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Learning From Gwyneth Paltrow’s Working-Mom Backlash

Gwyneth Paltrow inadvertently sparked a global working-mom revolt with her comments about how hard it is to juggle motherhood with the lifestyle of a globe-trotting superstar actress: “I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening,” she told E! “When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,’ and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as—of course there are challenges—but it’s not like being on set.”

It was a Marie Antoinette moment for the Sheryl Sandberg age, but it didn’t have to be. Bill McGowan, a communication coach and the author of Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time, explains how to avoid going viral for the wrong reasons: