‘One of the Greatest Gifts We Have Is Being Mothers’: Jada Pinkett Smith Comforts Nicki Minaj After Rapper Reveals She Has ‘Real Bad Separation Anxiety’ as a Mom

Nicki Minaj sat down with one of her idols, Jada Pinkett Smith, for a cover story for Interview Magazine. During the discussion, the two moms opened up about motherhood, balancing work and home, and traded tips on parenting. 

The rapper married Kenneth Petty in October 2019 and welcomed their first son known as “Papa Bear” in September 2020. The “Red Table Talk” host has two children with her husband of 25 years, actor Will Smith.

The Grammy-nominated artist explained that becoming a mother created a “huge shift” in her career but she’s grateful for the “experience.”

“I see myself as a baby in my son and because of that, it reminds me of moments that I had probably forgotten over time, just of me being a toddler in Trinidad. First of all, being a mother is the biggest freaking blessing on planet earth,” she declared. “I’m so happy that God allowed me to experience this. I’ve always loved children and I’ve always been great with children, but in the last few years I started thinking, ‘I know it’s going to be a huge shift for me because I’m used to going wherever I want, whenever I want, and I knew having a baby was going to change all that.”

The first-time mom said, “I love my son so much that I don’t know if it’s normal, but it seems unhealthy because I took too long to start working and leaving him to be watched by anyone, so now I have this real bad separation anxiety.”

Being away from her child is hard but being a mom brings up nostalgic memories from her childhood, Minaj said. She recalls growing up in Trinidad as a toddler and spending two years away from her mother, Carol Maraj.

“In fact, right before I came to the States, my mother had to come to Trinidad because I had to have an operation. And when I opened my eyes from the operation, and I was maybe 3 years old going on 4, I started crying because I didn’t know who this lady was,” she continued. “I was crying at the side of my mother, and I started begging my cousin, who was a teenager, to come be in the room with me because that’s who I had gotten attached to in the year-and-a-half prior, you know?”

“So I’m reliving all of those things now because I’m afraid that my son will ever feel that I left him for anything, for any reason, and for any amount of time,” Minaj said.

Pinkett Smith comforted the 39-year-old by sharing the same sentiments about motherhood. Jaden and Willow Smith’s mother said, “It’s so funny how when we have our own children, we are so focused on making sure that they don’t have to relive some of the challenges that we might have had as kids. But I want to let you know that there’s nothing unusual about adoring your child in a way that you don’t want to be away from them. I was the same way with mine.”

She reassured the ‘Pink Friday” artist it’s OK to want more for her 2-year-old son.

“I don’t want you to think that something’s weird about that. Especially for those of us who’ve had our own challenging childhoods. We just want to love them deeply and have them know that they’re loved,” she noted. “But that kind of precious connection is so special. And let me tell you, there’s only a small amount of time that your son is going to be two.”

“The Matrix” star continued later, “Don’t feel bad about wanting to cherish this. There’s nothing unusual about that. And I love hearing that you’re having that experience. I just love that for you, Nicki, I really do.” She added, “One of the greatest gifts we have is being mothers.

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