It has never been my style to go after people who do dumb things. I have so much dumb in my life that it could be considered hypocritical. But sometimes, I just have to speak. Because the dumb is too big!
Recently, Gwyneth Paltrow announced her ‘uncoupling’ from Chris Martin. I did not care much – as I don’t about any celebrity couple – but I was surprised. They had been fairly low profile and seemed to have a stable life. I think they made it 13 years or so and had two kids. They even survived the ‘They named their kids WHAT?’ media attention that came when Apple, their daughter, was born. So, now that Ms. Paltrow is a single mom for the first time ever, I give her a little bit of slack. A single mom myself, I understand the adjustment period. But when I read what she said about her motherhood recently, my jaw hit the ground and my blood began to boil.
‘It’s much harder for me… I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening.’
The entire quote is actually “It’s much harder for me,” she said. “I feel like I set it up in a way that makes it difficult because … for me, like if I miss a school run, they are like, ‘Where were you?’ I don’t like to be the lead so I don’t (have) to work every day, you know, I have little things that I like and obviously I want it to be good and challenging and interesting, and be with good people and that kind of thing.”
And she just keeps it up:
“I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening,” said Paltrow. “When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,’ and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”
Now, listen. I understand her stress. My worst days are when my kids are at their dads. But it is how it is and – eventually – you accept it and cherish the times you do have them. Which is 80% of the year, in my case. But I have little to no sympathy for people who – as a part of their profession that pays them MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of dollars – have to be away from their kids for a short amount of time to make those millions so they can spend the rest of the time at home with their kids.
I mean, we are talking 2 weeks out of how long? A month? Six Months? A YEAR? When she is not ‘on a set’ what is her work day like? Does she get days on end with no worries and no schedule and lots of helpers to take care of the ‘routine’ work moms do because she gets paid millions for those two weeks? Or does she get up at 6am and fall asleep at 2am like I do in order to get everything ‘routine’ done in addition to working? And is still always behind?
I challenge her to step in and see what my life -and the ‘routine’ lives of millions of single (and married) moms – is really like!
I work at least 60 hours a week. Granted, I am VERY blessed that I get to work from home and adjust my schedule to my children’s needs. But I KNOW I am blessed and I am always telling moms who work out of the home how much I respect and bow down to all that they do. I was a married working mom for a year when my oldest was born and it was the most difficult, most stressful, saddest year of my life! Being able to work from home is a TRUE BLESSING!
But as hard as I work, I barely make ends meet most months. I am constantly calculating in my head how much is coming in and how much is going out. I don’t have a steady employer. I am my employer. And if I am not on this computer working my fingers to literal pain all day, every day, all year long, I don’t have an income.
Add to that a house that needs updates and repairs and a yard that needs to be mowed and a garden that needs to be tended to and I am beyond over my ‘normal’ lifestyle.
When I worked in an office, Gwyneth, I had all of that AND a two hour commute AND even more babies at the office.
Common sense would say that Ms. Paltrow has the resources to hire a tutor and take her kids with her to her movie sets. It would also be a fair assumption that she has the resources to have someone else cleaning the house, folding the laundry, cooking dinner, and tending to her yard and house repairs. So the time she is able to save by hiring people to help is uninterrupted time with her kids that the rest of us ache to have more of.
So while she is not the only celebrity mom to come out and compare her privileged, somewhat idealized lifestyle with those of us who are the ‘regular’ people of the world, she is the one I am going after now. Because she is the latest to open her mouth and insert her diamond encrusted heels that she got for free for a 5 minute walk on the red carpet to promote a movie she was paid millions to do those two weeks at a time on a movie set.
And I just think she needs to wear those to my house and live in the real world for a week.
What do you think of what she said?