Jennifer Reid is a busy blogger (A Woman Like You) and mom of four transplanted from Canada to Nashville…oh, and she’s married to music star Johnny Reid! (Her blog takes its name from one of his songs!)
I love Jennifer’s writing, and after rereading many of her posts before this interview I told her I felt like I wanted to sit down and have a glass of wine with her – and I don’t even drink wine! I was excited to have the chance to throw some questions her way.
You moved from Canada to Nashville 17 years ago. What would you say have been the best things and the most challenging things about the move?
The best thing has been taking a chance and watching it pay off. Experiencing a new country and city and culture has been exciting and challenging but each experience has made us stronger and more independent and individuals and as a couple. Moving to “Music City” was the best thing we could have done for my husband’s career and therefore for our goals as a couple and a family. Living in a town where being a singer/songwriter is a respected profession (regardless if you’re making any money at it) is very refreshing! The hardest thing by far has been being away from family. We are lucky that both of us have parents who are very involved in their grandchildrens’ lives and will make every effort to visit a lot.
As a mom of four (Justin – 16, Tyler – 15, Dylan – 11, Ava – 8), what have you found to be the biggest surprises about parenting?
Everything in parenting is a surprise, no matter how much you research or plan – there’s no manual, no instructions, you learn as you go. Every child is different from the other one. I wanted to think that I could learn from experiences with each child that I could use when parenting my next one but honestly they all have different personalities and what is effective for one is not necessarily effective for the other. As a mother, the thing I have been most surprised at is the range of emotions I can feel on any given day, or even hour. Being a mom has made me feel a love I didn’t know I was capable of feeling but it has also given me overwhelming feelings of stress, anxiety, guilt, anger – the feelings that they don’t talk about in prenatal classes. Then you go home and wonder why you and your baby don’t look like the mom and baby on the Pampers commercial you just watched, peaceful and blissfully happy.
Your husband travels a lot for his work. How do you and the kids handle the times apart?
The kids have never known any different. His travel has become more condensed so that he is home for longer periods of time now. When he is home he is able to make his own hours, he drives them to school every morning and is home when they get home from school. The kids know that someone in the house has to work, this is just what our family dynamic looks like.
Jennifer just celebrated her birthday on the road with her family
You’ve become very active on social media fairly recently. How has your experience been so far?
I have been on social media with my Instagram page and blog for about two years and have really enjoyed it so far. I started it when my youngest child went to kindergarten and I found myself wanting to do more with my time during the day. I love helping people find a recipe or beauty product, giving relationship, friendship or parenting advice – I’m not an expert but I’ve had a lot of experience, I think my advice is more REAL than you would find from an expert, it’s the little things than you can only know from experience.
As far as feedback goes, the majority has been positive. I try not to pay attention to the negative. I don’t ignore it but I also don’t feed into it, i have no issue blocking someone from my page.
Your handle is @therealhousewifeofjohnnyreid – very cute. What are the biggest pros and cons about being the wife of a well-known musician?
His career has allowed us to have experiences we likely wouldn’t have had if not for this profession. I have been able to travel extensively just by saying, “I’m coming too!” It’s never boring, we both are people who don’t like to sit still, we are always looking for what’s next. It’s hard for me to say there are any cons, this profession is elusive and fleeting for so many people who want it so when you have it you have to just appreciate it! I know most people think I’m going to say a con is watching other women swoon over him but it’s not, I got over that a long time ago. When they stop swooning is when I will be worried 😉
You wrote a really honest post about the difficult time in your life when you were having unexplained seizures – how is your health now, and do you feel the experience of sharing your story helped you in any way?
My health is great, I also take seizure medicine to keep from having them so there’s that…. I think there were people who had a lot of questions about why I wasn’t driving, why my husband had been off the road, why I had taken some time to be home and be quiet. I wrote it mostly in the hopes that someone else may have something similar they were going through and would find comfort in knowing they were not alone. Having something that is “undiagnosable”, especially when it comes to your brain is extremely scary.
It seems like you are part of the micro-blogging movement: fewer long-form blog posts and a lot more posts on Instagram. Why do you think this is becoming so popular?
Ha, I would love to write longer blog posts if I had more time! And I’m sure people would love to read longer blog posts if they had more time. Honestly, if I could just do Insta stories and not even post that would be my ideal, it feels more personal and it’s more of a spontaneous thing. People’s attention is short-lived these days, social media has trained us all to be like that – if something doesn’t instantly catch our attention we scroll to the next!
Like mine, yours is a lifestyle blog, and you share info on a range of topics: cooking, travel, fitness, marriage, parenting, aging, fashion, makeup…is there a particular subject that you most enjoy writing about, or that seems to get the most response from readers and followers?
The biggest response is probably about marriage, secondly would be about parenting. Mostly people want to know the secret to having a great relationship (spoiler alert: I’ve never written about a secret) and moms also want to know that they aren’t alone in not always feeling all warm and fuzzy about their kids. It’s nice to hear that other people have the same issue you do. My favorite things to write about would be fitness, aging and beauty products so I try to find a happy medium.
How would you finish the sentence “This mom loves…”?
This mom loves my husband, my children, coffee, wine, and any tropical vacation with a good book and a margarita!
Thanks so much, Jennifer! You can follow Jennifer Reid on A Woman Like You as well as Instagram and Facebook.