I love a good Gwyneth Paltrow movie! Sliding Doors, Moonlight and Valentino, and Royal Tenenbaums are personal favorites, Shakespeare in Love is a classic and the Iron Man movies bring out my inner comic book nerdiness (which I consider a good thing).
I follow GOOP (www.goop.com) and even though I don’t always agree that being an actor means you have innate, finely honed skills like writing, I don’t really care who Gwyneth collaborates with-I’ll read it.
From the outside, Gwyneth has it all. She’s a beautiful woman, certainly successful in her career, supposedly successful in her marriage and has two cute kids. So it’s not that I wish her any unhappiness in her seemingly perfect life, but it’s always nice to hear the truth. And Gwyneth’s truth is that like many mommies out there, she suffers from postpartum depression.
Just so you don’t think I’m a total jerk, please let me reiterate that I’m not glad to hear that she has problems. I’m just glad that she’s a little more like a typical mom than she appears in 10-page fashion spreads in Vogue or Allure. I mean, seeing her on the cover of a magazine playing GlamorMom is enough to make me reconsider my sweats-and-ponytail-mommy-uniform. But then I remember I’m not dodging the paps and dining at the Ivy, but rather, dodging carpool traffic and dining at the Bagel. The sweats stay on.
Gwyneth sat down with her friend, Amanda de Cadenet on Lifetime’s The Conversations with Amanda de Cadenet, to spill all of her own personal mommy dirt about coming to terms with her postpartum depression. She describes feeling like a zombie and having absolutely no idea why she couldn’t connect with her second child, son Moses.
While part of me feels like she might have had trouble connecting with him because of the name she picked, I do sympathize with mommy who feels like the baby she just carried and, most likely, painfully delivered, hates her.
I had similar feelings with my first.
My little guy was born over a month early and with absolutely no sucking reflex. I tried and tried (and tried and tried and tried) to breastfeed…it was never going to work because of a condition he has, but we didn’t know it at the time, so I just felt like a huge failure.
I mean, all of the books I had read said that you should breastfeed your child immediately following the baby’s delivery. The books, however, did NOT say anything about what to do when the doctors take him away from you for an hour because of little complications. The books also forgot to mention that sometimes babies need more milk than some moms can produce, so supplementing is vital to keeping the baby healthy.
So maybe it was because of heavy editing or just a need for the publishers to keep the baby books upbeat, but I was left to feel like I had lost SuperMom status within the first hour of my kid’s life. It totally sucked (don’t mind the pun). And the sucky feeling last for the first 3 weeks of his life and one day, like many cases of depression, things just didn’t suck that bad anymore. And fortunately, a few days later I realized that giving bottles didn’t mean I couldn’t be a super mom, it just meant that I’d have to carry a lot more crap around with me than I had anticipated.
Fortunately, it also meant that I’d have to purchase a gorgeous, huge purse to lug it all around in. And that, my friends, is what they mean by finding the silver (Prada) lining.