May 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm , by Rachel Shippy
Before celebrating her first Mother’s Day with son, Kase (with husband Ty Murray), singer/songwriter Jewel chatted with LHJ about life as a mom, her newest passion projects, and how she’s giving back.
Tell us about your experience as a mom so far. I am so excited about my first Mother’s Day! Being a mom has been the best thing I have ever done with my life. It is such a healing and sweet love, and it inspires me to be a better person every day. It has also inspired my writing. I have written many poems and songs for [baby Kase] already. I play him guitar every day, so that if he wants to pick it up one day, he can, but I won’t push him into it.
What projects have you been working on recently? Have they been inspired by your son? I wrote my son an album while I was pregnant called “The Merry Goes ‘Round.” I wanted to write a children’s album that was clever and well-produced so parents would enjoy it on one level, and kids on another. It was fun to write and produce, because I got to think of all the things I wanted to say to my son, and what stories I would want him to hear. I also wrote a children’s book called That’s What I’d Do, based on a song I wrote. The book will come out this September and is about all the things you would do for your child because you love them. A CD of the song will be sold along with the book, so everyone can sing along if they want.
How do you juggle being a mom with all the professional projects you’re working on? Have your priorities shifted? How do you balance everything? Aside from my commitment to Child Hunger Ends Here, I have put almost all my work on hold for the year. I wanted to dig in and enjoy being a new mom, and wasn’t sure if I would want to continue working at all. I have to find my own sense of balance and rhythm as a new mom and [balance that with] my work — just like all moms have to. Becoming a mom has given me a whole new respect for women and how we are so many things to so many people… and we get so much done!Who are the women who have inspired you: in life, in work and in motherhood? Many of my female heroes were authors whose books I read as a child, like Anaiis Nin, Charlotte Brontë, Maya Angelou and Flannery O’Connor. They taught me my mind was worth no less than a man’s, and that I was just as capable intellectually as a man — if I was willing to learn and put the work in.
Can you share the charity efforts you’re passionate about and how our readers can help? As a homeless teen, I experienced hunger first-hand, and as a new mother, it breaks my heart to know that more than 1 in 5 children in the U.S. don’t know when their next meal is coming. I’m honored to be able to help those in need through the Child Hunger Ends Here program. You can help by purchasing specially-marked packages ConAgra Foods brands and entering the 8-digit code at http://www.childhungerendshere.com/Html/Index.html. For each code entered, the equivalent of one meal will be donated to Feeding America. Afterward, you will be able to download a copy of “Here’s Hope,” an original song written specifically for this cause that I recorded with musicians Owl City and Jay Sean.
I started Project Clean water in 1997, after I had been homeless for a year and struggled to get clean drinking water. Since we started the project I’ve put 35 wells in 15 different countries! I recently partnered with Sir Richard Branson and his organization Virgin Unite and Voss waters initiative Give A Drop. For more info, visit giveadrop.com.
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