Joel Madden: Parenthood is a different kind of fun

03/07/2008 at 10:37 PM ET

Speaking to MTV News earlier this week, Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden, 28, admitted that although he and Nicole Richie, 26, had read the parenting books, they’ve found you really must just jump right in after the baby is born. With the arrival of "amazing" 8-week-old daughter Harlow Winter Kate — who "laughs and plays already!" — that’s exactly what the couple did.

Being a father is nothing you can plan for. You’ve got to take itone day at a time, and there’s no manual or anything like that. It’s not a conscious change, it just happensto you all of a sudden. We had Harlow, and suddenly our prioritieschanged. We’ve both done a lot in our lives, had a lot of fun, but nowit’s time to be parents, which is a different kind of fun. The priorityis our daughter and the kind of family we build around her.

The turnaround for the couple, young Hollywood fixtures themselves, has been one they felt they needed to make to provide a strong family foundation for their daughter.

We’re very serious about raising her the right way … We’re both very hands-on about our daughter, because she’s the priority. I still am able to go out occasionally. I’m still able to DJ, and [Good Charlotte] will be going on tour, but for the most part, I don’t go out with Harlow to places where I think that she could be put in danger. That aspect of Hollywood isn’t a part of my life. You have to respect what it is, but you don’t have to participate in it.

Click below for Joel’s thoughts on Nicole as a mom, being a pushover, and how being a parent will change his songwriting for Good Charlotte.

Echoing her father Lionel’s statements, Joel admits Nicole has taken him aback with her dedication to her daughter — even if sometimes he puts a kink in her routine!

Nicole is the best mom I’ve ever seen. She’s so serious about being a mom. If anything, I’m the parent who gives the baby whatever shewants. Nicole has her on a schedule. She knows exactlywhat she needs. I just spoil her. If she’s crying, I’ll take her out ofthe crib and give her whatever she wants, so it’s a good balance.

Joel even finds his personal life becoming enmeshed with his work. He and identical twin brother Benji are starting to begin work on a follow-up to last year’s Good Morning Revival. The last album from Good Charlotte was a much more serious and mature record than their previous efforts, and Joel expects the trend to continue.

We just started writing a record, and I’m sure [becoming afather] is going to affect the way I write and what I write about. It’smade me think differently about life. It’s definitelymade me think about my fans a little more, because they’re people’skids, so I care what they think. And I care what I’m saying to them,because I want people to think about what they’re saying to my child… So it makes me care about what I’m doing a little bit more. And itmakes you think about other people too.

Source: MTV

Thanks to CBB reader Carina.


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stephanie on

Where did that dress that Harlow is wearing come from. It is gorgeous!

Sarah’s note: It’s by Margery Ellen.

Nicole R. on

“Nicole has her on a schedule. She knows exactly what she needs. I just spoil her. If she’s crying, I’ll take her out of the crib and give her whatever she wants”

My personal opinion is that whatever a baby wants IS what they need — you can’t spoil a baby! I also believe in picking up a crying baby to give it what it wants — which is probably something fundamental like milk, a diaper, or love. Wants and needs are identical, and that’s not spoiling.

Barbara on

Good Job Nicole and Joel. Keep up the good work.

kelly on

hes so sweet they both seem a lot more mature since harlow good 4 both of them

jlove_taylor on

Relax he’s just a proud grampa that can’t wait to spoil his little granddaughter. He’s not some expert giving out wrong advice…(Besides that a lot of people do believe in some degree of self- soothing for little ones). It’s cute how excited he is to be a grampa– she already has him wrapped around her little finger.

Sarah’s note: I think maybe you misread the post? This is about Joel, not Lionel.🙂 on

I haven’t seen that photo of the three of them…very cute! I was expecting them to instantly mature upon Harlow’s arrival and it truly seems as if major changes have been made…for the right reasons and not in a regretful way at all. I wish them the best!

Becky on

You cannot spoil a baby–that, I would agree with. But, you can overindulge a baby. And, if this overindulgence continues into childhood, the consequences may not be optimal.

Megan on

What baby wants is what baby needs. They are identical in a young baby.

I hope he keeps picking her up when she cries.

Becky1 on

You know, since he’s always wearing hats, I don’t really think I knew what color hair Joel had. They sound like great parents.

Patti on

I love the 3 of them!!! I get tears in my eyes every time I read a Joel-post!!! lol Really! So sweet,… so sincere!! God bless them:)

Steph on

I am falling in love with this dad. He is just so sweet and loving. One of my favorite’s.

joely moley on

Aw, I know exactly what he means about spoiling Harlow😉 He reminds me a lot of my sister’s husband. He does the same.

Pam on

I am really, really getting to like them as parents. I admit, when they announced the pregnancy, I was on the “oh no!” side, but I have been EXTREMELY impressed by these two.

About spoiling, I agree that you really can’t spoil a baby, but I also agree that it is good to give them ‘alone time’ (but not really alone, you are around and checking them) on their playmat or in their crib or exersaucer when old enough, so that you can get in a shower without a screamfest. I am a big proponent of some tenets of attachment parenting myself, but I also found it important to have my son on somewhat of a schedule regarding his nap and feeding times, and to have him comfortable with being able to calm himself down.

Good Charlotte's biggest fan!!!! on

I love Joel so much. I’m so happy for him and Nicole. What a beautiful baby Harlow is!! Congratulations to both of you.

Beatrice on

You cannot spoil a young baby. Babies shouldn’t be left to self soothe until at least 5 months, when they start developing the ability to do so!

Street Pooch on

So sweet….
I wish I had a good start like that.

Baby! Welcome to the wonderful world!

A of the Kurdestan-Iran(Sanandaj city) on

im an iranian boy, and lm proud of it.i read all of your site.i live with my psrentes we are a religious family.we havent any problem,and i thankful of your site for human society.

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