Madonna: 'Life Is an Adjustment'

10/22/2009 at 03:00 PM ET
Courtesy Rolling Stone

Working out a custody arrangement in the wake of a divorce is difficult, but even more so when parents live on different continents. Madonna notes as much in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, conceding that things are “different” now for sons Rocco John, 9, and David Banda, 4 — who split their time between mom’s home and dad Guy Ritchie‘s house in England — and daughters Lourdes Maria, 13, and Mercy James, 3 ½, who are with the 51-year-old pop icon in New York City. She adds,

“Life is an adjustment. My sons aren’t with me right now, they’re with their father, and I’m not very comfortable with the idea of my children not living together. There are pros and cons, but I feel good now.”

Calling David her “biggest fan,” Madonna reveals that his devotion is on full display during her current world tour. “Everybody says that when he watches [my concerts] he stays frozen from beginning to end, and he studies everything, and he knows every dance step.” While she feels that David is “not jaded” like Lourdes and Rocco, Madonna’s older children are still fans of her music.

“Lourdes likes all my old songs. She’s really into the Eighties, from the way she dresses to the music she listens to. Rocco likes anything that I did with Timbaland. Basically, he’s a hip-hop and electronica boy.”

Quipping that her house “is like a Benetton ad,” Madonna says she “wouldn’t have it any other way.” Noting that “the more diverse the world you live in, the more open you are,” adopting Mercy and David from Africa has opened her eyes and provided “a new perspective on the world.”

“I have French nannies, my security guards are Israeli, I have assistants from Argentina and Puerto Rico as well as a Japanese assistant and chef, and another chef from Italy. It’s wonderful. I love it… My life is a cacophony of different languages and music.”

Source: Rolling Stone

— Missy

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 36 comments

Something About Baby on

As the mother of four, Madonna certainly leads a busy life and need lots of help. It sounds like she really put the happiness of her children as her #1 priority.

Hurley on

I can’t believe her kids watch her performances, which can be quite sexually graphic!

aroundtheywaygirl on


Renee on

Wow, assistants and nannies and an assistant chef and a chef and another chef! Unbelievable, all of us only wish and dream for that. My goodness, it must be nice, but only in my dreams!

Linell on

I have always been a fan of Madonna, you just got to love her transformations.
It has nice to see that she has settled into Motherhood

*waiting for the holier than thou’s to make comments*

Natasha on

I’m glad Guy gets his time with his boys and people can stop saying he doesn’t spend time with them.

Katie on

I was just thinking that it might be hard for Lourdes to not be seeing Guy anymore…after all, she lived with him for a long time.

Amanda on

You can definitely tell that Lourdes loves the 80’s just by the way she dresses. She has great individual style. I’m not Madonna’s biggest fan but she seems to be doing right by those kids and that’s the most important thing to me.

Lmao @ aroundthewaygirl and Linell. I’ve made my comment and I’m ducking out now before it gets messy!

Jenifer on

LOL, this should get nice and ugly real quick.

I don’t particularly like Madonna but that’s just personal music taste.

Carol M. on

It’s funny that all of the negative comments are coming from the negative comment predictors.

JMO on

Not everything of Madonna’s in the 80’s is raunchy or explicit. I have the immaculata collection and it’s always in top rotation on my cd player or ipod. Love the old Madonna material.

I wonder if Lourdes sees Carlos and how often? I would hope that Guy is still close to her.

Lolabean on

Here’s a negative comment!!!!

I get that it’s an interview about Madonna but usually stars at least pretend that they don’t think the world revolves around them! David just stares at me. He’s MY biggest fan! Lourdas likes my old music. Rocco likes my newer stuff. Mercy runs my fan club…

I don’t care that she bought some kids from Africa or that she has a lot of help raising them. She probably has someone to wipe her butt which is fine since that just helps the economy. Yet geez, her desperation for attention as she ages is sad and someone should have the balls to tell her to fake a common touch. The Queen of England seems more relatable than Madonna these days but like so many celebrities, she’s surrounded by yes-men. Oh, but they’re yes-men from Argentina, Israel, Japan, etc…

missy on

JMO, Carlos lives in NYC so I’m sure he sees Lourdes regularly. I’ve seen photos of them walking around holding hands, so they seem to have a good relationship. I also read that Carlos and Madonna recently threw Lourdes a 13th B-Day part together.

Natasha on

JMO, Lourdes definitely does see Carlos, I (obviously) don’t know the arrangement but sometimes we see paparazzi pictures of them.

Chris on

I wonder how Mercy will feel as as she grows up since all of her siblings have father figures in their lives.

Jessie on

I don’t see the problem, she has a lot of staff because she lives in London, NY, and LA (she’s not saying all that staff is in one home)… and she’s a huge celebrity! The more people she’s giving jobs to, the better, right? lol Not only that, but now she’s a single parent splitting her time between NY/London and she was traveling (on tour) when she gave the interview so she was going to have more staff then. She was in London with the girls and Rocco and David were with Guy for the week. All the kids and Madonna then traveled together to her last shows after the interview.

I am really glad that she does have a diverse staff, family, and friends. Lourdes speaks Spanish, French, and English and keeps in touch with her Latin side and I hope Mercy and David will also keep in touch with their Malawian culture. I hear she is taking them back to visit the country this week.

@Hurley- Her last tour wasn’t really “raunchy,” it was really toned down. We also don’t know if the kids stay for the whole show or only see parts of it.

@JMO- Madonna has said that Carlos and Lourdes talk every day and now that they are living in NY, they probably see each other often. They seem to have a close relationship. I hope that Guy has a good relationship with her because he was her parent for nearly 10 years.

Simply Bohemian on

# 7 Katie,

I was wondering the same thing. I went through that same age and time with my step dad. I don’t think many realize that just because your a step-child/parent doesn’t mean you don’t go though a grieving process as well.
I hope counseling for the kids has been sought.
To those making snide comments, really lets be adults here. everyone is entitled to their opinion. Lets agree to disagree 😉

Jessie on

Lolabean–maybe you should read the full interview in context because they asked her about how her children felt about her job and music so she is responding to that. The question were about her, her career, and her music because the article was a retrospective of her career. As for the rest of the comment, it seems quite bitter and resentful.

I don’t think it’s the job of celebrities to try to paint themselves as common folk. If people are expecting that, maybe they should go to a site that isn’t about celebrities?

Chris– just because Mercy doesn’t have a father, that doesn’t mean she can’t have father figures or positive male role models in her life. Guy Oseary, Madonna’s longtime friend of more than 20 years, is constantly with them (he also has a child) and so is Steven Klein, another longtime friend of hers. There is also Carlos who is Lourdes’ dad, but who would include Rocco in many outings.

Jessie on

I don’t know why such defamatory and disrespectful comments such as “she bought some kids from Africa” are allowed on a site about children. I would expect posters to act like adults and not make such hateful and childish comments. That doesn’t mean everyone has to agree, just that we make comments in a mature manner.

Natasha on

This has been said in other comment sections but even if Guy wanted to see Lourdes, who says Madonna would let him? He has no legal rights over her.

Lisa on

Carlos and Lourdes have a good relationship together. Lourdes always sees her Dad and on a number of occasions (espically when Guy and Madonna were still married) I would see Carlos with both Lourdes and Rocco. So it was nice to see that he included Rocco as well.

Guy and Lourdes always had a good relationship too. When he got together with Madonna, it was back in 1998/99 and so Lourdes was about 3/4 years old and so he has been around her life for many years and so I hope that it continues to be good. That is what I see changing. I hope that they work out a system as well, where Lourdes and Guy still see each other but it would be hard because of course, the number one relationship has to be between Lourdes and Carlos.

lori on

Lolabean – is negative about everything she posts. look at other pics on this website the one of dannilynn and dad. I know this is a post and everyone does have a right to their own opinion but on the other hand if you dont have nothing positive to say then why post it? why dont you keep it to your self? im curious to know why?does posting something negative make you feel better? yes some kids may be cuter than others , some parents may raise their kids differently than others but in the end this site is a positive place too look at celebrity children if you choose to.

Hilda on

So what that Madonna has a mighty big staff. She can have a complete staff for each kid. She has the money to do it. It’s not like she snaps her fingers for what she wants & gets. She busts her behind each & every day to do so. How else could she have time for her kids?!? Props to Madonna!!!!!

Dana on

“her last tour wasn’t really raunchy” WHAT??? LOL! She enters on a chair (not work safe), (bleeps) men’s laps and inanimate objects, squats while thrusting her (bleep) at the audience, (bleeps) a female dancer- and so on- no, it wouldn’t be raunchy- if you were raised in a (house of ill repute) and you and your whole family worked there.

NO child should see any of her shows- not just because of the ongoing sexual content, but because she has defamed and abused two groups- women and Christians- since she started. Only people who share her views go to her shows and buy her products.

melanie on

Normally I’m one to defend celebrities but I’m with Dana on this one…

Ariana G on

Dana, I don’t think that is the case. She has strong points of view and the message is sometimes lost with those who don’t bother actually watching her shows. She has stood up for women’s rights and those of minorities. I don’t understand how she is abusing or victimizing anyone or any group. If you have something against her personally that’s your prerogative. They are her children and she gets to decide how to raise them. It’s a performance and not what she wears or how she acts in her daily life. Sexuality is not a bad word or something negative and some are open minded, that doesn’t mean they were raised in homes of “ill repute.” And yes, I don’t find homosexuality offensive. Oh well, I guess I’m a lost cause then.

We don’t know whether she’s explained things to her kids before they saw the shows and whether the children actually see the whole show or only certain numbers. The show is split into four parts and the 80s section and the Rave section were pretty innocuous. I saw the show on TV and I find shows from other artists and her previous shows much more provocative. Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears, the Spice Girls and other artists have taken their children to their own shows and some of their shows have been much more provocative than Madonna’s last show, but nobody is saying anything about them.

CelebBabyLover on

Jessie- I couldn’t agree more with your comments about Mercy having a father-figure. I also want to add….What about Madonna’s boyfriend? He might be a father-figure to Mercy!

Anne on

I feel sorry for Guy in a way, because he spent so much time with Lourdes when he was married to Madonna that it seems unfair he can’t have time with her now.

Ariana G on

Oh, oh the “holier-than-thou” crowd has struck again. Her kids look happy and healthy. They also seem like they are close to her, so something is right. I’m glad Lola’s so well-rounded and aware, I hope her other children are too. Madonna has said all the kids have to finish school before deciding whether to pursue a career in the entertainment industry and I hope she continues to be strict about their education. By the way, I would have a big staff too if I had the money and that meant spending more time with friends and family and if, heaven forbid, that gave me some “me” time.

daze on

Dana, i don’t see anything wrong with HER kids seeing HER show. i’m sure she taught them the difference between what she does on stage and what’s appropriate in real life.
plus i don’t see in what she has defamed women and Christians. She can have different view than you on the subject.

i’m not a fan of her. mostly i don’t like her music that much and she seems a little too ambitious to be honest but she always appears as someone with values and moral (different than your but still)

on another note, i do feel sorry that Mercy will grow up seeing her siblings going to their father…

Lissette on

I remember when she was pregnant with Lourdes people would question what kind of a mother she would be. I think she’s turned out to be a great mother! Being Madonna, of course she’s going to have nannies and security and chefs. It’s great to hear how much her kids enjoy her music and style.

lori on

if thats how you feel about her Dana then why did you even waste your time actually watching her show? shes not perfect by any means at all but neither are you. defamed and abused women and christians? everything you listed 90% of performers do, its the entertainment industry i mean come on…are they suppose to sit on a stool with their legs crossed like a lady and sing? get over it. if you dont want your kids to watch it, then more power to you. but you have no right saying no kid should see it. if your child knows right from wrong and was raised with morals and values and understands its “entertainment performance” then why couldnt they see it? sometime you need to step outside the little box and realize what matters most in life, teaching your child how to live in this world and see it, not bash everything going on it it because its not gonna change no matter how much you shelter your child.

Mary-Helen on

Madonna certainly has her hands full, and if I could afford her staff, I would have the cooks and the maids. There I said it.

I feel for her when she talks about her sons being in England, it must be hard for the family to be split up during Guy’s time with the boys.

Wendy on

Hoo-Boy, Madonna’s publicity team is out in full force today! Tipoff: they (or maybe it’s just one person!) Post the same arguments- sometimes word for word- on other sites. Well done Madonna staff!

CelebBabyLover on

daze- How do you know Mercy won’t some day have a father of her own?

DCloghan on

hhahaha so if there are any positive comments they must be from her pr team. i dont think she cares about what they say about her. what about the repetitive negative comments who’s paying for those ?? fans, nonfans, comment stalkers, whatever, its a waste of time. i guess the internet is serious business for some. i don’t care all that much they are her kids and she’ll decide. young kids go see graphic violent movies or read comics about superheroes, but a woman in her underpants in a show, oh no scary stuff !! i think david will be able to tell the difference between a show and real life and heck if superheroes can run around in their underpants on stage, why can’t mom ?? 🙂