You’re right, Gwyneth: My office job beats your Hollywood job.

You can take your job and shove it, Gwyneth. (Getty Images)
You can take your job and shove it, Gwyneth. (Getty Images)

Oh, Gwyneth. You’ve stepped in it again, haven’t you?

The star that people love to hate recently told E! in the midst of all the press about her divorce that she’s taking time off to be with her kids.

She finds it hard to be away from her children as they get older because they notice when she’s not there.

And it’s harder for her, as an actress/mom, than the rest of us parent/working stiffs because “It’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening.” Actors, she said, are told to go to a location for a couple weeks at a time and work 14 hours a day. “I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it’s not like being on set.”

I know what you’re thinking, you people who have a routine job. That’s what most people are raging about right now.

But here’s where I diverge from the people who want to pummel Gwynnie with rotten tomatoes. I think she’s kind of right. I work in an office, but I get to come home in the evening, while the sun is still up. I have dinner with my kids, and no photographers stalking their every move. I can watch over their homework-doing, and read them books. Last night we had a rousing game of Chutes and Ladders on the kitchen floor. I have breakfast with them, and my husband and I take them to school. We go to the zoo, playgrounds, baseball practice and hang out on the front sidewalk as they create obstacle courses and ride their scooters. Even my husband, who works about twice as many hours as I do is home in time most nights to say goodnight to them. It’s true, I don’t have to run off to Wisconsin for weeks at a time. Or do much of anything she does, including the “conscious uncoupling.” (In fact, I’m “Bountifully Coupled.”)

Sure, Paltrow has big chunks of time off between gigs and I wish we all had that chance. Like many workers, I’m tired. I’m frazzled. I feel like I’m running in 20 different directions most of the time, with my brain split between home, work, friends and family. I can never keep my calendar straight or my house clean. But I wouldn’t want her life for many reasons. I get to work, have some fun with it, come home and enjoy my kids. And if I say something stupid, it isn’t hashed and rehashed like it actually matters.

Amy Joyce is the editor and a writer for On Parenting.
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Amy Joyce · March 27