Cate Blanchett Calls 'Trying to Apply Sunscreen to a 4-Year-Old' the Hardest Part of Being a Mom

From trying to control all that sweat to preventing sunburns at the beach, summer comes with an array of unique challenges, especially for parents with young kids like Cate Blanchett.

When asked about the hardest part of being a mom to her four children — daughter Edith Vivian Patricia, 4, plus sons Ignatius Martin, 11, Roman Robert, 15, and Dashiell John, 17 — the Where’d You Go, Bernadette star tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, “Trying to apply sunscreen to a 4-year-old.”

Blanchett, 50, jokes that another struggle is “being kicked in the head by all the small feet in my bed at 3 a.m.”

But all of the other areas of motherhood, the Oscar winner says, are the “easiest.”

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Cate Blanchett Gets Some Tough Love from Laurence Fishburne in Where’d You Go, Bernadette Scene

Blanchett’s kids — whom she shares with her husband of 21 years, Australian writer and producer Andrew Upton — also help keep her humble.

Getting out of character as Bernadette Fox in her new dramedy, based on Maria Semple's 2012 best-selling novel, simply required sitting down with her family for a meal.

“I take the wig off and have dinner with my children, who tolerate zero navel-gazing,” Blanchett says.

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Starring as a once-buzzy Los Angeles architect who loses her creative spark when she relocates to Seattle for her Microsoft-executive husband also allowed the actress to play a complex female character.

“They have always been there, they’ve just been thin on the ground and poorly resourced,” Blanchett says of strong female leads. “I’m relishing the diversity of voices currently being unleashed.”

Where’d You Go, Bernadette opens Aug. 16.

For more on Cate Blanchett, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

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