2014 was a year filled with high highs and low lows for Kelly Rowland. She married her longtime love Tim Weatherspoon, welcomed her first child Titan Jewell Weatherspoon and unfortunately, lost her mother Doris Rowland Garrison. In the April 2015 issue of Essence, the new wife and mom opens up about all of the above. Check out some highlights from her interview below.

On refusing to let her marriage take a backseat to motherhood:

“The baby doesn’t change who we are as people. We still like to go have dinner. We do the activities that we do every day. I don’t think that should stop.”

“My priority is my husband first. That’s how the baby got there.”

On her fondest memory of her late mother:

“I was doing something with the baby in the house after we came home from the hospital and she was there with me and she just looked at me and she said, ‘I’m so proud of you!’ I listen to that every day in my head. It makes me happy.”

On how her life has inspired her upcoming album:

“You have no choice but to tap into emotions when you’re in the studio. The same way we’re experiencing those emotions, whether it’s having a child or losing a parent or whatever it might be, everybody is experiencing the same pain or happiness that you’re experiencing as well.”

On getting married, having a baby and losing her mom in one year:

“My road to my happiness hasn’t been an easy one. It hasn’t been peachy all the time, but I am so, so happy.”
Madamenoire