Moments for Myself

My morning starts at a (not so) bright and early 6:15 in the morning. I wake up and hit the ground running: getting C on the bus for 7:10, everyone fed, husband out the door, diaper changes, nursing the baby, laundry started, dish washer emptied… mostly done by 8:30. These things aren’t so much a choice as they are a necessity because the rest of my day is full as well with dinner prep, more laundry, bill paying, kissing boo-boos  homeschooling M and M, vacuuming (whoever decided that a dining room should be carpeted should be SHOT… seriously), breaking up fights, ect.

I don’t say all this to receive accolades or sympathy, but more to explain how I keep my sanity. I quite literally schedule moments for myself. Once I get C and hubs off to school and work, respectively, I give M and M free play time in the boys room and put the baby down for a early morning snooze (30-45 minutes). At this point in time silence befalls my house. I turn off the tv, put on some worship music, pour myself a coffee and read the paper/bible/blogs/whatever I enjoy. This time is truly mine. Yes there is the occasional “please go back in that room” or “if you wake up the baby I swear…” but all in all it’s mine to do what I want with.

Mom’s NEED this time. We need to know that part of our day is reserved for ourselves. It is a time to unwind, collect our thoughts, or just be able to hear ourselves breathe. Personally, this “me time” sets the tone for my day. There have been days that I haven’t been able to squeeze it in because of one reason or another and I am a wretched human being for the remaining 11 hours until I go to bed at night.

Maybe morning mommy moments won’t work for you. Your child(ren) are not at the age where they can play by themselves or take a morning snooze. That is ok! But I encourage you to designate some amount of time throughout the day for yourself whether it be nap time, lunch time or right after the kids go to bed. Put down the rags and cleaner, leave the kitchen a mess for a bit, and let the laundry stay bundled in the basket a while longer. A burnt out mom is no use to anyone, but being able to recharge, even for 20 minutes, gives you the emotional and mental stamina to tackle the rest of your day.

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LB 428

In 1983 midwives first started practicing in Nebraska. Since 1983, however, it has been illegal for them to attend home births. What is shocking is that Nebraska is one of only TWO states in the entire country that have outlawed CNM assisted home birth. Why is that? Are they just behind the “times.” I don’t think so, as midwifery has been a commonality since, essentially, the beginning of time. In my opinion  it has to do with maintaining funding to county and state hospitals and the doctors who are employed by them. Home birth with a midwife costs anywhere from $2000-4500, whereas a vaginal hospital birth costs anywhere between $15,000-25,000. But that is a different post for a different day.

There is a Grassroots group called Nebraska Friends of Midwives that has proposed a legislative bill (for the second time) to remove the phrase “except that a certified nurse midwife shall not attend a home delivery” in the Certified Nurse Midwifery Practice Act. This bill, LB 428, is paramount for women in Nebraska. Why? It is no surprise that sometimes, when things are illegal, they continue to still happen “underground.” Home birth in Nebraska is no different. Unregulated and unassisted home births are still occurring every day. Passing this bill will allow for these women to have a “safe birth option” other than delivering in a hospital. Certified Nurse Midwives are trained and equipped for a multitude of “what-ifs” or “just-to-be-safe” situations, that lay midwives or parents may not be trained to handle.

NFoM and LB 428 has finally received its day in court! There is a hearing set for TOMORROW in front of the Nebraska Health and Human Services Committee. Here, women will be able to give testimonies regarding their own home birth stories, and CNM’s will be able to give testify about their standards of practice.

Please, any of you that are in Nebraska or know of people that are, please share this, raise awareness about the movement. But most of all pray! Pray for the committee members and the people giving testimony, because in the words of Matthew “…whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:22)

The Imperfect Parent

This post is inspired by a conversation I had with a very good friend of mine.

It is very easy to go throughout the day as a parent and only see all the things we are doing wrong. We wonder how our children will remember us when they get older. Will they remember us yelling all the time? Will they remember how we were tired sometimes and needed a break? Or how sometimes we just reached our emotional limit and had nothing left to give? Or will they consider us, in true Mary Poppin fashion, to be practically perfect in every way and forget all about our downfalls and failures? I’d like to believe that they will remember neither, but something far more valuable.

Romans 3:23- “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.”

Romans 3: 10- “As it is written, ‘None is righteous, no not one.'”

I think it is important, as parents, to express to our children that there is only one person that is and has ever been perfect. Christ was the embodiment of God, perfection in human form. That’s quite the bar to put ourselves up against.  We can try, every day, to be the BEST parents to our children that we can be but there are times when we just are not going to do that well. We are going to have those “bad mommy/daddy” days. The important thing is what we DO with those days. On what note will they end?

Case and point:

The other day was a baaaad day. My husband had been out of town for a couple days and I just didn’t have anything left to give. I was run down, exhausted and frustrated. Unfortunately, I had no one else to take my frustrations out on but my kids. They fell victim to my fallibility and by the end of that day I was riddled with guilt, thinking I surely had ruined them forever.  I had two choices at that point. I could leave it alone, put them to bed, and know that they would wake up in the morning having forgotten everything -OR- I could address my behavior and teach them a valuable lesson. Individually I pulled them aside before bed. And one by one I apologized to them. I explained to them that mommy’s make mistakes, they make a lot of mistakes, but we have a Father in Heaven that forgives and helps us. Mommy’s need just as much help from God as any body else does, sometimes we need even more help. I asked them if they would pray for me, because mommy’s need prayers too.

I didn’t have to end the day like that. I truly could have just put them to bed and they would’ve woken up and cuddled in bed with me the next morning as if nothing every happened. But instead I was given an incredible opportunity to teach them about the love and forgiveness of Christ. I made myself vulnerable to them and allowed them to know that it’s okay that they make mistakes as well. Because in the end I’d like to believe that will not remember how awful I was or how perfect, but instead will remember that I was imperfect like everyone else and need Christ’s grace and mercy just as much if not more than they do.

Thanks for the Prayers Bud…

There are some things that I believe need to be done in private. Making “THE” daily trip to the bathroom is one of them. I’m going to be blunt here but when you’re 17 weeks pregnant its a very prominent fact of life.

This picture makes me laugh every single time but its so flippin true!!! Let me set up this situation for you. You walk into the bathroom because you see that everyone is occupied so they shouldn’t even notice you left. You get ready, and in walks a little 3 yr old human being (even though you SWEAR you locked the door). You say, “Hey bud can mommy have privacy?” He says, “Ok, but first I need to pray for you.” How cute, he’s going to pray for you as he’s walking out the door! No…. “Dear God, thank you for mommy poopin’ and thank you for the toilet paper and a fork” I’m not entirely sure where or WHY the fork came into play, but it did. I thank him for his heartfelt prayer and ask if he is ready to get out. “No” he replies and stands there watching until I’m done.

One day we’ll get privacy back right? RIGHT?!?!

What is something funny that you’re little ones have done or said to you while you were in a “need privacy” situation?

Dreams not forgotten…

Many people think that when they have kids young they have to give up on everything they’ve ever wanted. I’m sure many even look at me and see someone who has had forget my dreams or that somewhere I failed because I don’t have a career or I haven’t pursued everything I originally wanted. I have to admit that in times of weakness I feel the same way about myself. Where did I go wrong? Why can’t I do it all? I am supposed to be singing on stages in front of hundreds (lets be realistic haha) of people! Why do I have to give all that up?? If I could only go back I would do X, Y and Z.

Realistically, it IS possible for me to do it all, but at what expense? Would I miss my daughters first steps because I’ve got 3 more hours left of my shift? Will my son miss me doing homework with him because I have a night class that I can’t miss? Or will I be present with my children in the stages they are in? I can have my career, my family, my husband, my house. But what aspect of my life gets less of me than it deserves? Where will I drop the ball? Its inevitable because there are so many things to juggle and I only have two hands.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” There is a time for everything. For me that means there is a time to be a mom and a time for me to have a career. This is my season right now…. mom. And what an amazing and fulfilling season it is. I wake up and spend my days shaping them, teaching them, learning from them and caring for them. Eventually there will come a time when they don’t need me any more. When that time comes my season will change. I will pursue my dreams, I will take more time for myself and my career.  But until then I will embrace the season that I am in, knowing that my dreams are not forgotten, just postponed.

"UN"Potty-training

There are a lot of things that I try to make my kids do. I try to get them to eat healthy, I try to get them to stop fighting with each other, I TRY to convince them that I know whats best for them at any point in time, etc. So all-in-all I’d say that I’m a pretty pro-active parent. (Smile and nod) But there are some things that I just don’t do. One of those things is potty-training. I don’t want the stress, I don’t want to nag, I don’t want to clean up pee/poo on my floor… I just don’t wanna… and you can’t make me! (Insert arm crossed stopping with a giant pouty face)

Now my blatant potty training defiance doesn’t mean that my kids will eventually be sent off to college with a suitcase full of young adult sized cloth diapers, or that I’ll receive phone calls from elementary school counselors daily because the teachers refuse to continue to wipe my kids butt. Instead, they do what all children do every day with virtually everything in life…. they figure it out.

I call my method “un”potty-training. I completely leave it up to the child. We’ve found that its relatively stress free for all involved when we let them handle it themselves and tell us. We keep them in diapers and take them off if they say that they want to go potty but we don’t make the actual transition to undies until they are dry every day for a week. This goes for night time as well, which we’ve found takes several additional months for them to grasp than day time pottying. Approaching it this way keeps it easy for us. I don’t mind diapers, we use cloth, it doesn’t cost extra money. We almost always have a baby in diapers anyway, so it’s not like getting the kids potty trained according to our own schedule would make much of a difference. The best thing is that we very rarely have to deal with accidents. In the time that they were “proving” their abilities during the “week of dry diapers” they magically figured out that they need to go potty as soon as they felt prompted to by their body, because if they didn’t, they would pee where they didn’t want to. (I don’t know the psychology behind it, again… smile and nod). My oldest two were in undies completely around 3.5 and my third was in undies at 2.5!

I am by no means saying that this method works for everyone. Heck, it’s not even a real method (I don’t think, I’ll live in my ignorant bliss thinking that I created it). But ultimately, the hands off, child led approach seems to work really well for our kids.

2013= Cha, cha, cha, CHANGES!

Well we’ve made it, this morning we all ushered in a new year. 2013! Sure to be a year of excitement and growth. But for the Dresser clan it’s going to be a year of BIG changes!

If you recall several months ago I mentioned my husbands graduation from college which was coupled with the ever dreaded “finding a job” waiting game. We applied to every job we saw, every state possible, fully intending on it being a 6 month+ endeavor. Two months later, we have a job offer! However, not only do we have a job offer but we have ACCEPTED a job offer!

I would love to be able to say that the job is in Illinois and we’ll be able to stay by all of our new friends and our amazing church, but unfortunately I can’t. Kyle’s new job begins February 4th! So that means, my diligent readers, that our family will be setting up some new roots in Scottsbluff, Nebraska!! Where, you ask, is Scottsbluff, NE? It is located smack dab in the middle of nowhere on the western line of Nebraska, 40 minutes from Wyoming and 3 hours from Denver, CO.

It is a town of about 17,000 people connected to a town (Gering, NE) of about 6,500 people or so and then not much else for about 50-80 miles in any direction!
We’re incredibly excited for this opportunity to start our lives over. While we will miss the friends that we have made, the family we have here, and our church that has changed so much in our lives we realize that this move is probably the best one that we can make. It will afford us the opportunity to get plugged in somewhere else, live the simple life that we desire SO much and experience a new GORGEOUS area.
So what’s next? Well… January 8-10th we’re going to fly out to Denver (the closest major airport) and make the 3 hour drive to Gering, where Kyle will fill out his new hire paper work and we will begin the search for a place to live! Our goal is to all move out there together, but understand that if that is not possible we will move when we find a place.

I would ask that you just be in prayer for all of us. This is a big move that will come with big adjustments for all of us and that is difficult with little kids. We trust and know that God is sovereign and will not lead us where he doesn’t want us, but it’s still a little scary! Pray that we will have a quick and easy adjustment and that the house search is easy so we can all move together and not be separated.

Oh and if anyone has any boxes that would be AWESOME! haha….