Madonna is expressing her experience as a parent.
The "Like a Prayer" singer explained why she thinks it has been "a challenge" for her six kids—daughters Lourdes, 26 and Mercy, 16, twins Estere and Stella, 10, and sons Rocco, 22, and David, 17—to grow up with her as a mom.
"Today I am still struggling to understand how to be a mother and do my job," Madonna shared during a cover shoot for Vanity Fair's "Icon Issue" released in Europe. "Because, whoever you are, having children and raising them is a work of art."
And after decades of topping the charts and occasionally gracing the big screen, preparing for her the role of mom wasn't always easy for Madonna, who adopted David, Mercy, and the twins as a single mom, sharing Lourdes with ex-boyfriend Carlos Leon and Rocco with ex-husband Guy Ritchie.
"No one gives you a manual," the 64-year-old also explained. "You have to learn from mistakes. It is a profession that requires a lot of time. It is exhausting because there is never rest."
However, amidst the highs and lows, the Grammy winner takes great pride in seeing her kids thrive in their own way.
"I have never encouraged my daughter Lola to make music or my son Rocco to paint," Madonna continued. "But I've always exposed them to art, to music, and I'm happy that they've found ways to express themselves. I have respect and admiration for them and for what they do."
And the "Into the Groove" singer—who lost her her own mother to cancer when she was five years old—expressed that "much of my happiness" comes from her kids.
"To witness their growth, to watch them evolve and then to find the things they love," Madonna continued. "Most of my happiness comes from my children. And much more from the inspiration that some artists give me."