The­diva’s singing our­praises

Woman’s Day (NZ) - - What A Week -

Not quite half­way into her 14-month Beau­ti­ful Trauma World Tour, Pink hit a wall. Rushed to hos­pi­tal with ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain in Syd­ney, the singer was di­ag­nosed with a gas­tric virus and forced to post­pone three con­certs.

To make mat­ters worse, her young daugh­ter Wil­low was run­ning a fever, and her one-year-old son Jame­son came down with hand, foot and mouth dis­ease. It was a heart­break­ing time for the star, who suf­fers ter­ri­bly from “mom guilt”, con­fess­ing, “Go­ing on tour with chil­dren is re­ally tricky. It’s the hard­est thing I’ve ever done.”

But the sick­ness had passed when Pink, her hus­band Carey Hart and their kids ar­rived for her seven shows in Aotearoa, a decade af­ter her last visit.

“It’s been way too long since I have been here – we’re hav­ing

so much fun,” she told Dunedin con­cert-go­ers, adding on In­sta­gram, “New Zealand is full of nice peo­ple.”

While en­joy­ing a low-key lunch with Wil­low, seven, in Otago café The Stan­dard Kitchen, the chatty star told owner Tom Macaulay, “I’m as happy as a clam – and clams are al­ways smil­ing!”

As well she might be with the “What About Us” singer set to cel­e­brate her 39th birth­day in Auck­land along­side our third fe­male Prime Min­is­ter, fel­low hard-work­ing mum Jacinda Ardern, 38, as Woman’sDay went to press.

It was a girl-power mo­ment that held ob­vi­ous ap­peal to Pink, who has long been an out­spo­ken fem­i­nist. When it’s men­tioned that this month marks 125 years since NZ be­came the first coun­try to give women the vote, she rightly points out that the fight is not over.

“There is still a long way to go for women, but progress has been made,” she says. “I would like to see equal­ity world­wide, and ac­cess for all girls to ed­u­ca­tion, vot­ing rights, health­care and con­trol over their own bod­ies. I’m op­ti­mistic be­cause women don’t give up.”

It’s a mes­sage that sums up Pink’s trade­mark strength and de­ter­mi­na­tion – both qual­i­ties the singer is keen to pass on to Wil­low, who has been teased by school­yard bul­lies for look­ing “like a boy”.

In her speech at last year’s MTV Video Mu­sic Awards, Pink de­clared, “When peo­ple make fun of me, that’s what they use – they say I’m too mas­cu­line, I have too many opin­ions or my body is too strong.”

But the singer re­fuses to change “the way I present my­self to the world”, which she says is why she’s “sell­ing out are­nas all over the world”. Pink told her daugh­ter, “Baby girl, we don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell, and we make a pearl.”

De­spite her stel­lar mu­sic ca­reer, it’s clear moth­er­hood is Pink’s top pri­or­ity. But bal­anc­ing par­ent­ing with work has brought an­guish – some­thing she no doubt dis­cussed with her new friend Jacinda.

“Mom guilt re­ally shades a lot of my de­ci­sion-mak­ing,” the singer con­fesses. “I want to be the best mom in the world, but I put way too much pres­sure on my­self. We all do.”

Bring­ing her two young chil­dren on tour is “ex­haust­ing”, but Pink in­sists, “I want my kids to see what it looks like to have a mom who is a boss – who is fol­low­ing her pas­sion and is work­ing re­ally hard to­wards her goals.

“My kids have this in­cred­i­ble, di­verse car­ni­val of peo­ple be­tween my dancers, band, wardrobe and our chef Rob­bie, who taught Wil­low to cook when she was two. It’s this gypsy fam­ily of trav­el­ling peo­ple and that part’s beau­ti­ful.”

In­deed, those who’ve seen Pink and her fam­ily around the coun­try say it’s clear they’re hav­ing a ball. Jo-Ann Pater­son, who sold the singer some daf­fodils at the Otago Farm­ers Mar­ket, tells us, “She just saun­tered around in a puffer jacket and beanie, like any other Dunedin mum. She was dot­ing over her kids – she was very proud of them. Her son was get­ting a bit rough with the flow­ers. He was hav­ing a sword­fight with the daf­fodils and she said, ‘Don’t boys just come out like that?!’”

Zara Sa­muel, who gifted the fam­ily some gourmet pies from her stall Who Ate All the Pies, adds, “No-one was both­er­ing her and she was re­ally en­joy­ing her­self. She stopped to watch some buskers and even gave her kids some money to put in the bucket. She wasn’t over­pro­tec­tive of them. They had free run of the place.”

It’s ob­vi­ous Pink’s time in Aotearoa and the friendly Ki­wis she’s met along the way have re­ally lifted the fam­ily’s spir­its af­ter weeks of ill­ness.

As she told con­cert­go­ers at her sec­ond Auck­land gig, “I’ve made a de­ci­sion and I wish I had a tro­phy to give you guys. I was con­vinced that Cana­di­ans were the nicest peo­ple in the world, how­ever, I’ve changed my mind – it’s you guys. I’m in love with all of you. Just your whole coun­try, your whole deal, so thanks for hav­ing us back. It’s been too long.”

Be­ing a tour­ing mum is hard, but it’s worth it when she gets cud­dles with Wil­low and Jame­son. Carey revved up in a mo­tocross com­pe­ti­tion in Can­ter­bury. Left: L f Sound S d check h k in Dunedin. Pink gives her son a tour of the stage be­fore her fans ar­rive. TheTruth AboutLove! Pink says of Carey, “He’s funny. He’s naughty. I like his brain.”

“Thanks a bunch, NZ!” Since be­ing in our coun­try, the fam­ily has just bloomed. Pink’s days start with a low-key fam­ily stroll (be­low) and end up like this!

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