Jordin Sparks On How She Deals With “Slick Comments” About Her Son: “I Never Understood People Who Can Say Stuff About Kids”
Jordin Sparks and I are sitting in a stairwell, talking like old girlfriends, spilling tea about life, family and fitness. We just finished an intense workout at Midtown boutique gym AKT, where we toned, did circuit drills and and even danced, working up a serious sweat as part of household brand Febreze‘s #FebrezeYourGear campaign. I am sweaty and look an absolute mess, but Sparks is glowing, hair barely out of place, light makeup still in tact. Despite the workout, you can’t shake the good energy and smile from her face. It’s likely because the 28-year-old singer and actress is the happiest she’s ever been. She’s found her perfect match in husband Dana Isaiah, and they are parents to a healthy, happy and Gerber-baby-cute son named DJ. The change in her life from “No Air” singer and Sparkle actress to wife and mother has been a whirlwind one for Sparks, but it’s also been a beautiful one. I talked with her about the impact of marriage and motherhood on her life, the fitness goals she has for herself post-baby, and why she’s she’s so happy, not even Internet trolls or the comments about her life from exes Jason DeRulo and Sage the Gemini (and their fans) could bother her.
MadameNoire: Six months in, and more than a year as a Mrs., how has marriage and motherhood been and changed you? It was all a very quick transition.
Jordin Sparks: It’s changed everything, but in the best way. In terms of Dana, my husband, I have heard and know people who have met their significant others and it was like bam! They knew, and they’ve been married for like 30 years now. I’ve seen it, I know it can happen, I just didn’t think it would happen to me. And then it did. I knew the second day. I was like, ‘What is happening?’ And I don’t know how to explain it. I really can’t explain it to you except I just knew, and we both did. And to find that has been absolutely incredible. He’s so supportive, he’s the most amazing man, and he’s so much fun. We laugh all of the time. So it’s just been great on that front because I know he has my back. If there was a situation and we had to get out of here, like, he would cover me and I would cover him.
And then my son as well, we were definitely surprised. He was definitely a honeymoon baby [laughs]. But he’s the most amazing little boy, and it’s so fun because right now, all of his personality is starting to show. He’s trying to crawl, but I’m pretty sure he might skip crawling and walk. Pulling himself up, he’s eating food, he’s laughing, he’s making decisions for himself and growing more independent and it’s really fascinating to watch. I have my nieces, and I got to see part of it from afar, but to every day see him change is the most amazing thing. But it also made me better, too. I knew I had to be better for myself, but now I have to be better for him, in all ways, which includes fitness and my mental self-care. It includes my relationship with my husband, it includes how I act in the world, the choices I make. It’s amazing. It’s a lot to think about but I’m willing to do it because he deserves it.
Are there things about raising DJ in the public eye as a first-time mom, but as a celebrity, that sometimes leave you wishing you could have everyday anonymity? For instance, different sites and blogs share his image and allow their readers to say things that aren’t so positive. For reasons like that, some celebs, they hide their kids. They also do so because they feel like they want to let their kids choose if they want to be out there.
At first it was really nerve-wrecking because I’ve lived my whole adult life in the public eye. It’s hard. I was like, ‘Ok, I know how people can be when I post a picture. If I post a picture of my son, what are they going to do?’ He’s an innocent. I never understood people who can say stuff about kids. It doesn’t make sense to me. But for the most part, I haven’t had to deal with too much. There have been a couple of people who’ve said some slick comments, but it’s like, what are you going to do? There’s always going to be one in the mud. If I know what’s good, it doesn’t matter. But it is a little nerve-wrecking because they know us, and now they’re going to know him, too. So I want to be able to keep him as safe as I can, but I also don’t want him to be sheltered if that makes sense. I’m learning as I go, essentially. So I’m trying to figure out the best way to balance that. Of course, I want to post every single picture I take of him, but there’s some stuff I just want to keep for me. So that’s kind of what I’m doing, trying to learn along the way. But I think that’s also great for other followers and first-time moms, too, because they’re not alone. I don’t know everything because I live in the public eye. I don’t know how it all goes.
After having your son, do you have any type of goals you want to reach physically, or is that not even on your mind right now?
It hasn’t really been on my mind as much as the activity that I want to do. My goal is to get back to where I was when I was working out before. When Dana and I were dating, we worked out almost every single day together for like an hour or two. We might not have that much time anymore, but to be able to get back at that capacity that I was at, that’s more of my goal. And I think everything will follow suit after that. There’s already so much pressure, we already have so much pressure, and it’s been really nice these last six months to just enjoy having my son and not really worrying. And my husband’s been so encouraging, but at the same time, he’s not pushy. It’s been hard because I’ve been exclusively feeding so around the clock, at night, up with him all night, and it’s been super tiring. It’s been hard for me to work out. To not get any sleep and try to go the gym is hard. But he’s gotten older, and he’s sleeping through the night a little bit more. So the stretches of time that I have to do other things is getting bigger. I finally got to do hot yoga for the first time in a year and I was just like, ‘I love this.’ I was so happy. That hour was just the most amazing thing. And also, for me, I can’t be my best self if I can’t take care of myself. I can’t be my best self for him if I can’t take care of myself, too. So to have that hour just to decompress and think about my intentions just for the class was everything. So I’m excited, I’m finally starting to get back into the routine of things.
We’ve obviously seen you get in really great shape in the past, going through a major weight loss that you shared publicly. What habits worked then that you would reapply now, or choose not to?
What I did then was, I was taking a dance class and I loved it. It was an hour of just dancing my butt off, and by the end of class, there was like 700 calories burned. I would go so hard in class. So I would probably do the same thing. I’ve been doing that my whole fitness journey and I love it. It’s so much fun. I want to hike some more. I hope to get back out there and do it. There was one point where I was stressed out and I was doing a lot of, I feel like everything was going out of control. I feel like at some point, everybody feels this way, they feel out of control so they try to control something, whether it’s working out all of the time or the food that you eat. There was a moment where I was just like, ‘Ok, I’m going to cleanse for three days a week and then I’ll eat the other four days.’ I don’t think I would ever do that again because I look at the pictures and I’m like, ‘Whoa? Where did I go?’ I was eating still and I was getting all of the calories I needed, but my body was like, ‘Yeah…maybe not.’ So I probably wouldn’t do that again.
I also wanted to ask you what you thought of people constantly trying to get your exes to speak on you and your life now and how happy you are?
You know, it’s so funny because I would not appreciate what I have now if I didn’t go through what I went through in my past. Each of them taught me a lesson. Each of them had their own good times. Each of them had some not so good times. But if they want to talk, that’s totally fine. They’re living their life, I’m living mine. I’m super happy so I’m like, if they say something or say something about me or anything like that, I’m like, ‘Ok, cool. Hi. I hope you’re well.’ Live your life. I’m happy. I would want them to be happy. It’s easy to hold on to a lot of stuff from the past, but when you let it go, it’s the most amazing thing because they can do whatever and you’re just like, ‘Alright! Have a good day.’ So yeah, it’s definitely crazy, but I’m not trippin’ off of it.
What made you team up with Febreze?
Like I said, my husband works out religiously at 4:30 every single morning. He’s been doing that our entire relationship. But when we used to work out consistently, we would both come home not smelling too nice. To understand that, and the fact that they told me a tidbit: 84% of Americans said that they go run errands within two hours of working out. So we carry our scents with us. For me, I was like, Ok, I’m a new mom. I have to just go when I can go. If I don’t have time to shower, I just have to get out there. So knowing that Febreze can safely and effectively get rid of the post-workout bacteria and the scents and all of that stuff, it’s really nice. DJ’s around anything I’m around, so I have to be very careful. It just made total sense to me. When they called I was like, ‘This makes perfect sense.’