"I'm firmly in the emotional blackmailing stage of parenting."

Julie Bowen talks about what it’s like to raise three boys.

You probably know her as Claire Dunphy. Wife to the hilarious Phil Dunphy, with his cracking one liners. And mum to three teenagers who all seem a little bit messed up in their own way.

But Modern Family star Julie Bowen’s life isn’t too different to Claire’s.

Julie Bowen with her on-air daughter Sarah Hyland. Image via Getty.

The 45-year-old actress spoke to People about what it's like raising three boys under the age of eight with her husband Scott Phillips, 43.

Bowen's kids are Oliver, 8, and twins John and Gus, 6. She is grateful to be past the toddler stage, saying some things are easier, like the ability to leave all three in a room to play while she makes dinner.

However...she's in that part of parenting that all parents dread.

"Life with three boys." Via Julie Bowen's instagram.

The blackmail stage.

"When I have to go to an event or go to work or out to dinner, I get a whole lot of blow back. Barring the door. Weeping in the driveway. Demanding candy (lollies), 'I will never stop crying if I don't get candy'."

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She goes on to talk about her three kids, saying Oliver and one of her twins Gus are very similar. While John is very, very different.


"John is either going to run the world or blow it up."


Bowen also says she goes nanny-free on the weekends, much to the disappointment of her husband.

Julie Bowen with her son. Image via Instagram.

"We are nanny free more than my husband would like. No nannies on the weekend. I felt like it was important, and I forced my husband into this belief, that we have three kids and we need to know how to be with three kids. I know many families with kids and the thought of being with the kids alone on the weekends is pure hell. And I'm not going to say it's not [pure hell], but at least we know how to do it and have some family time."

She also told People, "Millions of people have [looked after kids] for millions of years or billions! So just suck it up. It’s not easy. Just do it, and now it’s so much easier. My husband can do it. I can do it. We got it down to a system. We have lowered expectations. They wear filthy clothing, I’m not going to lie. It’s gross."

Just a typical weekend right Julie? Image via Instagram.

Bowen also talks about her eldest's allergies. Oliver is allergic to nuts and bee-stings. Bowen says, thankfully, no one in the house is dying to get stung by a bee. But when it comes to nuts, Bowen explains, "I like almonds and protein bars with peanut butter, but I treat them like contrabands and hide them in the top shelves. The boys have a little bit of fear about peanuts, they know it makes their brother sick, that there's nothing fun about it, so they just don't want nuts at all. They just don't want to see their brother getting hurt.

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As for me time, Bowen explains that she doesn't go out and get her nails done, "I haven't done that in two years". Instead she goes for a run.

"There [are] days when I don’t feel like going for a run. [But] I’m like, ‘Take it, that’s your big you time.’"

Julie Bowen on a run. Image via Instagram.

Bowen has earned five nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Modern Family. Taking home the trophy in 2011 and 2012.

CLICK THROUGH the gallery for photos from Julie Bowen's instagram account:

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