How Katy Perry’s Strange Childhood Shaped Her Approach To Motherhood
Katy Perry’s struggles with the idea of becoming a mother can be traced back to her unusual childhood. But the reality of her relationship with her parents and her approach to recovery will inspire us all.
Katy Perry has been pregnant with her first child for almost nine months and finally gave birth to her daughter, Daisy Dove Bloom, on August 27th 2020. Motherhood is a massive undertaking for any woman, and just like others, Katy Perry has and continues to face struggles ahead of the big day.
Combined with the release of her sixth studio album Smile, the coming fall looks to be a significant one for Katy and her partner Orlando Bloom. Katy has been totally upfront about the mental challenges she’s had to overcome not only to get to a point where she was prepared for motherhood but also a renewed relationship with her baby’s father.
But the fact of the matter is that we cannot examine our approach to parenthood without reflecting on the kind of parenting that was done to us. We can’t say for sure how Katy is going to fare at motherhood but we can safely assume that her daughter is going to have a much different upbringing than Katy herself.
Therefore, as Katy begins to welcome her baby girl into this big, confusing world, it’s worth it to go back in time and take some learning lessons from Katy’s relationship with her own parents. And how those bonds helped her prepare herself for the challenges of motherhood.
Katy said she didn’t “have a childhood”
Katy was born to a pair of born-again Christians. Her parents Keith and Mary reportedly partied hard in the sixties but cleaned up their act and found God by the time Katy was born. As a result, she grew up in an extreme evangelical household. She wasn’t allowed to say things like “deviled eggs” or “Dirt Devil” as a child. Her parents wouldn’t let her listen to anything other than gospel music, and the Bible was the only book she was permitted to read.
Her parents would regularly go to rock concerts and hand out religious pamphlets to attendees. “I didn’t have a childhood,” she said about the period.
Whether Katy’s subsequently pop-star person was a direct protest against her upbringing is anyone’s guess. But it’s clear that Katy’s true passions and sexuality were suppressed as she was growing up.
Regarding her childhood, she said:
Education was not the first priority. My education started in my 20s, and there is so much to learn still […] But I came out of the womb asking questions, curious from day one, and I am really grateful for that: My curiosity has led me here.Katy Perry in Vogue
Therefore she didn’t feel like she had a “maternal gene”
Due to her frayed relationship with her parents, Katy Perry felt far removed from the concept of the traditional family. Her first marriage ended abruptly and her relationship with Orlando was so up-and-down early on that she had considered suicide after one of their break-ups. Though Katy admitted that her pregnancy was most certainly planned, she didn’t think she was equipped to be a mother.
On becoming a mother, Katy said:
I’ve always wanted to be that. I didn’t know if I could be that, or if I’d have the capacity […] My sister is the most maternal one in my family and I’m a logistics strategizer, you know, show off, and I didn’t have the maternal gene, so I’ve had to really learn how to have that.
Katy Perry has said the reason why she’d put off having a baby until 35 was because she didn’t know “what to do.” Though she felt like she was maternal in some ways, she still had to figure out some pretty significant roadblocks in terms of mental health and career.
I was like, ‘Man, not only do I have to figure this out for myself, but I have to figure this out for my future in order to be able to enjoy this blessing.’
Thus, after going through a long process of understanding and preparation, Katy finally felt like she was ready to take the next step with Orlando. The couple attended a seven-day therapeutic retreat to process through the pregnancy. She said the therapy “changed” her life and forced her to contemplate many of her habits and patterns of behaviour. It’s also given them both more “freedom” and that it’s helped her not become scared of having a child anymore.
She’s reconciled with her parents but doesn’t plan on raising her child the same way
In recent years, Katy Perry has spoken about how she’s made peace with her parents. Though the I Kissed A Girl singer still has disagreements with her parents, she’s found a middle ground with them. Contrary to popular belief, her parents never really disowned her. She said in an interview:
People love the idea of a good girl gone bad, thinking that my parents were so strict and disowned me, but that actually wasn’t the case. Even though they don’t necessarily agree with some of the things I do, they love me as their daughter.
Katy Perry has also been able to discover her own relationship with her faith in recent years. It’s definitely not the version that was drilled into her as a child; her connection with the higher powers revolve around a more personal spirituality. She said her religion has helped her get to know herself better and also practice traits of humility and gratefulness.
Despite her harsh upbringing, she was still able to find her way back to religion but in her own terms. Her tough childhood ultimately taught her lessons about herself but also didn’t force her to hold grudges against her parents or her religion. That being said, her parents’ treatment towards her as a child has solidified her approach as to how she wants to treat her child. She said about her journey:
I’ve had extremely high highs and extremely low lows and I’ve heard that having children is like the best gift of all, so I’m ready to step into that role and receive the unconditional love that I had a hard time receiving years ago.
Watch this Goalcast video on the inspiring love story between Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom:
Don’t let your parents’ mistakes shape your life
Katy Perry’s rocky relationship with parents demonstrates that it’s okay to love your parents but also acknowledge the hurt that was caused by them. Many of us have suffered in our childhood for a variety of reasons and we may feel like we’re being disloyal to our family by admitting that they’ve hurt us immensely. But it’s important to know that your love doesn’t necessarily have to be tarnished by the pain. And it’s possible — and rewarding — to continually try to evaluate your relationship with them.
Another thing we can learn from Katy: parenthood is a clean slate. While some think it’s a choice, others think is a blessing; your thoughts about it belong to you and you only. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you can’t let your fears of the past affect your decision.
Fears and tensions regarding parenthood are largely normal but to think that that there is a “maternal gene” that could influence your ability is not fair to you. Human beings are constantly evolving, so if you want to be a parent, there’s nothing in the world stopping you. You just have to overcome those fears and do all you can to prepare.
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