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Celebrity mommy wars: Actresses debate whether movie-making mothers have it worse than other moms

Published: Saturday, May 31 2014 1:45 p.m. MDT

UNHCR goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie, left, and Brad Pitt, second from left in foreground, visit Bosnian Muslim refugee Sabina Karman, second from left in background, and her four children, in the village of Medjedja, near the eastern Bosnian town of Visegrad, 70 kilometers (43 miles) east of of Sarajevo, Monday, April 5, 2010.

Amel Emric, Associated Press

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Emma Thompson, star of "Saving Mr. Banks" and "Nanny McPhee," recently took a year-long vacation from work to be with her family and advised other mothers to do the same, wrote Chris Hastings in a May 24 Daily Mail article.

"You can’t be a great mum and keep working all the time," the British actress said, adding she "taught drama at (her) daughter’s school, cooked meals and had fun" during her acting moratorium.

"I highly recommend others to do the same if they can afford it," she said.

Some working mothers did not appreciate Thompson's advice, Natalie O'Neil at Page Six reported.

"I don't agree with her at all. You can work full-time and be an incredible mom — and give your kids the feeling that you're present and that they are loved," Laura Deutsch, co-founder of the website Mommybites and mother of two, told O'Neil.

"(Thompson) has a lot of money, and that skews her perspective. It’s just so different, the majority of moms don’t have that choice," said Deutsch.

Thompson isn't the only celebrity whose advice has vexed some moms the last few months; Gwyneth Paltrow upset some in March after she told E! News she was taking a break from acting because it's more difficult to be a mom and an actress than a mom with a 9-to-5 job.

"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," Paltrow said.

"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," she said.

But other actresses, such as Angelina Jolie and Busy Phillips (who stars in "Cougar Town"), don't believe stardom makes child-rearing more difficult.

"I have much more support than most people, most women in this world. And I have the financial means to have a home and health care and food," Jolie said, according to Nancy Dillon at The Daily News on May 21.

"I actually feel that women in my position, when we have all at our disposal to help us, shouldn’t complain," Jolie said. "Consider all the people who really struggle and don’t have the financial means, don’t have the support, and many people are single raising children. That’s hard."

And Phillips disagreed with Paltrow, wrote Emily Tess Katz at The Huffington Post. "That's (Paltrow's) reality. That's her truth. It's just not mine," Phillips said.

"As a parent, I have it made," she said. "I'm on a TV show where my hiatus is (my kids') summer, so I'm free to be with them in the summer time. I'm able to afford full-time help because of what I do."

Email: kpolatis@deseretnews.com Twitter: KandraPolatis

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