Jana Kramer is mom to son Jace, 21 months, and daughter Jolie, 4½

By Jen Juneau
September 04, 2020 09:30 AM
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As a mother of two, Jana Kramer has learned to let unsolicited parenting advice roll off her back — but that wasn't always the case.

In a new interview for PEOPLE's Celeb Moms Get Real, the 36-year-old actress and singer reveals that her "biggest parenting fail" has been "[letting] the mommy shamers just really affect" her when she first became a mom to now-4½-year-old daughter Jolie Rae.

"Because I didn't breastfeed and I didn't cook up their food, I gave them frozen meals — that was really hard for me because I took it personal," says Kramer. "Like, 'I'm not a good mom. I should be making their food and I should be not giving them food out of a jar.' "

Now mom to Jolie and 21-month-old son Jace Joseph (she shares both children with husband Mike Caussin), the One Tree Hill alum recalls letting "so many people make me feel like I wasn't doing a good job."

"Now [I know] that I was doing the very best I could and that I was a good mom," Kramer tells PEOPLE.

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Jana Kramer and family
Jana Kramer/ Instagram

The "I Got the Boy" singer recalls one specific instance where she "made [herself] sick" over comments she got about Jace's health, implying that it was her fault when he got sick once because she didn't breastfeed.

"It just drives me crazy that moms are out there being like, 'Well, you shouldn't do [this and that].' Just stop," she adds. "I finally came to a point where I'm just like, 'You know what? Maybe I didn't want to breastfeed. Maybe I didn't want to pump. And you know what? That's okay.' "

How she handles mommy shamers now? "I don't let it affect me anymore," Kramer says simply. "I know I'm a good mom — I'm a great mom."

"I know that I make mistakes; I know that I don't know everything. And that's okay," she continues. "But the mommy shamers ... I don't get it. I don't get it at all. We're all moms — we're all just trying to do our best. You might have a different opinion. My best friend lets her kids sleep in [her] bed. I'm not a co-sleeper, but if that's what she wants to do, awesome. Whatever works for you, you do it."

Kramer — whose new book The Good Fight, which she wrote alongside husband Caussin, 33, comes out later this month — also opens up about why she thinks it's important to be candid about both the exciting and more difficult parts of parenting, using her recent experience of crying over Jace's sleep regression as an example.

But sometimes, her tears are less specifically situational and more about things like watching her little ones grow up so quickly right before her eyes.

"My son, he's not a baby anymore ... it's been a really hard transition for me," the mother of two tells PEOPLE. "We're so close to him not being in a crib anymore and he doesn't let me rock him as he did when he was a baby, and it's slowly just breaking my heart that he's now becoming this toddler."

"I had a good cry session about that. ... I had a good cry session when Jolie told me she didn't need me to read her a book," Kramer admits. "I think the not feeling needed breaks my heart, but then also I'm happy that they're independent, as well."

The Good Fight, out Sept. 22, is available for pre-order now on amazon.com.