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Gabrielle Union shares daughter Kaavia James, 2, with Dwyane Wade, who also is dad to Xavier Zechariah, 7, Zaire, 19, and Zaya, 13 

By Ally Mauch
April 03, 2021 04:45 PM
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Gabrielle Union is opening up about some of the challenges of being a parent.

The Bring It On star appeared on Gwyneth Paltrow's The goop Podcast this week and shared that her and husband Dwyane Wade's older kids — daughter Zaya, 13, son Zaire, 19 and Wade's nephew Dahveon Morris, 19 — previously thought she "should not" work given Wade's NBA salary. 

"They had gotten into this stage as pre-teens where they just wanted us to be like other families," the 48-year-old actress said. 

"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 continued. 

Dwayne Wade, Gabrielle Union
Credit: Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic

Union added that she sensed the kids felt "relief" when she and Wade, 39, tied the knot in 2014 after about six years of dating, but they still wanted her to be home.

"They just wanted to be normal, whatever that is," she told 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?' "

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Gabrielle Union, Dwayne Wade
Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Union also said she explained to them her desire to work while still being present for them as a mom. 

"'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 recalled telling 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 added. "And we just move that way."

Union is also mom to Xavier Zechariah, 7, Wade's son from a previous marriage, and 2-year-old daughter Kaavia James, whom the couple welcomed via surrogate in November 2018.