With three children, including a 3-month-old baby, and an NFL star husband in the thick of football season, we're not entirely sure where Ciara finds the time to be there for everyone in her life, then have the energy to boost multiple good causes and indulge in a little self-care.
And yet, there she is, making it happen, carving out time for hard-hitting sessions with her trainer, presiding over charity events on Zoom, recording and building gingerbread haunted houses with her kids.
Maintaining an unshakably positive attitude toward everything—from the prospect of giving birth during a pandemic that had people scared to leave their homes, let alone visit a hospital, to her approach to getting back into shape following the birth of her third child in July—certainly has something to do with her impressive energy level.
But the "Goodies" singer is also the first to acknowledge that she has a solid support system backing her up, starting with her own unbelievable home team. When he hasn't been busy leading his Seattle Seahawks to a 5-0 start this season, husband Russell Wilson is a devoted partner and hands-on dad who has been, as Ciara said in a 2018 interview with E! News, "an incredible father since day one."
"He's so loving and very patient," she added. "He also likes to have fun—he's very spontaneous and we just have a good time as a family."
They became a family of five on July 23 with the birth of son Win Harrison (Win from their running list of baby names, with his athlete dad already envisioning the announcer going "now up to bat, Win Wilson!"; Harrison after Wilson's late father), who joined sister Sienna Princess and half-brother Future Zahir in the fold.
Yes, the realization earlier this year that the delivery would be taking place in the age of COVID-19 was scary—and there was only so much information available about the coronavirus and newborns at the time—but she and Wilson powered through with positivity and preparedness, as is their way.
"It's been a memorable journey, for sure," Ciara told host Tamron Hall during the Sept. 21 "Motherhood Juggle" livestream, a series launched by the USO and Motherhood Maternity. "And I think my biggest mission, a focal point, was to try my best to always find a silver lining through it all and to find the positive moments. I think you have to take a step back and think about, the reality is, it's a blessing and a gift to be able to give birth.
"So if you think about that, that kind of supersedes everything. It's like, the most important thing that I could pray for is a healthy baby."
While she was pregnant, she made the most of their time not being on the move for a change, having an at-home campout for Future's 6th birthday in May and helping him with his schoolwork, giving Sienna swimming lessons in their resort-worthy infinity pool and doing a home photo shoot for British Vogue (with Wilson behind the camera). In June, Ciara shared a heart-melting video of the 5-foot-11, 206-pound quarterback styling his 3-year-old daughter's hair.
The family hunkered down at their home in San Diego—where most of Ciara's eye-catching video for "Rooted," featuring the artist in the full bloom of pregnancy, was shot—before heading up to Los Angeles to be closer to the hospital in the days before she gave birth.
She and Wilson "were just doing everything we could do to be cautious," the artist told Hall. "I never really left the house—I was not playing about keeping myself safe...With COVID, everything was heightened, and went to a higher level of caution. But we made the best of it."
And though she had to start the process by going to her doctor's appointments alone, as the COVID protocol mandated ("That was like, 'whoa,' because I'd never experienced that before"), no defensive line in the world could've kept Wilson out of that delivery room.
"It was really sweet being in the hospital, delivering with Russ," Ciara recalled. "And he wore every hat! He was obviously my husband and supporting me in the sweetest way possible. But he was a cameraman, he also pulled Win out—he loves being able to pull the babies out" (working in concert with the doctor, of course). "And he wore the scrubs, he likes to do that kind of stuff and really get involved."
Once that "unforgettable experience," as she called it, was behind them, it was back to normal. Or, at least, the new normal of Zoom meetings and remotely tending to the work she and Wilson do through their Why Not You Foundation, which lately has included entreaties to vote in the 2020 election.
In fact, Ciara will be among the performers at Sunday night's "I Will Vote Concert," benefiting the Biden Victory Fund, being hosted by George Lopez and Ana Navarro and with a line-up of music from the likes of Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi, Sara Bereilles, P!nk, Ben Platt and Foo Fighters, plus appearances by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Armie Hammer, Amy Schumer, the stars of Queer Eye and more.
So, not a terrible way for Ciara to cap off her 35th birthday, which also happens to be Oct. 25.
Earlier this month, she joined Gabrielle Union (who tuned in from her backyard) and others for World Smile Day Live: A Virtual Celebration, a fundraiser for Smile Train, which provides aid for children born with cleft lips and palates. Ciara told her fellow virtual attendees, "As a mother, my highest calling is to create an amazing life for my own children, and I'm so moved by how Smile Train focuses on helping some of the most vulnerable children in the world."
And knowing that embarking on any journey with a team behind you gives you a leg up, Ciara has also become an ambassador for WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers), a practical collaboration for her as she strives to shed baby weight in a healthy way after gaining "65, and some change, pounds."
True to form, she told Access last month that she was "super-excited about diving into everything" that the WW ("Dub-Dub," as she pronounced it) program entailed.
"You want results, you gotta push!" the singer said this week while sweating it out on her stationery bike, personal trainer Decker Davis, who also works with her husband, capturing her upbeat resolve on video.
And while Ciara, who also hosts Level Up Radio on Apple Music, would call herself an ambitious person on her own, she has credited Wilson—who last month launched his own podcast, DangerTalk With Russell Wilson, on top of everything else he's up to—has helped her take her drive to the next level. "He inspires me, he's so driven and very ambitious," she told E! News in 2018, "and he's always working hard whether he's on the field or off the field. He's always trying to make an impact in any way that he can. It's really inspiring to watch and to have a partner that has that kind of ambition...It really just flows."
But it wouldn't flow if they didn't take pains to clear any potential obstacles out of the way. During the NFL season, Wilson does his best to compartmentalize, making a point of regular date nights with his wife of four years on Fridays. Then Saturdays are chill days spent with the kids (an ideal time for turning the backyard into a pumpkin patch, or for taking budding baseball player Future Jr. out to practice fielding grounders and turning double plays), and Mondays too are reserved for family time (unless Monday Night Football is on the schedule, which the kids may then watch wearing matching football jammies).
And they made the most of Wilson's recent bye week, packing up his new truck with the kids and their three Great Danes and heading out to eastern Washington, where, as the athlete relayed on his podcast, they "got the truck all muddy, kids got out near the lake and the river and had a good time with some close family friends."
Also, the at-home pumpkin patch was only the beginning.
"Listen, me and Ciara are already arguing over what our Halloween costumes are going to be," Wilson shared on his podcast this week. "'Well, I don't think we should be that.' Last year we dressed up as Jay-Z and Beyoncé, which is pretty cool, so we're excited about the whole Halloween thing. Especially when you have kids, the kids kind of drive everything."
He noted that the family, in regular times, would have normally flown down to Mexico for their bye-week togetherness, but with him getting tested daily for COVID and not wanting to rock the Seahawks' so-far undefeated boat, they opted for a more local trip.
Once she felt it was safe, however, Ciara did jet to Cabo for a moms-and-kids getaway, the littlest ones too, with Vanessa Bryant and Lala Anthony. Ciara and Lala have been among the friends Vanessa has leaned on the most in recent months as she's mourned the deaths of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna.
Ciara, who along with Wilson gifted 3-year-old Bianka Bryant a hot-pink toy Range Rover to tool around in this summer, marked Kobe Bryant Day on Aug. 24 with a sweet snap of her and Vanessa, writing, "Seeing you and the girls smile makes my heart smile. You're the toughest mama I know. Seeing you put one foot forward each day is admirable. It ain't easy, but if I know one thing, Mamba Queen's capable of it all."
And when you need that boost of love and light, you could have no better friend for the job than Ciara. Even in these bizarre times, she never fails to spotlight the joy instead of the sorrow, the reasons to stay positive amid all the negativity, and she never stops counting her blessings.
"I'm having, honestly, the time of my life," she told Access in September. "I was reflecting on life and where I was in my exact moment, and I feel really blessed, and my heart is full of joy and love in my house. So I'm grateful."
And not least because Future Jr. and Sienna haven't been doing the sibling-rivalry thing with baby Win. "All they want to do is just love on him," she shared. "He's like the sweetest thing to them. There's not one day where they're like, [jealously saying] 'He's getting all this love,' and they don't feel, like, little brother-little sister jealousy."
As for Win, who at 3 months has already starred in many, many home photo sessions (just keep snapping and the ridiculously adorable expressions will come, Ciara advises), he's been "very easy. Loves to eat. And no crying, unless he's hungry and tired. It's been a blessing to have him."
And regarding Wilson's apparent desire to keep adding branches to the family tree—"OK, sit down," his wife playfully told him when he informed her they'd be "having more of these little things"—Ciara isn't against the idea. But all in good time.
Being an only child, "I've always looked forward to having a large family—I've been enjoying it." However, she told Access with a laugh, "I do think pacing it out is key."