“I have two beautiful stepchildren who are the same age as mine,” the Shakespeare in Love star, 48, said during an episode of “The Goop Podcast,” referencing husband Brad Falchuk’s daughter, Isabella, and son, Brody. “When I became a stepmother, when I knew I was going to become a stepmother, I was like, ‘S–t, 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? How do I do this?’”
The Los Angeles native noted that while there have been “challenges,” she has “learned so much about [herself] through the process.”
The couple took the transition slowly for the sake of their teens, the Oscar winner told Jimmy Kimmel in October 2019. “We were just trying to be mindful and give them a little space and not move too quickly,” Paltrow explained at the time. “Less merging originally, but now we’re merged.”
As for Union, 48, the L.A.’s Finest star married Dwyane Wade in August 2014 in Miami and did her best to learn from her own stepmom’s mistakes. (The former professional basketball player, 39, is the father of Zaire, 19, and Zaya, 13, with Siohvaughn Funches and Xavier, 7, with Aja Metoyer. He welcomed Kaavia, now 2, with Union in November 2018.)
The Bring It On star stays “above the fray” while raising her three stepkids, she told Paltrow, which means never speaking negatively about Funches, 39, and Metoyer, 37. “Whoever you are, just be consistent so everyone can get used to who the hell you are really and you’re not putting on an act and then the mask falls off,” the Nebraska native said.
In 2016, Union shared her stepparenting advice with Us Weekly, saying she recommends staying “fair, reasonable and consistent.”
“If you’re going to be a pushover, be a pushover,” the We’re Going to Need More Wine author explained at the time. “If you’re going to be a disciplinarian, be a disciplinarian. But be consistent so that [the kids] can get used to whoever it is that you are.”
The actress called Zaire, Zaya and Xavier “dope kids,” gushing, “I have a lot of proud moments where I’m, like, in tears. They are smart, they are kind and just all-around amazing kids, and I tell them that.”