There's What to Expect When You're Expecting, but what about What to Expect When You're a New Stepmom?
It sounds like Gwyneth Paltrow could have used a guidebook when she officially became a stepmother to husband Brad Falchuk's daughter and son, Isabella and Brody. As the Oscar winner recalled to Gabrielle Union in a new interview for The goop Podcast, the daunting new role had her asking plenty of questions.
"I have two beautiful stepchildren, who are the same age as mine," she said, referencing her teenage son Moses and daughter Apple with ex Chris Martin. "When I became a stepmother, when I knew I was going to become a stepmother, I was like, 'S--t, 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?'"
She candidly continued, "It's been a really interesting challenge for me and I love them and I've learned so much about myself through the process."
During their chat, Paltrow asked Union how she became a stepmother in her relationship with Dwyane Wade, who has three children from previous relationships as well as a nephew they raise together. The Bring It On alum explained that she "tried to do the opposite of what I thought my stepmother did wrong or could have done better."
"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."
The L.A.'s Finest star also advised staying "above the fray" and to avoid saying anything negative about your stepkids' birth parents.
While it may have been a challenge initially, it seems like over time, Paltrow has figured out a dynamic with her own stepchildren.
When asked by The Sunday Times in 2019 if she's a good "stepmum," Paltrow responded, "I have no idea...I mean, sometimes that piece gets complicated when there are two teenage girls. 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."
"My stepson, for example, he had a rough beginning with it all," she noted at the time, "but now he and I have our own space together. I'm not his mother, he's not my son, but he knows he is very special to me."