While Kelly Clarkson has been willing to talk about her divorce in recent months, she also has worked to strike a balance between protecting her children after splitting with her husband of nearly seven years.
The pop star and coach on "The Voice" spoke alongside fellow coach Gwen Stefani about the challenge of being an open book to her fans while also shielding her children during a difficult time in their lives.
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"I have a great family and friends that are there for me," she told Extra TV. "It’s a very hard thing to navigate, to be able to be honest and share your story, so maybe you can help someone else, but at the same time protecting these little kids you adore and they're the most important thing to you."
Clarkson, 38, has two children, River, 6, and Remington, 4, with husband Brandon Blackstock. She filed for divorce in June, citing “irreconcilable differences” and requesting joint custody of their two children. Blackstock also has two kids, Savannah and Seth, from his previous marriage.
Clarkson has provided her children with extra support during the split.
"We have a lot of help as far as therapists or child psychologists because we want to do it right," she said. "Everyone’s sad, and it’s OK to be sad."
However, she is not shying away from talking publicly about the pain of the split. She addressed the end of her marriage on the premiere of "The Kelly Clarkson Show" last month.
"What I'm dealing with is hard because it involves more than just my heart, it involves a lot of little hearts," she said on the show. "We have four kids and divorce is never easy. We're both from divorced families. We know the best thing here is to protect our children and their little hearts."
Opening up about her life is the way the "American Idol" alumna has always been.
"I mean, if anything, I've fought my entire career just to be me," she told "Entertainment Tonight." "Because most managers and publicists get nervous with me because I am an open book and labels and people frowned upon it early on. But, I don't do it for anyone else, honestly.
"I don't know, I come from a small town, I'm used to everybody knowing everything anyway. And, I don't know, I feel like if you're hiding something, there must be something wrong with it. And there's nothing wrong with anything, life just kind of happens, and it takes turns that you don't expect and are sad."
However, there are limits to how deep she will get into her split with Blackstock.
"That's the thing that's been kind of hard to navigate is I am an open book, but at some point I'm a mama bear more than I am a person in the public eye," she told ET.
"So, I care 100% more about my children than I do anything else on this planet. So, that's been the hard thing of, like, yes, I'm willing to share my experience and yes, it is the worst. I mean, the past few months have been horribly sad. But at the same time, I have to think, 'Hmmm, like, what I say has a domino effect in other people's lives.'"
Stefani went through the pain of her own high-profile divorce from Bush singer Gavin Rossdale in 2015. The mother of three, who has been in a longtime relationship with "The Voice" co-star Blake Shelton, can empathize with Clarkson's situation.
"We all have to go through sad times, heartache, and if you look at it like, this is a test — we all have to go through this — that's a good way to kinda get to the other side, because everybody gets to the other side eventually," she told ET.