for myself, but I think it needs to be said how angry you are as a parent and how full of this rage that is going nowhere.”

Freeman recently made headlines by saying he has smacked his children and has at times called them “little f******”.

Sky Original Breeders starts on Thursday March 12 at  10pm with a double bill on Sky One and streaming service NOW TV.

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