Are wealth and privilege good enough reasons for other mothers to tell Gwyneth Paltrow to sit down and shut the hell up?

Gwyneth PaltrowEdited highlights: Gwyneth Paltrow, rich actress wiping her arse with money when not falling over nannies wiping her children’s arses with money (allegedly), gives an interview to a celebrity station bemoaning the balancing act of career and motherhood.

Cue outrage hovering in the wings…

Moreover, Ms Paltrow goes on to speculate that an office working mother (as a for instance) has life easier cos’ she gets to do ‘stuff’ in the morning, head to work and can then come back in the evening and do more…stuff. You know, stick to a schedule like. While she, poor thing, could be called to set for two weeks straight in some exotic location at a moments notice. (No office job has ever done that presumably.)

Cue full-blown outrage and insults no longer hovering in the wings.

Outrage that a privileged, rich and celebrated individual - with tons of help - should even begin to compare her troubles with mums working minimum wage; mums in gruelling office jobs; or mums going to work with sick down their fronts because they don’t have nannies to take care of that sort of…stuff.

But my question is…why shouldn’t G-girl complain? As working mothers we all face challenges in balancing work and children. Having money does not equate to missing our children any less when forced to be apart from them. Sitting in a million-dollar hotel suite does not compensate for the ache of not being able to read a bedtime story to little ones.

Privilege and wealth does bring with it the bonus of choosing to work or not work - to "only make one film a year" - a luxury not afforded many other working mothers, but do those embarrassment of choices mean we lose the right to choose?

Essentially, then, do we lose the right to complain if we ‘make it’?

I believe too much was made of the privilege Gwennie is afforded, while my pinched buttocks moment was witnessing yet another example of women not supporting other women. None of us - no matter where we are on the economic spectrum - can walk in another mother’s shoes. Our struggles, albeit the same on the surface, are uniquely different.

G-Girl you cannot assume a woman with a fixed schedule has it easier than you do, and we also cannot assume you have it easy because you seem to be surrounded by hoards of people employed to make your life easy.

What we can say with certainty as working mothers is that working and raising children can be a challenge - no matter who we are and what we have or don’t have.

HMS HerMelness Speaks


(Credit: For a different look at this same coin, read Huffington Post’s Devon Corneal’s take on the subject ('Goop, She Did It Again'),  as it was her subscription email which first brought this subject to my attention. Thanks, Devon.)



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