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Melissa Etheridge: Superstar Mama

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She kicked cancer, is raising twins under 2, and embarking on a new tour...and wants YOU in the audience!


Melissa, 46, and partner Tammy, 31, have 18-month-old twins, son Miller Steven, and daughter Johnnie Rose. Etheridge also has two children from a previous relationship with Julie Cypher: daughter Bailey Jean, 9, and son Beckett, 7. Before her latest tour begins, Momlogic sat down with Melissa to talk about how she manages it all.

When you were diagnosed with cancer, how did you handle telling your kids?

Melissa: When I was diagnosed my children were six and eight. They were in kindergarten and second grade. Basically what we said to them was that there was a lump in mama's breast that had a cold and we needed to find out how much of a cold it had, and we needed to take it out so the cold wouldn't spread to the rest of my body. And then I had to take medicine to make sure that the cold didn't come back. We had to tell them very simply like that, and now as life and years have gone by my daughter goes, "Whoa, you had cancer, that's what you had" and it sinks in, but you don't want to... especially when it's totally operable and you're really okay, you don't want to put any fear into them.

momlogic: You have 18-month-old twins (Miller & Johnnie)...what has surprised you about mothering twins?

Melissa:They have this incredible relationship with each other that is really unique. It started immediately, they sort of knew that they came into this world together and that they're here together. They made each other laugh, even before they talked. They make each other laugh and they look in each other's eyes. They have this incredible ability to love.

momlogic: What advice do you have for moms who have less "traditional" families?

Melissa: I would tell them they have all the power. That feeling inside, that desire, follow that, that's what life is all about it. Just put it out of their mind that there is some sort of normal out there because there's not. They may portray it on the television like Leave it to Beaver that there's a perfect thing, but that does not exist, everyone's doing the best they can to raise families, and find happiness, and find many ways to love, and there are many ways.

How do you spend Mother's Day? What will you be doing this year to celebrate?

Melissa: With my feet up! You know, the funny thing... when there's so many moms in the house, like my daughter, she rolls her eyes... She's like, "Oh my god, its Mother's Day... Do you know how big Mother's Day is for me?" She's got like three moms... So we have favorite food and kind of sit around and kick up our feet.

What is your favorite Mom memory?

Melissa: Oh my gosh, that's like saying what's your favorite kind of chocolate. I am not a rock star to my kids, I'm not all that other stuff... I am just mom. And I love it when they're like, "Mom, don't sing, don't dance, don't do anything." That's a really nice feeling to know when you've gone out in the world and tried to be successful and make so much of yourself that you're going to be loved on this very simple level and all that they require is that you just be their mom- and that's pretty awesome.

What do you feel is the most important lesson you can teach your children?

Melissa: To love themselves and to understand their connection with the earth and the rest of humanity. And to be happy and to move through life with respect- understand whatever you put out is going to come back to you, so reach for the moon and know that you might get it.

Celebrity babies are being thrust into the spotlight every day. Do you have any advice for celeb moms as to how to handle this?

Melissa: You have a lot of choices as a celebrity, both good and bad. I would just tell celebrity moms to be real, that the whole tabloid world is fake, it's false, it's a device used to make people think that there's another world that if they just work harder or were famous or richer they could have, and that's false. As a celebrity, I just choose to live my life every day with what that happiness I can build, and what makes me and my family happy. The other stuff comes and goes, and you really can't worry about it. Shoot, last month, I went to Hawaii and was snorkeling with my son and the last thing on my mind was paparazzi and next thing I knew, there was a picture of me snorkeling and you know how attractive that can be, right? I forgot my bathing suit top at home, so I was like, 'Oh I'll just throw a t-shirt on,' so there I was in a lovely snorkel outfit and needless to say, you just can't worry about those things.

momlogic: Congrats on being honored by the West Hollywood Lesbian Visibility Committee and their now annual Etheridge Award. How did it feel to have this award named after you?

Melissa Etheridge: It's pretty crazy to have an award named after you it's kind of overwhelming. Look, I am only 46, I'll be 47 in a couple of weeks, but it's sort of like crazy, but the honor is that the awards means so much because it comes from a lesbian community and those that are working to, to make the lesbian community visible and I'm just very proud.

momlogic: Your new tour is called Revival Tour...What does this tour mean to you, and what's your message?

Melissa: This tour is about telling my story, telling people where I'm at, sort of like the last album is my journey to a spiritual awakening that I'm right in the middle of, and that's a big part of my journey. With the concert, the reason I call it a revival is it's a coming back to life, it's a coming back into something very new and it's very spiritual, although we are going to rock to "I'm the Only One" and I'm going to play the favorites. I put them in the context of a story though, and I hope it will be extremely entertaining.

Click here to win tickets to her concert!

next: Dina Lohan Gives Miley's Mom Advice
33 comments so far | Post a comment now
Melinda May 8, 2008, 9:48 AM

Rock on for all the strong women out there!

Maria May 8, 2008, 2:48 PM

Be our voice and strength for all women gay or straight. We are all the same.

Karen May 16, 2008, 8:31 AM

You have the ages for Tammy, Bailey Jean and Beckett wrong.

Sherry June 17, 2008, 12:02 PM

rick on and always tell the truth it gets you far in life

Karen July 12, 2008, 6:07 AM

I enjoy the meanings in her songs and speaking true ,equality,she shows me women can kick cancer.As i currently am working on too! I already have tickets to my first show and I’M thrilled !! you can enter me though i have some women friends in town wishing for tickets. i have the ride!!waiting on the ohio revival!

Cheryl July 25, 2008, 9:34 AM

I just attended my first Melissa concert. It was awesome. I love her music and message.

Grace August 19, 2008, 6:02 PM

I was sitting in the Austin Concert, thinking how much of what I was listening to was much like preaching I grew up listening to, and how this amazing woman was getting the message of Hope, Love and Revival…..

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