Caroline Quentin tells of regret at prioritising work over time with children

Actress Caroline Quentin has said she should have said “no to work” and spent more time with her two children when they were younger.

In an interview featured in Good Housekeeping’s April issue, the 63-year-old said she thought she had to say yes to work because she was the breadwinner.

The Men Behaving Badly star, from Surrey, said: “God, I missed them. I mourned them terribly when I was away. I think that’s probably why I feel so bad about it, because it left a hole in me.

Caroline Quentin on Good Housekeeping magazine
Quentin spoke about her struggles balancing work and family life (Good Housekeeping/Joseph Montezinos/PA)

“People said, ‘Oh, they’re young for such a short period of time,’ and I didn’t listen. I thought I knew better, and I didn’t.

“I should have said no to work and yes to them, but because I was the breadwinner, I thought I had to do it.

“Well, I didn’t, did I? But you can’t turn back the clock, you have to live with these things.”

Showbiz/Fantasia/2000 Quentin
Caroline Quentin and partner Sam Farmer, pictured in 2000, met on the set of Men Behaving Badly (Toby Melville/PA)

She has two children with her husband, Sam Farmer, who she met on the set of Men Behaving Badly.

Quentin also discussed discovering new inspiration in her 60s, taking charge of her mental wellbeing, and the solace she finds in gardening.

She said her love for gardening grew from her “quite chaotic” childhood, which was shaped by her mother’s struggle with bipolar disorder.

Caroline Quentin on Good Housekeeping magazine
The 63-year-old said she found solace in gardening at a young age (Good Housekeeping/Joseph Montezinos/PA)

“Ever since I was little, it’s been a sort of security blanket. My childhood was quite chaotic; my mother, who had bipolar disorder, would often spend time in psychiatric hospitals,” she said.

“When I was 10, I was sent to boarding school with these horrible, grumpy matrons and regimented bath and mealtimes.

Caroline Quentin on Good Housekeeping magazine
Quentin is known for her roles in Men Behaving Badly and Blue Murder (Good Housekeeping/Joseph Montezinos/PA)

“I was a painfully shy child, I still am shy beneath my loud persona, and I remember being so homesick and discombobulated by everything in my life.

“But getting out in nature and watching things grow felt like time out from the ‘real’ world. It was an opportunity to leave all the sadness and scary things behind.”

Caroline Quentin on Good Housekeeping magazine
Quentin is on the cover of the latest edition (Good Housekeeping/Joseph Montezinos/PA)

Quentin, who has coeliac disease, recently released her book, Drawn To The Garden, and said it was “wonderful” to suddenly do something different in her 60s.

The April issue of Good Housekeeping is on sale now.