What's Her Secret?: Hilton Head Island mom finds strength in independence

abredeson@islandpacket.comJuly 30, 2012 

  • Features writer Amy Bredeson writes about Lowcountry moms who have advice to share. Email her at abredeson@islandpacket.com.

One thing I struggle with as a mom is doing things on my own. I rely on my husband for a lot. When something breaks, he fixes it. If heavy lifting is required, it's all him. If a bug needs to be killed, well, it depends on the size of it.

While I'm grateful to Matt for all his help, sometimes I wish I could do more on my own. There's something rewarding about knowing that you can stand on your own two feet.

Name: Daphne Frazier

Town: Hilton Head Island

Strength: Independence

As a single mom, Daphne Frazier has to be independent. She cares for her 3-year-old daughter, Emilie, and runs her own business. And in doing so, Frazier has taught her little girl to be independent as well.

While Frazier cooks and manages her company, Gourmet Soups by Daphne, Emilie keeps herself busy playing with Play-Doh and singing songs with her mom.

Question. You said your strength is being independent. Were you independent as a child, too?

Answer. Yes, I was. I was always independent, but I had four brothers and a sister. So the independence was kind of based on the fact that I had them. It wasn't true independence because obviously I had siblings around. I'm not independent like Emilie is because she's an only child. But I would say yes because ... the way (my parents) raised me encouraged independence. I was never forced to be something for them. They let each of us be who we wanted to be.

Q. Can you give me an example of how you were independent back then?

A. When I was really young, we played a lot outside by ourselves. ... I got my first summer job when I was 13 at Signe's Heaven Bound Bakery & Cafe on Hilton Head, when we were here for the summer.

Q. How do you think your independence has affected Emilie?

A. She sees everything I do with my soup business -- from marketing it to the sales to making it -- and she has an idea of how it all works. ... Because she's with me all the time and she's an only child and I'm a single mom, she's learned to play very well by herself and be totally happy doing it. ... I think that kind of has forced her to be independent and creative.

Q. Do you have any tips for helping children be more independent?

A. I think just encouraging them. I tell Emilie a lot, "You can do it. I know you're great at that." ... She'll do it and be so proud of herself, and I'll give her a high five. ... Just try to have a little more patience and really give them encouragement.

Q. So, what's your secret? How do you do it all on your own?

A. God. Definitely my faith in God. ... Knowing that he has a purpose and a plan for each person. You can't ever compare yourself to somebody else. A lot of people think the grass is greener on the other side, but we each have a purpose in life, and we all have our individual sets of strengths and weaknesses, as well as joys and sorrows. ... Part of just getting through each day for any person, I think, is definitely not trying to focus on your problems.

Q. Is there anything you're not so great at?

A. I definitely have a hard time slowing down because I have to do everything. And I don't sit down at the table and eat with her, like I would like to. ... And I really don't like that. But it's just like we run in the door from being gone all day, and I have to feed her, and then I have other things I have to do -- like the laundry and the dishes -- because it's just the two of us. ... Sometimes being independent isn't necessarily a good thing because it's hard to relax and let people help you. I think it's a good thing to be able to depend on people and let people help you.

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Gourmet Soups by Daphne

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