Madonna Gets Candid About Balancing Career and Motherhood: ‘In the Back of My Mind, I’m Always Thinking, O.K., What Is My Son Doing Right Now?’

Madonna is known for many things: she is an icon who has sold more than 300 million records worldwide, she has killer arms, and she is the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time. While her performances on- and off-stage are legendary, backstage, she is a dedicated mom to six children — Lourdes, 21, Rocco, 17, David Banda, 13, Mercy, 12, and twins Esther and Stella, 6. In a recent profile in The New York Times, Madonna got very candid about motherhood, sacrifice, and much more.

Madonna cites the birth of her daughter, Lourdes (her father is Carlos Leon, Madonna’s boyfriend at the time), in the late ’90s as a transformative moment in her life. She told Oprah in 1998, “I feel like when my daughter was born, I was born again.” Her look changed at that time as well: she stopped wearing makeup, started therapy, studied Kabbalah and practiced yoga. It was during this period that she released Ray of Light, which sold 16 million copies.

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Madonna on Balancing Her Career and Motherhood

With six children at home, Madonna continues to perform and release new songs and albums; her latest album, Madame X, will be released June 14. When it comes to finding a balance between work and motherhood, she shared with the Times: “If somebody said, ‘O.K., you’ve got to give one thing up,’ I would say, ‘O.K., I’ll stop working,’” she said. “But they like that I work. They love to come visit me and watch me work. My older children, my son, he’s a painter, and my daughter’s a dancer and choreographer — I can see how my work has influenced them, though they probably wouldn’t like to say so. I like it. It makes me proud.”

“I couldn’t survive if I couldn’t be creative as an artist,” Madonna continues, “but in the back of my mind, I’m always thinking, O.K., what is my son doing right now? What is my daughter doing right now? I haven’t spoken to David yet. I’ve got to be there for them. When is her show? I’ve got to make sure I don’t have things planned. My head is in a whirl.” 

Rocco, 17, was born in 2000 (his father is Madonna’s ex-husband, director Guy Ritchie).

She later adopted her four youngest children from Malawi, one of Africa’s poorest nations, over the course of many years.

Madonna, who lost her own mother to breast cancer at age 5, is keenly aware that she does not have all the time in the world with her children. She shared that she likes spending time with friends her age who also have young children, like Rosie O’Donnell, who has a six-year-old daughter.

Madonna spends the majority of her time at her palatial pad in London, as well as a 16,000-square-foot Moorish revival mansion in Portugal (where she moved to become, as she put it, a “soccer mom” for son David, who plays the sport). an apartment on the Upper West Side, a house in Los Angeles and Israel.

What do you think about Madonna’s outlook on motherhood? Sound off in the comments!

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