If there were an Oscar for Most Delusional and Out of Touch Comments in a Television Interview, it would go to Gwyneth Paltrow. In a recent interview with E! discussing her split from husband Chris Martin, Paltrow enlightens us about her own working mom plight and the hardships involved.
She explains, “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.”
If right now you’re thinking, “What on earth is she thinking?” or “Someone please slap her”, you’re not alone.
In response to Paltrow’s comments, Mackenzie Dawson wrote an open letter to the actress in The New York Post. (This letter, my friends, is a must read.)
In her sarcasm-laden note to “Gwynnie”, Dawson calls her out for her clueless comments with it’s-funny-because-it’s-true relatabilty. She even ends her letter with a comment that hits close to home for many unemployed parents: “So, Gwyneth, you’ve figured out the secret of working parents everywhere: Livin’ la vida desk job is a breeze compared to the 14-hour days of a film set. Fourteen hours? Who in New York — especially those in the finance, law and tech professions — could possibly work 14 whole hours? Luckily, those 9-to-5 ‘ordinary job’ hours grow on trees here. And if you lose one, all you have to do is find another.”
The truth is, all working parents have challenges. And so do parents who desperately wish they could find work to support their family. For them, juggling work and family responsibilities would be a dream come true if it meant they could have the paycheck to go with it. Not even a Paltrow-sized paycheck, but a regular, old salary or fair hourly wage.
There will never be a way to decide once and for all who has it the hardest (although, I’m pretty sure we can officially rule out Gwyneth Paltrow). What would really help most is to stop trying. Stop competing. Spend less time comparing. And spend more time supporting parents and families regardless of their situation.