Why Gwen Stefani Felt "Selfish" During Early Days of Motherhood

Gwen Stefani recently detailed some of the struggles she experienced while having young children and balancing touring with her band No Doubt and making her own solo music.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Feb 05, 2024 7:39 PMTags
Watch: Gwen Stefani Reveals Why She “Cried Every Night” During Her First Pregnancy

Balancing motherhood and a career as a pop star is no simple kind of life. 

Especially for Gwen Stefani, who was pregnant with her eldest son Kingston, 17, while on tour and then went on an additional tour when he only 9 months old. It was a precarious balancing act.

"I find out I'm pregnant with Kingston," she said in an upcoming episode of Lauryn and Michael Bosstick's The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast . "And I was in rehearsals, and I was like so sick. It's the first time I had to work with this band, first time I ever had dancers, first time I ever did costume changes, first time being pregnant, and I think I like cried like every night."

Yet heading back into the studio to record The Sweet Escape after giving birth to Kingston was a fruitful experience. As she remembered, "It just felt so right to keep going with creatively It was just so real and right."

But when Gwen found herself once again in the studio with No Doubt two years later, having given birth to her second son, Zuma, with then-husband Gavin Rossdale, she had a more difficult experience.

Gwen Stefani's Family Day With Blake Shelton & Kids at Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony

"I had Zuma and we just kept going in the studio and we ended up writing this record called Push and Shove," she remembered. "And to leave the kids to go do that, I would feel so guilty and selfish. I would go there and like knock my head against the wall and no  song would come. And yet, I'm not with my kid, and I'm not good enough to write a freaking song."

But write an album she did, and then after a few years, Gwen said a series of subsequent miracles occurred—including the birth of her and Gavin's third son Apollo, now 9, when she was in her forties. (She and the Bush singer ultimately divorced in 2016 year after 14 years of marriage.)

FREDERIC J. BROWN / Contributor (Getty)

"I basically had Kingston and he was like, "Mommy, when are you gonna have a baby?" she remembered, but despite her telling him she was too old she added, "He would start praying every night for this baby and four weeks later ,praying every night, like, 'Please let my mom have a baby, and I'm pregnant with Apollo. And I'm 43 years old and it's like this true miracle."

Then shortly after giving birth to her youngest, something miraculous occurred once again: here getting a call to do The Voice. After all, it is where she met her future husband, Blake Shelton, with whom she tied the knot in 2021.

"So that was the second miracle," the 54-year-old explained. "Like, the first miracle was getting pregnant. The second was The Voice. And then the third was, obviously, meeting Blake."

And to see more inside their miracle marriage, keep reading for some of Gwen and Blake's sweetest quotes about each other

Let the Rumors Begin

"I think he's hot, don't you? But to be super honest, it is kind of crazy we both went through the same thing at the same time. There's been so many people that I've gotten so much comfort from. Just people coming to me and telling me their story. Not confiding, but sharing, which has just helped me see things from a different perspective and move forward." —Gwen to Ryan Seacrest in November 2015

Look of Love

"How can I not be [in love]? She is the greatest. She is the greatest." —Blake on Today in March 2018. 

"Saved My Life"

"When you have a broken heart—at least, when I do—you got to get it out of your system. You want people to sympathize with you. I was at rock bottom, in the middle of hell...Gwen saved my life. Who else on earth could understand going through a high-profile divorce from another musician?" —Blake to Billboard in July 2016

Country Livin'

"I grew up in Orange County, so I don't know if you've been down there, but it's nothing like the middle of America and our nature was the beach. So to be able to be in Oklahoma and be able to experience a ranch kind of vibe is just something I never ever had, so it's just been really, it's been great, amazing." —Gwen on Jimmy Kimmel Live in August 2020

Wedding Bells

"You know, what? I love weddings. The kids love him. We love him. Everybody loves him. He is lovable! I think about it all the time." —Gwen to Ellen DeGeneres when discussing marrying Blake

Fierce Fashion

"[My style is] more feminine than ever before. It's probably because I'm super in love and have a really manly man. I enjoy letting that part of me come out now because when I was in No Doubt, I never thought of myself as sexy. Even in my 30s, I was a tomboy. I hardly ever carried a purse." —Gwen to InStyle in July 2018

Sexiest Man Alive

"He doesn't even like to do a photo shoot. You can never convince him to do it. So he just called me like, ‘They want me to do this.' And I was like, ‘You should totally do it! You're so sexy!'" —Gwen's reaction to Blake being named People's Sexiest Man Alive

Hot Commodity

"He's so good at the show, I mean, he's just so magical. Blake is literally a unicorn. Like anywhere he goes, people are just attracted to him, and he's such an incredible talent." —Gwen on SiriusXM's Andy Cohen Live in September 2019

Biggest Fans

"Setting here watching @gwenstefani rehearsals it continues to shock me the amount of GIANT hits this girl has written... I highly recommend y'all catch her Vegas show if you can get tickets!!!" —Blake on Twitter in June 2018

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