Kelis recalls the confusing reality of changing your mind about having kids

Speaking on the Changes With Annie MacManus podcast, Kelis has discussed the reality of being pregnant after always thinking she didn’t want kids.

Kelis is iconic for a range of reasons. She gave us 00s hits that had an empowering vibe we all felt, including Milkshake and I Hate You So Much Right Now (all together now: “Arghhh!”). We then learned of her culinary talents with the release of her 2015 book My Life On A Plate and an intriguing 2020 Netflix show called Cooking With Cannabis. A couple of years ago, the star was also vocal in talking about her allegedly “abusive” relationship with her former husband. Oh, and last year she casually relocated to a remote farm just outside of Los Angeles. 

So of course we were all ears when the singer-turned-chef appeared as a guest on this week’s episode of the Changes With Annie MacManus podcast. 

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Kelis chats about leaving her record label to join culinary school, overcoming assumptions that other people have of her and surviving the music industry. 

But one thread of conversation that really got us thinking was Kelis’ experience of finding out she was pregnant despite previously saying she didn’t want children. With fertility becoming a discussion that women are finally breaking the stigma around, it’s a refreshing listen to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation. 

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“I had my oldest in 2009, it’s game-changing,” Kelis says. “I have friends who were always broody and I wasn’t that person. My life was everything I wanted it to be: I was travelling, I was single, I was like, ‘This is great!’ I didn’t have that moment where I was like, ‘I want to have a child’ so when I had him I was always very clear about the type of parent I didn’t want to be.”

Explaining her concerns about how having a child would affect her career, she adds: “I loved my life so much and I felt like all the chicks who had kids changed so much that there was always some sort of ‘should have, would have’… I didn’t want that. 

“So I packed that little sucker up and he’s been on tour with [me] ever since. Literally, nothing stopped. I shot a video three months after he was born, I went on tour all over the world and I didn’t stop. It made me so proud and so grateful. It made me realise what strength we have as women: it’s such a farce that we’ve been told anything else. I didn’t realise how strong I was until I had time. I didn’t realise how genuinely, truly powerful I was and how monumental we are as women in general. We model and build the word and somehow we’ve allowed people to tell us that’s not the case which is outrageous.”

Describing the journey of going through a divorce while pregnant, Kelis continues: “I was going through a divorce and I was pregnant… I remember thinking to myself, ‘Huh, the world has to be as it is.’”

She adds: “I felt sexier, smarter, stronger, braver than I could have ever felt and I think that for me, I came from a really bad marriage and the fact that I was a single mum. People were like, ‘Oh that must be crazy’ and I was like, ‘I actually prefer this! This is great!’ I felt like, I am a woman, hear me roar.”

You can listen to the full Kelis interview on the Changes With Annie MacManus podcast.

Top image: Getty

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