What Gwyneth Paltrow Plans To Call Herself Instead Of An Empty Nester

Gwyneth Paltrow is many things: an actor, an entrepreneur, a controversial figure, and most importantly, a mother of two. She's also someone who has coined some terms that have made quite a cultural impact. We all remember when she "consciously uncoupled" from her ex-husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, and gave the world a new, gentler, and more hopeful term for divorce. If Paltrow feels that a common term doesn't accurately describe the phase of life she's in, she simply creates a new one. And, frankly, we respect the way she keeps her narrative positive and accurate to her. Well, now the star is entering a new phase of her life, and she's becoming what many folks would call an "empty nester." Paltrow isn't fond of this saying, however, so she's decided to create a new one.

Plenty of folks hit a point in their lives when their kids have grown up and metaphorically flown the nest. When parents find themselves in this position with a childless home, they generally accept the label, "empty nester." However, Paltrow told People, "Empty nest sounds so sad and lonely." And, now that we think about it, we can't help but agree with her. So, what's her preferred term for this common life stage? As far as Paltrow is concerned, she considers herself more of a "free bird" than an empty nester.

Having her kids away from home isn't an easy transition for Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter, Apple Martin. is growing up so fast, and these days, she's the spitting image of her mom. In 2023, as Apple started her sophomore year of college, her younger brother, Moses, embarked on his senior year of high school. Of course, this doesn't just mark the beginning of a new era for her kids; it also opens a new chapter for Paltrow, herself. And, she doesn't think of this upcoming chapter as revolving around their absence. "I'm trying to reframe it so that I can at least try to convince myself there's some kind of a silver lining," Paltrow told People.

This phase of life is difficult for many parents. It's easy to see, though, that transitioning into this new chapter may be particularly tough for Paltrow. The proud mom never misses one of her two kids' birthdays without sharing a sweet tribute and celebratory message on her Instagram account. Per People, she even posted a photo of her with Apple after her freshman year of college with the caption, "Wellness=Happiness=someone coming home from college!" These words prove that having her children around her makes Paltrow feel more like herself. So, it's safe to say that having both of her kids away from home most of the time will require some adjusting for her. Luckily, knowing that she's embarking on her "free bird" era is sure to make this change a bit easier. 

Paltrow is ready for a new chapter

Gwyneth Paltrow turned 51 in 2023, and she tells People that her life has been just as busy as of late with her many business ventures. Still, despite her full, bustling days hard at work on her popular lifestyle brand, Goop, Paltrow's evenings are quite a bit quieter with older children. She likes to spend her downtime with her husband, Brad Falchuk, making dinner to a soundtrack of pop music from France or relaxing while enjoying some good European mystery television. 

As she embarks on this bittersweet phase of her life, there's still plenty to be excited about. "The college process is a full-time job in and of itself," she told Bustle. So, with helping her kids with college applications behind her, she'll have plenty more time to do things she loves. That doesn't mean she's quite ready to retire, though. She says she's "not ready to sell [Goop] yet," adding, "I need a few more years." After that, though, she's open to a well-deserved private life. "I will literally disappear from public life. No one will ever see me again," she says. Clearly, she's got a lot to love about this next phase. As she explained to People, "I believe that life, especially for women, comes in chapters. This is really going to be a new chapter for me." And, who knows just what this exciting next chapter may hold. She's a free bird, after all.