Gwen Stefani Opened Up About Just How Grueling It Is To Be A Working Mom In The Arts

Most any Millennial or Gen Xer knows the story of Gwen Stefani like it’s a little fairy tale we learned growing up: the story of a girl (“Just A Girl”) who fell in love with her drummer and then wrote a bunch of completely epic songs about their break-up, propelling them all to fame together — a little band called No Doubt. She then settled down with another international rock star, had three little boys, and launched an incredibly successful solo career.

Her most recent chapter? Finding love in a country singer and moving to a ranch with her children. Oh! And heading to Coachella this spring for a No Doubt reunion for the ages.

The rock star, now 54, sat down with Nylon for a print cover story before heading to her big reunion show, to reflect on her life of music-making, artistic evolution, and being a mom to Kingston, 17, Zuma, 15, and Apollo, 10.

The wide-ranging interview touches on what projects she’s working on now, why it’s been difficult for her to put out new material (her last record, a holiday album, came out in 2017), and how she’s looking back on her life, both on a personal and musical level.

One of her rawest realizations? Just how difficult it has been to balance being a muse with being a mom. And it all started before she even had her oldest child — when she was touring pregnant in support of her first solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

“I was so sick, and it just felt like — ugh,” she told Nylon.

And just weeks after birth, when her record label asked her get to the studio to work with Akon, she was floored.

“I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’” Stefani said. “‘The baby’s 9 weeks old!’”

Still, she went. And got a huge hit — The Sweet Escape — out of it. And it became a pattern in her career to keep going, even when she felt burnout from going full speed ahead with both her career and her family.

She also shares that she thinks everyone in No Doubt was disappointed when she became pregnant with her next son, Zuma, further delaying their music-making.

“I think everyone was disappointed,” she told Nylon. “I don’t think they would say that. No one’s going to be mad you’re having a baby. But while I was busy, they were kind of waiting.”

And babies tend to take a lot of time and energy.

“Things change when you have two babies,” she said. “There was nothing left in me. I had no ideas. I had so much insecurity. I felt like — help!”


And guilt came along with every time she left the house to try and create.

“I would be leaving my family. And if I didn’t come home with a song, I’d be like, ‘Oh my God, I’m such a loser — I didn’t have dinner with my family, and I didn’t write a song,” she said. “I wasted an entire day of my life trying to be in No Doubt again.’”

As she continues to talk, it sounds as if it was borderline traumatic just to get through to the other side.

“I look at it now and think, ‘God, what was I doing trying to please everybody?’ Because really, I should have just been with my family. But we did it, and there are some good songs. It was… Don’t remind me. I don’t want to talk about it,” she said.

And while her boys are much bigger now, and while she’s no longer nursing on a tour bus or changing diapers while writing lyrics, it’s still hard to be a working mom — no matter how much support you have, no matter who your partner is, no matter what.

But it’s all worth is because she says she’s on earth to make music, and music is here to be her comfort, too.

“I told this to Blake the other day: ‘You don’t understand — to be a mom and a wife and then write a record?’ Everybody might be like, ‘Why did it take so long?’ Well, OK, I want to see you try to find five seconds to get creative,” she said. “It’s so hard to squeeze it into the life that I have. And that’s why I think [making music is] more special than ever. It’s like when someone says, ‘Oh my God, I got to get my hair colored’ or ‘I got to take a bath today’ after just having a baby. That’s what it’s like for me to do music. It’s that selfish — and special.”

Read the full Nylon interview here.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top