You probably know I have five children. Five adorable, rambunctious, full of life, spirited children. My children overflow with exuberance and willfulness.
You probably also know that in the past year we have completely revamped our parenting stratagem. Gone from corporal authoritarian parenting to gentle unconditional parenting. I've posted a little about that here and here.
You likely do not know I grew up in a home, while filled with love, that was also filled with anger, pain, rage, yelling, shame, and abuse. My parents and I have a wonderful, growing relationship now. They did the best they could based on their own upbringings and the tools they had at the time.
This combination has left me ill prepared for the kind of parent I want to be. The kind of mother I feel God is calling me to be. The kind of peaceful home we desire. It is so hard to change the very way I think, the way I react, to what I know to know to be true, but is not at all natural to me.
Enter Parent Coaching. I was searching the internet one night looking for some gentle parenting ideas to help me with one of my children in particular. I have found the more I read to reinforce my beliefs, the better I do and the more it becomes part of my core.
I had not even heard the term parent coaching before and I was intrigued. I perused Kassandra's site for a while reading her blog and getting some idea of who she was and if her philosophies aligned with mine. When I was satisfied they did, I filled out the form on her site. She emailed me the next day and we set up a time to talk on the phone when Kevin and I both would be available.
After talking with her for a while, getting to know one another and what my expectations and hopes would be, we decided to move forward and agreed to six sessions. That was in late October, and I am still meeting with her via Skype, weekly.
This work has been life changing for me personally and the landscape of my family. Kassandra introduced me to the world of inner empathy. At first, it felt a little awkward and weird--listening to myself essentially have conversations with parts of myself. I would normally identify those parts as emotions, feelings or physical sensations but for the purposes of this inner empathy work, we call them parts. When you listen to and hold the parts of yourself in your own compassion, without trying to change or fix them, miraculous things happen.
This work has been SO life changing for me that I went through a training Kassandra held to become a parent coach myself. This work has been so life changing, I can't help but want to offer it to the rest of the world!
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
Poems jangle around in
Thursday, February 13, 2014
The main points are that midwives would be able to be licensed by the state of Iowa to practice. This includes those who are CPMs, Certified Professional Midwives. Twenty-eight states (and counting) have passed similar bills.
The term 'Midwife' would then join the ranks of other professions that need to be licensed by the state (eg. physicians, nurses, chiropractors, podiatrists, mental health counselors, athletic trainers, barbers, massage therapists, etc.).
The bill would establish a Board of Midwifery. This would follow the NARM (North American Registry of Midwives) and NACPM (National Association of Certified Professional Midwives) definitions and standards for midwives. NARM is the organization that oversees the CPM National Board examination.
This is an important bill because it changes the legal climate for midwives. Without this change, CPMs cannot practice in Iowa, and women do not have access to quality midwifery care in most parts of our state.
Women choose home birth midwives for many reasons, including safety, better outcomes, fewer interventions and comfort. I myself have had three babies at home and had a couple of very scary situations. I knew I was in good hands. The OB at the hospital after Elivette's birth told me that my midwife had already done what needed to be done to save my life.
You can copy and paste the following letter and easily email your representative asking them to support this very life changing bill.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Everyone was stirring, including the mouse
(who was packing up to move to Bogotá because our house was just too crazy for him)
The children were chattering like a flock of birds
While visions of anything that crossed their brains filled the air with words
(which, while precociously adorable, is also quite annoying)
The stockings were hung in the doorframes with care
Even though St. Nickolas had already been there
(and likely they’ll be hanging there until Valentine’s Day)
Papa in his flannel pants and I in my yoga gear
Had just settled in to look back over the year
(Truth be told, he watched Netflix, while I reminisced; but we were next to each other)
As it turned out 2013 was a wonderful year
Normal and challenging and filled with good cheer
(Which doesn't even begin to describe the joy and hardship which is life with smalls)
When we flip back the calendar pages
It’s amazing to see the growth and changes
(The difference a year can make! I feel like an old auntie who pinches cheeks and squeaks,
“My, how you’ve grown!”)
Last January, Elivette could scoot in a circle a little
Now she climbs up on the table and dances in the middle
(Cackling and smiling her toothy grin all the while)
She can talk a bit and sign a lot
She tells us when to change her, when she wants a drink and when something is hot
(It’s such a thrill to watch her communicate—except when she communicates in ‘Whine’)
Pushing buttons, eating remnants off the floor and nursing are her favorite things to do
Along with trailing after her siblings, destroying towers, getting into cabinets too
(And did I mention the nursing :)?)
Denton is three, and boy, is he ever!
Stubborn and sweet, and funny and clever
(His abundant enthusiasm for life is evident in his phrasing: Oh boy! I wuv it! Dat’s my fwaverit!)
His resistance to direction makes me want to climb the walls
But he cracks me up with his “I’ll swice out your eyeballs!”
(Especially since he makes such dire declarations in his little happy cricket voice)
Last year, Cadrian, 5, talked like this: A gegagorus gat in ghelly on his gare.”
Now he can say, “A stegosaurus sat in jelly on his chair.”
(We’re so thankful for the natural learning process normalizing his speech!)
That sweet boy loves being outside with Dada and Duke, all over the place
And reading about dinosaurs, disasters, volcanoes, rockets and outer space
(He makes our home so loud, so messy, and so delightful!)
The boys are dressed up as knights on any given day
And swords and ‘beetle battles’ are part of daily play
(I had no idea how different boys are from girls until I had a set of my own)
The girls can usually be found amid several stacks of books
They also often are in the kitchen and are passionate cooks
Although asking them to clean up sometimes results in dirty looks
(The chocolate treats are worth it though—
and huh, I just realized that a lot of what they make in the kitchen involves chocolate.)
Seven year old Brielle has been taking Kuk Sool Won, a Korean martial art
She just earned a yellow stripe for her white belt, an excellent start
(She’s really found her niche and loves stick fighting, sparring, and wrestling.)
Aviana, 9, plays piano and has auditioned for a couple of plays
Writing music, dramas, monologues and reports and knitting fill her days
Both girls enjoy creating art, as well as competing to get their own way
(The bickering sometimes makes me want to join our mouse in Bogotà)
I’ve kept busy with home keeping and of course our small ones
I’m also passionate about educating families why not to circumcise their sons
(Since currently 68% of U.S. boys already are coming home intact, our hope is we’ll be able to completely change hearts and minds within this generation and everyone in the U.S. will follow the recommendations of the entire world’s medical associations and not circumcise at all)
I’m training to be a doula so I can assist in better birth
As much as I love that, my family is my favorite thing on earth
(I’m also a breastfeeding advocate and training to be a Parenting Coach)
I also find it necessary to have plenty of hobbies in play
Sewing, gardening, knitting, healthful eating, and most recently working with clay and crochet
(Learning new things keeps me out of the insane asylum)
Kevin continues to make improvements on the farm and to be a cattleman
He volunteers with our health care sharing ministry by the name of Samaritan
(Do let us know if you want more information—www.samaritanministries.org)
He enjoys making upgrades to our home when he has the time
But the fixing, fixing, fixing often makes him whine
(Even though he’s good at it, the constant need of repairs is aggravating)
So now you know some of our individual highlights
Now for a few of our year’s stand out sound bytes
(and by few, I mean, like, two—Kevin said this letter is already too long)
We all flew out to Colorado for a quick cousin visit and a cabin in the mountain air
And we delighted in visiting Wisconsin for the Lake Michigan beach and the Renaissance Faire
(and when we go again, Kevin even said he’d dress up!)
We hope this letter finds you happy and healthy, feeling truly blessed
And that this season fills you with joy and you aren’t a bit stressed
(Do what you like and leave the rest.)
Our message for you as we close our little letter
Is: A Happy New Year to All, and May It Ever Be Better!
(Mercy, Peace and Love be yours in Abundance. ~Jude 1:2)
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
So it all started when I had the bright idea to lock up all the books and almost all the toys. It'll help keep the house cleaner, she said. It'll be great, she said. With fewer things to get out, there will be less mess, she said.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Monday, November 04, 2013
I check out books of poetry