Nobody has the right to tell a mother how much time she should spend with her children, actress Gwyneth Paltrow has said, as she launches a robust defence of working mothers.
She added mothers had “got to let go” of the fear other people are judging them for their choices, saying: “F--- what anybody else says.”
Paltrow, who has two children with her husband, Coldplay singer Chris Martin, has previously written about life as a working mother on her lifestyle website, Goop, where she was criticised by some for her A-list priorities.
Speaking to the December edition of Red magazine, which she guest-edited, she has now said growing older had made her realise” it doesn’t matter what people who don’t know you think”.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “You’re wasting your energy.”
Paltrow, who combines an acting career with her lifestyle brand, which she hopes to turn into a spa, said criticism over her work / life balance did not matter to her.
Speaking of women failing to support one another, she said: “It makes me cross.
“I personally think that the work - life balance for a woman should be exactly what she feels is right for her.
“And nobody else can set her time schedule. And nobody else can tell her how many hours a week she needs to devote to this, that or the other… f--- what anybody else says.
“It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. That’s what we’ve got to let go of. That idea of ‘Oh god, if I don’t show up to this concert, all the other mums are going to think I’m terrible.’ Well, so f------ what.”
She added: “When I’m with my kids, I give them everything I have. And when I’m not, I give whatever I’m doing everything I have. And that’s my work/life balance.
“I’ve made it work for me, but it doesn’t matter what my specific thing is.
“It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It matters what you think of yourself. And what your children think.
“So if anyone is going to ask my advice, I’d say, do what is right for you and don’t give a s--- what anyone else thinks.”
In 2011, an article on Goop about “a day in the life” of Paltrow attracted the ire of readers after referring to “other extremely busy working mothers”, detailing a packed daily schedule without any apparent reference to outside help, and advising ordinary readers to find a "favourite fishmonger" who delivers to save time.
Speaking of criticism about her life, Paltrow has now said she tries not to take it to heart unless it is delivered by close friends or family.
“It’s like, if your partner comes to you – or your best friend – and says, 'Listen, I want to talk about something you did that hurt me, or I think you could improve', sit down and listen to what they have to say,” she said. “But some friend of so-and–sos – it’s like, who gives a s---?
“And for me, obviously, I have it on a very large, global scale. I don’t have it in the village gossip way; but it’s the same thing. That’s why I really don’t read anything. Because if it’s important, it filters down to me."
The December issue of Red, guest edited by Gwyneth Paltrow and her team at goop.com is on sale from November 6. It is also available in digital edition on Apple Newsstand
For exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of Gwyneth’s cover shoot, please go to www.redonline.co.uk/gwyneth