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I refuse to get involved in any of these crazy “mommy wars” that flare up regularly.
Stay at home? A working mum? Either way is fine by me. I’ve done both, and neither was a walk in the park. I wasn’t a “success” at one or a “failure” at the other. Both involved tradeoffs, challenges, joys, and moments of true satisfaction.
Plan to breastfeed? Stocking up on bottles and formula? Hey, whatever floats your boat. Who am I to judge? Done both. Plusses and minuses every which way to Sunday.
So nothing irks me more than when someone insinuates that one choice—staying home/holding down a job or breastfeeding/not — is harder, requires more effort, and is therefore more honorable than the other.
Now check out this article about Gwyneth Paltrow and her fitness. Or, I should say, her mommy fitness.
I’ve found what works for me. I know if I put in an hour and a half, five days a week, I’m good. If I’m on vacation and, like, “[Expletive] it, I’m not working out,” I know what to do when I get back. A lot of women think, “Oh, my God, I could never get there,” but I don’t think that’s true. It’s simply relative to how much you put into it.’
…’It’s not an accident. It’s not luck, it’s not fairy dust, it’s not good genes. It’s killing myself for an hour and a half five days a week, but what I get out of it is relative to what I put into it.
…’The reason that I can be 38 and have two kids and wear a bikini is because I work my [expletive] [expletive] off.’
No fairy dust? Oh really, Gwynnie? How about the fairy dust of your birth? How about the neat coincidence of having Steven Spielberg for a godfather? How hard did you have to work for that?
How about the fact that you probably never have to vacuum your floors, Clorox your bathroom, or mingle with the plebes at Shop’nStop on Saturday mornings, with one whiny-walker and another sick toddler in the cart?
Lemme guess, Gwyn, you have a little babysitting help, right? Or do Moses and Apple just sit by, calmly sharing their toys and not getting on anybody’s nerves while you work out for an hour and a half, five days a week. What mother with young children, whether she works inside the home or out of it, has a spare 7-and-a-half hours per week for sweatin’ to the oldies? That’s a full work day.
The reason you can be 38 and have two kids and wear a bikini is because (and this is just a guess because I don’t know you personally) you’ve never worked all that hard to get to a place where there’s piles of money for your various whims, where everyone does all the “icky” things in life for you, and where you’re able to escape on said “vacation” any time you wish. Listen, Gwyneth, it’s perfectly okay to say, “I’m grateful for all the help I have. I’m thankful for the money to be able to pay trainers, babysitters, and housecleaners. I couldn’t be a 38-year-old bikini-wearin’ mum without that.“ Let’s get real.
Is Gwyneth beautiful and admirably fit? Yes. Talented? Yes.
Successful because of blue collar hard work rather than fairy dust?
I think not.