Mare Winningham has been in the industry for decades and has done everything from artful TV movies to limited series.

Not every project she did garner attention, but she has proven herself a gritty talent for the small screen and has eight Emmy nominations to back it up. And what’s more impressive than her nomination? It is that she achieved everything while raising her five children. 

Winningham married her first husband and director William Mapel in 1982 when their first child, Riley Mapel, was one year old. Unfortunately, Riley tragically passed away in 2005, at age 23.

According to reports, he committed suicide, although the parents have never confirmed this. After Riley, the couple had four more children; sons Patrick, Happy Atticus, Jack, and daughter Calla Louise, who all carry the last name Mapel.

Mare Winningham during her Cafe Carlyle debut

Mare Winningham during her Cafe Carlyle debut. (Source: Twitter)

There isn’t much information on what the Mapel kids are up to, but Winningham has spoken about how she balanced her career and motherhood in different interviews. 

Mare Winningham on Raising Her Children

In 1992, during an interview with Chicago Tribune, she revealed she worked only 20% of the year so that she could be with her family and children most of the time. 

Winningham often traveled for work, and during this time, her husband was the primary caregiver. If and whenever possible, the whole family would travel and live temporarily near her workplace. 

If not, her husband and kids would remain in their farmhouse in the Eastern Sierra, near the Reno airport. But the actress ensured she didn’t go without seeing her family for more than a month and would fly home if she had several days off back to back. 

“When it gets to a point where they have not seen me for a month, we all feel the shift. On the one hand, they want to please me and be extra special when they see me, but on the other hand they are kinda mad!” the actress shared with the outlet. 

Winningham explained she dropped by even while working because she knew her job as a mother was not a weekend gig. Therefore, she had to be present as much as possible to ensure their family functioned normally.

Mare Winningham Guilty of Overpopulating

During the interview, the actress also talked about her guilt of going against her belief and having too many children.

Winningham’s issue was not the number of children she had but how she might have contributed to overpopulation. 

But she assuaged her guilt by telling herself that her husband and father of her kids had an “extremely heightened environmental awareness,” and passed along some keys to nature, and offered them ways of looking at nature that most kids never saw or lived with

The actress and her husband never planned to have that many kids. None of the pregnancies were intended, and three of her kids were conceived while she was nursing. She claims she relied excessively on birth control.