Clarkson also opened up about how her divorce will factor into her new music.
Kelly Clarkson is getting real about the impact her divorce had on her children. The mother of two appeared on Angie Martinez's IRL Podcast on Monday and didn't sugarcoat things when discussing her 2020 split from ex-husband Brandon Blackstock. Clarkson and Blackstock share daughter River, 8, and son Remi, 6.
"I think I am my mother's child, and I'm raising very independent children," Clarkson said of her two kids. "They will be out the door as soon as they're able and capable. They're very independent."
In addition to independence, the 40-year-old talk show host also wants her kids to be honest and open with her when it comes to their feelings.
"I literally ask my kids every night when we're snuggling, 'Are you happy?' And if you're not, what could make you happier?" she said. "Sometimes they'll say -- especially the past two years -- a lot of it -- and it kills me -- and I want them to be honest so I don't ever say, 'Oh god, don't tell me that,' but a lot of times it would be like, 'You know, I'm just really sad. I wish Mommy and Daddy were in the same house.' And they're really honest about it. And I'm raising that kind of individual."
Clarkson, who comes from a divorced family, said that when her kids are sad about the split, she validates those emotions.
"I just sit there and I'm like, 'I get it. I'm from a divorced family as well. I get it. That sucks. But we're going to work it out. And you are so loved by both of us,'" she said. "I think communicating with them and not treating them -- not treating them like an adult, because they're not -- but not treating them like a child. They're not small feelings. Those are huge feelings, and those are huge emotions."
She also shared how reading an excerpt from the book Untamed by Glennon Doyle eventually led her to finally make the decision to end her marriage after "years" of wavering.
Clarkson said that Doyle asking if she'd want her daughter to have the marriage she had inspired her to end things.
"It just changed the perspective on that," Clarkson said of the book. "I am a way better parent when I take care of myself -- the oxygen mask mentality, right? And you do have to take care of yourself in order for that to trickle down."
Clarkson filed for divorce from Blackstock in June 2020 after nearly seven years of marriage, and their divorce was finally settled in March 2022.
In the interview, Clarkson said that Blackstock was her "first" real love.
"My kids ask me all the time, 'So you don't love him anymore?' I'm like, 'No, I don't know if that goes away,'" she admitted.
The heartbreak of ending her marriage is something that Clarkson promised will be explored on her upcoming record.
"Every phase is on my next record. There is sadness. There is rage. It's a lot because you go through all those emotions," she explained. "If you don't hit all those, were you really in it?... I was destroyed, like, on the ground, crying. That's a loss. It's a death."
Despite delving into all of those topics, Clarkson admitted that she wasn't sure if she would ever put out an album on the subject.
"I didn't know if I was going to release an album because I was like, 'I don't know if I want to talk about this,'" she said.
These days, Clarkson said she's at an 11 on a scale of one to 10.
"I've had a really rough couple years. It's taken a minute and therapy to get there," she admitted.
The one piece of advice she said has helped her the most?
"You do not have to attend an argument, every argument that comes your way," she shared.
As for her romantic future, Clarkson said she would "love to fall in love" but that she will never get married again. After growing up with tenuous stepparent relationships, Clarkson noted, "I don't want another dude in my house with my children."
"I really do, truly love being single," she said. "I like my bed. I like my routine."