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Alicia Keys Says Motherhood’s “Most Rewarding Part is Everything”

Before Alicia Keys became a mother of two to Egypt and Genesis, the world knew her in the early aughts as a singer climbing the charts with her single “No One.” (Seriously, I still remember listening to that song on repeat on my car radio). But now, as a 15-time Grammy winner and the first female musical artist to host the Grammys twice, she has shifted her priorities to include navigating motherhood and inspiring women working in the industry. At the 2019 Women in Music Impact Brunch in Los Angeles, the uplifting music legend spoke to PEOPLE about how her children affect her actions and thoughts. 

“Motherhood, I find, makes you look at yourself in a way that is a mirror like no other that you’ve been presented with before,” she says. As a mother, certain ways of thinking that she adopted in the past have been dropped entirely. “Especially when it’s not my truth, but something that I’ve realized is that [when it comes to] learned behavior, I don’t want to give those things or pass those forward. Some of those things need to be let go.” Still, she reveals the rewarding parts of motherhood even with the extra caution that comes along with it. 

“Seeing them be safe, seeing them be strong-minded. Seeing them have their own thoughts and opinions. Seeing them being empathetic and having these character traits that you’re hoping that you’re sharing with them and they’re receiving,” she continues. 

The pressure for parents to be perfect all the time is like a child’s tantrum in the produce aisle — nagging and persistent (we still love em’ though!). But for Keys, acknowledging that parenting is both challenging and rewarding and sacrificial at the same time will help a lot of people navigate the murky waters of parenthood. As for the holidays, she told PEOPLE that she plans on staying home with friends and family. We love a good low-key celeb! 

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