How Do You Do It?

“How do you do it?” is a question that gets posed to me on a semi-regular basis.

It’s usually when I’m out in public where my three girls always behave closer to something resembling angels than the screaming devils I know them to be within the confines of our home. And it often follows on the heels of me talking about bees, or chickens, or blogging, or just having three children dressed and out of the house.

And though I’ve been hearing this, likely, rhetorical question for years now, it shocks me a little bit every time. Why is someone asking me that?

How do I do it?

With caffeine, alcohol and under eye cream.

With a deliberate lack of sleep, a great husband and good friends.

With afternoon naps, good books and morning blossom

How do I do it?

I don’t care what the kids wear so long as they’re dressed.

Ditto for myself.

I don’t care if the girls have brushed their hair so long as they can see where they are going.

Ditto for myself.

I don’t care if the kids have shoes on unless we are in a restaurant or grocery store.

Ditto for blossom

How do I do it?

I blog and bake and read.

I raise chickens and bees and pigs.

I workout and canoe and play blossom

How do I do it?

With snuggly mornings, hugs in the afternoon and I love you’s at bedtime.

With book reading, coloring and baseball games.

With giggles, smiles and overly loud whispers in my blossom

How do I do it?

My house is messy – and I can live with that.

My truck is a disaster area – and I can live with that.

I haven’t gotten a week’s worth of decent sleep in ten years – and I’m still blossom

How do I do it?

I do it the same way you do.

I do it one day at a time.

One smile at a time.

One screaming tantrum at a time.

One stolen moment of peace and chocolate in the bedroom closet at a time.

One sustaining hug from my husband at a time.

One phone call to a friend at a time.

One moment of wonder at a blossom

And so, when someone asks me how I do it I tend to trip over my tongue and mumble a bit. I don’t know what to say, and I’m not sure why they are asking me. Because I do it the same way everyone else does, no matter what they have chosen to fill their lives with.. Some days I do it poorly and some days I do it well and some days it’s all I can do just to do it.

Just like you.


31 comments on “How Do You Do It?

  1. Firewaves21 says:

    I think a lot of people are in awe and don’t feel they could do it themselves. I’m not sure any of us know what we’re capable of until we’re in the position of having to. Everyone finds their own way to cope with whatever and find the little joys that life affords us. Kudos to you for obviously making it look so easy that people feel obliged to query. 🙂

  2. This resonates with me! I’m going to send it to my daughter, who has just had her first child and who is doing it with lack of sleep, longing for adult company, and a wonderful husband. Keep doing what you’re doing. It obviuosly works!

  3. barbtaub says:

    No. What they are really asking is not “How do you do it?” But “How do you do it all–bright happy beautiful children and bright happy beautiful life–SO WELL?”

    And as you point out, the answer is that what they see of your life is no more than those annual Christmas letters that just give snapshots of the generic highlights. But your REAL life is a dynamic three-dimensional improv theater of high and low moments.

    So I think the real answer to their “How do you do it?” Is –“I guess you’d have to be there…”

  4. Now this sounds familiar… Thanks for sharing 😊

  5. Dan says:

    You’re clearly doing something right, and all the baking, reading and cuddles make for a wonderful childhood. Well done you👍

    • Jessie says:

      Well… I do like to balance that with a healthy dose of frozen pizzas, crappy videos and “Go outside until you remember how to be nice to people!”‘s I figure that makes everyone more well rounded! 😉

  6. Georgia Rose says:

    Wonderful! Excellent post Jessie 🙂 (and you do it all beautifully)

  7. junekearns says:

    That’s just gorgeous, Jessie! (I had to google capoeira 😳)

  8. Helen says:

    How do you do it? With honesty as to what matters, with smart and realistic goals, with love and optimism, with enough joy to make it look easy. Good going, Jessie and John!!!!!

  9. Aishwarya says:

    Super post!!!! The small moments of everyday life highlighted with such simplicity and beauty…you stole my heart 🙂

  10. Helen says:

    Jessie, do you find yourself better able to put up with the pandemonium that is part of three young children and an activity-filled life, partly because your mind is busy searching for the words and sentences that will adequately describe it all? I love reading what you write! I think you have a book’s worth of entertaining, interesting, worth-while reading.

    • Jessie says:

      Some days it does help when I’m composing a post in my head, it’s easier to step back and see the big picture. Other days I have words bouncing around in my head, and half formed thoughts that want finishing and I don’t have the time or space to get them out. – Those days it doesn’t help! 😉

  11. Corky says:

    Excellent Jessie!! You do an awesome job! And I totally agree with all the comments! OOXX

  12. another wonderful blog–you nailed it, for what we’ve all been through or are going thru–each stage has it’s blessings and challenges. I look forward to seeing your blog posts come in!–Annette

  13. Yes! You go, girl.

    • Jessie says:

      …reading…reading… reading… *snorts water up nose* Did Jerry just say, “You go, girl.”? Yup, yup he did. Bwah ha ha!!!

      ahem *pulls self together*

      I mean, thank you Jerry, thank you!


  14. Sharon says:

    I would say you are the best example of motherhood I have seen in ages. I don’t think I had the good sense on how to make happy children like you do although they are all well adjusted adults. Now when your girls are 13 or 16 remember how you feel today! They can be a challenge but you all will survive especially if you don’t change!

    • Jessie says:

      Thank you so much Sharon! But 13 & 16… yikes! Though yes, there will come a day I will have a 13, 15, & 17 year old girls in the house- talk about scary!

  15. A says:

    It’s funny that you wrote this post and that I happened to be reading it at the exact time I am reading it. I have your posts emailed to me on a weekly basis because, ya know, I try to keep up with my peeps 😉 and I was thinking to myself, “Dang, she writes A LOT for having three kids and chickens and bees, etc!” So that’s what I was thinking when I started reading this post! I still don’t know how you do it, girlfriend!!! Your photos are beautiful ❤

    • Jessie says:

      Well… then there are weeks that the kids and the chickens and the bees and the husbands new schedule win like last week and I hardly get a chance to write anything and I’m woefully behind on all the blogs I like reading. I guess it balances out eventually. Thanks for being such a steady reader! 🙂

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