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Gwyneth Paltrow says becoming a stepmom was ‘really rough’

Gwyneth Paltrow red carpet 2023
Pascal Le Segretain / Getty

Gwyneth Paltrow never seems to shy away from discussing her relationships with honesty and candor, and now, she’s opening up about her experience becoming a stepmom to husband Brad Falchuk’s two teenagers. In fact, Paltrow called the journey “really rough” and admits she “just learned to try to just keep shining like the sun and never keeping score.”

Paltrow served as a speaker at the Visionary Women’s International Women’s Day Summit on Wednesday, asking the audience if there were any other stepmothers in the room.

Upon hearing applause, PEOPLE reports that the Goop founder quipped, “Yeah, it’s a b—-, right, guys?” She then shared that she enjoys discussing her relationship with Falchuk’s kids, Isabella, 19, and Brody, 17. Falchuk’s teens are the same ages as the children she shares with her ex-husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, 19-year-old Apple and 17-year-old Moses.

“I really like to talk about this because it’s one of my biggest learnings as a human being,” she said. “And my area of growth personally came from the initial difficult relationship I had with my step kids and now they’re like my kids.”

“The path to here was really rough,” the 51-year-old admitted. “It’s almost like you have to embody the spirit of the sun and just give and not expect anything back.”

“I just learned to try to just keep shining like the sun and never keeping score,” she added.

Paltrow was married to Martin from 2003 to 2016, at which time they famously “consciously uncoupled” with an effort to maintain a close friendship for the sake of their children. She then married Falchuk, a TV writer/producer, in 2018, welcoming her two bonus children into the fold.

In 2023, she admitted to PEOPLE that having a blended family with four teenagers isn’t always easy. “It’s hard, and it’s not intuitive, and nobody tells you how to do it. You just stick with it,” she told the outlet. “Now it’s one of the things that brings me the most happiness in my life.”

Props to her for always keeping it real and letting other parents of blended families know that whatever they’re feeling is normal and totally valid.