It’s been a crazy few months. Anyone still out there to share my stories? I am going to start password protecting this site, so if you are a friend (or follower) near or far and would like to stay up to date with the Frazier/Wood adventures… drop me an email to get the password to access future posts (oh, and to make me feel a little loved out here in Houston so far from home… ).
Send this form, and I will ship you back the password…
And until I get some password protected posts up… here are some pictures from the past few months…
A friend of mine invited me to do a podcast on motherhood for her friend / client Lisa York. I agreed! You can find it (and also a brief summary of it) here (warning: loads a little slowly), on Lisa York’s SuperMum website.
Yes…. SuperMum. I have to admit that my friend asked me to do a podcast and I was all “yeah! yeah, sure!” and never really asked what it would be about (I know.. I know). Then ON THE DAY of the podcast I listened to some of the archived podcasts (which I loved!), and dug around in the site and found out that it was all about tips for motherhood. Interestingly, not parenting per se, but motherhood – how to keep sane, or keep happy, or just keep going while “mum-ing”. For example, there were tips on how a quick morning meditation can help your day, and how to have a quick “mummy reboot” or how to “Find Your Lost Identity”. So, my immediate reaction was to look at my unwashed hair and creased clothes, and the general disarray of my life, and think “Cripes, I have got literally nothing to offer here”. It is not unusual for me to wear the same clothes three days in a row because I didn’t have time to wash / choose / think about anything else. There. I admitted it. Be grateful I use Febreeze y’all.Plus, I was worried Lisa would also want parenting tips, and I don’t give parenting a lot of thought. I’m not saying I am a brilliant parent-er, but through a combination of over confidence and and inertia (I like to think inertia sounds better than laziness) I I just mostly do what feels right at the time, somewhat in consultation with the other ‘alf, and rarely actually take stock of what I am doing. I mean, I am prone to suddenly going “ermagahd we all need watch less TV” or “waaaaah, the minions are not being adequately controlled by their masters and anarchy is on the horizon in this household” but at these points I can’t think of a time where I have investigated HOW to watch less TV, or HOW to control the parasites. I just sort of try to do it for a little while, and when a new panic comes [“We all need to take Probiotics everyday or we’ll be 20-stone and ridden with ebola!”] I forget about the old one, and who knows if I actually effected any behavioral change.
I am totally on board that I could do things better, and that my kids could be better in some areas, but I am just not motivated enough to like, read a book about it, or an article. Or, let’s face it, even a listicle (unless it has super amazing gifs, including one of Ryan Reynolds (Greatest Dad Ever TM) in his underwear). I do love that plenty of my friends read this stuff, because then when I am whining that my kids can’t do a basic human act like sit at the dinner table, I can absorb their collective wisdom (nicely digested, synthesized and often tested) as I sob into my Malbec.So, I totally freaked out, but Lisa (who runs the website and its podcasts) was ah-maz-ing and told me just to be myself and then gave me a write-up that made me even want to listen to myself (to be clear: I have not! Ha! I am way too awkward and worried that I’ll sound like a fool or spend all the time fretting about my answers to do that). But, I am glad I did it. As we talked about things like differences between the US and the UK, and the fact that I don’t read parenting books, I am super worried that I will offend someone – but still, I am glad I did it. And I definitely enjoyed it. And Lisa seemed to think that the message of “Oh, I’m just winging it because I guess deep down I don’t think what we do makes an enormous difference anyway…” was an OK message to put out there. Or maybe even a reassuring one. So, if you needed to here it – there we go.
I’m winging it and you can too 🙂
But also, it was good that one of Lisa’s goals with SuperMum is just to tell mum’s stories… and I really enjoyed listening to those – kind of like an audio blog if you will. I’ve subscribed on itunes and I am trying to listen to new podcasts on the way to work, so maybe some tips will seep in after all…
Oh, and at the end of the podcast every person is asked to give their definition of a SuperMum. Apparently the most common definitions involve happiness and health. I won’t tell you what my definition of a SuperMum is (go listen to the podcast!) but can I just make a plea that we stop tying success to happiness and health? Both of those are gifts that are only somewhat within our control. It’s easy to agree that someone who has cancer / has children with cancer (i.e. the health part is tough) is no less a SuperMum than someone without. So, can we generalize and say that someone who is depressed / has children with depression – or is even just struggling to be happy and content right now – is also no less a SuperMum. And this obviously goes beyond parenting: your success, and your worth and your value does not have to tied up to your health and happiness. It’s up to you to decide what it is tied to…
It’s been a good (and long) social media break! And an interesting one… as you may know I decided to take a break from FaceBook, which just naturally turned into a “no social media” break. Online, I only used email, and I only read BBC news, The Guardian (being careful to access the UK edition), and some of The Washington Post. It was sort of glorious – there was an instant feeling of superiority (oh come in, there is… don’t believe me? Check out this simultaneously hilarious and too-close-to-the-bone video:
… which soon faded, a lot of extra free-time …which I soon filled with online shopping, US Weekly and ALL the episodes of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and a strange feeling of loneliness at times… which soon passed.
The superiority, free-time and loneliness passed soon enough, and I was left with just a little bit more a rounded view of world knowledge and a much heavier text messaging bill. Weirdly, I missed Instagram, and my blog, and Buzzfeed – but never FaceBook. Like, I thought FaceBook would be the thing I missed most, and I would be chomping to get back to… but as 2017 rolled around and I felt my self-imposed social media hiatus should come to end I just had no particular impetus to rejoin. Despite some “did she have the baby yet?” style curiosity (and yes, there are emails and texts for that), I just never felt the urge to reactive my profile.
So, I didn’t. I started to post on Instagram again (hey, I am way too obsessed by food, my cats and my kids not to, alright?), and I started to read Buzzfeed (while trying to continue to read more reputable news sites, with admittedly limited success), but through general inertia just never got around to really joining FaceBook again in a meaningful way (secret confession: I have a profile solely so I can buy LulaRoe clothes. Don’t know what LulaRoe is? DON’T TRY TO FIND OUT OR YOU WILL GO BROKE!). And although I missed my little blog it was hard to find the time to post, and hard to be motivated when I didn’t have a social media platform on which to share my posts. But, even so, some 4 months later I am sad, because I have this chunk of my family’s life that there is no record of now (Memory? What is this memory if which you speak? If it isn’t recorded on social media, it didn’t happen… mmmmkay?). And, especially, the kids’ development is no longer chronically in any meaningful way what with them having grown out of their baby books and all (and my ‘phone breaking and losing moths of pictures too – sob). I miss seeing pics of them and watching the grow up. And I miss being able to stay in touch with my friends through the comments sections.
So, I hope to start blogging again, and I super hope that some of y’all will join me back on this journey 🙂
I make no secret of the fact that I hate Houston. But last Saturday there was a detente in our relationship as Autumn hit. The cooler, dry air may be playing havoc with Sam’s eczema but teamed with Houston’s bright blue skies it’s glorious for being out in. An ideal afternoon is now spent playing with the children in front of the house, biking and walking to the park, Ellie around our feet. It’s almost idyllic and helps me wrap up in my family and shut out the ugliness of the world.
It’s the best bits of England made better – hardly any rain and it’s not cold but fresh. The dark nights roll in and it’s still nice to have a drink on the porch (or in the garage if, like us, you don’t have a porch.
So why does it make me so homesick? It makes me crave those parts of England I thought I would be glad to leave behind: walking with the damp permeating your clothes, dying for that cup of tea and Tunnocks tea cake, hiding under blankets inside… I miss the too cold, the too wet, the too dark. Even in its perfection, Houston is not my home.