Last fall, at InStyle’s inaugural InStyle Awards, held at the spectacular Getty Center tucked in the hills of L.A.’s Brentwood, Kate Hudson presented the Style Icon Award to her close friend Gwyneth Paltrow. “From the moment I laid eyes on this woman, it was love at first sight,” started Kate, who went on to introduce her pal with one of the night’s incredible highlights: a multipage speech that was funny, thoughtful, genuine, self-aware, and smartly written. Of course, this was before Kate published her winning book Pretty Happy—an instant best seller. When the night was done, I bounded over to not only thank her for her participation but also congratulate her on such a beautiful piece. We talked about her talent and affinity, and it was then that I asked her to consider writing an essay, topic TBD, to be showcased in her cover story this month. Kate said she’d think about it, but I could already see her leaning to a place of yes—her ever-twinkling eyes registered the possibility of taking the dare.
We saw each other a couple of times in the months that followed, and we talked more about the option to contribute to her feature. She agreed. Our gorgeous cover shoot took place, and a few days later Kate turned in her writing. I had expected the piece to exude the hallmark Kate Hudson values—humor, warmth, accessibility—but even I was surprised by just how brave, vulnerable, and downright real Kate was willing to get.
In “Sometimes I Feel Like a Bad Mom,” Kate presents “thoughts from a working single mother of two.” Thoughts that I know will not only resonate with many of our readers but also unburden those caregivers who wake up each morning determined to find a perfect balance that inevitably escapes us all—because there’s no such thing as perfection, and balance is more about perception and intention than it is reality. Here, a sample of Kate's revelatory moments from her essay:
“Some days I feel like I should win best mom of the day award, and some days I find myself doing strange things that don’t have any real purpose, in faraway corners in my house, and I realize I am literally and deliberately hiding from my children.”
“…Even though every primal ounce of the nurturing, domestic woman in me gets pulled, I’m a hunter as well. And I love to hunt! And as a woman I feel that somehow we are supposed to feel apologetic about wanting both. But I don’t want to apologize for that anymore. Being both already comes at an emotional cost, without adding society’s antiquated idea of the traditional roles of man and woman in the home.”
“Yes, I help my kids with their homework. But I also get bored doing it. I will sit and listen to my children pontificate and discuss their ideas till the day is long because it warms my heart, but I really don’t want to do math! I’m gonna say it: I’d prefer to watch 'The Bachelor' rather than do fractions and divisions.”
To Kate, who also tells us, “I’m big on manners. I’m big on politeness. I’m big on gratitude,” we say thank you for your very special early Mother’s Day gift: an invitation to think frankly and speak openly about mothers, parents, expectations, and possibilities.
To read Hudson's full essay, plus our exclusive interview with the star, pick up the may issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download April 15.