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Jewel Opens Up About the 'Privilege' of Motherhood

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The singer and celebrity mom chats with us about balancing career and baby, how she and Ty Murray divide diaper duty, and the inspiration behind her children's book.

What was the best parenting advice that you’ve ever received?
Oh gosh, there are so many great pieces of advice. I think the best thing that I was told was to let go of being a perfectionist. That was hard. I’m a total type A, but I heard that the most miserable moms are the ones who are über-perfectionists. I had to learn to let go of trying to control everything and trust myself in the moment. That definitely made me a lot happier.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "mom"?
It just makes me smile. It’s a real privilege.

How do you balance motherhood and career?
I didn’t really work for the first year and I’m now starting again. There are things that I’m just not willing to do and so work has to fit within those parameters. I don’t want to be away from home for more than four days. I don’t like to leave more than once a month, if I can help it. But if I can’t, I try to bring the baby with me. I try to be present when I’m with him and not think about work.

What is the last thing that Kase did that made you laugh?
We were in the elevator when he was 15 months old and a guy said “hi” to him. Kase didn’t say “hi,” he just nodded his head as if he was going “what’s up.” It was very cool.

Now that Kase is a toddler, what is he like?
He’s definitely more adventurous but he still likes to have me with him. He’s pretty brave and silly and just very sweet.

You’ve spoken about your love of words and your hope that Kase will share that love. How have you been nurturing that in him?
I wrote book and published a book for him. It’s called That's What I'd Do. I had written it while I was pregnant. I tried to think of metaphoric or poetic ways of letting him know how I much I love him. It was really fun to have it illustrated, dedicate it to him and read it with him in the morning.

Do you ever spontaneously write him poems?
I do. I write for him a lot and I make up songs for him – just silly things on the spot. I wrote a record called “Lullaby” while I was trying to get pregnant and then I wrote him a children’s record called “The Merry Goes Round.”

What other celeb moms’ parenting styles do you admire?
I’m pretty good friends with Nia Vardalos and she’s a great mom. Her baby’s older than mine and it’s been fun getting little tips on how she teaches him manners and things like that.

How do you and your husband, Ty Murray, split parenting duties?
We share quite a lot. I’m kind of in charge of the diet. He took time off of work to be home with the baby, so he changed the diapers and was up with me from midnight to 2 am during feedings. He’s really been with me every step of the way.