Gwen Stefani’s ex speaks out about the difficulties of co-parenting

The family is split between LA and Oklahoma

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale
(Image credit: Chris Polk/PMA2014/Getty Images for dcp)

Gwen Stefani’s ex-husband Gavin Rossdale has opened up about the difficulties of co-parenting their children as the family is split across two different US states.

In a heartfelt Instagram post, the frontman of rock band The Bush shared a video of one of his sons playing American football alongside the caption, "I love touring - the hardest part is who you miss - this will be the last match I watch on face time."

The musician has been co-parenting his three sons with their mum Gwen Stefani since the pair's split back in 2016, an effort made all the more difficult for their geographical distance. 

Gavin spends the majority of his time on tour and, when he's not travelling the globe with his band The Bush, he's stationed in LA, but his and Gwen's two youngest sons, Apollo, nine, and Zuma, 14, live with their mum and stepdad, famed country singer Blake Shelton, in Oklahoma.

The couple's oldest son, Kingston, 16, lives in LA.

The rural move was a shock for the young kids, who left the glitz and glamour of LA to come and live on Blake's ranch with their mum.  At first, as Blake revealed during an interview at the Country Radio Seminar last year, the kids were unsure about the new scenery, "The two of them [Zuma and Kingston] were like, ‘Well, what do we do now?' I go, 'Go out that door and don't come back till you're too tired to go any further.' 

"Well, they can't even imagine just going down to the creek with a net or turning over rocks or getting on a buggy and driving around."

But it didn't take long for them to settle in, with Gwen's Instagram page proudly boasting pictures and videos of her children getting stuck in with farm work and enjoying the picturesque rural setting. But Blake had a journey of his own to go on, suddenly finding himself a stepfather.

He admitted in an interview with The Ride with Kimo & Heather, "There's definitely nothing easy about it. I don't know if it's as hard or harder or not as hard as being an actual biological parent, you know?

"I love my stepfather, and I looked up to him. And he's like a father to me. So, you know, I have a good inspiration in my life to how to do this and the kind of stepdad I want to be.

"I'm not gonna lie. I don't take it so serious that I'm not enjoying this time because I really am. Especially, you know, now that we're five years into this thing, I can't imagine my life without these kids now."

By all accounts, the co-parents remain on good terms with each other though Gavin previously shared that he's always learning how "to be a better father." 

The singer told Hello! Magazine, "My kids are really funny and cool, and we have such a good time together. But I constantly strive to be a better father. I am lucky that my life is so great."

The kids are also at the forefront of Blake's mind as he just recently made the decision to step down from The Voice after acting as a judge on the competition for a decade, so he could be there for his stepsons as they grow up.

"You don't know what your regrets are going to be until you look back one day," he said to Hello! Magazine. "I feel like my regrets would be, if I stayed on this path, that I am missing out on some more important things in life — and for now, that's our kids," he said.

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.