Perhaps Madonna should just learn to go with the flow

Queen of Pop is said to be so ruthlessly organised that even her children need an appointment

Madonna fans keen to secure a seat at the singer's increasingly rare live performances can expect to book months in advance and part with a sizeable chunk of cash for the privilege of an hour or two in the same room (well, stadium) as the Queen of Pop.

Naturally, Ms Ciccone's nearest and dearest – her four children – don't have to pay but, according to reports last week, they too have to book ahead if they want to enjoy their mother's company. And they only get 15 minutes at a time.

Rather fittingly for the woman who redefined notions of fame, we're told that mother-of-four Madonna ruthlessly divides her days into 15-minute segments, each accounted for in her diary by her personal assistant. So, supposedly jotted alongside her business commitments and all those Kabbalah meetings and gruelling workouts are homework sessions, bedtime stories and cuddles.

On one hand, the story offers rich pickings for unreconstructed males – and indeed females – who'd prefer modern families to resemble the images of 1950s advertising. Cue much predictable spluttering over the selfishness of a woman, a 52-year-old single mother no less, shamelessly prioritising fame and fortune over her children.

On the other, it also seems like a terribly old-fashioned, unsentimental approach to parenting. We all know Madonna enthusiastically embraced a number of English cultural traditions during her marriage to public schoolboy turned Cockney geezer film-director Guy Ritchie, but surely Victorian parenting wasn't on her citizenship curriculum alongside riding horses and accessorising every outfit with a flat cap? Are unscheduled hugs really a no-no?

If there is a kernel of truth in this story – which is, admittedly, deliciously credible evidence of the Material Girl's joyless, control-freak reputation – I expect it's that Madonna is a very busy woman who organises her time more efficiently than the rest of us can, or indeed would want to.

Her current projects include directing her first feature film (the Wallis Simpson biopic, entitled W.E.), launching her own clothing line and fronting the autumn campaign for the Italian fashion label Dolce & Gabbana. Ironically enough, in these ads, Madge plays a house wife in a variety of domestic, if improbably glamorous, tableaux.

It sounds as if Madonna, like many of the busy people and especially mothers with whom I'm acquainted, may well have resorted to the deeply unsexy practices of the uber-organised. Of course, none of them has the luxury of a personal assistant to seamlessly co-ordinate their daily routine with that of their kids, but they certainly use similar military-seeming techniques to keep family life from spiralling into chaos.

Online calendars, which update the entire family about where they should be and what they should be doing on a given day via email, meal planners, text message reminders that dinner will be at 8pm – all of these things can seem like disturbing reminders of how complicated modern life has become. But they can also be viewed as a pragmatic way of dealing with the demands of our situation.

Of course, most of us have those demands thrust upon us to a certain extent; unlike multi-multi-millionaire Madonna, we don't have the option of staying at home and just going with the flow a bit more. And it does make one wonder why a woman who has never really paused to draw breath felt the need to add to her family once more by adopting – and not without difficulty – her youngest child, Malawi-born Mercy, last year. Perhaps Madonna ought to have worked a little more on managing her expectations, as well as her time.

Suggested Topics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game