Gwyneth Paltrow’s Conscious Uncoupling is an Inspiration

Written by Emily

Poor Gwyneth Paltrow. She has taken a beating on the internet the last few days as a result of her response in an E! online interview about working moms who aren’t Gwyneth Paltrow. I hope she’s practicing selective unhearing to get through it all. I discovered through all the Gwyn news that she’s going through “conscious uncoupling” formerly known as divorce.


I have to admit that I’m a little inspired by the idea of taking a painful or traumatic experience and renaming it so that it sounds a bit more benign or cooler. Maybe it takes the sting out.


I’m going to give it a try in my own life–not conscious uncoupling, but renaming.



When my kids and I circle each other like sparing partners over things like why they can’t sleep in snow boots or why they have to wear coats in subzero temperatures, I’m going to call it deliberate negotiations instead of arguments or maybe cognizant compromise because I do love alliteration. I think it makes us all sound more intelligent, gifted even. Ok, Gwyn, I like this.


Next up, food. Feeding children is the worst. Correction, feeding my children is the worst. I can’t imagine what it must be like in Paltrow’s house. The opposition to quinoa and chia seeds must be downright nauseating. Just yesterday, my little decided strawberries are no good. Strawberries. Come on. Just when my frustration peaks, I have to remember that my children are just practicing palate refinement or better yet fastidious foraging. I hope it doesn’t send me over the edge.


Sylvie is two, and she’s testing the tantrum waters. While we were shopping for Easter dresses yesterday, she threw her red-faced self on the floor, made guttural noises until she sounded like an animal, and started eating her dress. It was impressive to say the least. But rather than admit she’s tantruming, I’m going to say what she’s doing is sentient erupting. Seriously. My kid is so above tantrums.


And then there’s bedtime, which is essentially Hell on Earth or at the very least this mom’s Purgatory. I hope it feels better when I refer to the 6th glass of water or 4th bedtime story as mindful stalling or their desperate pleas for one more song: subliminal messaging. But I’m skeptical.


While I like the way these new names sound, the result feels pretty much the same. Perhaps if I follow the logic behind conscious uncoupling–that life span has increased too much to expect monogamy to be the norm–I can be comforted by the fact that the inconvenient struggles of parenting will last only a short time in the grand scheme of my life. Before I know it, fastidious foraging and sentient erupting will just be replaced by subconscious beatings (guilt) for not savoring each moment.


There’s no way around it. Parenting is hard.



Categories: Culture, Emily, Family

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12 replies

  1. Fantastic! This cracked me up and reminded me of the saying, “Whatever it takes to get you through the day,” and if that’s creating more refined sayings for life’s annoyances, well then, have at it.

    Great post!

  2. So funny! When I heard “conscious uncoupling” the other day, I immediately thought the goop girl deserved a little good-natured ribbing. This hits the spot—thanks!

  3. My kids are EXPERTS at fastidious foraging. Drives me insane. Great list. I pinned this 🙂

  4. Cognizant compromise. Mindful stalking. Your mind is a scary brilliant place! I don’t pay much attention to celebrities or gossip but it’s been hard to get away from Miss Gwyn lately. She’s been on a roll. :/

  5. BWAH HA HA HA!! I am DYING! I can’t ever unsee “conscious uncoupling” which makes me feel “subdued snark” (rage).-Ashley

  6. Emily, love to read your take on parenting! Now if I could only remember the “new” phrases ( >:) Funny! It’s great that you can write about it and laugh about it – makes it easier to cope!

  7. LMFAO. Sentient eruption is great but fastidious foraging take the cake

  8. LMAO! Hilarious. My daughter had a lot of sentient erupting, and I put her in many deliberate disunions.

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