Jennifer Lopez: I Have No Shame Saying I Don't Like To Be Alone

Photo: Matthias Vriens-McGrath / FOX
Jennifer Lopez

After sitting out the twelfth season of American Idol to concentrate on her world tour and other projects, like producing ABC Family's The Fosters, Jennifer Lopez is back at the judges' table. This time around she's joined by Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., and it's apparently a love-fest: The set is blessedly drama-free, since the departure of the adversarial Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.

Love is the operative word in J.Lo's personal life too, as she's happy being mom to twins Max and Emme, who turn six on Feb. 22, as well as happily involved with her former backup dancer Casper Smart. Here, she talks candidly about life and love.

YourTango: Coming back to Idol after a year away, what do you bring to the table now?
Jennifer Lopez:
I went on my first world tour and that was a great experience for me. I see already the way that I'm speaking about performing and music is so different from how I was before. I felt like I knew so much before, but now with that experience, I have a whole other level of understanding about that process. 

YourTango: Are you taking Max and Emme to the set?
Jennifer Lopez:
Yeah, of course.

YourTango: Do they take after you?
Jennifer Lopez:
You like to think that they do. Emme and Max, they're very different. Max is a lot like Marc and Emme is a lot like me.

YourTango: Do they have any musical talents?
Jennifer Lopez:
I think so. I think Max has an incredible ear for hit records. He loves music and Emme sings but I don't want to put any pressure on them in any way.

YourTango: What do you sing to them at home?
Jennifer Lopez:
Everything, anything that comes to my mind. Emme really loves it and Max really loves it, you know, they just love the sound of your voice because you're their mom.

YourTango: How is it balancing being on the show and being a mom?
Jennifer Lopez:
It's a real juggling act right now. I find that when your priorities are straight, it's easier. With me, the kids come first and then everything can kind of fall in line after that. And as far as work goes, it's really just about scheduling ... it's like, 'OK, how does this all work together?' But I have a great team. I don't do it all by myself.

YourTango: Does Casper help you? How is he with the kids?
Jennifer Lopez:
Absolutely. He's fantastic with the kids and he helps me very much with my work. It was his idea to do the video [for] "Same Girl" and go shoot that in the Bronx. He was like, 'When are we going to be in New York again? Come on, I'll do it with you. Let's go do it. Let's put that dream down for you.' And he basically produced it with me. So he's fantastic that way.

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YourTango: Would you like to get married again?
Jennifer Lopez:
I don't know. We'll see. I always believed in that institution. My parents were married for a very long time — they were married for 35 years. I believe in it. It's difficult. I've had my challenges. But at the same time I believe in love and I think that's the main thing.

YourTango: What were the takeaways from traveling the world with your kids?
Jennifer Lopez:
It was such a transformative year for me in so many ways. I had just divorced and I left Idol — it was like all my security blankets were gone and I was out there doing something I had never done before. So I really grew. My goal was to not come out of the other side and just survive it, but to grow as a human being as well as an artist. I felt that I did. I learned a lot. My mom was on tour with us and the room was always full — I was surrounded by love and family. I'm one of those people who does not like to be alone. I have no shame saying that at this point in my life. I think we have to own who we are!

YourTango: Did Max and Emme enjoy the experience of being on tour with you?
Jennifer Lopez:
It's so funny. Max said to me the other day, 'I want to go back to Shanghai.' They're so traveled, so much more than I ever was! We used to go to Disney World, drive down there in a car, all five of us, me and my sisters and my mom and my dad. That was our big trip until I was 21, until I literally started working and went to Europe for the first time. These kids are like traveling the world — they've been to Australia, Asia, South America, Brazil. And it's beautiful to me that I can give them that experience because I know what it's done for me in my life; it's brought in my perspective of the world and made me understand people and cultures in such a different way. I remember what it was like growing up in the Bronx and how even the city, going there on the 6 [train], how far away it seemed. So their scope of the world is so much more broad and open — they know that possibilities are endless and that the world is huge and endless. I'm glad that I'm able to give them that experience.