Gwyneth, The Working Mom?


Gwyneth Paltrow has a big mouth.  If you haven’t read the article in the link I provided above I’ll give you a minute to do that now because you’ll have to have some background information before reading this post.

Have you read it? Good.  I’ll continue.

I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt by saying she meant well.  She was trying to compare her work to those “normal” people who have that dream ‘9-5’ job.  Here’s what she says, “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.”  No because as we all know, waiting around on set is nothing like waiting for your boss to finish that proposal so you can go home and pick up your kid before the daycare starts calling your emergency contacts.

Here’s another quote: “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. 

I worked in an office for a non-profit company a while back and I remember working very hard to get my work done in the morning because I wanted the afternoon to nap.  As we all know, things never work out that way.  I ended up getting what I needed done but then I was given a surprise right before lunch that kept me at work for an extra half hour.  I missed my lunch and I never was able to finish my coffee.

The best reaction was the letter Mackenzie Dawson wrote at the end of the article about how “wonderful” Gwyn’s comments were.  If you didn’t make it that far down in the article I’ll give you a minute to go back and read it.  It’s quite funny. Finished? Let’s move on.

While us “average” people will never know what it’s like to work on a movie set, earning millions of dollars for those 14 hours a day, Miss Paltrow also doesn’t know what it’s like to have a 9-5 job with a child at home.  She doesn’t know what it’s like to call in sick to work because your kid is sick and knowing you’re not going to get paid that day so you have to adjust your budget to reflect that fact.  She doesn’t know what it’s like to have to work two jobs because you’re a single parent and you have to pay for some stranger to take care of your kid.  Not a nanny, no you can’t afford one of those.  You pay for a daycare in the shady part of town.  You don’t take holidays because you can’t afford to.  You get home from your job and you struggle with dinner because you are so exhausted from trying to not get fired at your job.

She has no idea what it’s like to wonder if you can make the rent that month, or the mortgage.  You wonder how long you can survive on minimum wage.

So Gwyn, next time you want to compare yourself to the working mom, do us all a favour and just shut up.