Joel Madden: It's Hard Being Away From My Kids

"It's hard to be away. It's the first time I ever questioned what I did because sometimes you miss moments and you're like, 'Is this worth it?,' Madden told host Mark Hoppus in an interview on Fuse's A Different Spin, airing Thursday evening.

Joel Madden has been fronting Good Charlotte — the band he formed with his twin brother Benji — for all of his adult life.

However, after becoming a father to daughter Harlow Winter Kate, 2½, and son Sparrow James Midnight, 14 months, with Nicole Richie, the rocker admits that he sometimes questions whether or not it’s all worth it.

“It’s hard to be away. It’s the first time I ever questioned what I did because sometimes you miss moments and you’re like, ‘Is this worth it?,’ Madden told host Mark Hoppus in an interview on Fuse’s A Different Spin, airing Thursday evening.

What are some of the milestones he has missed? “First word. First step. When [Sparrow] was born I was like, ‘I’m going to be honest with you.’ I was holding him for the first time [and I said], ‘I’m going to miss some birthdays.'”

Madden says his future father-in-law and fellow musician Lionel Richie sympathizes.

“Me and him have become best friends. We talk on the phone a lot. He’s always gone and I’m always gone, but we … totally understand each other. He’s been where I’ve been,” Madden, 31, explains.

Being pals with his fiancée’s father has other benefits as well. “Whenever Nicole is mad at me, for any reason, I call him … and I’m like, ‘Listen, she’s mad at me and I don’t really know why.’ And then he’ll call her and he’ll fix it and it’s really nice having that.”

One person he doesn’t have to worry about getting upset with him is daughter Harlow. Madden wrote a song for her — featured on Good Charlotte’s new record, Cardiology — and the toddler ate it right up.

“She loves it! She calls and says, ‘That’s my song.’ I just wrote it one night and it was really simple, on the piano. Then [Benji] heard it and said, ‘Let’s put it on the record.’ When I sing it to her, I just sing it to her. But when I wrote it, it was to piano.”

Does this mean a song for Sparrow is also in the works? “He’ll get a song eventually,” Madden laughs.

— Carlos Greer

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