Why Kate Winslet is a role model for all moms in their 40s

Oct 30, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Image: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

It is really hard for me to find a lot of positive things I can relate to coming out of Hollywood. In fact, when I hear celebrity life stories, I cringe a little. There is one woman I have admired and respected since her amazing portrayal of Rose in Titanic. Kate Winslet has approached Hollywood, divorce and motherhood with strength, grace and a healthy dose of reality through three marriages and three children.

A single mother to two children, ages 10 and 12, until the birth of her third this year with her third husband, Kate Winslet has managed to come out of the taboo of multiple marriages with a smile on her face and a solid head on her shoulders. Not blinded by the judgments of others, she stands tall when responding to critics.

“No one has a right to comment on anyone’s life or the choices I do or don’t make. It’s very easy to be judgmental until you know someone’s truth. People have no idea at all,” she said. “It baffles me, truly, that you can publicly treat a person like that. It’s not very nice.”

As a single mom myself with a nasty divorce under my belt, I sincerely appreciate that she does not apologize for her decisions or let the naysayers interrupt her life. In a world where everyone thinks you should be just like them, we moms need a role model to whom we can relate! In her 40s, as am I, Kate Winslet has kept an air of realism around her for decades. She speaks candidly about motherhood and the strength it takes to raise little people in such a big world.

"Look, I have the deepest admiration for mothers everywhere. It’s a tough, tough job. Same goes for fathers by the way."

I'm raising three daughters while working a non-traditional job, and I struggle to know if the decisions I am making are the right ones. Yes, I am home all the time and yes, I can drop everything and be at my daughter's side in a heartbeat. But is it good for them to watch mommy be distracted by work while they are home and even have them help me when they don't want to?

I won't know for years to come.

I value instilling in them the same images I had as a little girl. My mother was home, packed my lunches and was in the audience at shows. I love that Ms. Winslet understands the struggle of moms everywhere — doubting everything but still knowing that the time we spend with them can not be a bad thing.

"For my own children, I do want for them to look back and remember that it was me in the kitchen, that I was doing the packed lunches, that we were there on the school run, that we did take a bus,” she said. “I want them to remember those things, because those are the things that I remember from my own childhood and that have been incredibly important to me. I also think that those are the things that children need in order to become normal kids. I don’t want them to feel that they are any different because of my job."

As I read more new stories about a woman who is not afraid to admit that she is not perfect in a perfect Hollywood world, I appreciate the honesty she seems to have about all aspects of life. A champion for women everywhere to accept themselves as they are, she recently made news for signing a contract with L'Oréal with a 'no-photoshop' clause. Any photos they take and put into print of her pitching their products cannot be altered. How many women do you know that are comfortable enough in their own skin that they would make it mandatory?

Just because we all seem to feel more comfortable in our skills and skin after hitting the big 4-0 does not mean we don't need a little reminder here and there that it is OK to be worried about how we are doing, doubt our abilities and question every decision we have to make.

As Ms. Winslet says, "There's something really empowering about going, 'Hell, I can do this! I can do this all!' That's the wonderful thing about mothers, you can because you must, and you just do."

And so we do.

15 Quotes by women over 40 who prove age ain't nuthin' but a number
Image: Getty Images