Lourdes Maria Ciccone (left) and Madonna
04/18/2012 at 12:15 PM EDT
may be a superstar worldwide
, but when she returns home, the Material Mom says she faces the same struggles as anyone – especially when it comes to her children.
"We all have our challenges," Madonna, 53, said in an interview that aired on Wednesday's Today show
"To be a single mother of four and to work as much as I do, with my life in a kind of metaphorical fish bowl, it's pretty challenging. But so far I've survived with sanity and humor intact."
Madonna says she poses typical Mom questions like, "Have you done your homework?" and "Why are you wearing that?" but, as far as being a disciplinarian, she admits: "I'm probably not as tough as I should be. I think I need to be maybe tougher."
The music legend says she "wasn't very happy" when photos were published of her 15-year-old daughter Lourdes Leon
– with whom she recently launched a junior's clothing line
– smoking a cigarette.
"Every day is a negotiation, but cigarette smoking I'm not very fond of," she told NBC, adding that the cigarette seen in her recent video "was just a prop." She does not smoke.