Singer Lily Allen Says Having Kids "Totally Ruined" Her Career

"It really annoys me when people say you can have it all because, quite frankly, you can’t."

Singer Lily Allen Says Having Kids "Totally Ruined" Her Career
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Singer and mom of two Lily Allen is opening up about the toll having children can take on a mother's career.

On Tuesday, March 12, while appearing alongside British television presenter and radio personality Miquita Oliver in the most recent episode of the Radio Times Podcast, Allen said she "never really had a strategy when it comes to career."

"But yes, my children ruined my career,” she added, before sharing a laugh with Oliver. “I mean I love them and they complete me but in terms of like, you know, pop stardom? Totally ruined it."

Grateful for Allen's honesty, Oliver responded: "That's so true! I'm so happy to hear somebody say that because, of course, everyone is like: 'No, of course not!'"

“It does not mix,” Allen added. “And it really annoys me when people say you can have it all because, quite frankly, you can’t."

Allen went on to clarify that she believes "some people choose their career over their children, and that's their prerogative."

"But, you know, my parents were quite absent when I was a kid, and I feel like that really left some nasty scars that I’m not willing to, you know, to repeat on mine," she continued. "And so I chose stepping back and concentrating on them, and I’m glad that I’ve done that because I think they’re pretty well-rounded people."

Allen became a mom for the first time in November, 2011, when she gave birth to her first daughter, Ethel Mary Cooper. She then welcomed her second daughter, Marnie Rose Cooper, shortly after in January, 2013.

Allen shares both girls with her ex-husband, Sam Cooper. Allen and Cooper married in 2011 and divorced in 2018. Allen remarried in 2020, People reported at the time, and now co-parents her daughters with her husband and Stranger Things star David Harbour.

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Pregnancy and her personal motherhood journey have not been easy for Allen, who experienced a miscarriage in 2008 and gave birth to her stillborn son in 2010.

In a previous interview with BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Allen said that she doesn't "think I ever will, really" heal from the loss of her stillborn son, who was delivered at six months gestation after Allen contracted a viral infection.

"I went into trauma and I don't think I'll ever really recover from that," she continued.

One month after Allen got remarried to Harbour, the singer told The Sunday Times that she hopes to have more children in the future.

"I think so. Especially now Marnie’s getting so big," she said told the publication at the time, adding that she misses "having little terrors running around the house."

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek, Slate, HuffPost and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.