I am amazing. I am a woman. I am beautifully made, wonderfully made. I can do this. I was made for this. Those are the words Grammy-winning singer, actress, mother and wife Kelly Rowland tells herself regularly. She tells herself these things because they are what keeps her grounded, motivated and productive when she’s feeling overwhelmed. Any new mother can tell you that adjusting to motherhood is a challenge and Kelly Rowland is no different. In the last two years of her life, getting married (to the husband she refers to as “the greatest man on earth,” her manager Tim Witherspoon), losing her mother and having a new baby boy have been a whirlwind.
She’s partnered with Dreft (the laundry detergent company), which has been following her over the past year documenting her #Amazinghood with baby Titan Jewel as he turned one (November 4). So when EBONY.com sat down with Kelly for an intimate, candid conversation, she revealed what it’s been like for her adjusting to her new normal—the roses and the thorns.
“[My challenges are] just really learning the balance of it all for myself, for my husband, for my baby, for my career. Making sure that everything gets the balance,” Kelly explains, trying to ensure her family gets everything it needs, but being careful not to neglect herself. “Because how am I supposed to be filled and I have to pour so much of myself into everything?”
It’s not something that’s come naturally easy for Kelly, finding balance. She’s still figuring out how to be Kelly Rowland the entertainer vs. Kelly Rowland the mom/wife/friend.
“[I’m] still learning it now,” she says. “Because now things are starting to pick up again, so I can only imagine when I have to go overseas and tour and things like that. I want Titan to come with me, but I also don’t want to wear his body out. And I want him to feel what stability feels like since my mom and I moved around a lot when I was a kid.”
Kelly says her husband Tim has been a huge part of helping her adjust. “I felt like when I brought Titan home I knew everything, and I didn’t. And it was so wrong because my husband would figure out what would make him calm immediately,” Kelly recalls about being a first-time mommy. “And I love that he’s so in tune to our son to where he just gets him. They get each other.”
“ ‘The roses’ have been watching him, watching my husband, watching my marriage and learning so much behind that story alone. My husband is the greatest man on earth, he really is. And he’s the greatest dad. I’m so happy I thought enough of myself to choose a great man.”
As Kelly mentioned, she’s jumping back into work mode. She landed a reoccurring role on Empire and recently dropped the club banger “Dumb.” While the song has a young party vibe, the lyrics are about being grown and sexy.
“On this record, I was just like, I’m loving life right now. I’m happy. I’m so into my sexual energy, my sexual power, and that’s exactly what the song is about. Being in tune with all of that that you make the dude go dumb.”
Kelly’s mind is on her music, but she’s not trying to rush it. With all that’s happened to her, she wants to find a way to pour her emotions into a well-rounded album.
“There’s so many things I want to encompass in one body of work, where it shows just how incredible we are as women,” she says. “As women, I feel like we balance so many things so incredibly well. I also have a song on there that talks about just pouring into you.
“Everything’s happening in front of us and we don’t take the time to do that,” she continues. “Then you read about all these post-partum depressions and things like that. I just think if we took a little more time for ourselves, even though you feel like there’s no time—just in the moment the baby is sleeping, whether that’s closing your eyes—just having a little woosah moment. Woosah is real!”
So how does Kelly “woosah?” She gets a little help from her friends.
“For me, I just came from a girl’s trip,” she says. “It was my sister’s [Angie Beyince, Beyoncé’s cousin] birthday. Her and myself, and my best friend Lala [Anthony] went to Mexico City to a sanctuary for cats. We got the most beautiful room in Mexico City and ate whatever we wanted, swapped stories and emotions, and it was just awesome.”
But back to Kelly’s music. She has no release date for her album, and while she’s not sure if Titan will actually make an appetence, he will definitely be a subject she will sing about.
“He provokes so much thought and inspiration, of course. There’s a song on there right now that is about him and it’s actually called ‘Titan Is So Beautiful.’ It’s so beautiful to me.”
In the meantime, Kelly says she makes up songs for Titan all the time. One she often sings to him, she sang to EBONY. With a precious melody and her angelic voice, Kelly sings, “Titan, Titan, Titan, if you didn’t know…” She took a long quiet pause, then smiled to herself.
Crystal Shaw King is a seasoned TV, radio and online entertainment writer. She's also a contributing editor for a social justice foundation in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @crystalamberbam.