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Gwen Stefani Dishes on Marriage and Motherhood in Marie Claire

Gwen Stefani on the cover of Marie Claire.

It’s hard to believe that a woman who looks this beautifully fierce and who has such mad singing talent could possibly ever have a moment of doubt or struggle in her life.

But Gwen Stefani freely admits that being a mother has made her realize that she can’t do it all – and that her priorities and schedule have changed as a result.

In the October issue of Marie Claire – on newsstands Sept. 18 – Stefani describes what was going on in her life while she was recording her new album, Push and Shove. Reuniting and touring with No Doubt was like “swimming upstream,” she says, “trying to balance what was going on with having kids and a family. There’s no way to do all those things.”

She continues:

“I would be up all night because my second baby [Zuma, now 4] didn’t sleep, and he had a lot of ear infections. Then I’d wake up in the morning and do my workout, which I always felt I had to do, and then meetings for my three clothing lines, and then hang out with my kids, take them to preschool, da-da-da. And then at 4 o’clock, I’d be like, ‘All right, I’m out of here, I’m going to go to the studio’ and try to write a record. Sit on the couch [with my bandmates] and be like, ‘Let’s do this now because I’m missing time with the kids; I could be having dinner with them and putting them to bed.’ It was really hard.”

Juggling work and family, she admits, means that she can’t please everyone all the time. “Every day I fail at something,” she says. “Every day someone is suffering because I’m doing all these things.”

But knowing where to cut back has made a big difference. She’s said goodbye to her solo days, rejoining her No Doubt bandmates for this new album. Gone are the intense workouts, replaced with simple healthy living so she can look good without “beating myself up.” Stefani has learned to delegate more at her L.A.M.B. fashion line. “I missed the last two Fashion Weeks because they were when school started; I can’t miss the first week of kindergarten.”

All this has freed her up to truly enjoy her marriage and family.

Zuma and Kingston are growing fast – and they’re typical rough-and-tumble brothers. “From the moment they wake up, they start beating on each other,” Stefani says. “I never knew they would be so physical. They’re just starting to play real well together, but with a lot of fighting. They do look out for each other – especially the little one, he really loves his older brother.”

And her relationship with husband Gavin Rossdale – they’ll celebrate 10 years of marriage this year – is “better than ever,” she says. “Like, we’re learning about each other all the time. He’s an amazing dad, he works so hard – I can hear him writing songs through the wall, and it is at a much quicker pace than me!’

Most importantly, it’s a marriage based on respect and genuine affection. “He balances me out,” Stefani says. “And he – he never stops liking me, which is awesome! It makes me feel happy, that someone likes me as much as he does.”

For more from Gwen Stefani, pick up the October issue of Marie Claire, or check out their preview here.

[Photo: Courtesy Marie Claire/Hearst Magazines]

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