Gwyneth Paltrow: Motherhood “gives your life real meaning”


These are new photos of Gwyneth Paltrow in London last night, attending an event for Coach. She’s the new face of Coach, and by attending this event (which was likely in her honor), she missed the NYC premiere of Contagion (where she would have had to share the spotlight). I don’t know who did the houndstooth coat, but the dress is Lanvin. What’s up with Goop and the orange dresses lately? Doesn’t she realize that orange doesn’t do anything for her? Also: I hate her shoes. Guess who else came to the Coach event? Chris Martin! Of course, they weren’t photographed together or anything – they arrived and left separately, and Chris was dressed down in a hoodie, like a jagoff.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about a new interview with Dame Goop. Gwyneth was speaking to E! News, probably just giving a simple confirmation that she wants to appear on Glee again when suddenly, out of the blue, she went Full Garner. Remember Jennifer Garner’s interview, in which Jennifer claimed, “There’s no deeper want for a woman” than to be a mother? Well, Dame Gwyneth sees Garner’s anti-childfree sentiments, and raises her a statement that is dripping with patronizing sanctimony. And it’s all about Beyonce, of course.

Seeing how Gwyneth Paltrow has made such a splash with her unforgettable appearances on Glee, it only makes sense that fans would want to see her return. That is, of course, she doesn’t even think about trying to hook up with Matthew Morrison.

So, what does the Oscar winner have to say about another possible encore performance?

“I would love to go back on,” Paltrow tells E! News. “You know, I’m not sure if I will or not, but we’ll see. It would be hard for me to say no. I have such a good time doing that show. So, we’ll see if they ask me back or not.”

Until then, the actress is keeping busy promoting her latest film, Contagion. The thriller, centering on the worldwide outbreak of a deadly virus, reunited the actress with her Talented Mr. Ripley costars Jude Law and Matt Damon, who plays her husband in the flick.

“It was so great to work with him again,” she says. “We’re different in a lot of ways with all our kids and so we talked a lot about our kids and showed pictures.”

Speaking of rugrats, Paltrow is so “happy” that her good friend Jay-Z and his wife Beyoncé are expecting and admits that becoming a parent really puts everything in perspective.

“It’s wonderful to see her so happy right now,” Gwyneth tells E! “And so looking forward to the experience. I’m very happy for them.”

“I think motherhood is the biggest blessing of all time and it give your life real meaning,” she points out. “It’s always interesting when you’re a woman with success and you’ve achieved a lot, and then you have a baby and you realize everything you thought was an achievement really is nothing until you have a kid, and I think that will be [Beyoncé's] experience.”

Any advice for pal Jay-Z?

“I’d tell him directly,” says Paltrow, adding with a laugh: “But I wouldn’t say it on television.”

[From E! News]

Where to start? I guess I’ll start with my simple admission that I’m not a mother, I’ve always thought I would be a terrible mom (to real children, not fur babies), and the way my life has gone thus far, I doubt motherhood will ever happen for me. I’m fine with it. I don’t see my life as incomplete or “less than” because I don’t have babies. It’s my body, my life choices, and if you want to have babies, God bless. Don’t judge me and my choices. I just get so tired and sad with women telling me that motherhood is the best, that your life only starts when you’re a mother, that I will never know how great it is, implying that women without children are shells of women, without real, authentic experiences because they haven’t become moms.

Goop’s statement – “I think motherhood is the biggest blessing of all time and it give your life real meaning. It’s always interesting when you’re a woman with success and you’ve achieved a lot, and then you have a baby and you realize everything you thought was an achievement really is nothing until you have a kid.” WTF? I understand what she’s saying intellectually, that this was her experience, that she feels like she only grew as a person when she became a mother. That’s HER experience. But to dismiss any and all OTHER acheivements as “less than” becoming a mother? To associate ONLY motherhood with giving one’s life “real meaning”? Ugh. God, I just hate Goop. Just keep in mind that her second biggest blessing of all time is her bedroom bathtub.





Photos courtesy of WENN & Fame.

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108 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow: Motherhood “gives your life real meaning””

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  1. gee says:

    Oh Goopy… maybe she just realizes everyone will discover her lack of talent if she shuts up long enough?

  2. Blergh says:

    Oh, here we go with the childless, anti-Mom rants. I see her point and as you don’t have kids it makes sense the reaction. Life for people with kids is separated into two halves – before kids and after. No person can understand the challenges and/or effects kids have on one, one’s family and life until you’ve actually lived through it – you simply can’t. You can’t intellectualize the experience.

    However, I think what she is saying is sage and true. Until you dedicate your time and life raising other people, constantly thinking outside of yourself one has no real perspective on how small and petty most of the things in life we get hung up on are. Real fulfillment comes quickly with parenthood. I’m sure it can be found in other ways, through hard work, spirituality, etc – but her point is valid.

  3. bessicus says:

    I have life before dog and life after dog and it’s good enough for me.

  4. ShanKat says:

    Goop chunks. She’s heinous. She gets waaay too much attention, so I’m personally boycotting G to the O-O-P. If you see me in comments about her in the future…ask me for a nickel. Unless it’s about her divorce. That might bring me back.

    I find soon-to-be-ex Mr. Goop incredibly un-handsome.

  5. ViktoryGin says:

    She must really like the taste of her own foot.

    She’s just so goddamned condescending.

    I bet you her life is actually shit and this is just overcompensation.

    @ Blergh,

    No. There SHE goes with the generalizations. I can only speculate on the veracity of her statement. It probably is fulfilling and the most important thing for many women. But notice I said “many”, not “all”.

  6. Addie says:

    I’m with you @Kaiser.
    No children in my plans- only those fur babies mentioned before.

    Sidenote: Anyone know if a Pekingese is a good dog breed to get?
    Just wanted one after watching a dog show about them.

    I for one want to spend my life discovering who I am and enjoying that proceses.
    Having kids I’m sure is a profound expeirience but not going through it doen’t make a person less-than.

    @Bessicus. Love it!

  7. Samigirl says:

    I know I’m going to get hated on SO much for this, but…I totally agree with her. My situation may be different than others, but…I can’t help that I feel like she does. Before my sweet little boy, I was on a downward spiral. Drugs (nothing harder than weed, but I was a total stoner), alcohol, and lots and lots of irresponsible actions on my part. I’ve turned my life over so much since Emerson was born. I’ve hardly even touched alcohol since he was born, and of course, I stopped with the weed. It was like…as soon as he was born, I was born too. I never ever knew who I was or what I was about until I was blessed with him. Now, some people don’t want to be parents-and…that’s really ok. I would never be so condescending to imply otherwise. However, I really feel what Goop is saying here. And I dislike her. So. Take that for what you will.

  8. Jayna says:

    I understand what she means, but there’s plenty of polls and/or studies that many people were happier before children. Their marriages suffered and their kids were problems later in life and caused them a lot of heartache. Many people who have children become condescending to working moms.

  9. Zay says:

    When you are a millionaire your perspective in life in different in many ways not only when you have kids. For some people that struggle having a kid they can afford is luxury.

  10. says:

    I have a 15-month old boy and he is the love of my life. I feel great accomplishment when I see him grow up.


    I also felt great accomplishment before he was born. I put myself through school, worked at a job that I enjoyed, travelled, etc. If I had not been able to have my son, I would not feel like my life had been any less of an accomplishment.

  11. Summer says:

    Where would Goop be unless she could pontificate to the masses?
    There’s a couple of things about this subject that always irks me. Firstly, the eagerness of the pro-mother brigade to tell childless women their lives are pointless without kids, and then throw in that you’re only a ‘real’ woman and know the true meaning of love when you’ve given birth. Secondly, men aren’t subject to this shite. I don’t see Chris Martin taking time out from cheating on Goop to share his thoughts on how a guy only becomes a man when he’s fathered a child.
    To each their own. If you have kids and they’re the greatest thing to you – lovely. If you don’t have kids and have no intentions – lovely. Neither choice is ‘better’ than the other. Neither choice makes you more of a ‘real’ woman.

  12. tapioca says:

    I think she looks good in orange. Also, she’s probably bigging up motherhood because it’s the only thing keeping her marriage together.

    @Blergh: They’re not “anti-Mom rants” so much as “anti-Moms who think childless women are worth less than them, or somehow living unfulfilled lives, or that popping out a sprog makes you a better person *coughTeenMomcough* rants”.

    Bringing up a respectful, well-adjusted child IS a huge achievement, but it’s not the only one!

  13. marge says:

    Goopy: I may not have a succesful career and fancy, famous friends, but I do have a lovely, caring husband -not just “very nice” like your own- so shut the hell up and stop pretending to be the second coming of Christ (or was he just a good opening act before you?)

  14. Franny says:

    I feel really uncomfortable looking at those pictures of chris martin being any where even near goopeth. I just feel like…he’s being forced to be there, and hates his life. honestly. i’ve never gotten such vibes from pictures before but it is honestly making me feel kind of sick. it looks like he just feels so invaded.

  15. mary says:

    I’m like you Kaiser, I think I would be a terrible mother, and therefor I stay away from motherhood.

    BUT: I do hope that every person that becomes a parent DO feel that their life prior was nothing in comparence and that they do their very best to care for the child.

    Having 2 parents that constantly put themselves first and let me fend for myself I prefer statements like that than the opposite. I had the other kind of parents, it ain’t pretty

  16. JulieM says:

    Really sick of Goopy and her lecturing. No, women do not have to be mothers in order to be fulfilled. If you are personally fulfilled by it, terrific. Geez. Yes, I am a mother.

  17. Waldemar says:

    This is probably the most insulting thing you can say to a woman, next to “Yes, those pants make your ass look big.”

    And what about those women who, for whatever reason, cannot have children? Should they kill themselves, because the change of becoming “real” is non-excistent?

    It is stupid to say such things and, like I said, insulting.

  18. kiki says:

    Hmm, well, I *do* agree w/ GOOP to a degree – having children *is* a great achievement, because they take up an enormous part of one’s life whether one admits it or likes it or not. It’s life-changing, life-defining, etc. Fine. What I can’t stand is that snooty ‘no matter what I’ve achieved…’ attitude that she’s got to drag into the equation.

    But on another note, can someone please enlighten me on this (I’m sure it’s been discussed many times but I never fail to scratch my head):
    Why are Goopster & Martin never photographed together? Do they enjoy the constant divorce speculation? Why did he even bother to show up just to arrive & depart separately? Did she pay him to go or smthng? If they are on the outs why continue pretending at the expense of one or both’s happiness? And if they’re happy, what’s the big deal in appearing to even know each other? Now look, I’m not asking for massive PDA or anything, and I understand the need for privacy (esp when it comes to children), but they are a married couple for heaven’s sake. It’s not like they’re having an illicit affair. This really seems like such a difficult way to live – no wonder she’s an insufferable pill.

  19. Franny says:

    I’m with Kiki. Its not a secret – we all know you are married and have had sex at least twice. I mean, you are both (supposedly) at your home, and both have to go to the same place. Why not get in a car together? Its not like (if they had always been photographed together) that there would be all these posts about pictures of them together. Its just so strange.

  20. Caity says:

    I’m young and clucky, and definitely hope children are in my future. it’s a part of my life i’m really looking forward to.
    But i have a wonderful aunt who is childless by choice and she is very fulfilled, and has accomplished many things, the least of which was renting a tuscan villa for 3 weeks as a 50th birthday present to herself.
    I don’t believe we should judge women who choose to remain childless, or think of them as unfulfilled in any way.
    I think you are unfulfilled if you do not achieve your goals and are unhappy. if your goal is to have children, good on you. If not, that’s great too.

  21. Casey says:

    Whenever I see comments like this, I always think about the women who can’t have kids, through no decision of their own. Or those women who wanted and can have kids, but life had other plans for them.

  22. Jessie says:

    I have two kids. Do I feel they are my greatest accomplishments? Yes and no–I’m glad I brought them into this world, and as they’re still little I know I have to keep working at being a good parent for them to be good people. Do I feel like I have other things to contribute other than children? Absolutely! I understand women saying that children are a life changing experience, but I (personally) don’t feel like they are the only thing that defines me.

  23. Birdix says:

    Just like forgetting the pain of childbirth, which most women do, it helps to feel like children give meaning in life. Because why else would you give up your sleep, your money, your independence and in many cases your career trajectory? it can be a tremendous love between mother and child but people without children can have tremendous loves, too. (I have 2 kids I adore.) Wait 5 or 10 years until goop’s kids become teens and see what song she’ll be singing then.

  24. Roxy750 says:

    when is she ever with her kid? She seems to be in front of the camera morning/noon and night. Being a mom for 1-3 hours a day doesn’t count sunshine. Wake up.

  25. mln76 says:

    I think it’s a wonderful thing to have children, I would never put anyone down for having kids or being a stay at home mom. BUT I am sick of women who choose to invalidate other choices besides motherhood. I find it interesting that insensitive remarks usually come even in real life from women like GOOP, and Garner who have an obvious lack in their marriages. GOOPY has been so annoying for the last year or so since her kids haven’t needed her around and her hubby avoids her like the plague. If you don’t keep developing yourself as a person apart from your kids,have a spouse that treats you with respect, develop other deep friendships and interests you are asking for a world of trouble when your kids grow up.

  26. Original Tiffany says:

    She is insufferable, but I get this sentiment a bit. For all of you that don’t want or have kids, I totally support you. Honest.
    However, my kids are 11 and 13. I was the Director of Nuclear Radiology at CHLA, had an amazing 22 year career, BUT no one is going to remember that after I die. However, hopefully my legacy will be that I raised two amazing human beings. Two people who came out right because of hard work by myself and their Father.
    My marriage is happier than ever, I’m happy to have quit my job and just be a mom right now. I could care less if someone thinks I am less than them because I don’t have a career right now, just as you don’t feel less because you have a career, but no kids.
    I will say one thing more-my Aunt has no children (as do many of my friends) and after 35 years of marriage at 56, her husband just dropped dead of a massive heart attack. She is so alone right now, kids really would help her right now. She has nothing and I am so sad for her. Her career isn’t keeping her loved or warm at night. Or giving her comfort. :(

  27. jc126 says:

    Blergh – maybe you were small and petty before you had children, but that doesn’t mean everyone who doesn’t have children, won’t have kids, or doesn’t have them yet is that way.

    So, Goopie, you haven’t accomplished anything til you’ve had kids and your life has no real meaning? That makes me think of a doctor I knew, a woman without children, who became an MD and rose to being head of an ER, one of the few in her part of the state. She died in her 60s of cancer after serving the community for decades. Too bad she didn’t accomplish anything, and that her life had no real meaning, huh?

  28. NYC_girl says:

    @Tiffany, instead of saying your aunt has “nothing,” which I find very hurtful, you could give her some extra love and support? Having kids does not mean they’re going to be there for you.

    This is such a loaded topic. I’m 42, single, living in NYC (NOT easy) … perhaps I won’t be having children (maybe I can adopt) but for ANYONE to say that only children can give my life “true meaning” is a load of crap. I remember I was watching an interview with Hellen Mirren a while ago and she was asked if she ever regretted not having children, and she answered, “NO. My life wouldn’t be what is today if I had (or something similar).”

    Would I have liked to have gotten married, had 1 or 2 kids, and travel down that road? Sure. Alternately, I have had great jobs in a crazy city and own a home. I think many of us have to step back and think about what we genuinely want, and what we THINK we want. Women are so strong and smart, whether they’re mothers or single, or single mothers, or not mothers. I don’t regret anything I’ve done.

    Enough ranting. More Gosling please.

  29. mln76 says:

    I worked with seniors about 10 years ago. I have to say sadly that having kids is no guarantee that you will or won’t die alone. Some kids are really devoted and some kids couldn’t care less move across the country and call once a month. Some childless women have a network of family and friends that are devoted to them sometimes without blood ties.

  30. lush33 says:

    @ Original Tiffany..While I feel sorry for your Aunt’s loss who is to say that if she had children she would feel less grief or less alone, I supposed that might depend on whether her children, who I assume would be grown, lived close by, were not weighed down with children and careers of their own and were sensitive enough to think of their mothers grief ahead of their own.

  31. danielle says:

    I think she looks very nice in the orange dress. But the motherhood comments are obnoxious. And, sad to say, I know many mothers who love their children SO much – but miss their before children lives. It’s not easy.

  32. Original Tiffany says:

    Why yes, I flew from Toronto to CA last week to be with her all week. Our family has rallied around her, but those were HER words.
    We have a close family that all live in the same 60 mile radius, except for this tour I am on for a few years. I knew that she would be deep in mourning, and she and my Uncle were extremely bonded. I’d feel pretty damned alone if I were her as well even though we are taking turns sleeping there, visiting, etc. I do think if she had her own kids it would be easier to get through this time, as they tend to be a comfort when their Father dies…Lush, WTF kid doesn’t support their Mother when Dad suddenly dies?
    Anyway, yes we are all supporting her, yes those were her words, and I do not think her life has no meaning because she doesn’t have kids.
    As I said, many of my dearest friends don’t have kids and I totally support them. You do what makes you happy in your own life.

  33. Kimbob says:

    I REALLY APPRECIATE what has been said thus far…in this write-up & the bloggers. I’m not a mother, either. Doubt that will happen. Be that as is may….I’m still a “Mom” to some kitty-kats.

    I have a friend that had a child about 13 years ago. I was a supportive friend, threw her a baby shower, presents…all that. After she had the baby, all she could do was tell me how me & my husband were missing out on such a ‘rewarding experience.’ Glad I didn’t listen to her. She went back to drinking and doing drugs (which was her life a few years prior to “the baby thing” & marriage). Her husband divorced her, remarried, she couldn’t take in a sober breath, LOST PARENTAL RIGHTS TO HER CHILD (as you know motherhood IS TAXING & is not for every woman). I’m happy to report my friend is back in recovery and doing fine….but IS worse for the wear.

    I’m convinced w/out a doubt that the “motherhood experience” was NOT for her. She relapsed when her child was in the “terrible twos.”

    It really irks me when sancitmonious mothers give me that schtick. It wasn’t for me, and I KNEW it! Thank God I wasn’t too terribly impressionable & got knocked up because she glorified it.

    And the kicker? Her and her husband were in their thirties when they married. When they married they both decided TO NOT HAVE CHILDREN. My friend decided she wanted them later & stopped taking her pills & NEVER told her husband the truth about that. Now he is the SOLE PROVIDER for their child. He’s a good father, but this was all kinds of wrong.

  34. mln76 says:

    @Original Tiffany first off it sounds like your aunt is depressed (understandably so)and in a place where she can’t see the support system she does have. Also like I said in my earlier comment there are many times when children don’t or simply can’t comfort their parents due to children, financial and family issues or plain old insensitivity it’s much more common than you think. So of course if she had a supportive child she might be better off or she might not.

  35. It is ME!! says:

    So, let me get this straight. Those female soldiers and Marines who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan and did not have children have led meaningless lives? I guess dying for the soldier or Marine next to you means nothing.

    F^&k off, Goop. Your rantings sound like a woman who knows her marriage is over, and you are grasping at straws….

  36. jc126 says:

    I have also worked with seniors, and can attest that having kids does NOT mean they will visit you in the nursing home. There are no guarantees in life. None.

  37. Elle says:

    I do wonder what is that for kind of marriage? As soon as Martin fulls in love with someone, he will be off the hook.

  38. Denise says:

    Paltrowski is such a freaking annoying ‘try hard’; she turns a simple congratulations into a thesis on how much motherhood has done for her. Interesting that she has these insights now that she has a non-existent career and an absent husband. I guess motherhood is what keeps her warm at night. Next time Goop, just say congrats, then STFU. No wonder she and Dame Madge are no longer friends….their could only be room for one of those galaxy egos. Argghhhh..

  39. amanda says:

    First off, I’m not a mother- yet. I do want kids. I’m certain that motherhood will be life-changing, etc. But, you know, billions of women in the history of humanity on this planet have successfully given birth to and raised children. It is NOT that big a deal. You were not the first to have a kid, not by a long shot, and you won’t be the last by a long shot either. So get over it. When billions upon billions of people have managed to do it, it sort of ceases to be that big a miracle, ok? And quite a few of those billions managed to do it without epidurals and birthing centers and day care and B.O.B. strollers. This holier-than-thou attitude that mothers have…well, I hope I don’t come down with it after I squeeze one out. Maybe what Dame Goop is saying is true for her, and I don’t doubt it, since she’s a vapid a-hole. And I’m sure it’s true for many, many mothers that they became “fulfilled” by having a kid. But, you know what? That’s YOUR business, and you can keep it to yourself. It makes women who either can’t, or opt not to have children feel like A. You’re a dick and B. They have to defend their decision to be a full-fledged woman without the assistance of prop of motherhood. You can still be fulfilled without having children, and it’s not nice or fair for all you HOLY mothers to say otherwise. I’m with you, Kaiser, and hopefully my brain won’t turn to holier-than-thou mush after I have a kid…and I’ll still be with you.

  40. Embee says:

    Love the orange dress and LOVE LOVE LOVE the houndstooth coat. That is one of my all-time favorite prints (I’m having my dining room chairs re-upholstered in it now – squee!)

    As for her sentiments on motherhood, I believe that for many people (and it is true for Goop) the advent of children is the first occasion where they had to truly dig deep and find their personal resources. When this is the case, it appears that parenthood is the panacea and the meaning of life. Other people reach that level of fulfillment through their personal relationships, creative endeavors, athletics, etc.

    I’m a mom, and my daughter is my very favorite person on the planet, by a mile. I’d kill, live and die for her. But being a mother is not the happiest thing nor has it given my life “real” meaning. My life had real meaning before.

    Furthermore, I see myself as “mothering” (as in performing the function of a mother) more than a “mother” (as in identifiying myself by that one role that I play).

  41. Happy21 says:

    My life doesn’t have meaning because I didn’t procreate? Shut the eff up GOOPY!

  42. SLM says:

    At the gym, seeing this on E, I knew this would end up as a hot topic here.

    I’m no celeb defender (nor flamer) but I keep rereading to see where Goop is talking about anyone but herself. @Summer wrote “the eagerness of the pro-mother brigade to tell childless women their lives are pointless without kids”. I didn’t read that in her comments. And I don’t think *anyone* here is saying that.

    But if you are a mom – and I wasn’t until last fall, at 38 yrs old – you understand what she is saying. It’s like your neural wiring has been reworked and you see other very meaningful accomplishments that you’ve achieved differently. Your wiring now informs you that your priorities are different – care for this kid.

    Childless women (again, which I was for a very long time) haven’t undergone that feeling of rewiring – which does not make them any less accomplished or fulfilled or any such thing. I would never say to someone “you have to have a baby to be fulfilled”, just I don’t believe I need to have a big family like my sister does. But this thing that happens when you have a baby is transformational – call it hormonal or emotional or spiritual. You are just going to see things differently – and I think Gwyneth was just expressing the transformation of perspective she experienced.

  43. Mitch Buchanan Rocks says:

    Addie I’m not sure if Pekinese is a good breed but a friend has a chihuahua/terrier mix and such a sweet and smart dog. Now I love my cat, but I’d love one day to have a dog, that would be very fulfilling.

  44. jover says:

    Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, move aside – the Goopster is philosophizing yet again – or should we say the Goopster is doing more verbal pooping.

  45. Mitch Buchanan Rocks says:

    Also has anyone forgotten that there are 7 billion people, many of them hungry children, on the planet so the ladies who are in a position to choose to not have children are helping to nurture planet earth by not contributing to over population.

    Many ladies in africa and india don’t have the choices to have children or not because birth control is not readily available and dogmatic religion is screwing things up for their lives and many don’t even get education and career choices.

    I’m sure goopy, by her wealth, uses a fair share of resources from this earth so it is easy for her to be so sanctimonius about motherhood. I’d like to see an episode of goop where she does a jo frost and deals with some tantrumming children.

  46. Jilliterate says:

    Ugh. This bitch. I am so sick of these vapid, shallow celebrities who live the most hollow lives in existence saying that forgetting to use birthcontrol is going to give my life “meaning.” Fun fact: There are plenty of kids in foster care who apparently failed to give their parents “meaning.” I think I’ll continue to happily live my life without meaning, rather than ruining my own life and some child’s.

  47. Jilliterate says:

    Oh, and folks: a lot of us prefer to be called “childfree,” not “childless.” “Childless” makes us sound defective and like we’re suffering. We’re not.

  48. bluhare says:

    No offense people, but having children is a biological process, and we are hard wired to want it so as to ensure the continuity of the species. No more, no less.

  49. Nanea says:

    If being a mother is such a blessing, how come there are so many mothers who abuse their kids?

    Not necessarily by bodily harming them, but by causing them ever-lasting mental anguish by yelling, screaming, nagging, and by neglecting them. This is something that appears frequently among the well-off, educated upper class as well.

  50. tsktsk says:

    @Amanda…I so agree with you. I don’t know for sure if I will have kids but if I have them, I really hope I don’t turn into one of those insufferable, obnoxious women like Goop. She has no life or identity outside of being a mom–it is really all she has. And, when they grow up and make a life of their own, she will be in bad shape. Children should be the main focus in your life but you need a life outside of being a mom. And, furthermore, children aren’t for everybody. Not all women need the motherhood prop(love this, amanda) to be fulfilled and happy.

  51. jc126 says:

    Jilliterate and Nanea – great points. So much for motherhood being transformative for everyone.

    Besides senior care, I have also worked some with kids in a mental health unit, and believe me, 99.9% of the parents should’ve been in prison for what they did, including and especially the moms. Bad moms were more common than bad dads, in fact.

  52. Samgirl says:

    @Nanea-Some people aren’t cut out to be mothers. It’s just a cold, hard fact. A little backgroud info-I am adopted. When my biological mother was pregnant with me, and then with my brother just a couple of months after my birth, she was incredibly happy. Couldn’t wait to be a mom. But, the stresses, the hard work, all of that-it got to her. She’s Bi-Polar, and that, coupled along with a 1 year old and a newbie, she couldn’t handle it. Both of us were abused. Physcially, emotionally, and sexually. We were left by our own, living in dumpsters and underneath trailers while she went to get loaded (heroin was her drug of choice). She started out with good intentions, and it was shot to hell. I’m assuming you don’t have children? “If being a mother is such a blessing, how come there are so many mothers who abuse their kids?” That may be the ugliest question/statement made on this board. To those people that are lucky enough to have a good, healthy relationship with motherhood, being a mom is the best thing in the world. Maybe getting knocked up by a guy I’d only known for a couple of months at the age of 20 wasn’t ideal, but I wouldn’t trade my blonde haired, blue eyed, angelfaced little boy for the world. I am so proud to be his mommy, and so happy to be giving him a little brother or sister come 2012. Being a mother has changed my life-for the better. I am SO lucky to be able to say that, because, as you so quite rudely pointed out, not everyone is lucky enough to have that.

  53. tsktsk says:

    Goop didn’t say Motherhood gives HER life meaning she said, ‘YOUR.’ Which indicates she is not talking about herself but everybody. Stop trying to defend her when her words are right their in black and white for us all to see. If anybody’s life was meaningless before kids, good for you. Glad you found a purpose in life. But, my life is fulfilled already and adding a child would be an addition, not a completion.

  54. xxodettexx says:

    i am joining the “NOT-anti-mom but Anti-GENERALIZING-moms chorus!” i mean for f*cks sake, i am 30 [in no way done living my life] but i am happily fulfilled as a single mom to an avalanche of fur babies over the years; i love my nieces but man is it nice to give them back to their parents at the end of weekends where i get them… i mean, great if your a mom and feel its your biggest accomplishment, but please leave me out of your generalizations on what YOU ASSume a “real life” is…

  55. Chereth Cutestory says:

    “I just get so tired and sad with women telling me that motherhood is the best, that your life only starts when you’re a mother, that I will never know how great it is, implying that women without children are shells of women, without real, authentic experiences because they haven’t become moms.”

    Thank you so much for this. It expresses perfectly how I feel.

    Also, with seven BILLION humans on the planet, I’m not feeling a strong urge to add to that number in the name of “completing myself as a person”. I feel pretty complete as it is.

  56. layla says:

    Does having children give your life NEW meaning – yes
    Does having children redefine ones priorities – absolutely
    Is having children fulfilling – no doubt yes.
    Does having children bring a different life perspective – most definitely.

    Is having children the only defining thing that will validate ones existence as a woman – Definitely not.

    I agree with Birdix (#24) – just like mother nature secretes hormones that lessen the remembrance of the pain of child birth, it is in her best interest to the propagation of the species to also program in the “your life is undefined without children” emotion that many mothers have, again to ensure the species continues.

  57. Piko says:

    First time poster long time luker.

    It’s comments like this that hurt me. I cannot have children, but would love to. I spend alot of time feeling inadequete to women that do have children and feel a profound sadness that i will never know what it is like to parent a child.

    On a positive note if i had a child i most certainly could not have afforded to purchase my lovely new Louis Vuitton handbag! I guess i will have to baby that for the next 20 years because i won’t be making another purchase like that anytime in the near future!! LOL

  58. Melissa says:

    I’m stayin’ outta this one. :-)

  59. anon33 says:

    When I was a kid, I NEVER-and this is 100% true-babysat, played with dolls, played house, played mommy, or anything of that nature. I had matchbox cars and He-man toys, played chef, dancer, or business woman, and my parents allowed me to be as tomboy-ish as I wanted growing up. I have never once in my life felt the urge to have a child. When my friends started having babies, nothing changed for me. I just don’t seem to have that mythical biological clock that people seem to think affects all women. That has never been my experience. I don’t have that “hard wiring.”

    I think that is part of the problem. For women who ONLY have the experience of wanting a child, it’s hard to understand how some women, like me, have not had that feeling, and never will. But that doesn’t give those people the right to say that my choices are somehow flawed, and that I really just don’t know myself or what I want until I undergo a biological process, any more than it gives me the right to say it about them. Frankly, it’s insulting, just as it would be if I derisively said to a mother “oh, you’re just a breeder.” To each her own and all that.

    I agree with everyone who has said, if you have a kid and that makes you happy, great! If you don’t, and you’re happy, also great!

  60. peacewe says:

    I am just glad that Gwyneth doesn’t read the comments on websites like these. She knows who she is, and doesn’t have to prove herself, her marriage, or what kind of mother she is to no one. She lives her life and gossip sites follow. I don’t know how Kaiser can Hate someone she doesn’t know personally. These sites are like school bullies for adults.

  61. Moi says:

    I would have been so annoyed by this comment until I had my baby boy a few months ago. Now, I understand exactly what she is saying. Motherhood is the most amazing, and yes, meaningful thing I could ever imagine.

    I was very on the fence about having children, and thought I would have been perfectly happy being child free. I am SO grateful that the universe made the decision for me – I cannot imagine life without him and it terrifies me to think I might have missed out on this experience.

  62. Cleo says:

    I have a dream … maybe it’s shallower than MLK’s dream as sung by Common and Will I Am but here it is:

    that GP is super tall and skinny and narrow dressed in the most beautiful and stylish and eclectic outfits that are very hard to pull off and she just wanders around Germany with her long blonde hair flowing shouting, “Look at me, Haters, look at me!”

  63. Cleo says:

    And all her hot clothes were gifts!

  64. Moi says:

    Piko, I just wanted to give you virtual hugs – it makes me sad to hear that you’re feeling the way you do. Enjoy your new bag – and don’t give up your dream of being a parent.

  65. B says:

    I’m so tired of hearing crap like this from people. If motherhood gave YOUR life real meaning, then good for you. Honestly. However, your experience does not go for everyone else’s, and you CANNOT attempt to speak for everyone else. Lots of women (and men) live very fulfilling lives without children. I know that’s very hard for a lot of you self-absorbed moms and dads to understand, but it’s true. There are a lot of options in life and lots of paths to take, and–gasp–for some people, some of those paths don’t include children.

    Yes, we childless people will rant because we have to put up with this kind of crap on a daily basis. I’m no less of a person or a woman because I have no interest in having children. You’re no better than me either. Contrary to popular belief, motherhood doesn’t automatically make a woman “good”–there are LOTS of bad mothers.

    Just do what you want. Let me do what I want (and not have kids) and leave me alone and quit insulting me and telling me that my life is going to be empty and unfulfilled. It’s incredibly condescending.

  66. Original Tiffany says:

    I guess everyone is pretty inflamed over what I think is a crazy thing to get so worked up over.
    I had a great, fun life with meaning and a great career before and after my kids. I lived almost 30 years without kids and 13 with.
    Most of the women on tour with me don’t have kids. My best friend evah who is babysitting my horsies while I “‘live the dream” is no-kids by choice.(Actually my other great friend is no kids.) I completely get and understand if you do or don’t want to have kids. It makes you no more or less than anyone else. You can achieve great lives and careers both with and without kids, I kept my career until my kids were 11 and 9.
    I just think the point of women with kids is that is DOES force you to change your life, you have signed away your previous life. Period. Your life CHANGES. Most women are fulfilled by this process and it it becomes a part of who you are and what you do. Some are not, and can’t cope with it.
    What I think is my most important thing is that you raise good human beings, that you parent responsibly and lovingly, and hopefully it lines up and you get good people. The kind who do support their Mom in a tragic or everyday situation. I love my kids, I adore who they are, that’s an accomplishment as important as any other in the world. I did not say most important, just as important. So hey, if you have kids, do it well and good for you. If you don’t, have a productive amazing life too. It’s available to ALL women.
    I happen to come from a really close knit Italian family and so does my husband. As a rule, we kind of rally the troops and most of the kids and grandkids, cousins, etc. are there for each other. See each other a lot, but that’s my life experience.
    Thank God we are all unique and different and not cookie cutter. Thank God for women who Do want to be great moms, thanks for all the women who are doctors, lawyers, cooks, maids, all of us. We are all equally important.
    /Rant over. :) /

  67. Sue says:

    It seems like almost every actress who is a mom has said similar things to this. I’d guess actresses are more of the self interested variety to begin with. That ambitious type personality maybe needs a baby to bust them out of their “me” shell. And that helps them see, really, the beauty of connection with another person who needs you in this really profound way. If you never had that I can see what they mean. BUt people need each other in other profound ways that go beyond motherhood. It’s just most of those other ways are under tragic conditions. LIke going thru war, extreme oppression, extreme poverty, or caring for someone with an extreme disability or illness …
    I do think alot of people, especially in rich countries like the US, really would remain selfish (without knowing it) if they never had kids. Because they never had to share or think of others’ needs as a rule. In good times and safe places, your interdependency on others isn’t in your awareness. I helped raise(8) younger siblings so can’t really relate to women who say it though. My life and time wasn’t mine as a kid or teen because I was always extremely needed. Life wasn’t about “me”…I guess that WOULD get boring or dull after awhile…? Like after 30 years of that that would probably get stale. Though my siblings were “just” my sisters and brothers- I still knew what I was doing was invaluable. I didn’t give them life but I helped nurture many innocent, vulnerable lives for years and years. If I have my own kids, well…I can’t imagine I’d think “oh that was not real life” before. I have too much pride in the time, love, care I gave my family. And I feel like Paltrow and other womens statemenst like that sort of demean women who do not have children. It’s just the mistake of assuming too much about other womens’ lives or personalities. Also in a way I don’t think becoming a mom makes you less selfish because it is still all about YOUR little world when you have kids. You hear, “I have to make a better world for my kids” — YOUR kids. IT wans’t someone else’s kid that made you see you should be a better person or make better world -THAT would seem truly selfless to me.
    BUt that said, I think almost every choice people make, whether aware of it or not, deep down, is totally self- interest based. That’s the nature of being human.

  68. Incredulous says:

    So, did she just insult every male ever then? I’m never going to be a mother, even with operations and stuff.

    On the plus side, I get enough vitamin D.

  69. karena says:

    I have two kids and am pretty happy. I have two friends who are childless by choice and they are pretty happy too. Motherhood isn’t for everybody. Goopy needs to please stop talking.

  70. Sue says:

    @Embee, I so enjoyed your thoughts. :) Thanks for sharing! @amanda- Co-sign.

  71. lucy2 says:

    I get what she’s saying, but as typical with Goop, she needs to make it personal, not just a generalization. It gave her life real meaning, that’s wonderful, but different people want and need different things.

  72. LeeLoo says:

    It’s funny that both times comments like this come from women who are both rumored to have unfaithful husbands. I think Jen and Gwen use their children and motherhood experiences as a shield and smokescreen for the horrible state of their marriage. They use motherhood as a way to make themselves feel superior to single women or women without children because they feel inferior to women who have children AND faithful husbands.

  73. Ally says:

    @Sue, wow that is an amazing thing you did for your siblings. And you’re so right that true selflessness is about caring about people who aren’t related to you, and expecting nothing in return. Notably, conservatives suddenly care about progressive issues when they affect their own family (Dick Cheney not bashing gay people bacuse of his daughter, the Reagans supporting stem cell research because of Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimers.)

    Goopy Fishsticks should be able to formulate the meaning her kids brought to her life without degrading other people’s lives. (@Sue, you’re surely right that narcissistic actors probably have further to travel in discovering what it’s like to care deeply about someone else at long last when it’s their own kid. Also, one might debate how much of that is in fact narcissistic projection — “look what I created, my child is an extension of me.”)

    Mainly, her comment enrages me because it will validate the backwards worldview of people who want to relegate women to purely difficult, menial, domestic work, regardless of their calling, talents or interests — thus leaving the interesting, high status, high reward, high power to men, preserving their privileges and providing free domestic labor. In Germany, women are still shamed as “raven mothers” for “abandoning” their children to return to their professional careers. Meanwhile, no one doubts men’s love of their children when they head back to the office to pursue “other achievements”. Argh.

    Oh, “…and Chris was dressed down in a hoodie, like a jagoff.” I lol’d.

  74. Crystalline says:

    Goop, falling victim to generalizations again. She has a point about how powerfully life-changing motherhood can be, but she has brushed side many with that statement and she really needs to realize that one can be accomplished with or without children and that children don’t have to be your crowning accomplishment.

  75. Madison says:

    IF your a mother it’s the biggest blessing, gives your life meaning, best thing in the world to ever happen to you even better than winning the $50million lottery blah blah blah but if your not a mother there are a lot of things that make life fulfilling, it’s a different experience for everyone.

  76. Layzo says:

    I think it’s dangerous to think motherhood suddenly fills all your life’s expectation and that it’s the end and be all to your existence. Children will eventually will grow up and lead lives of their own.

    I don’t think that is what she is saying here. Being a mother, I understand what she says. When you become a mom, there’s a life before children and after. And that after is truly miraculous and amazing. I feel so blessed with my two.

    However, I don’t think that a woman is less for deciding not to have children or can’t have children. There are other ways of self-fulfillment and happiness.

    I don’t think she was saying that generally for all women but was talking about her life in general. She’s really accomplished a lot, an Oscar winning actress and all but what she is saying is that her Oscar and stardom doesn’t compare to her children.

    Which I think is sweet and agree with. No matter what I do rest of my life, even if it truly fulfills me; I don’t think it will be fulfilling or important as raising my two. That’s what I feel personally for my life.

  77. Leta says:

    I understand both sides of this issue. I’m a mom, but also extremely close to a sister who wants children but hasn’t had (and may never have) the opportunity, a sister who has suffered through infertility, and a sister who has chosen not to have children.

    We’re all accomplished, happy individuals who find great fulfillment in the direction our lives have taken, regardless of whether we’ve had children or not.

    That said, I get what GP says. For those who have children, it is impossible not to get all sentimental and deep about it, because child-rearing is a seriously life-altering, spiritual experience. So every woman out there who has children is going, “For real, Goops, I feel EXACTLY the same … now go have a fancy lunch w/ your fishmonger.” And it is to those women she is speaking out of habit, I’m sure, because mothers tend to gravitate toward other mothers. (Mostly because that’s who we meet as we are, gasp, raising our children.)

    But for those who don’t have children, this quote is demeaning. Just like I, an avid anti-pet person, feels when people go on and on about animals and act as if the whole world must/should love them or they are cruel/stupid/ignorant if they don’t … when in the end, I just don’t like pets, especially in my own house. Just like some woman don’t want to have children.

    So let’s just agree to disagree. Her comment wasn’t worded well to let people know this was her personal experience and not some condemnation of women who don’t or can’t have children. However, there are plenty of people on this site who go off on women with children as if we are all unnaturally obsessed with our children, in bad marriages and totally unfulfilled by the life we have. And those women are as misguided as GOOP.

    The end.

  78. Megan says:

    So how does GOOP reconcile her love for mother earth while encouraging people to over populate the planet?

  79. Ally says:

    @Leta, well put. Congrats on being much calmer than me! Your family sounds very supportive.

  80. Jennifer says:

    @Leta If you read the comments, you’ll see that not *not* “every woman who has children” resonates with and feels “EXACTLY” how Paltrow is saying.
    I mean …just saying.
    Something weird…my mom has almost a dozen kids and yet, has *never* said that her kids are the most fulfilling thing in her life. Whenever she says what she’s proud of about herself it has to do with her artistic triumphs, and career! Or she’ll mention how proud she is of being a survivor and strong now. It’s really interesting. We have these type talks alot.
    Never once in my life has she said it’s been “being a mother”. It’s really interesting to me, realizing that! I mean she loves me, I’ve never had a single doubt of that. BUT ….she is sooo not like the kind of women who say this type thing. And i think I really like that about my mom. I have a friend who says about her son “he’s the best thing i’ve ever done” and it seems weirdly possessive and heavy to me. And I just realized it’s because my mom is so not like that, that’s not my example. I think I like it, because it doesn’t put anything on me. I dont have to keep fulfilling my mom because i never did fulfill her. She’s just my mom. I love her, she loves me. But she fulfills herself in other ways…she’s very creative, an artist. I think the type thing Goop is saying is what younger moms say. If you speak with older women,like 50s plus…it is interesting. I have a friend 58 who admitted she often wonders if she’d have her kids again …she loves them but one in particular has caused her nothing but grief – and the other two are totally absorbed in their own lives. I think older women say more interesting things about motherhood, generally, than younger women. I think older women say more interesting things, period. So …I’ll stop talking now. Kids can bring alot of heartache and grief. On the mother herself and even the world at large. I think when you’re a young mother you can afford to be more idealistic and “fulfilled” in your motherhood because your kids are probably all still sweet and love you. Hopefully they always will but I think having kids is a crapshoot. BUt, I still want kids one day.

  81. UKHels says:

    ahh Gwynnie, the gift that keeps on giving!

  82. lush33 says:

    @ Amanda couldn’t agree more. I think this attitude of I’m a miracle because I am a mother prevails with those who are secretly mourning what could have been if it weren’t for their children…not saying they don’t love them or wish they hadn’t had them. @ Tiffany just because you have children doesn’t mean that they are going to have a close relationship with you later in life no matter how great of a parent you are. That being said not all moms and dads are great parents either.

  83. laura says:

    I never wanted kids then I unexpectedly became pregnant at age 40….my daughter has changed my world for the better; she is the love of my life….But I completely agree w/ Kaiser. Women’s lives can be just as fullfiling and meaningful without children..Jennifer Garner is absolutly wrong – having a chld is not ‘a woman’s greatest yearning’ or whatever crap she said. That is SUCH a stereotype!

    Anyway, Goop and her wanker husband are both so gross looking, imagining how they procreated makes me throw up a little in my mouth…..

  84. Kelly says:

    What an obnoxious, offensive comment. Needless to say, I disagree with her completely in her generalization. However, if having kids is what gave her life real meaning then she should be a stay at home mom. She would be most happy and so would most of the people on this board. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

    Additionally, someone had mentioned they were a director of something on this board and no one will remember that when she is gone. I disagree with that sentiment completely. I think if someone has talent and smarts in a certain field they should use it and if you do you job well, use your talents, etc. people will remember you for it. You don’t just create a legacy for yourself by having children.

  85. Ruffian9 says:

    Woo hoo! I’m never going to have real meaning in my life! yippee!

    Thanks for helping me see the light, Gwynnie!

  86. Jayna says:

    @Min76. Bingo. You can’t imagine the children that aren’t around for their parents as they age. I witnessed it with my widowed father by my oldest brother. It was disgusting. I have co-workers that aren’t close to their parents at all for differing reasons.

    When my mom was in the last two months of terminal cancer, my sister and I had it out with the oncologist’s office over med mixup. He told us that although he felt his office didn’t screw up that he admired us for our diligence over her care and said it’s sad but many adult children are selfish and aren’t there for their parents during a grueling illness.

  87. Samara says:

    God I wish she would go away. What a strange married couple to not be photographed together, what gives? Why doesn’t her Mum (who seems nice) tell Gwynnie to shut the fuck up with her goopness and stop lecturing us poor folk with her millionaire theories on life…

  88. LeeLoo says:

    @Jayna I’m not super super close to my parents. I live several states from my family. I’m not there for my parents because they have both made it clear that they will be fine and it’s more important to them that I have my own life. I come from a family of quiet people who are not overly affectionate and believe in self-sufficency. I know my parents love me and they know I love them, we just don’t have to be around each other to prove it. At the same time, I would drop everything if my parents became ill or asked me for assistance. But chances are they would never ask and I would get yelled at for trying to “help” with a personal matter.

    People fall out with their families for different reasons. My s/o has no relationship with his mother because she verbally abused him for years and has a narcissistic personality. He’s made it clear she will get no financial help and even went so far as to change his phone number. He took that hardline because he knows she will not change and he refuses to allow his emotions to be manipulated by her his siblings wondered why it took him so long. I don’t think it’s fair to judge people who choose not to have a realtionship with their parents. A lot of times they do it to protect themselves emotionally or have valid reasons. However, like in my s/o’s case I think it’s important to exhaust all options before cutting off a parent.

  89. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    ‘They fuck you up, your mum and dad, they don’t mean to, but they do.’

  90. Becky says:

    I’m beyond tired of Goop. Her life is so vastly different from the great majority of people but yet she feels as though she can make these grand pronouncements. If I were in her situation, I’d have children, too…money is obviously not an issue nor is child care. It’s not so easy for those of us living in the real world.

    Also, while I don’t doubt that she loves her children and that having them has been life changing, I highly doubt that she feels that winning an Acadamy Award was “nothing.” Come on! If she really feels that way, why is she so intent on staying in the public eye? She seems to spend alot of time doing interviews and self-promoting.

  91. lu says:

    These stars, and all women in fact, should only talk about themselves and how children have changed their lives.

    They cannot speak for all women.

  92. Isa says:

    I love the orange dress. Love it.
    It would look so much better on me though.

    As for this debate…it’s all been said before.

  93. Jayna says:

    @Leelo, i don’t think I judged when I said I have co-workers who don’t have relationships with their parents. I said for differing reasons they didn’t. Most of them have difficult mothers. I understand their decisions. Only one is someone who cuts off her parents for not paying for what she wants. Shallow person.

    The whole point of my post was agreeing with a poster who responded to the poster who said she felt sorry for her aunt losing her husband and having no children.

    My sister and I lived an hour away from my parents with families, so never in every aspect of my parents lives. They had their life. But we were a close family. They needed us when my mom developed cancer because it was in her brain and because my father was elderly and frightened. We sacrificed a lot during that period to help as much as we could, but it was an honor. My brother who lived close by was worthless and after mom died never worried about dad who was falling apart and rarely
    checked on him. He died a year later. So much for a caring son who my parents sacrificed for. He broke my father’s heart.

  94. Lucy says:

    I think the change (emotional, hormonal) after having babies is so that women don’t eat/kill their newborns.

    That was a joke, in reference to species that do this…


    I don’t have it in me to argue.

  95. Addie says:

    Glad that so much has been covered on this thread.

    Giving birth does not seem in itself an achievement. Animals, serial killers and other worst of the worst are able to.
    It’s the raising that counts.

  96. Jilli says:

    Good for all the moms out there. I don’t have children and don’t want any. Motherhood is not for me. However, I know that my life has meaning so Paltrow needs to keep her comments within the parameters of her own sheltered, insignificant existence. Actors! Sheesh!

  97. original kate says:

    i guess someone should tell that to rosa parks, joan of arc, florence nightingale, stevie knicks, virginia woolf, condoleeza rice, katherine hepburn, jacqueline du pre, gloria steinham, diane sawyer, eudora welty, elizabeth I, mother teresa, edith wharton, betty white, frida kahlo, and of course, oprah.

    oh, and the millions of women around the world who are living full, happy, meaningful lives without children, including me.

    if motherhood is the be-all, end-all of making one happy and fulfilled then why is goop trying like mad to have ten different careers and not just living her “meangingful” life filling sippy cups with juice, doing laundry, picking up toys, and carting the kids to & from school? shut up, goop.

  98. LeeLoo says:

    @Jayna I’m really sorry that happened, it’s beyond sad that your brother was that way, especially living close by. I can relate to that story as well. The most important thing is that you were there for your mom in the end and hopefully for your father too. The fact your brother “couldn’t be bothered” is sickening.

  99. kazoo says:

    i harshly judge anyone who makes statements like this. and i also don’t believe them. i think they miss their former lives but are overacting to compensate for that “selfish” feeling.

  100. nooooooo... says:

    I hesitate to even comment because I know I’m in the minority among mothers. My personal experience of parenthood did not match the rosy picture I’d had. And I knew there would be negative stuff; I even romanticized that…ah, the sleepless nights as a new parent! Let me just say that if I’d had any idea I could still be getting up 1-3 times a night with my child when she is now 4 years old, I might never have had a child. (Sleep deprivation should never be romanticized; it’s horrifying.) Which is not to say I don’t love my daughter; I do. But the “spiritual rewards” that someone mentioned are, for me personally, hard to come by. Not everyone feels an incredible sense of satisfaction in parenting.

    None of this is to discourage women from having kids. The fact is, you can’t know what it will be like until you do it. I just feel very lonely that most women find it so amazing. Perhaps when my daughter’s in school and I have more of the free time I crave for my own interests, or if she ever sleeps better, I’ll describe it as such. Until then, I do the best I can – tell her I love her, accept her as she is, and try not to yell when she wakes at 12, 1, and 3 a.m. (For the record, I also know she’s unusual. And she does sleep all night…if I’m with her.)

    But my experience aside, everyone should read this article:

    It’s a sometimes brutal look at the joys, or lack thereof, of parenting, and a thoughtful analysis of what actually constitutes happiness. There are many great quotes in this article, among them: “Loving one’s children and loving the act of parenting are not the same thing.”

    The decision to have children can only be intellectualized so much. Either you do it, or you don’t. But it would be extremely nice if well-meaning celebrities with the disposable income for nannies/masseuses/chefs/whatever would stop spouting about the wonders of parenthood. Unless Gwyneth wants to come babysit for me after I’ve only gotten five hours of sleep.

    (And before anyone jumps all over me – anonymous venues like this are for venting. I love my daughter and will never let her feel unloved or unwanted. But when Kaiser says how tired she is of women saying how miraculous motherhood is, I just want to say that as someone who’s done it, not all of us have had that experience, and I would fully support any woman’s decision to not have children.)

  101. original kate says:

    @ noooooo: very well stated – thank you for your honesty.

    i have lots of friends with kids, and a few of them have admitted to me that even though they love their kids had they known what it would be they would not have had them; it isn’t that unusual.

    i think it is sad that mothers play this “mompetition” with each other trying to make other mothers feel bad about their parenting skills. what’s up with that?

  102. LAK says:

    Samgirl @ 54; Firstly, please accept all decent people’s apologies and regret for what you went through. However, nanae has a valid point. Here is my personal experience. My mother never wanted Kids. Not because she wa a drg addict or couldn’t work or was incapable in any way. She simply wasn’t maternal. Never had fur babies. However, she fell in love, and he wanted babies. So my brother and i were born. My father took over most of our care. My mother mostly ignored us. Eventually, the marriage fell apart. She left us with him. Over the years she would visit him, but was very clear that she was visiting him NOT us. As an adult, and mainly because of culture pressure, we maintain a relationship. HOwever, i once asked her if she had any regrets about her life, and she said having us was the biggest regret because she wasn’t maternal and if she hadn’t been weak, she would never have given into the presuure to have us. Now, i don’t judge my mother for what she said, even if it hurts> she was/is being honest and i thank god that she had the foresight to have children with a loving man who both wanted them, and took very good care of us.

  103. Anon says:

    She has to be one self-absorbed twit to state that her kids gave her a better perspective on life. As if God granted her children because He likes her more. You having children isn’t about you, sweetie.

    How about volunteering to help others and/or work with children who are less fortunate? There are plenty of organizations that are in need of assistance.

    Her opinions suck and reflect such a shallow life perspective. Dime a dozen fool.

  104. Laura says:

    I completely sgree with you Kaiser.
    Also, it’s not like it’s difficult to get knocked up and have a baby. Raising it, perhaps. But really, any woman can do it, I don’t view it as an ‘achievement’

  105. Wm Yono says:

    Funny enough my favorite Nicole Kidman movie, during her time with The Cruise, was “The Others”. Which I found creepy as hell to watch. But I loved it.

  106. Bambi says:

    shes not telling this to you or any other woman, its just her opinion. and you dont know what she means as long as you dont have kids so its nothing you will desire for. i dont have kids either but i dont find her opinion offending. shes just a mom, moms talk like that, just ask your own! they are in love with their kids and thats great. it better to be in love with your kids then with yourself like some aniston who is loving herself so much that she cant stop flipping her hair in EVERY moviescene!