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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 how to say “no” continued...

Have a family powwow. Start the conversation with your husband or partner, and then include the kids if they are old enough, says Adams. Even if you’ve been married for 10 years, it’s never too late to start talking. “Explain to your spouse why you need to say ‘no’ sometimes, why you need more time for yourself or simply can’t take on a specific chore or responsibility … and tell your kids that mom cannot be on call 24/7.”

Remind them. After the big talk, there’s bound to be regression -- family dynamics are years in the making, after all. “Simply say, ‘Kids, we talked about this,’ or ‘Honey, my new expectation is this.’”

Banish the guilt. Working mothers and stay-at-home moms have one thing in common: guilt. “Traditional mothers may feel like, since they’re home, they have to be supermoms,” says Adams. “So they try to be perfect, overcompensating and taking on everyone’s needs while ignoring their own. And some of these moms inadvertently encourage dependence over independence, because satisfying their child’s every need makes them feel needed. Conversely, working moms sometimes rush home and, feeling guilty for missing out on so much, don’t set limits with their kids, setting themselves up to be used. Neither approach is healthy for anyone.”

Foster independence -- for everyone. That means for mothers, partners, and kids. “We live a lot longer these days,” says Adams. “Not only is it important for both mothers and fathers to foster healthy independence in their kids at a very young age, it’s essential for women to look beyond their marriages, too. … If women solely see their role as ‘mom,’ they will have difficult years ahead after their children leave the home. Women and their husbands need to have other things going on outside of the marriage.”

Reviewed on April 24, 2009

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