Lovely Motherhood Quote

Motherhood really is a privilege. Enjoy this wise, in-depth quote from one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Prentiss, and her book Stepping Heavenward. (I feel a special kinship, kindred spirit with the key character Katy).

And enjoy this free 8.5 x 11 inch printable at this Dropbox link. 

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Free Printables for Private Home Nursing Binders

Having medically complex kiddos is an amazing, unique responsibility that has ordinary parents thinking about and doing un-ordinary things. One of those unique aspects is private, home nursing.

Good, bad, or indifferent, home nursing is tricky business. I created these free Nursing Communication Book labels to help families communicate and interact better with the nurses working in their home. Each file has nine 8.5 x 11 inch pages that you can print, three-hole punch, and place in a binder. Then, get creative by making your binder unique to your family by writing or typing your family’s specific information.

 

Having home nursing can be a huge blessing but it can also be a huge burden. I believe having a Nursing Communication Book is a simple, easy way to keep everyone on the same page. Have a single spot for house rules, emergency plans, and contact information will eliminate confusion and excuses for irresponsible behavior.

Want your relationship with your nursing staff to be excellent? I highly recommend reading Charrisse Montgomery’s book Home Care CEO. I read this quick, easy-to-read book while we were still in the NICU and got so many excellent ideas for managing the medical side of my son’s home care.

For the blue file click on this Dropbox link and download it. For the purple file follow this Dropbox link. 🙂 Please comment below if you have any questions. I’m sorry I cannot currently write the specifics behind each label; it would be impossible to write a welcome page or a list of house rules that each family could use. But hopefully, these simple labels will inspire you and bring you one step closer to a respectful, productive relationship with the nursing staff working in your home.

This is an example of my notebook. 🙂 (Click on the pictures for a larger view).

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Dear Husband, Thank You for Loving Me. Signed, Your Tired Wife

Parenthood is so much more than I ever imagined. The joy, exhaustion, fun, and worry take turns overwhelming mother’s heart; I never knew motherhood could be so much.

And in the midst of it is my marriage — this loving bond that gave me my motherhood in the first place. And, sweet readers, it’s this special friendship and union that needs, more than ever, dedication and attention. I now know what every married mother tried to tell me … parenting is exhausting. Mom life is an amazing privilege and with it comes great responsibility. I’m literally at the beck-and-call of every moment of every day.

Sometimes, in my exhaustion, I am too tired to think about encouraging and pursuing the husband who I love so very much.

So, dear husband, thank you for loving me.

Thank you, to all the husbands out there, who love the women who are now mothers of your brood. I know feminists will gush a hearty but of course he should help; it’s his child too. Not me. I take notice and appreciate men who are not only great fathers but great givers and lovers to tired mothers.

Thank you, husband, for finding big and little ways to make motherhood an easier transition for me. He has inspired this list because he has done each of these caring, nurturing, loving things! 🙂

5 Ways to Care for the Tired Mom in Your Life: 

  • Making us breakfast (complete with coffee!) 
  • Loving delivery pizza as much as we do (at least once a week)
  • Sending us to bed or Hobby Lobby or anywhere where we can be responsibility free for a time 
  • Giving genuine compliments when postpartum and pumping hormones have us feeling ick
  • Pursuing romance and snuggles … because we really do want to be more than just milk machines and diaper-changing lady bosses 

 To sum it up, thank you for nurturing us while we nurture your children.

Moms or future moms, take a few moments during your next coveted coffee or Netflix or bath break to come up with some ways to say thank you to the men in your lives who are doing so much. For me, blessing Dalton is as easy as offering a massage, preparing a yummy meal, and just enjoying him.

I can’t tell you how refreshed my hubby is when I take a break from being mom and simply be his friend and enjoy his company. Laugh genuinely at his jokes, listen to his stories, or pursue his heart; imagine, husbands who enjoy being enjoyed? 😉

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Breaking Up with Self Pity

It’s taken me ten months to admit the truth to myself — I am drowning in self pity. I haven’t been dipping my toes or gingerly wading in the pools of self pity. No, I have been diving in deep, pouring buckets over my head, in self pity.

I did not mean to end up here; it just sort of happened. Somewhere around month 5 of our NICU stay I began to shower my hurts and shattered dreams and fears with heavy doses of self pity. I would nurse my angry, irrational feelings. After all, I have had a difficult pregnancy. Who wouldn’t feel a little sorry for themselves in this situation? These tiny, seemingly harmless excuses would flutter through my raging brain and heart and without knowing it I was soon bathing in a sea of self pity.

Now, almost three months post- NICU life, I’m still wallowing in it. Why do we have to be the ones to work so hard? Why us? Why me? Why Uriah? The whys and the whines and the wishes eat up hours of time, energy, and emotions. I didn’t really know the extent of my wallowing until this week when Uriah got his (awesome, amazing, incredible) stander and specialized chair.

In one sense I was thrilled to receive equipment that would help his posture and muscle tone but, in a far more honest sense, I looked at my son strapped in the contraption and wanted to cry. Cry in rage because it feels so unfair that we have to go through this. Cry at the injustice of my baby boy not being able to do what others are doing at his age. Cry in frustration over (get this) having another (awesome, amazing, incredible) piece of equipment fill my house and take up precious space. Cry in, I admit, exhaustion because what if I’m not doing enough therapy to help him catch up?

I know my feelings are to be expected; after all, I am only human. But being human isn’t an excuse for living in self pity.

I want to share 5 ways I plan to overcome my habit of wallowing in self pity. This will not be an overnight experience; choosing thanksgiving over pity and joy over grief takes time and practice.

  1. Admit and repent of choosing self pity instead of rejoicing in the Lord always

Humbling myself and agreeing that I have been focusing more on myself and what makes me feel good (pity partying) is the first step to breaking the habit of self pity. Plus, my LORD promises to help those who humble themselves and give grace when in need.

2. Stop repeating the same story over and over and over and over again

It’s so basic. To stop wallowing in self pity I need to stop talking bout what makes me want pity. Instead of focusing on my woes it would be healing to focus on what’s current in my life. Like, instead of telling a friend my horrific birth story, I should spend the time talking about the great milestones Uriah is accomplishing or the hilarious joke Dalton told me or a  yummy recipe I just found.

3. Serve others by becoming interested in their needs and stories

I have become so self-absorbed. Self pity does that. To break my habit I will become more involved in others than in myself. I will ask about their stories. I will take time to pray for their hurts and grievances. I will be active in meeting needs when I am able.

4.  Get a fresh perspective of my situation and find the blessings in every storm

Instead of focusing on how far behind Uriah is I will start focusing on the amazing gains and milestones he has accomplished, the incredible joy he brings us, and the awesome blessings our situation surprises us with every day. Sometimes to break the habit of self pity we have to take a step back, get fresh perspective, and enjoy the blessings that every storm brings.

5. Start over every day

To really conquer the habit of self pity I have to start new every day. I will feel down, I will fall back into self pity, and it’s very possible that I will grouch and grump and whine and complain. But I will start over every day. I will rely on my Lord’s present grace to overcome my habit of focusing on myself.

And I’ll print this powerful (adorable freebie) and place it where I can read its truth every day.

Have you ever experienced a time of self pity? How did you overcome it? And if you are currently in a wallowing season of life would you like some prayer? Leave us a comment below and I’ll do my best to respond and bring it to the Lord in prayer!

Also, follow this Dropbox link to get your own 8.5×11 copy of the cutie above. 🙂

With lots of love, blessing, and coffee,

Frannie

Our Family’s Fall Time Bucket List

Fall is finally approaching our corner of the Midwest and we are already enjoying every sunny yet perfectly chilled day, changing leaves, and blossoming golden rod. Now that I don’t break into a soggy, soaking sweat each time I step outside, Uriah and I have been enjoying one mile walks to our down town center. We’ve had the best of times.

As wonderful as fall is we’re enjoying an even greater blessing, Uriah’s good health. With no sickness hanging around I’m planning a few fun fall-themed activities. After all, this will be the first fall he is well enough to enjoy! 🙂

With a little bit of planning I think we can conquer the bucket list I made above. Since traveling with Uriah currently means traveling with several pieces of equipment and requires two drivers at all times I want to keep things simple to avoid burnout and frustration. I’ll also be following this cute tutorial for the hand print banner! 

Of course, Uriah won’t be able to do all these things; he’s not old enough or ready to drink hot chocolate. But he can watch Momma mix the drinks up, play with marshmallows, and smell the spices that are required for all the deliciousness. And playing in a creek merely means dipping his toes into the running water since full swimming is a little out of his league. But that’s the beauty of this list; it is adaptable and flexible to your own special family and needs.

Follow this Dropbox link and download your own adorable Fall Favorite (free!) printable. 🙂

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie