Oh, Gwyneth, My Gwyneth

Another archive hit from Mary Tyler Mom.  And if you’ve read Donna’s Cancer Story, now you know why I feel a moral superiority to Ms. Paltrow.  Hope you enjoy!

Last week I wrote about the cruelty of mothering and working, the judgment that goes on, the thanklessness of it all.  This week?  Sorry, but I’ve got to judge.  I can’t stop myself.  Huff Post did a piece on Gwyneth Paltrow a few days ago, I can’t even remember what it was about, but there was a link to Goop, her weekly online “newsletter” about “lifestyle.”  Specifically, a link to her posting about “A Day in the Life” of busy working mothers.  I’m a busy working mother, I says to myself.  I write about working mothers, too, I says to myself.  So I clicked on the link.  I laughed.  I cried.  I wretched. 

At reader request, Gwyneth, or Gwynnie as I like to call her, thought she would solicit a slice of life, day in the life guest blog from two “extremely busy working mothers.”  To best relate to her readers, she chose Juliet, a partner in a California venture capital firm, and Stella, daughter of a Beatle and famed fashion designer.  You know, just two average working Joannas.  The intent was to have the three working moms, Gwynnie included, detail a day in their “manic” lives to see how they fit it all in, how they do it all, if you will, and to share working mom tips for the rest of us.  Ugh. 

How Wealthy White Women Who Work Make It Work:

  • get up b/w 5:30 to 6 am daily to exercise as it will “make you happy”
  • have a personal trainer come to your home on Monday mornings to ensure a healthy start to your work week
  • “curate” your social media and personal web
  • get an amazing assistant
  • commit to a weekly blow out to save time in mornings
  • enjoy 90 minutes of “family time” from 6 to 7:30 pm, as “many nights of the week as you can make it”
  • schedule your acupuncture at 9:30 at night
  • spend your time “impacting the highest upside situations”
  • have dinner with your kids at least 3x/week; read to kids 5x/week
  • find a “great alteration person” to help you “review your looks, sort out closet, and plan key looks for travel, weekend, evenings, holidays”
  • ingest copious amounts of flax seed oil and make your children do the same
  • devise lists and spreadsheets and lists of spreadsheets
  • organize “one or two key moments” during school year so your kids can see you “interacting as ‘Mummy'”
  • take meetings in cabs

I honestly thought I was reading a piece from The Onion.  Alas, I wasn’t.  These three gals go on and on about the difficulties of doing it all and something about it all being worth it.  At one point Gwynnie describes the conundrum of needing to leave the house by 8:20am and having one of her two adorably named kids still asleep at 8am.  In just 20 minutes time, that Gwynnie managed to gently awake her son, dress him, feed him eggs and toast she prepared herself, administer the aforementioned flax seed oil (lemon flavored, she’s not stupid!), finish decorating the Christmas toy drive shoe boxes for those less fortunate, explain the significance and reality of children having less around the world, then wait for her two adorably named kids to go to their playroom and pick personal toys and books to contribute to now completely decorated shoe boxes as they have been sufficiently enlightened about the plight of others and feel for Angelina Jolie’s soon to be adopted children. 

Fuck that.  I reject that is humanly possible.  Gwynnie has lost all credibility, awesome gLee appearance be damned. 

The three gals each very briefly mention their nannies.  Who come to them.  And apparently stay til the kids are in bed.  And probably live with the family.  Fuck that, too.  I can’t stand this need to perpetuate the myth that women can do it all.  We can’t.  Something always suffers.  Always.  It’s work or it’s family or most commonly a bit of both.  And my honest guess is that something suffers for these gals too, even though they are Oscar winners and rock and roll scions and venture capitalists.  What is a venture capitalist, anyway?

13 Replies to “Oh, Gwyneth, My Gwyneth”

  1. Oh, how I wish this was my life. My day as a working mother goes a bit differently. Natch. I just finished making dinner for the evening so my family can eat while I’m working, took a shower, and shoved some food in the my mouth. Now it’s time to wake up my daughter from her nap, feed her, and run around like a chicken with my head cut off for the next hour and a half while she whines and whines (which is her favorite thing to do this past week….f’n teething). Then I get to go to work and serve other people their dinners while I drool because I’m fucking starving. But alas, at 10:30 I will walk in the house and get an hour to hang with the DH before I get into bed and will myself to fall asleep for a couple hours. Not that I would change anything. Hmmm?

    Sometimes I would like to relate with the rich and spoiled.


  2. How To Have It All

    1. Money. Lots of it. Out the wazoo.

    2. Multitasking. Make important phone calls while driving. Who lets pesky details like road safety get in the way of having it all? Of course, if you really adhered to step 1 (Money) you would have a driver anyway.

    3. Look perfect. Career and family are nothing if you’re not drop dead gorgeous, all the time. Frizzy hair (or, God forbid, a PONYTAIL) and tummy flab is a sign to the world that you DO NOT and IN NO WAY have it all.

    4. If the number of hours you spend with your kids each week reached double digits, you win!

    5. Sleep is for losers. In bed by 10:30 (okay, midnight), up at 5:00. Gotta get that workout in (see number 3: Look Perfect).

    6. (Nanny)

    7. (Personal trainer)

    8. (Personal assistant)


  3. Oh sure, easy fro Gwyneth to say. It’s those days when my acupuncturust can’t make it at 9:30 that throw me right off. Otherwise I am totally getting what she is saying.
    Oh wait, how much help did she say she has? Where is she scheduling scrubbing her toilets and cleaning up dog poop? How about carpooling? Who cooks? WTF?


  4. OMG…I thought you were kidding and writing a joke column till I went to see myself…..seriously… as a parent of 4 the youngest with special needs, they can come to my home for a day!


  5. ROFLMAO…..I knew I liked you after reading all of September’s entries. Now I think I LOVE you.

    There’s a Toronto radio personality named Maureen Holloway who has similar opinions of Gwynnie…I almost put my car in the ditch every time she talks about her. Have a listen of you have time…her stuff is pretty funny.

    Thanks for the laugh…I needed one today 🙂


  6. She would probably think I’m just a hot mess! 5 kids, ponytail, part-time job, breakfast fingerprints on my borrowed Vera Wang shirt at my part-time job, fibromyalgia. My one indulgence- hand bags. NOT the eye bags I have under my eyes!


  7. This is totally absurd. What about rinsing out poopy clothes? Fostering any kind of relationship with a partner/spouse? Or maybe a job with, you know, ACTUAL responsibilities? Ugh.
    Nice to meet you last night. 😉


  8. I know this is an older post, but still it totally bugged me, so I wrote a response on my (recently resurrected blog – inspired by you – ) http://mellysmusings.blogspot.com/. I suggest some more realistic working mothers write their own responses and send ’em on over to GP so she can thank her lucky stars she doesn’t live a peasant life like us.


  9. I laughed so hard I cried when I read her tips, then called my sister, made her read it and we couldn’t stop roaring. Soooooo glad someone else noticed the RIDICULOUS time lapse in her morning routine. If one of my offspring is not up at 8:00 and they need to leave at 8:20 someone is going to school in their jammies with a bag of fruit snacks for breakfast. And we’ve done the shoebox thing…takes an entire weekend and no way are my kids hitting the playroom for their best stuff (bless their hearts) especially first thing in the morning. At least one of my five would need a week just to decorate the darn box. Guess they need more Flaxseed, I better get on that. Obviously this woman never actually does the morning routine in her home, case closed.


  10. I yelled at my daughter for suggesting I cook eggs and bacon this morning when we had 45 minutes to get out the door for a birthday party. That’s why I stock massive amounts of cereal in the house, kid. Screw you, Gwynnie.


  11. So, I started reading your blog through because of Donna’s Story, and I came to really appreciate your humor, snarkiness, intelligence, etc. But something kept gnawing at me–your drive-by comments about Gwyneth. I’ve always loved Gwyneth–not totally sure why, but I have. I would see one of your snarky comments about Gwynnie, and wonder–how could MTM hate Gwyneth SO much?

    I get it now. Enough said. I will never question your drive-by comments, and in fact will cheer for you to bring them on. Thanks for making me laugh, see Gwyneth in a different (more clear) light, and for helping me make peace with my frazzled, crazy mothering life.


  12. Well, I guess some people do live in a Barney’s commercial (I mean the store, not the purple dinosaur). I am a working mother of toddler twins, so at first I felt envy at the cushy glitsy life, but then I thought about it and I wouldn’t trade the nitty-gritty of house chores/very hands-on approach to raising them. Well, maybe as a vacation…:)

    I loved your Donna’s Story, I cried and marvelled at it. Much respect and thank you for sharing it!!


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