Image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

It’s not often that you read an article about a pop star and feel inspired – their lifestyles are usually more likely to bring about sentiments that range from ridicule to jealousy. But inspired is how I felt after reading this Telegraph article about Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

While I may have known about her #1 singles Groovejet and Murder on the Dancefloor, I didn’t know that she had such a strong family ethic. Mother to four boys and not ruling out a fifth child, she conveys the beauty of a chaotic life that combines motherhood with fulltime work outside the home.

With five siblings of her own, as well as a supportive mother who doesn’t live far and is always willing to help, it sounds like a happy childhood gave her some great family values. Her parents divorced when she was four, but this has caused her to take marriage very seriously – and it sounds like she has a great relationship with her husband.

Almost every quote of Ellis-Bextor’s in this article made me happy, but here are some of my favourites:

“But honestly, I’ve never been bothered about having a daughter. I really don’t care. If there was a button you could press to have either a boy or a girl, I’d always walk away from it.”

These are the words of someone who realises that every child is a gift, no matter their gender!  I find this so refreshing in a world where everyone wants to control everything, down to the sex of their kids – making children seem like a product to fit one’s perfect life more than a precious and unique human being.

“We’re in our stride now. I’ve been a working mum with little people to think about since I was 25… You just have to embrace it.”

No complaining, no whinging: Ellis-Bextor doesn’t deny that a life with four kids is a busy one, but she doesn’t bemoan it either. I think it’s so nice when someone recognises that embracing your life as it is can make all the difference and bring so much joy.

“My mum banned the word diet in our house. She was such a good role model, and I’ve never believed in fads or weighing myself either. We like our food, but also like feeling good about ourselves. I genuinely enjoy the gym, and that feeling of being strong enough to run and jump on stage while I’m singing.” 

This makes me want to ban the ‘diet’ in my house – what a great idea! This is such a healthy, and rare, attitude towards your body; one which enjoys food and enjoys exercise for the right reasons. It would also explain why Ellis-Bextor prefers having her kids to having a forever-perfect body.

On her marriage: “I’m always aware of sounding smug on this, but we just make an effort to spend time together, and we truly listen to each other. It’s the small, everyday kindnesses too. Simple things like making each other a cup of tea and sending little messages during the day are the glue.”

There are two things I love about this quote. First, the advice itself: I couldn’t agree with her more! And two, her insightful desire to not sound smug about it – because marriage has to be worked at every day, and thinking your marriage doesn’t need more effort would only be the pride before the fall.

“I don’t approve of people who say they don’t read the news because it’s depressing. What gives anyone the right to turn their back on what’s happening in the world? Now more than ever we’ve got to listen and try to help each other.”

This is just gold to live by – she hit the nail on the head by saying that it’s not only important to know what’s happening in the world, but also important to want to get out of ourselves and do something about it for others.

Of her kids: “They filter into everything. They’re the essence of what makes me happy, and absolutely where my heart is.”

Well this is just plain beautiful. It reminds me of a few things my husband has said to me recently. One – that our 15-week old daughter has so much love to give – and isn’t this so true of every child? And the other thing – that while people seem to say that having a child makes them not want another, he feels that having our baby has only made him want more!

Thank you, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, for your words of wisdom.

Tamara El-Rahi

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.