Our favorite Alaskan transplant Jewel has succeeded in
several different pop culture endeavors including selling 27 million records, releasing
a bestselling book of poetry, and getting the song “Who Will Save Your Soul”
forever stuck in our heads. But in recent years she has switched her talents
over to penning beautiful lyrics inspired by son Kase, born July 11, 2011 with
rodeo cowboy hubby Ty Murray. Jewel wrote her album Lullaby while she was
trying to get pregnant, and The Merry Goes ‘Round while knocked up. Her
latest project was That’s What I’d Do, an original song the singer adapted into an illustrated children's book about the amazing bond between parent and child. We called her up
to get the scoop on her son’s unique name, her new book, and whether Ty changes diapers.
We caught her just as she was putting Kase down for a nap at her Stephenville,
So, did you get him
Yes! He’s always been a very good sleeper, I’m lucky.
Any advice for other
moms whose kids don’t sleep?
Sleep needs change from newborn to baby into toddlerhood.
I’m figuring out moving up his bedtime, and being proactive when his needs change.
They get fussy, so you realize it’s time to alter something, such as consolidating
two naps into one, which Kase just did.
Tell us about the
inspiration behind penning That’s What
I wrote this while I was pregnant with Kase. I was just
thinking about all the things I wanted to say to him. I wanted to use my
imagination, and the words became a metaphor for that. When you are an artist,
you want to use that creative side of yourself, and it struck me that I wanted
to make a book out of the lyrics I was writing. It was fun to see the words
come to life with the illustrations.
What other children’s
books can you recommend?
Kase likes the [Matthew Van Fleet] books, such as the CAT
one, and the DOG one. He likes to pull the tabs out!
Kase was born two
summers ago. Did you have a favorite hot weather maternity outfit?
It was a record 110 degrees every day in Texas during my
pregnancy, and I couldn’t stand anything tight on my body. I wore a lot of
How did you pick the
name Kase? Did you know you were having a boy?
We did find out. I was very happy. We were just looking for
a single-syllable name that would be hard to turn into a nickname. Ty came up
with it and we both liked it.
It’s a trip. Your body changes and you really have to
give your body over to this person. It’s not yours, and its taking care of a
baby. Don’t expect your baby weight to come off the second you deliver. My
friend said it was going to take me 9 or 10 months, and that was about true for
me. It was very hard for me to diet because I was breast-feeding. I just tried
to trust the process and see the time after Kase’s birth as an extension of my
pregnancy. I ate good, though! I worked out, and took the weight off slowly.
People say I look back to normal, but my stomach isn’t the same for sure!
What is the mom
community like in Stephenville? Does Jewel go on playdates?
I just spent the summer in Telluride, Colorado. They have an
amazing community there for moms. I
took Kase to a sign language class at the library, it was amazing. So when I
came back here I couldn’t find a single baby group! I don’t think one exists. I
was thinking about starting a little music class here at my house.
You told Good Morning
America that being a mom is like a “present you get to open for the rest of
your life.” Are there any hard days as a mom? Has your son thrown any tantrums
in public? And how did you handle it?
I haven’t run into the tantrums yet but I’ve been reading
about it, and I am open to all suggestions! I think being a mom is a fluctuating
process. We put so much pressure on ourselves. We have an idea of what it
should be like, [and can feel] like we’re not measuring up. I think giving yourself a
break is good idea. You’re not going to damage your baby. I think your baby
understands it’s a gift of love, and there’s a lot to figure out. There are
definitely some days that are easier or harder. It’s all a journey.
Will Kase learn how
to ride a horse?
He’s already been on horses since he was about 3 months old with
his dad! I’m still deciding when we will let him get on one on his own. It’s
nice for him to learn responsibility through the horses on our ranch.
You said in an
interview recently that real men change diapers. What other things does Ty do
Ty is a great dad. I had to leave for a few days and he took
care of the baby, himself. He’s very competent. He even stuck to the nap
schedule. He’s really committed.
You don’t have a
nanny. How the heck do you guys manage everything?
One of my best friends lives here, and Ty’s mom comes over a
lot. I put my career on the backburner for now.
I’ll probably get back to my music career to some degree, such as a greatest hits
album that is coming out soon, but I’m not touring now or putting out major
records. You only have so much energy. I kind of divide up my time the best I
can and if it costs me money or fame I’m OK with it. I don’t think anybody
can exist without friends and family pitching in. There may come a time I’m on
the road and I need more help. I know it’s a big issue for moms feeling like
they have to do it all. Our kids will love us no matter what.
Let’s say your best
friend is having a baby shower. What would you bring?
I like a book called Healthy
Sleep Habits, Happy Child. There’s so many philosophy-based baby training
books out there. I like this one because it’s science-based. No matter if you
like the Attachment Parenting or the Cry It Out method, there’s a sleep
solution for you in this book. I’d also bring an Amber teething necklace. They
don’t chew on them; they just they wear it around their neck. Just make sure it
is real amber. My husband was skeptical about it, but Kase started teething
really early and he still drools a lot but he’s not miserable.
You were homeless at
one point in your career, and started your charity Project Clean water in 1997,
putting 35 wells in 15 different countries! You’ve obviously had a lot of
success but given back, too. How will you keep Kase humble even though he has
such a great start in life?
That’s something I think about a lot. Ty and I were raised
so poor it was impossible to spoil us. You didn’t want toys because you knew
your parents couldn’t afford them. Ty and I are both successful in our fields
and we’re very lucky. I think the fact that we live on the ranch helps us stay
grounded. There’ll be chores and work for Kase. He’ll have horses to feed and
clean up after. We’re not materialistic, so I don’t think we’ll mess him up too