Gwyneth Paltrow is consciously coparenting.
While Paltrow shares two children—Apple, 19, and Moses, 17—with ex-husband Chris Martin, she's also the stepmom of current husband Brad Falchuk's own kids: Isabella, 19, and Brody, 17. The 50-year-old Goop mogul married the 52-year-old television producer in 2018, and Paltrow recently revealed that it took a minute for her to grow into that role in his kids' lives.
“I did find it really hard at first,” Paltrow shared during a candid Instagram Q+A on August 30, per People. “You know, there’s no book on this; nobody tells us what to do. And, in fact, all of the existing media around what a stepmother is casts us in this evil, villainous light. So it’s kind of like trying to avoid land mines. And then you’re going into a family with dynamics. And there’s all kinds of fear around loss and what does this person mean?”
She continued, “But for myself, the minute I decided, and fully embodied the idea that my stepkids were my kids and I love them just as much and I gave them the same rules and boundaries, and just kind of wholeheartedly went for it, then the easier the whole thing got. And now it’s pretty great.”
Gwyneth Paltrow previously spoke about her relationship with her stepchildren with fellow stepmom Gabrielle Union in March 2021. During an episode of The Goop Podcast, Paltrow told Union that stepparenting was “a really interesting challenge” for her. “I have two beautiful stepchildren, who are the same age as mine,” Paltrow said at the time, per People. “It's funny because 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? Like, how do I do this?’”
She continued, “It's been a really interesting challenge for me and I love them. I've learned so much about myself through the process.”
For her part, Union regularly discusses her close relationship with her 16-year-old stepdaughter Zaya Wade, though she says their bond grew stronger over time. Union married former NBA player Dwyane Wade in 2014, becoming a stepparent to his three children from previous relationships. They officially welcomed their first child together, Kaavia James Union Wade, in 2018.
“I think as a stepmom, it's not my job to push myself into her life or force anything,” Union told People in May 2022. “So time has allowed our bond to grow organically and naturally. Being consistent with each other and being trustworthy with each other also.”
Zaya, who came out as transgender in 2020, echoed Union's sentiment at the time. “Me discovering who I am has definitely deepened our bond and also other people's bonds,” Zaya said in the same interview. “I can be truthful and honest with myself and therefore, truthful and honest with other people. That helps better everyone's connections and relationships with each other. Our relationship has grown so much from the first day I met her to now. It is because time has allowed us to grow together and progressively.”
Originally Appeared on Glamour