HOMETOWN / WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW? Texas hill country, west of Austin
ON THE WEB Brassfarthing.blogspot.com
NUMBER OF CHILDREN Legion. Also known as four, aged 9, 7, and 5 (twins).
DAY JOB Stay at home mom, writer of various enjoyable nonsense. First published work is here: Finding the Path (The Paths) under my pen name, Michaela Grey, and I am busily writing more.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Happily married
FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, by Patricia Hubbell, Megan Halsey and Sean Addy, is my son’s favorite. My oldest adores the Harry Potter series. The 7 year old is more interested in writing/illustrating her own to have a specific favorite, but loved Arthur Cluck when she was smaller.
What book has made a great impact on you or your kids? C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series was huge for me as a girl, but I read pretty much everything I could get my hands on. “Voracious” doesn’t begin to describe my reading habits, then OR now! As a tiny girl I adored The Fierce Little Woman and the Wicked Pirate and wish I could find a copy of it. (*Editor’s Note* Just click our link!)
Was there/ is there a story that was passed down from generation to generation? Narnia, for sure. PLEASE
HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?
My kids pretty much are my work, but when it comes to trying to write while they’re around, it can get dicey. When my husband is off, he tries to take the kids to the park or for a walk to give me some quiet time. Unfortunately, he works a lot, so I’ve trained my kids that when I’m in writing mode, they’re allowed to watch (previously chosen) TV or go play in their rooms or outside with the dog, but they’re not to bother me except for emergencies.
HOW HAS PARENTING CHANGED YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL?
It’s forced me to strengthen my will. I’ve always been a “go along to get along” kind of girl, but I learned quickly that I couldn’t let the kids push me around and demand their own way. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been good for me. And for the kids!
HOW HAS PARENTING AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
It’s definitely changed our relationship, but I think it’s for the better. Having my first child really forced me to grow up, and (to my shame) I know that I was a shallow, immature person for a lot longer than I’d like to admit. We don’t have sex very often, at least not the physical act, but we have a very physical, loving and trusting relationship. I struggle a lot with debilitating pain that often gets in the way of intimacy, but my husband works so hard that he’s usually too exhausted to get frisky that often anyway. We do a lot of cuddling and always make sure the other knows if we’re feeling neglected so it can be remedied.
WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS AS A PARENT AND WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
I give my children structure and discipline, along with unstinting love.
In a time of excessively permissive parenting, I’m teaching my children to respect authority, to ask permission, and yet at the same to challenge wrong-minded thinking. It’s not an easy line to walk. As far as weaknesses, I sometimes feel that I don’t give them enough attention. I have a long term pain issue that doesn’t seem resolvable. It makes me worry that I don’t focus enough on the children, being too busy with my own problems.
WHAT ARE YOUR PARTNER’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
My husband has a greater capacity for love than anyone I’ve ever met. He’s gentle, caring, with a wonderfully wacky sense of humor and irreverence. Our children have more than once dubbed us “weird”, and we consider that a badge of honor. Weaknesses: he tends to leave the discipline to me. It gets a little frustrating sometimes having to be the “bad guy”, but it generally works out.
WHO ELSE PROVIDES CHILDCARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN?
My mother lives several hours north but has helped tremendously in the past and through the summers. Other than that, I don’t have much in the way of child-care.
WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?
I left my 7 month old daughter on the edge of the bed once, knowing she’d just learned to roll, and for some reason expected her not to roll off. ~facepalm~ It was the thud heard round the world. My husband still teases me about it. (No lasting damage, thankfully.)
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?
I don’t have a specific one, but every time my children are complimented for being well-mannered, friendly, or just being polite in general, it makes me feel like I’m doing something right.
Even though most days I’m convinced I’m barely managing to keep them from becoming savage cannibals. ;o)