Gwen Stefani Shares She Had ‘No Ideas’ Left for Songwriting After Becoming a Mom in Emotional New Interview

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Motherhood was not a fountain of creativity for Gwen Stefani. In fact, it was pretty much the opposite. The “Hollaback Girl” singer opened up about her songwriting drought after giving birth to sons Kingston, 17, and Zuma, 15, in an emotional new interview.

Stefani found out she was pregnant with her eldest son in 2005, a year after her band No Doubt went on hiatus and right before her first solo tour, “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.”

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“I was so sick, and it just felt like — ugh,” she told Nylon in a new cover interview. This was to be the start of many such exhausting, emotional moments to come.

Singer Gwen Stefani and husband Gavin Rossdale arrive with their children at the premiere of Monsters University held at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
Singer Gwen Stefani and husband Gavin Rossdale arrive with their children at the premiere of Monsters University held at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)

And when her baby was just a few weeks old, co-founder of Interscope Records Jimmy Iovine wanted her to get back to work. “I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’” Stefani recalled. “‘The baby’s 9 weeks old!’”

But she did, and that’s how “Sweet Escape” was born, which later became one of the defining songs of her career. She went on to do the “Sweet Escape World Tour,” while nursing a baby and running her fashion line. “I was dead,” she remembers. So what happened next? She got pregnant again!

“I think everyone was disappointed,” Stefani said of her No Doubt bandmates Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal, and Adrian Young. “I don’t think they would say that. No one’s going to be mad you’re having a baby. But while I was busy, they were kind of waiting.”

Zuma was born in 2008, and No Doubt went on tour together in 2009. Then they released their comeback album Push and Shove in 2012, but Stefani felt a little helpless. “Things change when you have two babies,” The Voice alum said. “There was nothing left in me. I had no ideas. I had so much insecurity. I felt like — help!”

Despite feeling drained of inspiration and ideas (something many moms of young children can relate to!), Stefani pushed hard to make her teammates happy — at a detriment to herself.

“I would be leaving my family,” she said. “And if I didn’t come home with a song, I’d be like, ‘Oh my God, I’m such a loser — I didn’t have dinner with my family, and I didn’t write a song. I wasted an entire day of my life trying to be in No Doubt again.’”

I have definitely had those days too! Where you don’t feel like you’re doing a great job as a person, at your job, or with your family. Motherhood takes so much out of you, sometimes it’s best just to take a step back and try to refill your own cup. It’s so hard!

Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal, Gwen Stefani, Adrian Young, No Doubt in attendance for No Doubt at Nassau Coliseum, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY May 1, 1997. Photo By: Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection
Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal, Gwen Stefani, Adrian Young, No Doubt in attendance for No Doubt at Nassau Coliseum, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY May 1, 1997. Photo By: Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection

“I look at it now and think, ‘God, what was I doing trying to please everybody?’” Stefani continued. “Because really, I should have just been with my family. But we did it, and there are some good songs.”

Stefani, who is reuniting with No Doubt to play Coachella this month, said “it’s been a long time coming.”

“It’s been something that we were going to do,” she said, adding, “Most things have surprised me in life. One of the things I’ve learned is to be present in the moment and try to absorb what’s happening around me instead of looking ahead.”

The “Rich Girl” singer, who shares Kingston, Zuma, and Apollo, 10, with ex Gavin Rossdale, recently shared that her firstborn has inherited her songwriting skills. (Maybe he absorbed some of his mom’s talent when she went back to work!)

“You would be freaked out,” Stefani told Jimmy Kimmel in a February appearance of Jimmy Kimmel Live. “This kid is such a good songwriter, and out of nowhere. We were like, ‘You’re lying. You didn’t write that.’”

He performed the song he wrote at her husband Blake Shelton’s bar last August. “It was really exciting, and it’s weird, ’cause even last night he was playing for us, and I was like, ‘Wow.’ It’s mind-blowing,” she said.

“You don’t know what your kids are going to do, and then all of a sudden, they find themselves, and you’re like ‘Wow,’” Stefani added.

Even with her struggles to juggle a music career and a business while being pregnant and raising a baby, Stefani and her kids are doing just fine. She’s a great mom, which proves that whether you go back to work or not, your baby will be happy as long as you love them.

Before you go, see what these celebrity moms had to say about their experiences with postpartum anxiety.

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