"Whoever you are, having children and raising them is a work of art."
Madonna revealed a list of 5 house rules for her kids in an Instagram story on Sunday, March 20. According to PEOPLE, the pop icon's 5 non-negotiables included, "1. Smile, 2. Be Happy, 3. Listen to others, 4. Speak Kindness, 5. Be Happy with what you have." The 64-year-old is mom to six children, Lourdes Leon, 26, Rocco Ritchie, 22, David Banda Ciccone, 17, Mercy James Ciccone, 17, and twins Stella and Estere Ciccone, 10.
The Like a Prayer hitmaker previously admitted that motherhood "has been the most difficult, the hardest battle." Madonna explained to Vanity Fair's "Icon Issue, "Today I am still struggling to understand how to be a mother and do my job." The singer noted how growing up with her as a mother is "a challenge" for her kids. "Whoever you are, having children and raising them is a work of art," she continued. "No one gives you a manual. You have to learn from mistakes. It is a profession that requires a lot of time. And it is exhausting because there is never rest."
Madonna Shares Her 5 'House Rules' for Her Kids: 'Be Happy With What You Have' https://t.co/7s020s2QOr— People (@people) March 20, 2023
As to what makes her "the happiest" in her role as a mother, it is seeing how each of her children "has found their creativity." She added, "I have never encouraged my daughter Lola to make music or my son Rocco to paint. But I've always exposed them to art, to music." She continued, "I'm happy with how they are today. And I'm proud of their work."
Over the years, the Papa Don't Preach singer has focussed much of her time and energy on raising her children. She chose to adopt after visiting Malawi a country in southeast Africa in 2006. At the time, she founded Raising Malawi, a nonprofit that aims to educate and support health services for many orphans in the country. She eventually ended up changing the lives of four kids in Malawi in particular. "It's inexplicable," the pop icon told PEOPLE in 2017 about what drew her to her children. "It's like saying, 'Why do you fall in love with the people you fall in love with?' You look into the eyes of somebody, you feel their soul, you feel touched by them — that's it. Sometimes I would just close my eyes and just think, 'Why isn't my kitchen filled with dancing children?' There's so many children that need a home," she recalled at the time. "I thought, 'What am I waiting for? Just do it.'"
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Kevin Winter