"What do I do? Where do I step in? Where do I not? How do I do this?"

By Christopher Luu
Mar 30, 2021 @ 6:38 pm
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Mom Gwyneth Paltrow opened up about struggling to take on the role of stepmother on the latest episode of The goop Podcast. Speaking with fellow mother-turned-stepmother Gabrielle Union, Paltrow said that there was nothing out there to prep her for the new role when she married Brad Falchuk. When the two tied the knot, the blended family included Falchuk's children, Isabella and Brody, as well as Paltrow's, Apple and Moses.

"I have two beautiful stepchildren, who are the same age as mine," she said. "When I became a stepmother, when I knew I was going to become a stepmother, I was like, 'Shit, I have no idea how to do this. There's nothing to read. What do I do? Where do I step in? Where do I not? How do I do this?'"

Gwyneth Paltrow
Credit: Leon Bennett / Stringer

Paltrow added that being a stepmother has been — and continues to be — a learning process.

"It's been a really interesting challenge for me and I love them and I've learned so much about myself through the process," she said.

Union had a little bit of advice for Paltrow. She became a stepmother when she married Dwyane Wade, who has three children from previous relationships and a nephew that he and Union raise together. She told Paltrow that being genuine was the most important part of being a stepmom, as well as not being disparaging against any child's birth parents.

"Whoever you are," Union said, "just be consistent so everyone can get used to who the hell you are really and you're not putting on an act and then the mask falls off."

Back in 2019, Paltrow spoke about struggling with being a stepparent, saying that things get especially complicated when the kids don't see eye to eye.

"I have no idea ... I mean, sometimes that piece gets complicated when there are two teenage girls," she told The Sunday Times. "If you're not all drinking the same Kool-Aid, it can be tough. I do think, though, at the end of the day, everyone wants the same thing, which is to feel love and be accepted."