While Janet Jackson grew up in the spotlight she never really enjoyed the cameras and very rarely has done interviews — and knowing firsthand what it’s like being under public scrutiny from a very young age is arguably one of the reasons the superstar has wanted to keep her 3-year-old son Eissa out of the limelight. As the music legend turns 54 Saturday, May 16 we’re diving into what we know about Jackson as a mom and how giving birth has changed her life forever.
“My son has shown me that love, no matter how deeply you believe you have experienced that emotion, can always go deeper. Love is limitless. And for someone like me, raised in show business where self-concern is always a priority, how fortunate I am now to be concerned, first and foremost, with the welfare of someone else,” Jackson told Billboard. “Day after day and night after night, holding my baby in my arms, I am at peace. I am blessed. I feel bliss. In those moments, all is right with the world.”
Janet had always wanted to have children but didn’t know what God had planned for her and in 2009 just after breaking up with longtime boyfriend Jermaine Dupri, Janet spoke to Harper’s Bazaar about wanting to have kids. “Sure, I’d adopt,” she said. “And I think that if I’m really supposed to have kids, it will happen if that’s God’s plan for me.”
And years later in 2016 at age 49 Janet announced to the world she and then-husband Wissam Al Mana were going to start a family — the star took to Twitter to announce the news.
“I thought it was important that you be the first to know. My husband and I are planning our family, so I’m going to have to delay the tour. Please, if you can try and understand that it’s important that I do this now. I have to rest up, doctor’s orders. But I have not forgotten about you. I will continue the tour as soon as I possibly can.”
A message from Janet…https://t.co/KrzYZ4eyvD
— Janet Jackson (@JanetJackson) April 6, 2016
According to a source Jackson’s pregnancy wasn’t the easiest but the then 50-year-old welcomed baby boy Eissa Al Manna January 2017. 3 months later Jackson called it quits with Eissa’s father Wissam Al Mana and in a rare interview opened up about being a single mother.
“It is hard being a working mother,” she told Stellar. “I don’t have a nanny. I do it all myself. If my mother did it with nine children, there’s no reason I can’t. Of course, when I’m working someone watches him, but it’s my baby and me. It’s not easy at times, but my life has changed. Obviously my baby comes first.”
8 months after giving birth Janet decided to go back on tour. “She does it all,” Janet’s older brother Tito said in an interview. She’s a real mother. She loves it. I asked her, ‘How are you getting along with this?’ and she said, ‘Tito, I love it.’ She just loves her baby. She’s great at being a mother. It’s really great. I guess it sort of makes her feel complete.”
And even when not working Janet chooses to spend her time with Eissa having said that even on days off her time always involves her son. “I would take him to the museum, take him to the park, or we might have some Jackson family playtime with his cousins,” and though they might be recognized by paparazzi she doesn’t let that stop her from living her life. “I get bothered and recognized, but I do it anyway. I just try to be cordial and smile. And just keep it moving, really.”
Janet has a lot of wisdom to share with her boy and went into detail about what she hopes Eissa will learn from her. “The foundation of being grounded and also of a higher power. Knowing who he is and that we are all equal no matter the race or gender. And that he is to be respectful towards others but also that others are respectful to him,” the singer said.
And although only 3-years-old the little one is already starting to have something in common with his mom, a love of music. He’s already playing the violin, cello, drums, harmonica — yes, you heard us correctly. The proud mom shared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon he’s been taking his musical instruments to school. “First day of school, he took the violin to school. Third day of school, he says, ‘Mama I want to take a cello to school.’ I said, ‘Baby, you don’t have a cello.’ He said, ‘Turn my violin into a cello. Please, mama.’”
Jackson’s also said Eissa has started to sing! “He wakes me up every single morning singing his own melodies,” the legendary songstress said of her youngin. But despite his musical talents, Janet wouldn’t be thrilled if her son wanted to follow in her footsteps having said, even before Eissa was born, that she wouldn’t be encouraging of her kids pursuing entertainment “unless it was something they really wanted to do. If they knew what they were up against.”
So while having her son pursue a music career might not have been her first choice it sounds like she’s supportive of whatever Eissa decides. And while we’re sure there will be many fun twists and turns ahead — we know one thing is for sure, this mom and son duo have so many more memories to create together and we’re excited about their journey.
Before you go, click here to see all the celebrity moms who gave birth over 40.