Jessie James Decker Says Striking Work-Life Balance Is All About Putting Family First
The entertainer, author, and mom of three, who partnered with Hallmark for their "Cards Do More" campaign, shared her best tips on striking the balance between kids and career.
March 27, 2019
As a country-pop singer/songwriter, TV personality, author, and mom of three, Jessie James Decker is undoubtedly one busy woman. Despite her seriously packed schedule, the entertainer prioritizes connection with friends and family, in part by writing them heartfelt greeting cards. The tradition inspired her to partner with Hallmark for their "Cards Do More" campaign, which is encouraging thoughtful, conscious communication that goes beyond quick texts and emojis.
"My mom always taught me to send someone a handwritten card when you want to thank someone for something—not just for a birthday or a holiday," Decker tells Parents.com. "Or if someone is going on a big job interview, sending them a note to tell them good luck with that. I just feel like we've just gotten so used to sending emojis as a way to share how we feel, and there's just something classic about sending a handwritten card, and I think we should all do that more."
Decker's mom, who always wrote her supportive cards when she would fly to Nashville or meet with a record label early in her career, also instilled in her the joy of writing "pump it up cards," explaining, "That's clearly where I learned it from, because now, I'm doing the same for my family. Like when Eric was going to play a big game or even Vivianne's dance recital, I like writing notes of, 'You go, girl, you're going to get this!' or 'You're going to have a huge game, and I'll be watching, and I can't wait!'"
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The singer's dedication to her family echoes her parenting philosophy in a big picture way, as well—specifically when it comes to what she believes is the best way to strike that ever-elusive work-life balance as a mom.
"My best advice is to truly put your kids and your family first, and everything somehow falls into place," Decker says. "I find that when you put things first that you don't want to put first, you just end up stressing about it, so it's kind of beside the point anyway of what you're doing. If I were to put my career first all of the time, and my kids were falling behind, I'd just be depressed and sad the whole time. I wouldn't be enjoying the job that I'm doing, and I'd be missing my kids. Double trouble!"
And if her kids begin to bear the brunt of a cumbersome work situation, she says she'll pass on the work. "Obviously, I'm fortunate enough to make those decisions, because I have a husband who's retired now and a mom who is willing to help," Decker notes. "But for me personally, I just put my kids first and hope everything falls into place."
Decker also admits that parenting three little ones under 5—Vivianne, 5, Eric Jr. aka "Bubby," 3, and Forrest, who will turn 1 on March 31—comes with its unique challenges. Prior to Forrest's arrival, "it was one-on-one," Decker explains. "Then, we had a third, and Forrest had an explosion in his diaper, and then, Bubby accidentally peed his pants too, because he was still potty training, and then, Vivi's hungry. It was definitely a moment of, 'Oh my Lord, we need to take a deep breath. There's a lot of demands going on in this house, and we can't meet everyone at the same exact moment.' ... Now, it's like we need to prioritize the kids' needs."
But any overwhelming moments are well worth the rewards of family life for Decker, who calls parenthood "truly the most important thing I've ever done."
"I will truly say, every single morning, when we wake up, and Eric and I sitting there with our coffee in our living room, and the kids are getting the sleepies out of their eyes and playing with their toys or walking around with their milk or sippy cups of juice, and they're just happy. We look at each other and go, 'This is just awesome.' We love being parents, and we're just so grateful for them."