"This has been really hard as a working parent, because I'm still doing all the same jobs. It's been exhausting honestly."
Kelly Clarkson has described her life as an "emotional roller coaster" prior to her divorce filing from Brandon Blackstock.
In a previously recorded interview with Glamour UK published on Tuesday, the singer opened up about what she'd been struggling with the past few months while she and her family were quarantining at their Montana cabin amid the coronavirus pandemic.
One of these struggles has been navigating day-to-day life as a "full-on mom." Clarkson, 38, shares daughter River, 6, and son, Remington, 4, with Blackstock, 43. She also helped raise his teenage children from a previous relationship: Savannah, 18, and Seth, 13.
"Honestly, I have been on an emotional roller coaster. This has been really hard as a working parent, because I'm still doing all the same jobs," Clarkson explained. "It's been exhausting honestly, cooking every meal and cleaning nonstop after toddlers and teenagers! Everybody's learning from home now and the teaching! So, everything has been crazy."
"I'm literally holding down so many things right now. Not only jobs, but even things where we usually had a lot more help," she explained. "We are fortunate, so I'm not complaining in that sense, but I've definitely had to tell people that I work with, 'You hired a mom and I'm not an absentee mom. I'm a full-on mom.' I already have abandonment issues, so I don't want to pass those down."
"The Voice" judge, who has always been open about her strained relationship with her late father, was then asked if she's developed a "better relationship" with the idea of her abandonment issues.
"I don't think you get rid of that. I have people in my life that suffer from addiction to certain things and that doesn't go away. It's always there," Clarkson said. "It's just navigating your life around that existence in your life. You don't ever one day wake up and are like, 'OK, I'm totally cool with the fact that I have major abandonment issues because horrible things happened.'"
"Out of all of that, you've got to recognize at some point though. that it's made you who you are. You are thankful," she continued. "I'm a very strong individual. I'm very confident and I've been forced to find that in myself. I've been forced to at a very early age. At some point, I say thank you to my father, who passed away last year. But I thank him as I wouldn't have been able to be all that I am right now without all of that."
However, the "American Idol" star said there have been moments when her past had "presented itself" like when she married Bradstock in 2012.
"You get married and you're like, 'Oh, I have no one for the dance or to walk me down the aisle. You know what? I'm not going to get married, just going to elope,'" she said.
Clarkson added, "You can sit here and cry about it all day long, but it's not going to help you and you're not hurting anyone but yourself. I think it's a choice -- whatever cards you're dealt -- what you do with them."
Later in the interview, the "Dare Me" singer mentioned her husband during a discussion about body image, including why she always insisted on never posing nude, although Blackstock would have approved.
"Even in my thinnest, most fit moment, it's just not my personality to be naked on the front of a magazine," Clarkson explained. "Mind you, my husband will tell you, I am totally OK with nudity. I think it is a beautiful thing. I think all of our bodies, whether you're male or female, we are very beautiful beings."
"The Kelly Clarkson Show" host went on to discuss the importance of self-love.
"Until you can love yourself and love who you are, I don't think that you're capable of applying it to others," she said. "You're just holding yourself back and you're risking beautiful relationships that you could have with people because you just still haven't worked out your own damage."
Last week, Clarkson, who had since returned to Los Angeles, filed for divorce from Blackstock after nearly seven years of marriage. In the court docs, obtained by TMZ, Clarkson said she wants joint legal and physical custody of their children and their prenup enforced. She also listed the date of separation as "TBD."
Although Clarkson cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason behind their split, it's still unclear what caused the breakup.
According to a PEOPLE source, quarantining in Montana was "a stressful time" for the couple and "exacerbated any issues."
"Things had changed in their marriage and the split was a while coming," another insider added. "They both work so hard. It's nearly impossible to enjoy each other, especially with the children needing constant attention."