In a revelation that will surprise no mother ever, mum guilt is universal. Just ask Kelly Clarkson. She talks about wanting to do it all perfectly – career, family, motherhood – and trying to accept that she can’t.
Clarkson is mum to two-year-old River and seven-month-old Remington, and step-mum to two children from her husband Brandon Blackstock’s first marriage. Kids outnumber parents in this house, and life is hectic.
“While I love music, my family comes first,” she tells People magazine. “There are days when shit hits the fan, and I’m crying because there’s not enough time to do everything.”
Clarkson admits she’s bad at time management, but sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours to do all the things. “I definitely feel mum guilt a lot. I think every good mum does, right? I think I have mum guilt too because my mum didn’t have help and I have help. I feel like, ‘Why can’t I do it all?’ But you can’t. That’s dumb.”
She doggedly keeps trying though. “I do so much for them and I do bend over backwards,” she says. But in spite of her efforts, she needs help, which makes her feel even more guilty. “If you’re a mum, you want to be with your kid every day. You don’t want to miss a moment and you want her to need you and want you and not want somebody else.”
But Clarkson’s career isn’t just for her, it’s about setting a good example for her kids. “I think it’s really important [to show my kids] a woman is capable of kicking ass while also being a kickass mum.”
She accepts that even kickass mums make mistakes, though. “I will definitely screw up a bunch, but I am going to try not to,” she says.
When you strip back the craziness that is life with kids, whether you’ve got one or four, the best you can do is try.