When I (Deesha) first read that actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced she and her husband Coldplay's Chris Martin were getting a divorce and that she described it as "conscious uncoupling," I rolled my eyes like so many others did. Because given other public statements by Paltrow, it's easy to view her choice of "conscious uncoupling" as an attempt to somehow elevate and distinguish her divorce from all the others. You know, the thoughtless, unconscious uncouplings... In response to Paltrow's statement, I tweeted: "Mere mortals get divorced. Gwyneth Paltrow consciously uncouples."
But I did so aware that conscious uncoupling is an actual thing, not just another example of Paltrow's pretentiousness (which The New Yorker poked fun at in this satirical piece, that I didn't initially realize was satire because it was so spot on!). If you remove Paltrow from the equation, conscious uncoupling describes an approach to divorce that promotes personal growth and self-examination, and discourages blame and fault-finding. Any approach that encourages divorcing parents to de-escalate from conflict with each other and focus on themselves more than the other parent, will ultimately benefit kids through a more peaceful co-parenting partnership. So for that Gwyneth Paltrow deserves thanks for raising awareness of the fact that divorce doesn't have to be acrimonious.
But then she went and said this about working parents... Oh, Gwyneth.