Gwen Stefani: Motherhood Is Not What You Think It's Going To Be

The rocker opens up to Vogue about her struggles to balance her family, band and three clothing lines

Like all working moms, Gwen Stefani is doing a balancing act every day of her life. In a revealing new Vogue profile, the No Doubt singer talks about the difficulties of juggling her career with her two sons, Kingston, 6, and Zuma, 4.

"It's super fun being a mom, but it's not what you think it's going to be," she admits.
"At first, your life is totally the same. You have this cute little thing that you get to drive around everywhere and you’re so proud and it’s amazing. And as they grow older, it really does start to change your life. Like, Oh, my God, they have school, they have to get through first grade, they have to learn to read."

Even though being a mom is Stefani's top priority, she also struggles to balance being everything from an influential fashionista to a kick-ass frontwoman. "Who knew that...I'd be doing a No Doubt record, be married, have two kids, have three clothing lines? All at one time! It would be ridiculous to do that. And it is ridiculous. It’s impossible," Stefani marvels.

Stefani says that those concerns played out in her songs for the new No Doubt album, their first in 11 years. "I think a lot of what I was going through on the rec­ord was wanting to be who I’ve always been, but now I’m somebody different," she says. "I am a mother. And if you don’t do it right, there are serious consequences. That’s what this whole record was: trying to balance it, trying to be my creative self but also be the new me."

The singer admits that multi-tasking often filled her with guilt, especially when the music part wasn't going well."I am letting everyone down in the studio right now; I’m letting down my kids; I’m letting down myself," she recalls thinking. But her bandmate Tony Kanal, a.k.a. the ex-boyfriend she wrote "Don't Speak" about, says that the frontwoman is better at juggling it all than she realizes. "As much as she may feel challenged on a daily basis, I think when she looks back on it, she’ll see she did incredibly well," he tells Vogue.

One thing that Stefani knows she's good at is her relationship with Gavin Rossdale. After sixteen years with the Bush frontman, she calls their marriage and family "the ultimate collaboration." Of course, now that both of their bands have reunited, there are new challenges -- as Stefani learned when Rossdale went on a year-long tour in 2011.

"I mean, [Gavin] was there for me mentally, but physically? These boys are physical. They wake up and they start punching each other!" Stefani says of her sons. "One thing we’ve had in our relationship the whole time is that we can have it both ways: together, not together, and it’s fine. But when you have kids? It’s not so great. They need him."

Stefani will soon be taking the boys on the road for her own tour, which drives home how much being a mom has changed her life.

"I’ve never had to grow up in a way...Time kind of stops when you’re in a band," she muses to Vogue. "It’s this suspended childhood, and it’s really awesome, that part of it. But then when you have a family of your own, it forces you to go into the adult world a little bit more."

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