When you’re a working mom, having to juggle a career and your responsibilities as a parent can be tough. No one knows that better than Fergie, who opened up about the guilt she feels trying to achieve work-life balance during a recent visit to ITV’s Lorraine.
Fergie, who shares 4-year-old son Axl Jack with ex-husband Josh Duhamel, released her second studio album, Double Dutchess, in September after a 10-year hiatus. During her Friday appearance, the 42-year-old pop singer told host Lorraine Kelly that the guilt she felt while making the album was “the worst,” adding:
“I remember going to the studio the first couple of times and sobbing in the car. It was the weirdest thing ever. That had never happened to me in my life. I’m going, ‘What is this?’”
Of course, Fergie isn’t the only celebrity mom to feel guilty over maintaining a career while also trying to be the best parent possible to their children. Country singer Carrie Underwood told the Associated Press in 2015 that “mom guilt is rampant in my life.”
“I am sure it is in any mom’s,” Underwood, who’s mom to 2-year-old Isaiah, said at the time. “I still constantly wonder, 'Is this fair to him? Is my life fair to him?'"
But all parent-guilt is not created equal—a reality Fergie acknowledged during her Friday appearance on Lorraine. “The men can have all the career in the world and still have children, but if you’re a mom and you have a career, it’s the mommy shaming,” the “You Already Know” songstress told Kelly. Being told, “‘You can’t do that anymore, you’re a mom!’”
There’s research to back up Fergie’s statement. A survey released this year by baby food company Beech-Nut found that more than 80% of millennial moms have reported being mom-shamed over everything from how they feed their babies to whether or not they work outside of the home.
And a study published by the University of Texas at Austin in 2015 revealed that working mamas in multiple countries, including the United States, feel tension between their roles as parents and as employees because of their country’s lack of supportive work-family policies.
Career moms also bear the heavier work burden. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, mamas with kiddos under 18 years old were about three times as likely as dad to say that being a working parent made it harder for them to climb the career ladder.
The mommy shaming doesn’t stop Fergie, though. The “Fergalicious” singer said during her Lorraine visit, “What am I supposed to do? I love singing and dancing. It’s who I am as a human.”
Amen to that.