Country singer and songwriter Jessie James Decker has a busy spring ahead of her. The mother of three is celebrating at least six family birthdays over the next few months, is performing at Stagecoach Festival in April, is running a clothing line, and is kicking off her U.S. tour. The one thing that keeps her grounded through everything is her family.
“I can’t be gone for more than three days from my kids,” she told SheKnows at an exclusive event honoring the launch of her “Cards Do More” campaign with Hallmark. “When you put it in that perspective, I feel like everything falls into place. Family first, and I feel like everything balances out beautifully. It’s when you start putting things you know aren’t important first when things start to get stressful and chaotic.”
Striking a balance between work and family can be tough for any parent, and Decker said she feels grateful to have support in raising kids Vivianne “Vivi” Rose, Eric “Bubby” Thomas, and Forrest Bradley.
“I think I find the balance because I have a really great husband,” she said about her beau, former professional football player Eric Decker. “He’s an amazing father. Oh, my God, he’s the most amazing man ever. My mom is so great. I just have such wonderful people around me… I don’t know if I could comfortably leave and go do work things if I didn’t have such a great husband and mom.”
While Decker primarily relies on her family for help, she said she’s also found a sense of community with other moms, who have more than once helped her out of a bind — especially when she forgets to pack diapers and wipes.
“I’ve really forgotten diapers with the third baby… That’s kind of embarrassing because we should have it together, but it’s that Third Kid Syndrome where before we packed diaper bags and the whole thing, and now we’re just totally forgetting,” she said. “Sometimes, it’s a little embarrassing when I have to ask a random mom at a restaurant, ‘Do you have a diaper I could borrow? We don’t have it together.’ Moms are so great to each other, I feel, for the most part. It’s such a community where you just know. If someone’s crying, you’re not going to find a mom who rolls her eyes or gets all rude. It’s like, ‘I’ve got you. I know what’s up.’”
Still, Decker is a celebrity and is, therefore, a target for online trolls. In the past, people have scolded her on Instagram for drinking while breastfeeding, sharing breastfeeding videos, and for, erm, looking good in a bikini (which reminds us of this woman who told other moms how to dress). Tracking online comments can soul-crushing and time-consuming, which is why she says she doesn’t invest time seeking out haters.
“Maybe I’m totally blinded to it,” she said. “I feel like I don’t see it as much, but I’m also not one of those people that sits and combs through [my comments]. I’ll skim through a few things because I like to hear if there’s some positive feedback. Sometimes, I’ll write a little smart aleck comment back just to be funny, but I don’t really read them. I feel like I’m kind of in the dark. I even deleted Twitter. But, I will say that there are some mom-shamers, but there are some moms who are just trying to give informative information, and I’m kind of appreciative.”
Besides, Decker has bigger things to worry about than spectator parents, like keeping up with her youngest now that he’s on the move.
“[My kids] are very funny,” she admitted. “Vivi and Bubs, my second, are thick as thieves. They are close as ever. They are best friends. It’s just so beautiful to see. Forrest is trying to keep up since he started walking a month ago. He’s, like, running now. He wants to hang out with them so badly. He wants to be a big kid. They’re so sweet the way they include him. I think my favorite thing is just seeing their sibling love.”
Another charming way the Deckers share their love is through handwritten cards; something Decker said she inherited from her mom and decided to pass down to her family. “I was raised to write handwritten notes and make someone feel special,” she explained, adding that her current collaboration with Hallmark is “perfect… because we believe in the same thing.”
“Eric and I have been [writing notes] to each other since Day 1, so Vivi is all about making cards now,” she continued. “She makes me cards every single day. They’re these rainbow cards, and they say, ‘I love you, Mommy. Love, Vivi.’ I have stacks of cards, and I keep them with me when I travel. It makes me feel good that she learned that from Eric and I doing that for her, and I learned that from my mom.”
Another lesson she’ll likely pass on to her kids is that they don’t have to compromise style for comfort. Decker recently opened the first brick-and-mortar storefront for her clothing brand, Kittenish, in Nashville. While her line features plenty of stunning pieces for nights out or hot days at the beach, she says that the one closet staple every mom — and person, for that matter — needs is a pair of sweats.
“But cute sweats,” she clarified. “This last fall, I was like, ‘You know, I need to dive more into just the loungewear and the casualwear because that is what I wear pretty much every day. You can have cute loungewear, cute, cozy clothes. It doesn’t have to just look a mess all the time.”
Invest in cozy clothes, commit to writing more handwritten notes, and spend quality time with family. The Jessie James Decker guide to living a good life is definitely something we can stan.
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