In her first blog for iVillage, singer-songwriter Jewel, who recently released the children’s book and CD That’s What I’d Do, writes about how learned to put aside her sense of perfectionism to feel the “actual joy” of being a mom to 15-month-old son Kase with husband Ty Murray.
On her need for control: “I never realized how invasive this need to control things was in my life. It seemed to serve me well. I stayed on top of my business, my employees, my craft, but as I look back now, it took a lot of the fun out of it. So busy was I keeping an eagle eye out for any sign of chaos, and then rooting it out like a weed the second it showed its head, that I forgot to enjoy my life. If I never had a child, I think I would still be a fairly happy, functioning control-aholic. But once I had my baby, I was suddenly handed the most awesome and overwhelming responsibility of my entire life.”
On parental “perfection” and its affect on her marriage: “Without knowing we were even doing it, we set out on separate paths of being the most perfect parent ever. Everything had to be just so. The problem was his idea of perfect was not always my idea of perfect, and my idea of the absolute perfect bottle temperature, or time to nap or whatever did not always match his own standard. Plus, when one person thinks they alone are the gatekeepers and proprietors of perfection, it automatically leaves the other person outside those pearly gates, and a judgment is silently felt: those inside the gates are perfect, those outside them are … not. It was an awkward time for my husband and me, to say the least. Not at all what I expected the first months of my life as a new mom and wife to feel like.”
On making mistakes as a mom: “No wonder I felt love AND panic when they handed me my son for the first time. It was me finding my way to a deep truth — that both are true. Where there is great love, there is great potential for hurt. Where there is great hope, there is great potential for disappointment. Being a mom means being willing to walk that line with eyes open for the rest of my life. I don’t want to use control to lend myself a false sense of security, because it robs me of feeling the actual joy. Like a drug that numbs the pain, it also dulls the senses. I don’t want to hide behind anything. I’m up to this challenge. I can do it straight. I will make mistakes and I will be thankful that I have the opportunity and the privilege to make them. I will try to celebrate and be proud of those mistakes I manage not to make.”
Continue reading Jewel’s blog at iVillage…