Gwen Stefani: Having Kids with Gavin Is the ‘Ultimate Collaboration’

12/17/2012 at 01:00 PM ET

Gwen Stefani: Having Kids with Gavin Is the 'Ultimate Collaboration' Courtesy Vogue

Despite her long list of impressive accolades, Gwen Stefani doesn’t have a problem pinpointing one of her proudest accomplishments.

The songstress, 43, and her husband Gavin Rossdale celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary in September, a feat Stefani admits is far from easy, but worth the work.

“It’s pride. You feel proud. There are just so many rewards that come with it,” she tells the January issue of Vogue.

“But, actually, it’s fun to get to this point. Because you learn so much about somebody. It’s like these wars that go on and then you kind of get through to the other side, and it’s like, ‘Wow.'”

Strengthening their 16-year-long love has been the addition of the couple’s two children, sons Kingston James McGregor, 6½, and Zuma Nesta Rock, 4.

“Having kids takes the whole relationship to another place. It is the ultimate collaboration,” she explains. “Both of us have such strong opinions about how it should be, and it’s really fun to do it together.”

Fortunately for Stefani, it was a gradual ease into motherhood, with the biggest challenges of raising children finally presenting themselves only when it was time to send her eldest son off to school.

“At first your life is totally the same. You have this cute little thing that you get to drive around everywhere and you’re so proud and it’s amazing,” she says. “And as they grow older, it really does start to change your life. Like, ‘Oh my God, they have school, they have to get through first grade, they have to learn to read.’ It starts getting so serious, and you’re like, ‘Ahhh!'”

The sudden reality of parenting her rambunctious boys hit Stefani full force in 2011, when Rossdale headed out on tour with his band Bush to promote their first album after a 10-year hiatus.

With the dynamic parenting duo continents apart, the mom-of-two, who was once able to withstand longer stretches of separation from Rossdale, found her family wasn’t nearly as functional without her better half.

“I mean, he was there for me mentally, but physically? These boys are physical. They wake up and they start punching each other!” Stefani says with a laugh.

“One thing we’ve had in our relationship the whole time is that we can have it both ways: together, not together, and it’s fine. But when you have kids? It’s not so great. They need him.”

She continues, “Once you have a family, it’s just so obvious how everyone needs each other. So it’s really nice to have him back.”

Although she held down the homefront while Rossdale was away, the couple have also been known to pack up the troops and bring their boys along on the road. Most memorably, Stefani hit the stage while pregnant with Kingston and continued touring after welcoming her son — balancing breastfeeding and show schedules.

“I would want to throw up during certain songs. Certain outfits would make me sick. It was torture. I toured until I was 4½ months pregnant, showing,” she recalls, returning to the road when Kingston was 8 months old.

“I nursed him for 14 months, so I would literally do my hair and makeup, go back to the bus, nurse him, put him down and walk out on stage. And I did that for 100 shows.”

Fortunately for the No Doubt frontwoman, there have been performances that have kept her much closer to home — and to her boys. Teaming up with her bandmates after a three-year break, the group swapped out concert venues for a much more intimate atmosphere when they agreed to participate in Zuma’s school fundraiser.

“I was going to do an acoustic thing with Tom [Dumont], just a couple of songs. The night before we were like, ‘Why don’t we all do it?'” she shares. “And we got up there and we did these songs, and it was a very surreal setting. It was kind of weird going to school the next day. Oooh, awkward! But it was so great.”

From her personal to her professional lives — and her whole brood of boys, from her band to her family — Stefani is utterly blessed. So much so, that she admits she often wonders if it’s all just a dream.

“[Our house is] an all-white box, super modern, 30 foot ceilings, marble floors. It’s just so nice,” she says. “I never thought I’d live in a house like this. Every day I’m like, ‘Really? Are you serious? Thank you, God. This is too good.'”

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 25 comments

Alissa on

WOW! I can’t even imagine trying to tour with an 8 month old and nursing him before doing a live show!!!! What an amazing effort…glad Gwen was able to balance it all out and have the life she wanted. Love her…even more now!

Tiffany on

Glad to hear people talk about marriage taking work and noting that it isn’t perfect. They seem like a great family.

Eva Rey on

Always loved her she seems so real and down to earth

Mary Mums on

Gwen and Gavin are such positive role models. They have it all together. Marriage then kids. Wish more young Hollywood couples would follow in their footsteps. Wishing them a lifetime of happiness!!!

808Momof3 on

It’s so great to hear a woman acknowledge that her children NEED their father. I feel the same way about my husband. Dads aren’t accessories, they are necessities.

Mia on

Love gx! – Great article. Wishing the best for her and all of ND families in 2013.

Marie Thiel on

What a refreshing take on life, someone who is thankful for what she has and loves who she has, and isn’t afraid to say it, good for her, wishing her the same continuing luck in her life.

Ellen on

Gwen just rules. Power woman, talented, super mom. But humble and admits it’s work.
Go Gwen!

luvmykidsndog on

That is so awesome for them all. They will have great boys who will know how 2 appreciate what they have. She’s an amazing woman. on

To be able to say “My boys NEED their father” makes you a really strong woman. Good for you!

Anonymous on

I love this article!

Anonymous on

Also, I love what she said about the boys needing their dad. Halle Berry could stand to take a few lessons from her, IMO!

JE on

She is so awesome and has some great family values!

Dena on

Gwen, you are an amazing and humbling role model. You are a shining light for all of us!!

merry on

I like the way she talks about her marriage and family – like it isn’t easy and always perfect, but you have to work on it. She is very reflective and seems smart.

Sonja on

They seem like a really cool, down-to-earth rock ‘n roll couple. Good role model of positivity for the other couples. Hopefully, they’ll continue to navigate together through the years.

Noneya on

Absolutely LOVE these two and their boys (although I have to admit I’m a little jealous – Gavin is SOO HOT!)! Wishing them many more years together!!

Noneya on

Absolutely LOVE thes two and their boys! (Although I am a little jealous – Gavin is SOO HOT!)! Wishing them many more happy years together!!! ROCK ON you two!

lauralove on

Humble and beautuful the world needs more you! Great job Gwen your family is beautiful! I love seeing your face!

rachel on

Great God she looks good! Marriage and family and work agrees with her!

Best Wishes to you, Gavin and the boys!

Jane on

Her thoughts on the importance of fathers in the lives of their children is one of the reasons I dislike the nameof this blog and the times that children are described only as their, Drew’s baby, Beyonce’s baby, like their is no father. It is not all about Moms and babies.

Anonymous on

I loved the article until she bragged about her house.

Anonymous on

I’ve always admired this couple. As wild as their style is, they really do seem down-to-earth. And goodness, I think Gwen is so pretty! Same with her children!

However. Her 2nd son DEFINITELY got the short end of the stick in the whole name department. why do celebs do that?

Anonymous on

Anonymous- (The one who said Zuma “got the short-end of the stick namewise”)- Google “unusual baby names”. It’s hardly just a celebrity thing!

mg on

Love her!