How I Do It: Bringing It Back

Alright y’all, if you’ve been reading SSP for awhile, you may remember my series that ran called ‘How I Do It.’  I started this weekly series almost five years ago, back in December of 2012, when many of you would ask how I handled my life with four babies.

Vaughn had just been born two months prior in late October, so I started answering your questions from discipline to potty training, venturing out with four to my birth stories.  Wheeler was 4 years and 4 months old when Vaughn was born.

After a lot of thought of whether I should bring it back, I finally decided why not.  My children are older now, and clearly they’re passed the potty training stage, etc., but what I’m planning on doing is bringing each post back with an update.  I’ll also provide a link back to the prior post in case any of you are in an earlier stage with your children, and want some insight.  And as I used to state in every single post, this is how I handled certain situations, topics, etc.  I understand that every family is different and every mother/father parents their children in various ways, which is totally fine.  I’m just sharing how things worked for our family.

8 months pregnant with Vaughn (he was 8lbs, 9oz; Logan was 8lbs, 7oz; and both Wheeler and Effie were exactly 9lbs)

To start off, I’m pulling my first ever How I Do It post, basically why I started this series…

The Foundation

To begin with, I was raised in a large family.  My dad is the oldest of six kids (five boys and one girl), my mom was the second in line of four (three girls, one boy), and I’m the oldest of six girls.  So I guess I’ve always wanted to have a big family too.  I’m still super close with my family, and am so thankful for that.  My sisters and I still chat all the time, and now that all eight of us (including my mom and dad) have iPhones, we have an ongoing group text message.  So whenever we have news, even small news, or a photo/video to share, etc., we text it to the group.  The one problem?  If you miss even a day of not checking your phone, you’re bound to have around 200 text messages that you’ve missed.  Like I said, we talk to each other a lot, but I LOVE it!

We’re definitely an energetic, talkative bunch…so everything’s usually very lively when we’re around each other, and we thrive on competition.  Games are our forte.  Any game. Board games, cards, watching games, etc., we want in.  We grew up watching Jeopardy every night, and most nights we still do.  I had friends growing up (especially my friends that were only children) that would call and want to come over just to sit in our kitchen and watch (like a sitcom)…and seriously, everyday WAS a sitcom in our house.  Just imagine…six girls – 9.5 years apart (7, counting my mom) – 7 hormonal women, drama at its best, and no boys to intervene. We definitely got the “Your poor dad” a lot.

I’ve always had a genuine love for children and grew up babysitting a lot of families in our neighborhood.  I thought it was so great that I could get paid, doing what I loved to do.  When my sisters and I were all of age to babysit, can you imagine the jackpot a parent had, if they needed a sitter?  Honestly, a parent would call the house and talk to whichever sister was their primary babysitter, and if they couldn’t do it, the sister would pass the date off to the others and it was up for grabs – like Babysitter’s Club.  There was one mother that wouldn’t even share her babysitter(s)’ names (aka us) with her girlfriends when they asked, because she didn’t want to lose her gold mine of having six sitters in one household!

How we “rolled.”

While I still babysat after college, I then became a teacher and had to “raise” around 25 first graders.  So I still feel like having four is a piece of cake compared to that.  That’s one reason that on outings I seem to get along well because I always compare it to how challenging it was to keep an eye on my entire class on field trips!  Plus, I clearly don’t have to prepare weekly lesson plans, write progress reports and report cards, etc. for my own children.  While I still do things in comparison to that now with my own, it doesn’t have to be written out and filed…and again, 4 vs 25.

Sweet Wheeler Bea around a year old.

Nothing compares to being a mother.  And I’m not saying it’s easy.  Life with a large family definitely has its challenges and we all have our own vices, but I strive to do my best and choose to have a positive outlook on this life.  And that’s what I’ll be sharing with y’all each week…a look into our world, and how I handle and raise my four children.  Now come back to me in five years, ten…fifteen…and I know this whole series will be completely different.  But that’s what’s so neat about life…as your children grow – physically, mentally, and spiritually…so do you…and that is an amazing thing.  (Edit: It’s been five years since I wrote this, hence the update!  As I’m updating you each week, it’ll be a trip down memory lane for me.  Life truly has changed since Vaughn was a newborn and Wheeler was only 4.5, but I can’t wait to write on some of the same topics and see how things are different now, than they were then!)

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more installments of my How I Do It updated series. Next week, it’s all about Disciplining (y’all, I’m strict!), and some topics later on: Limitations, Sparse Space, Family Involvement, Rewarding Good Behavior, The Napping Hour, Bedtime, Bath Time, Laundry, Showering, Meal Times, A Tidy House…I swear, I could write a book!  I know it’s Tuesday, but look for these posts on most Mondays.  I hope you’ll enjoy them!  And I always value your input and comments, please feel free to share yours each week!

Happy Tuesday!

13 thoughts on “How I Do It: Bringing It Back

  1. I am so excited that you’re bringing this back! Looking forward to the next post. Thanks!

  2. So so glad you’re bringing it back! I have read a lot of your previous How I Do It posts and admire you for doing such a great job with your crew. Plus, I need to learn about a few things…ha!

  3. Ashley,
    I’m really glad you’re bringing this series back! Always keep in mind that your readers are not all in the same stage of life that you are currently in. I’ve been married for four years and am just now starting to think about kids – so even though your days of infants are past, your old posts will give me a lot of insight into what to expect. Thanks for sharing your life on the blog! I feel like I know you, even though we’ve never met, and I really enjoy seeing what you and your sweet family are up to!
    Best, Wendy

  4. How thank goodness you are bringing this back! I have two under two (actually they are Irish twins) and I would love any pointers that you have! I can’t imagine four under five…that’s just impressive!

  5. I am a new reader and super excited about your “How I Do It” installments. I have an 18 mo old, pregnant with my second and hopeful, one day, for a third. Thanks for bringing this back!

  6. I loved reading these posts years ago pre-wedding and baby, and am so looking forward to my own fresh insight reading them as a mom now!

  7. Hurray!!! I love these. So glad they are coming back! And such sweet, sweet baby photos 🙂

  8. YAY! So glad these are back. I haven’t been reading as much since it became a fashion blog (SAHM without as much of the disposable income as I used to have! Ha!). I LOVED these posts. I’d even be interested in how you do it now – like how you manage activities/sports/lessons, how you talk about tough issues, how you pack for family vacations, how you meal plan/cook for a family of 6, etc! Thanks for restarting these!

  9. I’m excited for this series! I never imagined I’d be a SAHM, but it happened out of the blue and honestly it’s been a struggle. I come from a finance background, so after high school until I started staying home I really had no interaction with children. Since becoming a SAHM, we’ve welcomed a second child and now the kids are 2 (girl) and 4 (boy) and there are new challenges and any help navigating the emotional ups and downs, fighting, listening, obeying would be so helpful. We’ve also always thought we’d have three kids, but, whew! Any tips on keeping your patience, when to hug vs when to use tough love would be great! Thanks Ashley!

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