Monday, September 16, 2013

Nurse to Mom & How I Am Not Wasting My Time

I often tell people that before I was a mom I was a nurse. I loved being a nurse, but really, really love being able to stay home with my kids. Some people ask if I feel like I am 'wasting' my education or career by staying home. The question always catches me off guard, because I full heartily believe that any time spent on my husband and kids is in no way a wast of time. It's why I have time! It also confuses me because I believe that I gained valuable skills from being a nurse that have helped me make the transition into managing my home and raising our kids. And it may not be in the way you might think.

When I tell people I was a nurse, and an ER nurse at that, they usually think that I know exactly why my kid is sick or what they have or when I should or shouldn't take the baby to the pediatrician. Honestly, I don't. I have forgotten some most of the medical side of nursing. Here are the skills that I did learn that are not being wasted:

Time Management:

To be a successful ER nurse, one must manage their time appropriately. When there are tasks to be done they must get done; But at the same time, you must take your time and do them well. As an ER nurse you may have one thing to do or twenty. A nurse must be able to decide what is the most important task at that time and get it done right the first time so that she can move to the next task. If it's not done right then that takes more time to re due the task.

As a homemaker and mom the same applies. You may have 1 load of laundry or twenty (I usually have the twenty- does it breed while I'm not looking??) You may have to wash dishes and make lunch and kiss boo-boos all at the same time. Learning how to manage your time and decide what is most important at the time helps with keeping your day on track. For example, today I had several things on my to-do list. My plan for the day was to get up and do breakfast, throw in a load of laundry then run to the bank, grocery store and mail something at UPS (that must go out today!). Well, my plan changed when the 3 oldest kids were taking turns having melt downs and temper tantrums. I decided that although all of the tasks on my to-do list are important, there is nothing more important the capturing the hearts of my children. We needed to stay home and work on listing and obedience. My sweet boy twin woke up grumpy and wanted to whine and love on mommy. So, snuggles with mommy took priority. Once I got the boy under control, my sweet girl twin wanted to express her need for independence by disobeying a simple task I asked her to complete. She had several timeouts, spankings and 'talks' from mama. She eventually did what I asked her to and I was able to have a sweet moment shaping her heart by calmly working with her. No to-do list is more important then that! That brings me to my next lesson-

Flexibility:

I love schedules. I love to-do lists and checking things off. I'm not so great with change. But, as an ER nurse the job is ever changing. At any given time you are loving on a child who doesn't feel well, assisting a physician with stitches, assessing an elderly patient with a heart arrhythmia or preforming life saving CPR. You could have no patients or 4. You could have one task then when you turn around you may need to do 10 different things. Being able to be flexible and realize when the plan needs to change is crucial. Just like when I decided to stay home and work on my children's hearts instead of checking the things off my to-do list. I had to learn to go with the flow and take what comes at me.  

Performing on little sleep:

Well, this one is all entirely true. As a nurse I did work long hours, but then I got to come home and take a shower and eat and snack and watch TV. But, there were many nights that I crawled into bed and then couldn't get to sleep because I couldn't remember if I had taken that old lady a glass of water when she asked or if I had, did I documented that I gave her the glass of water?!

As a mom you get no time off. No bathroom breaks no meal breaks, no breaks! Many times I lay awake at night thinking about all the things I did wrong that day and how I should have done better. I spend many nights begging God to not let my mess ups- my short temper, my over correction or under correction, the nasty thing I said- affect my sweet kids. The long hard hours of being a nurse prepared me for the long hard hours of being a homemaker and mother.

Preforming on little food intake:

,For most of my ER days I worked 3pm-3am. Crazy terrible hours. Some people thrive on the night shift; I did not. Because it also was usually the busiest time, there were days that I did not get a meal break. I learned to eat a little here and a little there. Same goes for mother hood. I will prepare a beautiful lunch for my kids- OK, a heart shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but what they want to eat is MY food. I have learned as a mom I can not go all day without eating, gotta eat when you can! And hide your food- if you don't label it in the lunch room it gets eaten. Hide it and eat it when no one is looking!!

Getting to know the individual:

As a nurse I got to meet lots of different types of people. Some patients were fun. We would crack jokes and chit chat while I took care of them. Some didn't want to hear anything I had to say. Learning which patient was which was important.

Same goes for our kids. Each kids is different and needs different treatment. One may need more discipline then another. One my react differently to a situation. Even knowing who needs more food or sleep is important. Realize that just as all people are not the same, neither are your kids. 

I went to school for 4 years and then worked as a nurse for about 4 years before I became a stay at home mom. I do not feel like I wasted those eight years just because I am no longer making an income. On the contrary, I am pulling the lessons and life experiences I gained from nursing and using them to train my children and manage my home. I am sure you are doing the same. Maybe you worked in an office. You gained many valuable lessons on working with others and managing you work load that you are now using to raise and train your children. Maybe you got your masters in communication, but never worked with your degree. You are still using things you learned to train your children. Maybe you have a top security government clearance and traveled the world. I can not even imagine the life lessons you got from those experiences that you can now pass on to you children.

I think we should not let the amount of 'income' determine if we are successful or not. We should not let the about of money we make determine if we are 'wasting' our time. I am doing more good for this world by molding a shaping my 4 children into the adults that God wants them to be then if I had worked as a nurse for 30 years. These 4 children will grow up and influence their work places, community's and family's because of the hard work I am putting in now. No amount of money could be better then that. My point is, don't get talked into the argument that being a mom is a wast of education. No amount of time that you spend mothering is a wast of time- It's what God gave you time for!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall Time Fun

I love fall time. I love everything about it. I love the crisp cool air & pumpkin everything (helloooo, pumpkin spice latte)! I love apple picking & the way the horses coats get soft and woolly. I especially love when the trees change colors. It always amazes me how God places the right trees in just the right spot. If you look at a mountain side in the fall, there is never a big clump of red here and yellow there. It's all mixed beautifully together. I love that we serve a God who cares about the small details as much as the big picture!!

We had our first apple picking/ fall festival trip this weekend. We went to an orchard near our home and had a wonderful time with Grandma and Grandpa. We picked apples and went on a hay ride.



We got lost in the corn maze.  I just doubled us back and went out where we started and then said, "Hey look, we did it!! Great job!" My 3 year old was on to me, but she let it slide. Thank goodness!



Apparently God sees fit for us to have girls in this family. We have 3 precious princess! But I am super happy he gave us one amazing prince as well. It is so fun to see the differences between girls and boys. I love even more that my twins are boy/ girl. I get to see the differences at the exact same stage.

My girls loved picking apples. Grandma told them she was going to make apple pie and they got right to work. They pulled the apples off the tree and loved filling up the bag. It's just God given for a women to want to feed others!

My son on the other hand.





As soon as her realized that the red balls he was pulling off the tree didn't bounce, he was done. He wanted to explore. It's also God given for a man to want to take off and see what he can concur. Since the girls were doing well and I had the grandparents there to help, I decided I would let the boy fur fill the desire that God put in him. We explored. We walked across the orchard and up the hill. Boy leading the whole way! When we got to the top, he looked up at me and smiled. Mission accomplished! He grabbed my hand and we walk hand in hand back to the girls. It was a fun sweet moment!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A few of my Favs.

Every Tuesday I go to time-warp-wife blog  and join in on the Titus 2sdays Link Up Party. Here are a few of my favorites from today.

Mama Gab: to the discouraging mom

Grateful with Two: Lately on My Heart

Pleasant Words: My Bible Basket

Growing In His Glory: Creating a Library of Good Children's Books

Hope you enjoy. There are so many posts on Titus 2sdys Link Up. Hop over and take a look!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

WORDS

In This House We Will Love 
With Our Words, 
Our Hands & Our Hearts.

I have a passion for motherhood, for wify-hood and for new moms who are in the same boat as me (tired). Being a wife and mom is amazing and hard. I need support. We all do. A speaker I heard at MOPS once said, 'if you want someone to bring you a meal, then cook up some meals and take them to others.' In other words, if you want a friend, you gotta be a friend! Recently, I have been convicted that I have never been such a good friend. 

I am emotional and sensitive and insecure (not a good combo). I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I am feeling down or uncomfortable in a situation, I can not fake it. I talk too much, or not at all. I avoid eye contact. I get weird. Worse, if I am feeling insecure, I get mean. It's not my intention to be mean- but I am. I have had more then one person tell me that I have made them uncomfortable or that they get the feeling that I don't like them. Ouch.  I hate that I give off that feeling! 

I have recently had a few interactions that have made me realize that if I want to impact any ones lives for the better (especially my little family), then I better change the way I act and the words I use. Words are powerful. Have you heard the song Words by Hawk Nelson? You can listen to it here. This song stops me in my tracks every time I hear it. I think partly because it's a good catchy toon and mostly because it is something my poor sinful heart needs to hear.

"Words can build you up, words can tear you down, 
start a fire in your heart or put it out. 
Let my words be life, let my words be truth. 
I don't want to say a word unless it points the world back to You."

I can not point the people in my life to Jesus if the words that I am using points them away from Him. I can not make and keep friends if I gossip- how ever unintentional it may be. I can not be a creditable Jesus follower if I am not actually following what He says. I can not say one thing, act out something else and expect people to trust to me. 

Words. They are powerful. 

Once they leave your mouth, you can not take them back. You can apologize, but you can not erase them. They are forever said and forever heard.

I had a friend in collage, who could have become an amazing friend. One who I probably could still be friends with 10+ years later. But, because of the words I said and the actions I took, we no longer speak. We had lots in common and lots of fun. But, then I realized how pretty she was. We would drive in the car and she would sing and I would think, 'she has a better voice then me.' (how silly is that?!) We would ride our horses together and I would notice how calm she was and how natural she seemed. I started to get insecure around her. I started to think that maybe she thought less of me too. Instead on realizing what I was doing- losing the evil battle to comparison. I got weird. We are no longer friends. She has been on my mind these last few days, so I found her on facebook and sent her a message. I told her that I thought she was amazing and that I was sorry that my insecurities got in the way of our friendship. She did not respond. And that is ok. I didn't do it for a response, I did it because it needed to be said. I needed to say I was sorry (although I should have done it 10 years ago).  Words are powerful even if they are said much later then they should have been said. 

I vow to be a better friend. I vow to work on my insecurities and to try my hardest to not get weird. I vow to do my best to not lose to the evil, no good comparison game (the only game where everyone loses!!). I vow to love with my words, my hands and my heart. I vow to teach my children the importance of loving others in these three ways: words, actions and emotions. I pray that my children will get it far before they are 31 years old! I pray that they use their words to build people up, to start a fire in their hearts. I pray that the people that I have hurt with my words can forgive me.