Gabrielle Union's Stepkids Didn't Understand Why She Wanted To Work

by Erica Gerald Mason
Dwyane Wade/Instagram

Gabrielle Union opened up about some of the questions she faced from her kids about being a parent who also happens to be a person

Union guested on Gwyneth Paltrow’s The goop Podcast this week and revealed that her and husband Dwyane Wade’s older kids — daughter Zaya, 13, and son Zaire, 19 from Wade’s previous relationship — used to think that Union “should not” work because of Wade’s more-than-sufficient NBA income, People reports.

The Bring It On star went on to say that the kiddos wondered why she took jobs outside the home as the children figured she “should just stay home” because “Dad is rich.”

“They had gotten into this stage as pre-teens where they just wanted us to be like other families,” said Union.

“They had looked up how much their dad made and they thought that I should not work — I should just be at home like the other moms of their friends because ‘Dad is rich and you should just stay home and we should be a normal family like everyone else,'” she added.

Union told listeners that she believed the kids felt “relief” when she and Wade, 39, married in 2014 after several years of dating, but they still wanted her to be at home full-time with them.

Union’s openness about the conversation about women and work is a relief to women who’ve been asked why they want to work outside of the home. It can be hard to explain your passion to people who have chosen one that differs from your own.

“They just wanted to be normal, whatever that is,” Union shared with Paltrow. “By the time we got married, it was just I think relief for them, which isn’t always an emotion you associate with kids in this situation. And they were like, ‘Ah we’re a normal family! Wait. You’re leaving. And dad’s still rich, so what’s happening here?'”

Union revealed she spoke openly to her children about her career. The actor described to the children her passion for work — promising she could continue to pursue career opportunities while still being available to them as a mum.

“‘Sometimes, women want to work and have a career and just do other things and this is what makes me who I am. It doesn’t mean I love you any less or I don’t want the job or I don’t love being your stepmother,'” she said of her discussion with the kids.

“‘I will do my best to be here for all of the things that you want me to be here [for] while at the same time, making sure that space for mom or dad is there. It is the golden seat of honor, always,’ ” she said. “And we just move that way.”

Union dotes on her family, with her social media feed full of loving snapshots of daily life in the Union-Wade household.

Union is also step-mama to Xavier Zechariah, 7, Wade’s child from a former marriage, and 2-year-old bebe Kaavia James (otherwise called ‘shady baby’ by her mother), whom the pair welcomed via surrogate in November 2018.