Madonna looks like a goddess on the cover of Vanity Fair’s Spanish, Italian, and French editions of the Icon Issue for Feb. 2023. She is wearing a fabulous headpiece over two veils, looking otherworldly — it’s art, honestly. So, it’s very fitting that the mom of six turned to art when reflecting on raising her children, and it’s a new perspective I’ve never thought about before.
“Today I am still struggling to understand how to be a mother and do my job,” she told Vanity Fair, per PEOPLE, describing motherhood as “the most difficult, the hardest battle.” (Um, same!) The “Material Girl” singer is mom to Lourdes, 26, with Carlos Leon; Rocco, 22, and David, 17, with Guy Ritchie; and Mercy, 16, and twins Stelle and Estere, 10. She said it’s “a challenge” for her kids to grow up with her as their mom, and she revealed the best metaphor for motherhood.
“Because, whoever you are, having children and raising them is a work of art,” Madonna said. “And no one gives you a manual. You have to learn from mistakes. It is a profession that requires a lot of time. And it is exhausting because there is never rest.”
She called raising kids “a work of art,” and that’s actually so beautiful. Sure, the “finished product” — aka, happy, independent, kind, well-adjusted adults — is pretty like a finished painting, but behind the masterpiece is a lifetime of love. Like making art, raising kids can’t be done without countless sleepless nights and exhaustion. Second-guessing yourself and starting over — again and again. Making mistake after mistake, but never giving up. Learning, growing, evolving, until your finished artwork looks a little different from what you first imagined, but is absolutely better for it.
Parents are artists, who embrace the mess and the chaos and the labor because every stroke works to build something wonderful. Once you step back from the daily grind, you’ll see the bigger picture — and it’s worth it. Your kids are worth it. And even though nobody can see all the tiny details and everyday effort it takes to raise kids, the end result is noticed and appreciated.
Speaking in a more literal sense, Madonna also shared with Vanity Fair that she loves how her kids are embracing their creative sides.
“I have never encouraged my daughter Lola to make music or my son Rocco to paint. But I’ve always exposed them to art, to music,” she said. “I’m happy with how they are today. And I’m proud of their work.”
Madonna also said that she is happy when “spending time with my kids.” She added, “And to see them happy, to witness their growth, to watch them evolve and then to find the things they love. Most of my happiness comes from my children. And much more from the inspiration that some artists give me.”
In an Oct. 2021 interview with Interview Magazine, Lourdes shared her own thoughts about growing up with Madonna.
“We don’t get any handouts in my family,” the model-dancer said. “…But I think my mom saw all these other kids of famous people, and she was like, ‘My kids are not going to be like this.’ Also, I feel like if your parents pay for things, then it gives them leverage over you. My mom is such a control freak, and she has controlled me my whole life. I needed to be completely independent from her as soon as I graduated high school.”
Although despite wanting to venture out on her own, Lourdes is still fiercely defensive of her mom. “I’m increasingly able to recognize how influential and amazing this woman is, and how empowering to other women and ahead of her time she has always been,” she said.
It may not be easy growing up with mama Madonna, but her kids do seem to appreciate her — and vice versa. It’s beautiful to see!
Before you go, check out all the celebrity parents who have adopted children.
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