Maggie Gyllenhaal's Daughter Is Growing Up Fast

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard are parents to two daughters, Ramona Sarsgaard and Gloria Ray Sarsgaard. They have grown up mostly out of the limelight, and Gyllenhaal has previously spoken about why that is. "There's something nice about being instantly recognized for what you do. But I don't feel comfortable with paparazzi intrusion in my everyday life," she said in an interview with The Guardian in 2014. "There's an antenna that goes up even if I can't see them — I just know they're there. My daughter finds it scary and upsetting."

Gyllenhaal has spoken candidly about the ways motherhood has changed her and the struggles of balancing her acting career with her home life. "It's very strange and disorienting. On one hand, you just want to be home with your baby," she told PopSugar in 2019 of leaving to go to work. "And at the same time, it's amazing to be talking and hanging out with other grown-ups! So you're kind of always straddling two worlds." Still, with a lot of help, she's managed to do it all and raise two interesting young women who care about what's happening in the world and understand that being outdoors has value.

Ramona Sarsgaard's mom has a funny diaper story

Ramona Sarsgaard is the eldest daughter of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard. She was born on Oct. 3, 2006, and her arrival would change her parents' lives. It would also give them some funny stories to tell, like when Gyllenhaal became a first-time mom, and she was totally unprepared. "I didn't even know I needed a diaper bag. Nobody told me," the actor said on "Loacker's Afternoon with Maggie Gyllenhaal" on Facebook Live (via Page Six). "I remember going out with my oldest daughter when she was very young, and she pooped and got it everywhere, and I just was like, I don't know what to do. And then, you know, you learn."

Although it would take time to adjust to motherhood, it has been a role that Gyllenhaal has fully embraced. That said, she is honest about what it takes to raise children, sharing her advice for other moms in an interview with SheKnows in 2019. "Being a mother is amazing, of course. But it is also brutal and painful," she said. "Make some space for the whole spectrum of feelings that are about to push in. Not just the fantasy ones."

Ramona Sarsgaard is a big sister

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard became parents for the second time on April 19, 2012, when their second daughter, Gloria Ray Sarsgaard, was born. And, just like Gyllenhaal worked to keep her firstborn out of the limelight, "The Honourable Woman" actor also chose to keep her pregnancy private. "I find it difficult to pretend you're not pregnant, which I had to do," Gyllenhaal told USA Today (via E! News). "I didn't let anyone know until three and a half months this time. I went to film festivals. I'm throwing up in the bathroom and having to keep pretzels in my purse and having to fit into dresses."

Gloria's arrival made Ramona Sarsgaard a big sister. Their parents have been reluctant to share information about them, but the sibling bond is a special one and something Gyllenhaal has with her brother, Jake Gyllenhaal. "My brother [actor Jake Gyllenhaal] and I are closer now than we've ever been," she told The Guardian in 2014. "We're friends now, whereas growing up, I always saw him as my little brother. My earliest memory is of him still in my mum's huge belly. I was about three."

They have a hands-on dad

Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal work together as a team and rely heavily on each other to balance parenting and their careers. Sarsgaard is a dedicated father to his daughters Ramona Sarsgaard and Gloria Ray Sarsgaard, and their mom appreciates all he does.

"It is a lot of organization, which isn't second nature for [me or my husband, Peter Sarsgaard]," she told PopSugar about being a working mom. "It's definitely not a perfect system, but we try to support each other." Gyllenhaal also praised her husband in an interview with People when discussing her film, "The Lost Daughter." 

"He was holding up the family side of things, and that is invaluable," she said. "I could not have made this film without that. There are so many examples of women gracefully, intelligently supporting their husbands, and there are so few examples of men doing that for their wives. He's a really incredible example of that." This meant the majority of organization and childcare fell on Sarsgaard, and he was responsible for ensuring day-to-day life continued as normal. As for what this entailed? "Making a doctor's appointment, making sure the girls had the right sized shoes," Gyllenhaal said.

They are raised in a household that values honesty

Maggie Gyllenhaal is an impressive woman, but she is not trying to convey to others that she is the perfect parent or that her life is without chaos. She has also discussed being mom-shamed, telling SheKnows in 2019 how another mom said, "It had been so long since she'd seen me at pick up." Raising children is no easy task, which the "Crazy Heart" actor freely admits. "Most of the moms I know are pretty honest about how hard all this is. I don't think any of us have fantasies about being a 'great mom' or 'the best parent.' We're just living and doing the best we can," she said.

Gyllenhaal has previously spoken about motherhood and its impact in an interview with The Guardian in 2014. "Motherhood brings you to your knees in a way that doesn't leave room for you to judge others. It makes you see that there's no ideal — a constant struggle, constantly compromising, but ultimate love," the actor said. Another interview with echoed these statements. "It's such a complicated relationship, but it has completely brought me down to earth — and down to my knees," Gyllenhaal said about motherhood.

They grew up with a sweet morning routine

Maggie Gyllenhaal has her hands full raising two daughters, but their morning routine is adorable. "I love how sweet my girls are when I wake them up. By the time the alarm goes off, one of them has usually scuttled down into my bed," the star told PopSugar in 2019. "We make breakfast, put on music, and we're always rushing and pushing people into their shoes. But I kind of love it, especially over the years, as it's gotten easier. The morning is often a little hectic, but it's a pretty great time in our house."

In the Gyllenhaal-Sarsgaard household, it's all about planning and schedules, and the "Secretary" actor admits there's not much spontaneity when raising children. And how can there be when both of their parents are actors? "We try to arrange our schedules so one of us is home while the other is working, but it doesn't always work out that way," Gyllenhaal told in 2013. "For Peter and I, it's just really hard. We're working it out all the time."

Gyllenhaal also admitted to finding the baby stages the hardest. "I'm looking forward to the adolescence stuff," she said on "Loacker's Afternoon with Maggie Gyllenhaal" on Facebook Live (via Page Six). "It doesn't scare me as much, I think, as the infancy."

Ramona and Gloria Sarsgaard love being outdoors

Ramona Sarsgaard and Gloria Ray Sarsgaard don't live their lives in the public eye, but their uncle Jake Gyllenhaal has given a glimpse into their lives with his interviews. The "Brokeback Mountain" actor spends a lot of time with the girls and speaks of them with great affection. "Truly, and I'm not just saying this because it's an interview, [they are] two of the most incredible people," he told The Sunday Times in 2021. "They come from a long line of incredible women, and they're even more incredible than the ones before them." 

Growing up in a generation where technology plays such an important part of everyday life, it comes as a surprise to learn that Ramona and Gloria are not glued to screens all day. "Their father taught them a lot about the outdoors and the country; it's very important to him," Jake said. "So, they find trees more interesting than phones, which is a rarity. They are the farthest from being a handful that you could imagine." Even their Brooklyn home had a garden with flowers and fruit trees. "A lot of what I do in my downtime is beekeeping and gardening," Peter Sarsgaard told People. "I'm not really a vegetable gardener. I like perennial gardening and planting flowers and plants that change the landscape."

Ramona is a passionate environmentalist

Maggie Gyllenhaal has raised her daughters to be informed. "I am honest with them about what's going on in the world. I try to understand what they're thinking instead of feeding them my own thoughts [and] feelings," the "White House Down" actor told SheKnows in 2019. She deals with tough subjects but approaches them in an age-appropriate way to educate her daughters without scaring them. "I think it can feel like a scary time to be alive, politically, because so much is out on the table for everyone to see: the bigotry, violence, corruption," she continued. "But there is also an opportunity for big change in a way that I've never felt before. And I think children are going to be a big part of creating that change." 

Ramona Sarsgaard has grown up in an environment where she feels safe expressing her views, and she's passionate about climate change. Sarsgaard attended the Youth Climate Strike in New York City. "My 13-year-old got us involved," Gyllenhaal told People in 2019. "She, like many, many children, isn't able to push out of her mind the dire situation that we're in."

Gyllenhaal has posted on Instagram about her daughter's involvement in various campaigns, including the Global School Strike for Climate Action in 2019. She also posted a photo on Instagram of a T-shirt with a Greta Thunberg slogan: "I want you to act as if your house is on fire. Because it is."

They hired a nanny

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard are open about needing extra help sometimes, and they don't have everything figured out. "When my daughter was first born, I kept saying, 'I don't need anybody, I'm just going to do this by myself.' I thought I could make a home, be a good wife, and do all these things. I thought, 'I'm just going to call my mom,'" Gyllenhaal told Pop Tarts (via Fox News) in 2010. "But I have since realized that wasn't realistic for me." But the family hired a nanny who can be there for their kids at all times. 

Gyllenhaal's comments are refreshing, breaking the mold that a mother has to be perfect. That's not to say she and Sarsgaard are not heavily involved in their kids' lives, though. "I am always mothering, always thinking about my kids: Who needs a dentist appointment? Got to change the violin lesson for Friday, I forgot to RSVP to that bday party, and on and on forever. There is no second shift. It's all the time," Gyllenhaal told SheKnows in 2019. 

Ramona and Gloria Sarsgaard have unique opportunities and privileges as the daughters of celebrities, but that doesn't mean they have everything done for them. Gyllenhall told SheKnows how her kids "folded up their sheets and made up their beds by themselves" when visiting their grandma. And it was a moment she was particularly proud of! 

Ramona Sarsgaard shares her mom's love of fashion

Maggie Gyllenhaal is often praised for her style, and it appears she shares an interest in fashion with her eldest daughter, Ramona Sarsgaard. Ramona joined her mom at Paris Fashion Week in 2022. The mom-and-daughter duo was photographed at the Christian Dior womenswear spring/summer 2023 runway show, a fashion event attended by other stars like Natalie Portman, Shailene Woodley, and Rosamund Pike. 

Ramona may share her mom's love of clothes, but they do not have the same style. "I'll be like, 'Oh my god, this is so cute!' and one of my kids will be like, 'No,'" Gyllenhaal told SheKnows. "I love that. I love seeing what they actually like, what they're drawn to."

Fashion and style are something Gyllenhaal has discussed before, noting her evolution. "I like clothes. And I think it's OK to think about clothes just so long as you also think about other things," the "Frank" actor told The Guardian in a 2008 interview. But she has also admitted to her style changing during pregnancy and after. "I tried, but it's a lot of work being a mom! I went to Paris when my daughter was tiny and bought lots of beautiful clothes, but I didn't wear a single thing," she said, noting how she favored comfort.

They've changed their uncle Jake Gyllenhaal's life

Ramona Sarsgaard and Gloria Ray Sarsgaard are fortunate to have a loving uncle like Jake Gyllenhaal. The "Nightcrawler" actor has spoken about his nieces with pride and admiration. "They are so well behaved, and they are so thoughtful, and they are so observant of the world around them, and I'm so proud of not only them but my sister as a mother," he told Us Weekly in 2017.

Gyllenhaal's comments make it clear how much becoming an uncle means to him, and it also inspired a book titled "The Secret Society of Aunts and Uncles." He discussed his inspiration in an interview with ABC News in 2023. "When my first niece was born, you know, I was sort of like, 'I'm becoming an uncle. Like, oh, I get to be Uncle Jake forever!' And then I was like, 'What does that mean?'" He would explore these feelings and eventually write a book about that relationship.

Gyllenhaal has also shared his work with fans on Instagram and thanked those who supported his book signing. "You are now officially members of The Secret Society of Aunts & Uncles!" he captioned a bunch of photos from an event in December 2023. In an Instagram post from September 2023, Gyllenhaal made a special announcement about his book. "The Secret Society of Aunts and Uncles is officially a NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER! What an honor and a thrill! Get your copy now," he wrote.

They inspired 'The Lost Daughter'

Maggie Gyllenhaal has proven herself to be a multi-talented star, and one of the projects she is perhaps most proud of is "The Lost Daughter." The film was released in 2021 and was directed and written by Gyllenhaal. It also stars her husband, Peter Sarsgaard, who plays the role of Professor Hardy.

Gyllenhaal's commitment to the film was time-consuming, and she was appreciative of all those who made it a success. She spoke on this in an acceptance speech at the 2021 Gotham Awards (where the film picked up four awards, including the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director award). "I have so many things to say and so many people to thank," she addressed the crowd, per People. "I also want to thank my daughter. Without whom —and my other daughter who's at home with my brother and my mom right now — I would never would have known how to write this script."

Their mom prioritizes education

Ramona Sarsgaard and Gloria Ray Sarsgaard's parents place great importance on education. "I see their little minds and how they work and how easy it is to engage them, and then sometimes how incredibly difficult it is and how it takes somebody who is really trained as an excellent teacher to help," Gyllenhaal said in an interview with Deseret News in 2012. 

School is important, although Gyllenhaal freely admits it can be a struggle to get her girls ready in the morning. "Well, we wake up at the last possible moment we can wake up," she told SheKnows.She also works with her kids to make it fun when they head back to school; they can get new supplies. "Usually, we choose a new backpack at the beginning of the year, and we donate the old backpack," Gyllenhaal told Woman's Day in 2019. "But my older daughter is very focused on not being wasteful. She's a real environmental activist." In the same interview, the "The Dark Knight" actor discussed the contrasting approaches her daughters have to leave home, saying, "One found it really difficult to say goodbye, and the other one was like, 'See ya, mom!'"

They are raised to be mindful of others

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard care about others, and they have been involved in outreach work. This includes becoming the global ambassadors for the SOS Children's Villages and Esprit project to benefit children in need of housing in India. They care, so it makes sense their daughters do too. 

Despite being guarded from the spotlight, Ramona and Gloria Ray Sarsgaard are aware of their surroundings and mindful of others. "Where we live, my children have seen people of every different color, socioeconomic background, and immigrants from all different places... And that's something that they expect to see and have respect for because that's how they grow," Gyllenhaal told SheKnows.

As their mother, Gyllenhaal has the responsibility to ensure her girls are aware. "Some of it is things that you've taught them, and then other things are just them. And some of it is growing up right now, coming into awareness of who you are right now, with so many painful, upsetting things right on the table," she told InStyle (via HuffPost).