How do stars like Cardi B juggle touring with parenthood?

By Helen Bushby
Entertainment and arts reporter

  • Published
Cardi BImage source, Reuters
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Cardi B is putting her baby before the tour

Rap superstar Cardi B has found out the hard way how tough it is trying to carry on with your career soon after having a baby.

She was due to join Bruno Mars on the road less than two months after giving birth to daughter Kulture Kiari. But after some soul-searching, she decided to pull out, saying: "I'm not ready to leave my baby behind".

Mars has been fully supportive, but it wasn't easy for her to give up the tour she had been so sure she would be able to manage.

In April she'd announced to Jimmy Fallon: "I'm doing the Bruno Mars tour, and I'm taking my baby with me!"

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Her change of heart isn't that surprising. Everyone's experiences are different, but having a newborn is exhausting and challenging - as well as hopefully rewarding.

But for artists like Cardi B, whose careers are cemented with tour dates, having a tiny baby can present a stark choice.

Cassie Raine, co-founder of Parents in Performing Arts, said the music, theatre and dance industries "treat caring responsibilities as an anomaly".

She added: "If we are going to make the performing arts truly reflective of our society, provision for caring should be routine."

So how easy is it to combine touring and being a parent?

Image source, Getty Images
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Adele's 25 sold 2.4 million copies around the world in 2016

Adele toured for 10 months to mark her album 25 when her son Angelo was four. But she admitted that the 2016 gigs hadn't been easy.

"I'm enjoying touring, but at times I feel guilty because I'm doing this massive tour, and even though my son is with me all the time, on certain nights I can't put him to bed."

She made sure she enjoyed her free time with him, adding: "I never feel guilty when I'm not working."

Angelo got to see her perform for first time during that tour, and she tearfully shouted "I love you so much Peanut!" in the middle of Someone Like You.

Image source, Ian West

Paloma Faith, who is currently on tour in the UK and Australia until November, has taken her child with her. The child was born in late 2016, so will be nearly two when it ends.

The star told iNews that touring had been a difficult prospect because she and her husband Leyman Lahcine had struggled to find the right balance with a nanny.

Things became easier after Lahcine took 12 months off work to be their child's full-time carer.

"Oh my God, it's like a whole pressure has been lifted, it's unbelievable," she said. "I feel like he's sexier than he was before now, too.

"It's really refreshing and uplifting and wonderful to see a man taking responsibility for a portion of your family life."

Image source, Getty Images

Janet Jackson also combined motherhood with touring, resuming her world tour eight months after the birth of her first child Eissa, born in January last year.

She had postponed the tour before the baby was born so she could focus on her family.

Image source, Parlophone

Lily Allen was also keen to combine motherhood with touring, saying in 2014 she would take her daughters, aged three and one, to her shows with Miley Cyrus.

Closer magazine reported her as saying: "They are going to meet me in New York and then come on the bus with me and Miley. Well I don't think Miley will be on my bus, she's probably got other plans."

But Allen added: "I'm not going to take them to Australia. I'm only there for seven days and they're both under three so that would be a bit mean.

"It's probably a lot easier for me because I've got a bit of money and nannies and my job's really fun. I'm very happy, very lucky."

But she was less positive earlier this year about having to spend time away from her children while on tour now they are older.

"My kids were pining for me [but] I was actually scared of them rejecting me," she said.

"There'd been moments on the tour where I'd gone home for a few days and if one of them had fallen over, they'd go straight to daddy or to my mum - and that was painful because I obviously wanted them to come to me and feel comforted by me.

"Because I'd been away for such a long stretch of time, I was convinced they wouldn't even know me so I was like, 'I'll keep working. I'll just be away.'"

Image source, EPA
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UK viewers were not shown Robbie's provocative gesture (not shown here either)

Robbie Williams was keen back in 2013 to keep his family united by taking his then nine-month old daughter Teddy on tour. He told Metro: "Of course she's going to come on tour with us - she's a very calming presence.

"It will probably mean I'll get more sleep because she's there, as opposed to less. She's rounding off my sharp edges as the weeks progress."

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