Gwyneth Paltrow found it "really hard" when she took on the role of stepmother to her husband Brad Falchuk's kids.
The 'Sliding Doors' star is mum to daughter Apple, 19, and son Moses, 17, with her ex Chris Martin and she became stepmum to Brad's children Brody, 17, and Isabella, 19, from a previous relationship when the couple tied the knot in 2018 - and the Goop founder says it was a particularly challenging time for her.
During a question-and-answer session with fans on Instagram, Gwyneth was asked: "Do you find it hard sometimes to be a bonus (step) mom?" and the actress replied: "I did find it really hard at first, there’s no book on this, nobody really tells us what to do ... In fact, all of the existing media around what a stepmother is casts us in this evil, villainous light. It’s kind of like, you’re trying to avoid landmines and you’re going into a family with dynamics. There’s all kinds of fear around loss and what this new person means."
However, Gwyneth explained she did eventually get the hand of it and now has a "great" relationship with her stepkids.
She added: "For myself, the minute I decided and fully embodied the idea that my stepkids were my kids and I loved them just as much and I gave them the same rules and boundaries and wholeheartedly went for it, the easier the whole thing got. And now it’s pretty great."
Gwyneth was married to Coldplay star Chris for 13 years before their split - which they famously dubbed a "conscious uncoupling" - and she went on to find love again with 'Glee' co-creator Brad who she wed in 2018.
Speaking to US Weekly, the actress admitted she believes everyone can have more than one soulmate in their life. She explained: "I do believe in [soulmates]. I mean, I think that there can be more than one. But I do believe that there’s that person that can feel so right. And I think you do know. You know pretty early when it’s the right person."