May 24, 2006 -- The Dixie Chicks' new album is perhaps best-known for the political statements in "Not Ready to Make Nice," but children and battles with infertility are also prevalent themes.
"Emily [Robison] and I have dealt with the same issue, infertility, and miscarriage and the whole gamut," said the band's fiddle player, Martie Maguire. "And one of the hardest things in a relationship is you picture where the relationship is headed next after you've gotten married and you've been together a couple of years."
"And you grow up as a woman, I think, thinking you're going to have a child and that it's just kind of your God-given right to the next step. And then when it doesn't happen, you're shocked and saddened, and it's such an emotional journey to go on."
The Dixie Chicks wrote a song called "It's So Hard When It Doesn't Come Easy" about the problems Robison and her sister Maguire had having a child.
"I think you go through almost every emotion. I know my husband felt guilty. I know I felt guilty. For a moment you sit there and think if this doesn't happen, will he love me any less?" said Robison, the band's guitarist. "And those are the self-destructive thoughts that probably you shouldn't be thinking, but I just think it's natural."
"It feels strange to talk about it now because I have got three children, and when they're climbing all over me it's bizarre to talk about infertility problems. But thank God for science. We have been blessed to live in an era when we have been able to do something about it."
The Dixie Chicks now have seven children among them: Lead singer Natalie Maines and her husband have 6-year-old Slade and Beckett who's 1; Robison and her husband have 3-year-old Charlie and 1-year-old twins, Henry and Juliana; Maguire and her husband have 2-year-old twins, Eva and Kathleen. The task for them all is to balance motherhood and music.
"My little one loves music, and he didn't know that that's what I did until the video when the single came out, and he watched it over and over and over," Maines said. "And now when he hears a song, he says, 'Mommy,' and he recognizes it, but he's way into music. He plays the drums."
Her older son, Slade, is unimpressed, Maines said.
Somewhere between motherhood and music, the women must also find time for their marriages. There is a song on the album called "Baby Hold On" that says, "Kick the kids out of bed, how about you and me instead."
"I think you have to learn how to go back and put your husband first," Robison said. "When you first have kids, it's all about the kids, and that's great, but you have to nurture your relationship as well. So that's kind of about that."
The Dixie Chicks are considered some of the most attractive women in country music, but Robison said that after her twins and taking a beating from her children, she wanted to work out and stay strong.
"I need it for strength more than anything," she said. "I didn't prepare myself before I had children for how much you get beat up. My kids are big and strapping. By the end of the day I'm just worn out. I need some strength."
"I'm more the opposite," Maines said. "I used to work out all the time on tour, but I've fallen into that mother trap of not making the time for myself, because I feel like my work is my time for myself, and I feel too guilty if I work out, too."
Maguire said that she was proud of her "motherhood scars," and had learned to accept her postbaby body.
"It's the worst I've ever looked in my life after having twins. Just the skin never goes back -- nothing ever goes back. But, yeah, it's nice not to have to worry about that anymore."
Even still, Maguire plans to have at least one more child, although she said that right now she and her husband were on "mandatory birth control for sure."
The album contains a song called "Lullaby," which is meant for their children. It says, "Is forever enough, 'cause I'm never givin' you up."