4. PLAN A GIRLS' NIGHT OUT
Every couple of weeks Crow tries to gather with friends (usually Williams-Paisley; Tracie Hamilton, the wife of Olympic figure skater Scott; and fellow Nashville resident Nicole Kidman) to share sushi and parenting advice. "Sheryl will say, 'Okay, this is what I'm dealing with -- what do you think?'" Williams-Paisley says. "She puts it right out there and opens it up for discussion."
Crow also enjoys a girls' night in with the kids' nanny, settling down for "mindless" TV couch time after the boys have gone to bed. "We laugh and say we're like an old married couple," says Crow. "On Thursday nights it's exciting because: The kids are bathed! We've read them books! We've brushed their teeth! Now it's time for Grey's Anatomy! It's nice to have a guilty pleasure."
5. LEARN TO DE-STRESS
Crow meditates for 30 minutes each morning and, if possible, 30 minutes at night. "It decreases my nervous energy and creates more space in my day," she says. She's also a big exerciser -- she runs an hour a day and bike-rides. "Exercise gets rid of so much clogged-up energy. When you burn through that dark energy, you feel so much lighter inside."
6. EMBRACE AGING (THAT'S RIGHT, YOU HEARD HER!)
Surviving a serious illness led Crow to want to "be gentle" with herself, especially when it comes to aging. "I'll see a picture of myself and think, 'Oh, look how old I'm getting!' But we can make ourselves crazy about our imperfections to the point where we don't even look like ourselves," she says, referring to extreme plastic surgery. "Instead, I try to let go of the panic about aging. That's where you'll find grace. And grace is what keeps us young."
7. TEACH YOUR KIDS TO GIVE BACK
Ask Crow who has inspired her and she says, "The people at Feeding America." Crow got involved with the hunger-relief organization through actor David Arquette. "You'd be amazed at how many people in this country go hungry," says Crow. "Moms come in for boxes of food just to keep their families going -- they inspire me with their determination." So much so, she says, that over the next 10 years she would like to shift from playing music to doing more philanthropy. In the meantime, "I want to help my kids learn about volunteerism," she says. "When we pass people in need on the street, I always let Wyatt give them money. It's important for him to understand -- even though he's just 4 -- that we are so blessed."
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, June 2011.