Jewel built a career on introspective breakup ballads like You Were Meant for Me and Foolish Games, but it took the birth of her son for her to realize she hadn’t found her fairy-tale ending after all.

The singer-songwriter married rodeo cowboy Ty Murray in 2008 after nearly 10 years of dating, and she gave birth to baby boy Kase in 2011. The couple announced their split last year.

During Jenny McCarthy‘s Inner Circle event, Jewel reflected on co-parenting with her ex and why she needed to leave, something that resonated with the SiriusXM Stars host, who was a single mother for years before wedding Donnie Wahlberg.

“It came to me that my mom stayed with my dad too long, and she said, ‘I stayed together because I wanted you girls to have a father in the house.’ And it’s what stopped me from pursuing going backwards and saying, ‘No, I have to move forward,'” McCarthy said. “I would much rather have them separate and be happy than to suffer and stay together. Have you ever considered those thoughts?”

“Our children want us to be happy,” Jewel said. “They don’t want us to be together and miserable. My ideal, my dream, my hope was to have a family. Losing the fantasy of the family that I wanted was probably the most heartbreaking aspect of the divorce, and it wasn’t even real. It was a fantasy.”

“But that fantasy was powerful, and so letting that dream die was probably the most heartbreaking thing for me,” she added. “But I knew when I had my son and I looked at him that I wasn’t the woman I wanted him to know yet, and that was a really excruciating thing to realize with a newborn, that I had to make some significant changes. And something I hope my son gets out of life is that we always have permission to go back to the drawing board and go, ‘I’m not my best version of myself.'”

Jewel turned her words of wisdom and message of following your intuition into a memoir, Never Broken, and online community focused on “emotional fitness.”

She’s also adding another line to her acting resume with Framed for Murder: A Fixer-Upper Story on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

During the audience event, she also revealed she almost became a different type of celebrity: a reality TV personality.

“I tried to set up my career in a way that supported my goal, which was to hopefully be a good artist, and it wasn’t ever to be famous and it wasn’t ever to be rich. And so I turned down a lot of things in my career that might have skyrocketed me to fame, like I was actually asked to be in one of the first seasons of The Real World,” she said. “And I turned it down, which horrified my label, but I was like I don’t want to be known as that girl, I want to be somebody who writes.”

Watch the clip below to see Jewel and McCarthy exchange embarrassing mom moments.

Jenny McCarthy’s Inner Circle with Jewel premieres Jan. 27 at 8 pm ET on SiriusXM Stars (Ch. 109) and re-airs Jan. 28 at 4 am, 9 am and 10 pm and Jan. 29 at noon.

 

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