Maggie Gyllenhaal wants to expand the definition of motherhood and parenting.

The actress and new director dropped by “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Dec. 15 to talk about her new movie “The Lost Daughter” which serves as her directorial debut.

Gyllenhaal said the movie explores sides of parenthood that don’t fit into the “very narrow space” society accepts – including ambivalence.

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“I think, when we’re little, our survival depends on our parents,” she explained. “Our fantasy that they want nothing more than to take care of us — because our actual survival depends on it.”

She continued, “When in fact, they’re us. They, like, also want to have a drink sometimes, and they also want a night with their husband or wife, and they also want to work, and they want many things like we do.”

The director hoped with this new movie, society could talk more about how complicated parenthood can be.

“I love my children, but it’s a very complicated experience. And mostly, if it doesn’t fit inside this very narrow space that we’ve agreed we’re allowed to talk about, then they say something’s wrong with you,” Gyllenhaal said. “But in fact, how can you be a parent as anything other than a beginner, right?”

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Parenthood can also be quite an isolating experience according to the actress.

“If we can include terror, real anxiety, despair, along with the heart-wrenching ecstasy on either sides of the experience that we’re allowed to talk about, I think it’s comforting to sort of go, ‘You’re not the only person that ever had these feelings,'” said Gyllenhaal.

“The Lost Daughter” will hit select theatres and Netflix on Dec. 31.