Kelly Clarkson Opens Up About Coping with "Major Abandonment Issues" as She Navigates Parenting

Tierney McAfee

From Woman's Day

Kelly Clarkson's emotional hit song "Because of You" was famously inspired by the singer's own very personal experience of being abandoned by her father when she was just 6 years old.

Now, the singer is opening up about how she's coped with her abandonment issues—and how she's resolved never to pass them on to her own children, daughter River Rose, 6, and son Remy, 4.

"I don't think you get rid of [abandonment issues]," Kelly says in a new interview with Glamour UK magazine's Glamour Unfiltered talk show. "That doesn't go away. It's always there. It's just navigating your life around that existence in your life. You don't ever one day wake up and are like, 'Okay, I'm totally cool with the fact that I have major abandonment issues because horrible things happened.'"

"That’s why I write songs about it and you connect with all these people that you don't know. Or even an artist, as on my team right now on The Voice, we have a very similar background and it's nice to be able to look at her and go, 'Look, you don't ever get over that.' It's always going to present itself," she continued. 'You get married and you're like, 'Oh, I have no one for the dance or to walk me down the aisle. You know what? I'm not going to get married, just going to elope.'"

(Kelly did elope with husband Brandon Blackstock in 2013 after the couple canceled their original plans for a backyard wedding at their Nashville home. The talk show host filed for divorce from her husband of nearly seven years on June 4, 2o2o, citing irreconcilable differences.)

Although Kelly acknowledges that these lifelong issues have brought her pain, she also believes they've shaped the person she is and helped her become a stronger, more confident woman.

"There are always things that happen that come up that bum you out, but at the same time you've got to recognize at some point though, that it's made you who you are," she says. "You are thankful and I'm a very strong individual. I'm very confident and I've been forced to find that in myself. I've been forced to at a very early age. At some point, I say thank you to my father, who passed away last year. But I thank him as I wouldn't have been able to be all that I am right now without all of that. So, you just take your cards you're dealt, and you do the best you can with them."

In the interview, the singer also reflected on the challenges of balancing her work and family lives amid the coronavirus crisis while emphasizing that her children will always come first.

"Especially in this time, I've definitely reminded people that I work with I'm doing the best I can. I'm literally holding down so many things right now," she said. "Not only jobs, but even things where we usually had a lot more help. We are fortunate, so I'm not complaining in that sense, but I've definitely had to tell people that I work with, 'You hired a mom and I'm not an absentee mom. I'm a full-on mom.' I already have abandonment issues, so I don't want to pass those down."

Want more Woman’s Day? Subscribe to Woman's Day today and get 73% off your first 12 issues. And while you’re at it, sign up for our FREE newsletter for even more of the Woman's Day content you want.

You Might Also Like

More From