Gwyneth Paltrow's Role As A Stepmother Hasn't Been Easy

Gwyneth Paltrow has a knack for making everything look easy. Her "conscious uncoupling" from her husband, Chris Martin, seemed painless, and the co-parenting of their kids, Apple and Moses Martin, appeared effortless. Still, it's not been all plain sailing for Paltrow. She's faced the same challenges as many other women regarding being a stepmother.

Paltrow was cast as "Bonus Mom" after marrying "Glee" co-creator Brad Falchuk in September 2018. Every gushing detail of their big day was posted on her lifestyle website, Goop. Apparently, "the gods complied on GP's wedding day" to produce perfect weather. Guests "dined alfresco" under glittering lights, and Paltrow wore a dress that "defies adjectives." Falchuk and Paltrow's children also took part in the celebration.

Falchuk has two kids from his previous marriage to TV producer Suzanne Bukinik. The couple wed in 2003 and welcomed two children, Brody and Isabella, before splitting in 2013. A year later, Paltrow and Falchuk, who met on the set of "Glee" in 2010, were reportedly caught frolicking during a romantic vacay in Utah. In January 2018, Falchuk and Paltrow announced their engagement on the front cover of Goop. It seemed like a regular fairytale romance, but Falchuk and Paltrow's marriage isn't the most conventional. The actor told InStyle they waited a year to move in together as they wanted "to let everybody [in the family] take it in and let the dust settle." Still, the twelve-month delay didn't make being a stepmom any easier for Paltrow.

The learning curve

The 1970s sitcom "The Brady Bunch" painted a picture of harmony and humor as two families joined together to become one. However, adjusting to life as a blended family can prove more arduous than affable. It's a lesson that Gwyneth Paltrow learned after marrying Brad Falchuk in September 2018. Paltrow was already a mom of two, so she was down with the parenting skills. Still, it's a different ballgame when caring for somebody else's kids.

In an interview with Gabrielle Union for "The Goop Podcast," Paltrow admitted it had been a challenge to learn how to become a stepmom. "I have two beautiful stepchildren who are the same age as mine," Paltrow explained. "When I knew I was going to become a stepmother, I was like, 'S**t, I have no idea how to do this,'" she continued. "There's nothing to read. What do I do? Where do I step in? Where do I not? Like, how do I do this?"

"I did find it really hard at first," Paltrow admitted in an Instagram Q&A. "All of the existing media around what a stepmother is casts us in this evil, villainous light," she continued, "So it's kind of like trying to avoid land mines." Paltrow said the defining moment was when she embraced Falchuk's kids as her own, applying the same rules and boundaries. "Then the easier the whole thing got. And now it's pretty great," she said.

The blending process

Gwyneth Paltrow has no regrets about taking her time to move in with Brad Falchuk because they both wanted to put their teenage kids first. "We were just trying to be mindful and give them a little space. And not move too quickly," Paltrow told Jimmy Kimmel.

Falchuk and Paltrow discussed being stepparents in a "Goop podcast." He raved about her parenting skills, praising Paltrow for being "a spectacular stepmom." Falchuk claimed Paltrow had forged a strong bond with his kids separate from the couple's marriage. "They come to you for advice all the time. They rely on you," he said. Meanwhile, after admitting how much she loves her stepkids, Paltrow revealed she initially struggled with the role of stepmom because of all the negative associations. "I think there's this archetypal evil stepmother and this inference that it's going to be this fraught thing," she explained.

Paltrow said her main regret in the family blending process was spending too much time tip-toeing around issues for fear of doing something wrong. "If someone asked me for advice on it, I would just say, 'From day one, really treat them as your kid,'" Paltrow shared. And she's definitely embraced being a stepmom with open arms now. Paltrow paid tribute to her stepdaughter, Isabella Falchuk, on her 18th birthday. She posted a cute photo of the two hugging on her Instagram story. The pic was captioned, "Happy birthday, @izzyfalchuk. We miss you today and love you."