We are major fans of Kelly Rowland. We've loved her for a while, but it seems that as the years go by, we love her more and more. Whether Rowland is delivering us some new music (and there should be more on the way since she's back in the studio!) or she's dishing on her favorite parenting tips, we will never find fault with her.
That's why we were so excited to have the chance to catch up with her in a phone interview recently. With back-to-school season upon us, we wanted to chat with Rowland not only about how she is preparing herself and her son, Titan, for a successful school year but also pick her brain on things like the essential, age-appropriate life lessons she wants to teach him and why she's teaming up with Clorox for a "Donors Choose" campaign that is all about supporting teachers.
SheKnows: Hey there, Kelly! How's your day going so far?
Kelly Rowland: It's going great. I'm just coming from Pilates.
SK: Are you a frequent Pilates-goer?
KR: Yes! It just happened over the summer, and it just makes me feel a little bit taller and I just feel so good.
SK: Are there any other kinds of self-care or activities that you do for yourself that you're really loving?
KR: I'm meditating right now. It just keeps me a little more focused and centered and calm. I'm also really into Epsom salt baths right now because my body is sore from Pilates. A nice little soak has just been so good for me recently.
SK: Oh nice! Since it's back-to-school season, we're curious to know: With Titan going back, have you guys had to deal with separation anxiety?
KR: On his first day of school last year, he literally looked back at me and held his friend's hand and said, "Bye, Mom! See you later!" and just went to class. There was absolutely no separation anxiety. He was just so excited to meet all these new kids in school and all I could think about was [the advice] everybody [gave me] that was preparing me for his first year [in school].
SK: We bet you have some good back-to-school preparation tips for moms. What are some organizational tips you're loving?
KR: Well, someone told me last year to start everything the evening before. Like if [Titan] is in the bathtub and he's playing with his whales — he's obsessed with whales right now — I actually prepare his clothes and everything the evening before and it makes the next morning extremely manageable. We brush our teeth every morning, the whole morning routine, get his clothes on, go downstairs, prepare breakfast, and he eats and we talk about the day. In the morning, it's great to be able to have this communication with a kid because you can get so wrapped up in your day that we have to always remember to keep those lines of communication open with them.
SK: At this stage in your journey as Titan's mom, are there any lessons or values you're hoping to pass along to him that are age-appropriate?
KR: The thing that I'm teaching him right now is his awareness of who he is. Like, when he brushes his teeth in the morning, I'm like, "You know, Titan is so handsome," "No one looks like Titan," "Titan is one of a kind" — you know what I mean? I actually learned that from watching Serena Williams' father train her. I remember watching him train her in videos — and even when I'm hanging out with her these days while she's practicing — and he was telling her, "You're No. 1, Serena Williams," "This is why you're so great, Serena Williams," "Wow, that's an awesome backhand, Serena Williams." To me, it just felt so loud because you're learning about who you are from your parent.
SK: We love that! Let's focus on you for a sec. Now that you're back in the studio, is there any chance you could tease what kind of direction you're going with your new music?
KR: I literally have gone into this project with wanting to make you [the listener] feel something, like, on the inside, you know what I mean? I want you to feel something in your gut, whether it's a fun song, whether it's a love song, whether it's a sexy song. The base, of course, is R&B. Rhythm and blues has always been a part of my DNA, and it makes up who I am as a woman, as an artist, as a wife and a human being.
SK: We love your partnership with Clorox for the Donors Choose campaign. Why did you want to team with them for such a great cause?
KR: I hear about students and classrooms all the time because two of my girlfriends work in a school district in Texas. They always have the same story, even though it's different things. For example, one friend says, "Oh, well, you know, such and such came to school today and she didn't have this because her family can't really afford it," and another friend is like, "Well, it comes back to funding for the art department because of this and that." I loved "Donors Choose" because I actually get to tell my friends about it, and it allows them the opportunity to have projects and create all these cool opportunities in the classrooms for the kids. That's what makes me excited. And you know, I'm just happy to be getting the word out about Donors Choose.
About Kelly Rowland & Clorox's Donors Choose campaign: Rowland is helping Clorox raise awareness for their partnership with Donors Choose, which supports teachers and classrooms across America by raising money for teachers to get the materials they need to create a successful learning environment.