Solange Knowles is protective of her privacy as a mother. But over the years, she’s shared a few glimpses into her parenting mindset and experiences.
The singer welcomed her son Julez in October 2004, when she was 18. In the years since, she’s spoken about balancing music and motherhood, being a teen mom, building her village and more.
In honor of her birthday, we’ve rounded up seven quotes about motherhood from Knowles.
On What She Would Tell Her Younger Self
“You will be terrified, and it’s OK that you don’t know what the future holds. Some people will count you out because of the decision you’ve made to bring another life into the world so young, but you made the decision out of love and will live with the decision in love.”
On Living Near Family In Brooklyn, New York
“You know, my parents are here, my sister is here, my cousin is here, all my friends are here. We really wanted Julez to have the experience that we had growing up ― being able to drop in on his aunt’s house and being able to hang out with Grandma and see our friends and have that experience of actually having a soccer game and having family show up. It’s such a beautiful feeling, but also having that village is a necessary reality so that I’m able to pursue my passion both outside of motherhood and outside of my career.”
On Being A Single Mom
“I do the best I can, which involves a lot of saying no to things, actually, and a lot of really organized scheduling and a lot of help, to be honest.”
On How Writing ‘A Seat At The Table’ Made Her A Better Mother
“I had to make this album to become a better me, but also a better mother. I couldn’t carry everything and give my son the most undivided attention and love and nurturing as I was working through these battles. Something a lot of people don’t realize is when you have to work through some of these traumas and challenges with yourself, and you’re having to take care of another human being and make sure that they feel protected and aren’t carrying any of that weight ... I feel like I’m more equipped now, through working that stuff out through my art and not bringing it home, and making sure that our home is a safe place filled with love and nurturing and a sense of lightness. I want my son to be able to exist in this world without all of those burdens. I want him to be smart and aware, and I want him to be equipped. I don’t want him to carry the burden and pass on the traumas that exist when you’re existing here.”
On Being A Working Mom
“As an artist mom, that’s something I think people rarely speak about, but I know it’s something that other female artists face, too: the internal conflict that happens, and how to switch it off ― when you’re a mother, it’s challenging. I’m really grateful that I’ve found a rhythm, but it took some time to find it. Now, if I’m going to be part of a project, then I really have to feel it, because there’s a sacrifice that I have to make to be away from my family. When [my son] was younger, he came everywhere with me, so there was a lot more freedom with that. Now my son is 11 and about to go into middle school. They grow up so fast. That’s my heart and pride, and when I go home, that’s all that matters.”
On The Reality Of Parenthood
“I played [the Brooklyn Academy of Music] on Friday, and the following morning I had to pick Julez up from a sleepover and take him to parties, one over in Flatbush, one over in Red Hook. And luckily I have a car here, but sometimes I feel like nothing more than a next-level carpool driver.”
On Life As A Musician Parent
“8 gigs, 8 studio sessions, 6 flights, in 2 weeks... but got to sleep in my bed for 2 nights. While I was home Julez pulled out my chair for me at lunch, said he’d sell his Nintendo so I could get a dress I loved when we went stopped by a store... he’s phenomenal and I’m in love with [him]. It’s really really hard to be away. I cried this morning because this is the longest we’ve been apart and my insides kind of split in half when I headed to the airport, but I’m working really really hard to finish this damn album and so grateful to have his and my hubby’s support.”