Kelly Rowland is a busy mom. Not only does she have her hands full raising her two sons, Titan, 7, and Noah, 1, but she also has several new projects in the works including a new children’s book and action film.
In an interview with TODAY, the Grammy Award-winning musician revealed how she involves her kids in her work, whom she turns to when she needs a boost or parenting advice and how the children’s book came to be.
“I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book; I just didn’t know when the opportunity would present itself,” she said of her new release, “Always with You, Always with Me,” co-authored by English teacher and friend Jessica McKay.
The opportunity presented itself when she found herself frequently hanging out with McKay, as their sons enjoy playing together.
“She was just asking me for some advice on what to do next with her books. And I was like, ‘Well, we could partner up and do something together,’” she shared. “I love the opportunity to get a chance to work with another woman and be able to help or point in a direction wherever I can.”
Illustrated by Fannie Liem, the book centers on a working mother who knows it can be difficult to be separated from her child while she’s at work. The mother collects some simple words that she and her child can repeat whenever they are missing each other. “Always with you / Always with me / Mommy and child / Together we’ll be,” it reads.
“We just wanted it to be authentic and especially just really relatable for a child, but for the working mom as well,” Rowland said.
Being a working mom herself, Rowland knows how hard it can be to leave children to go to work.
“I’ve been away from Titan and Noah for two weeks, and I miss them with every fiber of my being,” she revealed. “Last week in Africa, this week here in Atlanta filming.”
Rowland is currently on location filming “Fantasy Football,” a live-action film about a teenager played by “Black-ish” star Marsai Martin who discovers she can control her professional football player’s dad prowess on the field through her video game.
“I’ll just say I’m insanely excited,” she shared. “The crew, cast, everyone — it’s just really a beautiful work environment. The brains behind this script are so brilliant and we haven’t seen anything like this specifically for young people, kids of color, in this kind of light.”
The 41-year-old shared she still tries to find ways to be connected to her sons and bond with them while on the road.
“They do new things and I sit there and I’ll be on the phone just watching them. Noah does this new thing now where he snatches the phone from his caretaker, and then he just runs and he takes the phone as if I’m there,” she disclosed. “Titan is learning his sight words, so the other day before I went to sleep, I had one eye open and one eye closed, and we’re playing this game of trying to make sentences with his sight words.”
The “Crazy” singer acknowledged that she’s dealt with working-mom guilt but tries to use her career to set a good example for her children.
“I want him (Titan) to always understand that I’m working, but I’m working to provide for him and his brother. His father is working to provide for him and his brother. And we’ll work hard, and I want him to see that work ethic because I want him to take it into his generation,” she shared.
She also includes her children in her work when she can, like when she brought Titan to Coachella in 2018 when she performed alongside Beyoncé and Michelle Williams.
“I didn’t want him to just see the final show. I wanted him to come to rehearsals, too,” she shared. “As we’re in rehearsals, he’s understanding the whole process. That was really cool because he was able to come with me, but he inspired my hard work — I wanted him to see that.”
Since becoming a mom, Rowland revealed that she looks for quality projects that her kids can be a part of.
“If it’s in the studio, it’s something that they can sing along to like a melody. If it’s movies, I make sure that Titan sees the process,” she said.
The famous mom shared that when the guilt does creep in, or even if she’s just looking for advice, she has a strong group of women she can turn to.
“Whether it’s B or Ciara or Serena or my best friend Barbara in Texas — I take advice from all working moms because the truth is that we’re all just trying to figure this out. We all love what we do. I’m so grateful to come up in a generation that believes in hard work and they’re strong women and they’re smart women.”
Rowland’s best advice for parents who are dealing with working-parent guilt is to put the guilt card back.
“It doesn’t belong in your stash,” she said. “The truth is that you’re doing everything that you possibly can be doing to make sure that your children have all they need.”