Entertainment

Find out who's ranked everyone's fave celeb mom (she's Canadian!)

Flannery Dean takes a look at the list of (surprising) winners — and considers the qualities we find most appealing in a woman with kids.

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Gwyneth Paltrow with her son, Moses; Photo, Ditte Isager.

Kate Gosselin is a favourite celeb mom, really? Recently the pregnancy and parenthood website What to Expect asked readers to name their favourite celebrity moms. Believe it or not, the former Kate Plus Eight star made the list, coming in at number six.

Each choice comes with a snippet from one of the readers that nominated them. In Gosselin’s case, one of her fans cited her intense (read: terrifying) organizational skills and her obsession with feeding her eight children healthy organic food. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking the far less dark and brittle Jessica Alba could easily slide into Gosselin’s place for the same reasons.

While Gosselin is a controversial choice — I still haven’t gotten over this awkward Today show clip where Kate’s maternal instinct appears slightly primal — the remainder of the list is a Who’s Who of celeb moms, but with one or two surprises.

Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Garner, Gwen Stefani, Reese Witherspoon (before of after her disorderly conduct charge?), Kate Hudson, Sarah McLachlan and Kendra Wilkinson all made the list of favourite celebrity moms. Notable absences on the list include Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker and Gwyneth Paltrow.

While opinions vary on who should or shouldn’t be on the list, it may be wise to look at the survey results as a whole rather than pick it apart celeb by celeb. Because when considered as a whole the list acts as a kind of shorthand for the mix of qualities we find most appealing in a woman with kids.

Gosselin is organized and conscientious about nutrition. Sandra Bullock embodies emotional strength, adopting her son in the middle of a terrible cheating scandal. Jennifer Garner just seems really involved and just plain real; she’s never in stilettos and is always with her kids. Ditto Reese Witherspoon (though, fortunately, she kept her kids at home on that fateful night in Atlanta last April). Kate Hudson is a cool hippie-ish mother. Sarah McLachlan is an earnest one, taking time off to raise her little ones, while Gwen Stefani has managed to balance both work and home as an entrepreneur and mother. Kendra Wilkinson is a yummy-mummy type — the reader that nominated her cited her enviable body after baby.

Conscientious, organized, strong, involved, down-to-earth, cool, earnest, professional and attractive — embodying all of these qualities is no easy feat. The good news for mortal moms struggling to get their kids to eat vegetables (organic or not), however, is that no one celeb mother managed to embody all of these qualities either.

Whew. That’s a relief.