When Gwen Stefani was building her hard-earned music career in the early 2000s, she was also in her early days of motherhood. At the time, she was married to Bush front-man Gavin Rossdale, trying to create her own space as an artist while also making space for her children and herself as a mother proved to be a real struggle for Stefani, and she recently opened up about feeling “so guilty” all the time as a working mom.
Stefani was a guest on The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast recently, where she spoke about raising her three sons, 17-year-old Kingston, 15-year-old Zuma, and 9-year-old Apollo, while building her career as a musician. She shared that she initially found out that she was pregnant with her oldest son on her Harajuki Lovers Tour, her first solo tour apart from No Doubt, whom she’d been performing with since 1986. It was a lot of firsts that, understandably, proved to be a whole lot to handle. “I was in rehearsals, and I was like so sick. It's the first time I had to work with this band, first time I ever had dancers, first time I ever did costume changes, first time being pregnant, and I think I like cried like every night.”
While Stefani noted that going into the studio after Kingston was born “felt so right,” things got difficult for her, especially after giving birth to her second child in 2008. “I had Zuma and we just kept going in the studio and we ended up writing this record called Push and Shove,” she shared on the podcast. “And to leave the kids to go do that, I would feel so guilty and selfish. I would go there and like knock my head against the wall and no song would come. And yet, I'm not with my kid, and I'm not good enough to write a freaking song.”
Guilt is unfortunately one of those things so many of us experience as mothers, whether we work outside the home or stay home with our kids. That guilt did not stop Stefani from welcoming a third child, particularly after her son Kingston told her he really wanted her to have a baby. Even though she felt as though she was too old to have another baby, Stefani explained that Kingston “would start praying every night for this baby and four weeks later, praying every night, like, 'Please let my mom have a baby, and I'm pregnant with Apollo. And I'm 43 years old and it's like this true miracle.”
Since welcoming youngest son Apollo, life has changed considerably for Stefani. She and Rossdale divorced a year later and work on co-parenting their children together. She married fellow singer Blake Shelton with her three kids by her side. And with any luck, that guilt has left her. Because it doesn’t do anyone any good.