Starting a family in early adulthood works out well for many women, but for Sheryl Crow, becoming a mother at 45 proved to be perfect timing.
In 2007, the musician adopted son Wyatt, now 12. And in 2010, she went through the process again, this time adopting son Levi, now 9. She raises them on her own in Nashville.
“I think the great advantage for me for waiting is that everything I had ever wanted to do or wanted to accomplish, I kind of expelled out of my system by the time my kids came. My kids came after I had breast cancer, and I really experienced nine lives. And I feel there’s nothing out there more important,” she told Working Mother in an exclusive interview. Some of these pre-kid achievements include 30 Grammy nominations, nine wins, 50 million albums sold worldwide and, as mentioned, surviving cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2006. “I’m not pulled in any directions, I never feel like I’m missing out on anything. It’s really easy for me to make my decisions when my entire career is based on what’s good for kids.”
Her views highlight some not-often-discussed benefits of delaying motherhood. You have a wealth of life experience and accomplishments under your belt. And you are likely to be at a stage in your career where you have more power over your schedule, so you can prioritize family.
She also discussed what she wished someone told her about caring for babies: the exhaustion. “I guess no one had to tell me, because I think I knew it… But I will say, being a working mom, even compounded with being a single working mom, I had the good fortune of when they were babies, being able to grab the rest I needed when I wanted, as opposed to having to cram it in at lunch time,” she said.
Sheryl, whose last album, Threads, came out in 2019, kicks off the 2020 leg of her tour in April. And she has a special rule about touring to ensure the family spends time together. “If I’m gone three nights, my boys come with me,” she said. Traveling with Mom for work isn’t anything new for her kids, who she said have basically “grown up on the tour bus.” She added, “and the challenge now that they’re in school is getting all the homework together that they’ve missed.”
The musician chatted with us as part of her involvement with the Colgate Optic White Renewal Toothpaste campaign. “The toothpaste actually whitens your teeth over the course of four weeks. It removes 10 years’ worth of yellow stains… Stains make you look older… [The toothpaste] helps me stay as youthful as I feel inside… So that’s one of the reasons I’m excited to be a part of this campaign,” she said.