Cue the Mommy Wars! Gwyneth Paltrow Says Movie Star Moms Have It Tough

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Elise Solé
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If you do a quick Internet search for "Gwyneth Paltrow," you'll find an onslaught of furious comments about the actress. Alhough the 41-year-old often stirs up controversy (thanks to everything from her touting her own wood-burning pizza oven to referring to her recent breakup as a "conscious uncoupling"), this latest reaction is due, in part, to a New York Post open letter to Paltrow regarding an interview she gave on the challenges of being a movie-star mom.  

On Wednesday, Paltrow, who announced her split from husband Chris Martin this week, told E! News, “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. 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.”

Post contributing editor Mackenzie Dawson (a working mom herself) didn't skimp on the sarcasm in her response to Paltrow, which has now been shared on Facebook more than 260,000 times: “'Thank God I don’t make millions filming one movie per year' is what I say to myself pretty much every morning as I wait on a windy Metro-North platform, about to begin my 45-minute commute into the city. ... It’s so hard to find good help these days! That’s why it’s a good thing there’s all this nationally subsidized, high-quality day care lying around for the taking. It just makes things easier knowing you have such a strong support network and don’t have to pay someone anywhere from $30K to $65K annually to take care of your child full-time. ... After I get home from work, I’m full of energy and ready to cook dinner using one of the recipes you post on your lifestyle Web site, Goop: slow-cooked kale, pancetta and bread crumbs, anyone? After that, I’ll go to yoga, spend a few hours meditating and maybe do some online shopping, picking up a pair of $350 white leopard-printed short-shorts via Goop in preparation for the 'spring break' I’ll take with my husband and son. If there’s one thing I look good in after having a child, it’s short-shorts."

Twitter reacted as expected:

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More on Yahoo Shine: Opt Out or In? New York Times Magazine Sparks Working-Mom Debate. Again.

This wasn’t a one-off remark made by Paltrow on the hardships faced by working celebrity moms. In 2011, she penned a post on her blog Goop called "A Day in the Life," outlining her hectic schedule. Some tidbits:

Exercise: "I've found that having a trainer come to my house on a Monday really motivates me—she's knocking at the front door so going back to sleep is NOT an option.”

More on Yahoo: Paltrow's 'Conscious Uncoupling' Confounds Many

Hair: “A great time saver is to have a weekly blow out. This means that you don't need to wash your hair each day—the time that you save with a blow out can save you minutes in the morning.”

Condense your appointments: “Find a great salon that understands time pressure and can accommodate your schedule. I have a great salon near me that I can go to at the end of the day to have a facial, manicure and pedicure at the same time. I'm in and out in 70 minutes. Not relaxing but efficient. Same for other appointments. I have acupuncture at 9.30pm at night."

So much for her impending divorce making her more relatable to average women with their own marital troubles. Paltrow's comments — particularly her most recent ones — have stirred reaction among, of many, the Working Mother Research Institute community. "The demise of a marriage — especially one that involves children — is traumatic; however, Gwyneth Paltrow has a history of making comments that are out-of-touch and offensive to middle- and lower-middle-class working moms," Barbara Turvett, executive editor of Working Mother tells Yahoo Shine. "While Paltrow is incredibly hardworking, talented, and seems like a good mom, it's foolish to compare her lifestyle to other women, many of whom are single mothers who struggle daily to make ends meet."

Even as a potential single mother, Paltrow is advantaged. According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, in 40 percent of U.S. households with children under the age of 18, women are the primary breadwinners and almost two-thirds of those breadwinners are single mothers, who don't earn a movie star salary.

Once Paltrow returns from the Bahamas (she's currently on vacation with her soon-to-be-ex-husband Chris Martin and their two children), it might be wise to take a break from the spotlight.


More on Yahoo Shine:
Is Being Childfree Selfish? Debating Time Magazine's Touchy New Issue
A Week in the Life of a Working Mom
Gwyneth Paltrow’s $300-a-Day "It’s All Good" (No, It’s Not) Meal Plan