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Sheryl Crow Adds Healthy Living to Her Repertoire

After a traumatic year, the singer-songwriter is making music, raising a son, and learning the art of balance.

Sheryl Crow on being a mother

Wyatt, who turned 2 on April 29, is now “testing his boundaries and throwing mock tantrums. I find it so difficult not to laugh when he does this,” Crow tells WebMD. “I do everything I can to show him I’m taking it seriously because he is so dramatic. … And he is just a good-natured little boy.” Crow also reports that her son is “very social and confident,” loves “hanging out with my [band’s] guitar player,” and is “super-close to my dad.” She depends on her parents more these days, she admits, and is happy to have always had a close relationship with both of them.

As for her own parenting philosophy, it can be summed up in five words: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Crow believes that “being an older mom works to my advantage, because I’m easier-going now. I’m less critical of myself, more serene … so if Wyatt wants to play in the dirt, I’m all for it. I don’t get worked up, say, about some mess he makes.”

Unlike some mothers, who allow personal ambition to sit on the back burner while they focus fully on the kids, Crow says Wyatt reignited her drive and creativity. “[My ambition] started to wane four or five years ago. I just didn’t have it in me to tour, to work constantly. But I had a resurgence with Wyatt, the desire to make music. So much is going on in the world, and he created a new sense of urgency in me to give voice to my concerns.”

Sheryl Crow on the environment

Still, Crow claims she’s “always been into politics and been outspoken all the way back to the early days, such as with The Walden Woods Project,” an environmental group created in 1990 by singer Don Henley to save Thoreau’s Walden Pond from development. 

Pressing environmental issues, from a melting polar ice cap to overflowing landfills, alarm Crow; she inspired headlines with her 2007 “Stop Global Warming College Tour” on a bio-diesel bus with environmentalist and An Inconvenient Truth producer Laurie David and has long supported the Natural Resources Defense Council’s environmental advocacy. Crow also sounds the warning cry about everyday toxins, especially now that she has Wyatt’s development and future to worry about.

“We have to educate ourselves,” she says. “Find out what affects us in our daily lives, from the foods we eat to cleaning products around the home. … I only feed Wyatt organic food. I use earth-friendly cleaning products and drink water that’s filtered. No bottles -- it’s such a waste, all that plastic. … We as consumers must become conscious of our daily decisions; it’s consumerism that endangers the environment.”

One website she uses frequently is Healthy Child Healthy World (www.healthychild.org, an editorial partner with WebMD). “It’s a great place to get ideas for daily living,” Crow says, “to live a greener life.” She even contributed a page to the organization’s 2008 book, Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home, writing about the hope and resilience children bring to such problems as global warming. “Kids are so acutely aware and smart; they will be the ones to motivate us, their parents, to change,” says Crow.

 

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