This morning I read an article in USA where Gwyneth Patlrow compared her working life to other working mom lives and mentioned that being a movie star was harder than being a regular 9-5 working mom. I had to respond to this, I just could not help it. I will not dislike her over this or boy cott her movies. However, she needs to spend a week in our shoes...
Dear Gwyneth Paltrow,
I read your interview in USA today. I would like to say you are correct. Being a movie star mom is in no way the same as being a regular working mom. However, while I know nothing about being on set, I can tell you that your perception of reality is somewhat altered.
I have been both a single and now married working mom to one daughter. I got 12 weeks off for maternity leave 4 which were unpaid. Then I went back to work while my daughter went to daycare so I did not get to be the person that saw her first steps or hear her first words. I am pretty certain that with the paychecks you get from appearing in films in “non- lead roles” allowed you to take a longer hiatus. Through –out my child’s time in elementary school I got to go and volunteer once maybe twice a year for a class party. Because I had to be at work at 830am until 5pm, I had to drop my daughter off at before school care at 730am and pick her up around 6-615pm after spending 30-45min each way in traffic.
I read somewhere that you were quoted that you get to be 38 and wear a bikini because you spend 5 days in the gym for 1.5hrs working out. I would love to have that kind of time. Between my full time job and commute I am lucky to get to the gym 3-4 days a week (1 of those days being Saturday) so that I can be home to cook for my family.
You may travel and work 2 weeks at a time and I can agree that’s probably tough, especially a 14hr day. However, I work 48 weeks a year out of 52. I don’t get to take a 5 month hiatus from work because my salary, although I am well paid, is not the few million dollars per movie that you get. With my income I have to budget a house payment, car payment, save for my daughter’s college education, braces, my retirement, plus the monthly expenses to live. Not to mention, pay for my daughter’s activities. I did all of this on a single income and now that I am married, while we share many expenses, I still pay for the majority of my daughter’s expenses. With your salary from previous movies and endorsements, you could retire now and not work.
So to sum up, while you may work long days, I work long years. I do not begrudge anyone in your shoes. I do get mad when you don’t realize that you have not only a good life, but an extraordinary life. You can’t compare yourself to the rest of us because you do not live same kind of life by any means. The only similarity you share with us working moms is that you are a mother and have children who you will love and other days who will make you want to pull your hair out.
So please, appreciate the wonderful career you have that affords you the time that most of us do not get.
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