Exactly three years ago, our family shared some very special news: that we were expecting our first child, a baby girl born in January of 2015. Now, at age two and a half, Alexandra August has some big changes coming up in her future… Ryan and I are expecting our second child! Alexandra will be Big Sister to a little mister! Baby BOY Wiese is due in February 2018.
Two years into this whole parenthood thing, I’m just getting used to the concept of “date-night.” When you’re married & childless, any occasion, day-or-night, can be turned into a “date”…heck, your whole life outside of work is one big date! And score! –each dinner out, movie, concert, whatever all result in getting to take your hottie home at the end of the night. Young married life is pretty freakin’ great. International travel. An MBA. Spontaneous weekend getaways. Fancy meals at hot new restaurants. I look back on that stage fulfilled to have gotten so much time together, just as husband and wife.
Then comes baby in a baby carriage! #Blessed, but married life as you know it won’t be the same for at least 20+ years. I’ve talked about Fearless Mom before but just as a quick refresh, it’s a moms lecture series with small group breakouts that meets weekly on Wed. mornings. It’s a ministry of Lake Hills Church here in Austin and it’s been a place of comfort, learning, and camaraderie for me as a mom. I’ve absorbed so much parenting truth. Things like:
- Marriage: how the parenting pendulum swings between wife and mom
- 20/20 Parenting: discipline for the next 20 years, rather than the next 20 mins
- Mom Guilt: be aware and intentional with your thoughts – YOU are enough
- Social Media: Wherever you are, be all there. #putdownthephone
All. of. this. Seriously, I’ve loved it so much! If you’re not in Austin, you can follow along at home. Anyway, one of the lessons of the past couple sessions has been to set a date night and keep it regularly. –But it’s hard, y’all! Here are the reasons why we’ve never been able to keep a regular weekly date night:
- Babysitters are expensive. No lie, I had a professional nanny who babysits on her off hours quote me “$15-$17/hr. for one child under the age of 5.” –Ugh, our ‘one child under the age of 5’ goes to bed by 7:30. The sitter may be super-qualified, but I just can’t allow myself to pay someone $17/hr. to sit at the house while my little one sleeps. I need to find some good minimum wage-level high schoolers in the neighborhood, for real.
- Movies are pricey, too. Many of the cinemas around where we live are these new luxury-style set-ups where you choose an assigned seat in a comfy leather armchair and have servers wait on you throughout the show. Plus, all those bigger recliners with tables and wide aisles for food service = less space available in each theatre. Anytime we get an itch to go to the movies on a whim, it’s like NO –tickets sold out a week ago.
- I’m tired, honey. Frankly, I’m tired all the time. But I’m especially sleepy after like 9 p.m. And honestly, on a Friday night with a glass of red wine in his system, so is the husband…I’ll catch him crashed out on the couch by 9:30 at night. Also, no one enjoys looking down at their watch during a date. If I do happen to get a second wind and want to party ’til midnight, the child’s still waking up at the same early bird hour that she always does the next day. Um, where are the babysitters for the morning after?
But still, the notion of prioritizing your marriage during parenthood remains so important. At Fearless Mom, I’ve heard it put like this: Connect daily. Date weekly. Retreat annually. So, dating doesn’t need to happen at night, right? Here are some alternative date-night periods where we’ve carved in some couple-time:
- During Preschool: Our little one goes to a half-day program twice a week at the local church. They call it Preschool, but it’s more of a Mother’s Day Out. It’s rare, but if the hubs is open for lunch, I’ll throw out the idea of a lunch-date…he loves to eat out, so it’s not a hard sell. Sometimes we’ll drive to the East side to check out the latest buzzed about restaurant that just opened. But really, any meal out that we can eat together, hot & uninterrupted, is “date” enough for us!
- When the Grandparents are Around: Whether they’re visiting us or if we’re home for the holidays, we try to find an opportunity to sneak off for a moment to ourselves. Just get in the car and find something to do outside the realm of parenthood! Usually, it’s just us going see a movie or grab a drink with a friend. BUT If you can get Grandma to sign-off for the overnight shift, this is an ideal chance for a one-night staycation at a hotel. It’s amazing with the illusion of a real vacation can do for tired parents’ souls.
- Daytime: This is our key window! I’m all about the day-dates vs. date-night. Saturday mid-day is a great time for your weekly date. Babysitters are less likely to be booked up, and the littles are awake & energetic so they’ll be earning that hourly rate 😉 Plus, there are opportunities for fun, active, outdoorsy dates. Something to spice-up that married dating game besides the usual dinner & a movie, ya know? We recently went on an indoor skydiving day-date that I can’t wait to tell y’all more about. Blog post on our experience at iFLY coming soon!
I got up this morning to a gloomy rainy day in Austin, tired from staying up late to watch election results and pre-coffee cleaning of an epic poop-splosion by the toddler (it went all directions: both up her back and down into her toes, dripped from the crib onto the carpet…so yeah, I woke up with bells on.) However, this was a cringe-worthy wake-up-call for the history books: the outcome of Election 2016 was finalized. Donald Trump is President. For me, the news was shocking, sobering, imminently grave, and unshakably disappointing. Note: Republican friends, ya don’t have to stop reading here…this post is not about Hillary, it’s about Jesus.This selfie snap = my mood driving from home this morning: angry Mozart on blast and wearing head-to-toe black, almost as if in mourning for the future of our nation. Well, the Lord has a way of speaking to our hearts at exactly when we need to hear Him, amen? I’m thankful the Pastors at the church where I attend a weekly parenting lecture series decided to be dynamic and timely and go off book to take a minute addressing what was weighing on all our hearts. Before we began our regularly scheduled “Fearless Mom” lesson, the leaders took a few minutes to advise us mamas on how to talk to our kids about the election.The full video of their 17-minute message is linked above, but from my notes, I wanted to share some Scripture-based takeaways that helped me begin to Keep Calm and Carry On:
- 1 Chronicles 28:20 — Tell your kids to be courageous (and model that behavior!)
- David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.”
- 1 Timothy 2:1-4 — Honor the office and pray for those with the position to succeed
- I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
- Hebrews 13:8 — In an uncertain era, we cling to the truth
- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
And finally, allow me to throw in the verse that will be my personal prayer for Trump: Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
May God Bless America.
I imagine going through infertility treatment is very much like going through any other major medical care. While the end-goal here is not to find a life-saving cure for yourself, the similarity lies in that finding a cure still equals life…not for you, but for the potential of life for your future child. You as the patient are bound by the condition of your physical body, the prescribed medical treatment plan, and the will of God/the universe/karma/chaos. –Whatever you chalk it up to, it feels as though powers outside of your control hold your fate.
As evidenced by the title, this post is about leaning into faith in God during an infertility crisis. I know not everyone shares my Christian faith or follows this doctrine, but I personally believe my Savior is in control. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have our faith tested and certainly a negative medical diagnosis can bring even the most devout follower to doubt. After going through a three-year struggle to become pregnant, here are some personal truths I’ve realized after making it to the light at the end of the tunnel.
God’s ideas were better than mine: It never quite comforted me when a fellow Christ follower would advise, “It may not be the Lord’s will right now” or “God does things in His own time.” While this was disheartening to hear, I forced myself to take comfort in knowing that His plans for me & my family are greater than I could imagine. — After all, how limiting it would be if the extent of our life’s richness was limited to our simple human mind’s own vision! The Bible says, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)
Prayer can give life to His plans: I don’t think we as Christians give enough credit to the power of our prayers, especially during a health crisis when it can feel like our hands are tied. There is life-affirming power in the words we speak and there is weight in the fervent prayer of children to their Father. What’s more, there are instances in the Bible when man’s communication with God appears to persuade Him onto an alternate course of action, i.e. Moses asking to spare the Israelites (Exodus 32:9-14), Abraham speaking on behalf of Sodom (Genesis 18:22-33) and Hezekiah pleading for his own life (2 Kings 20:1-7). While He is sovereign, omnipotent, unchanging and doesn’t bargain, I do believe prayer was an integral factor in my path to pregnancy.
Cling to the Lord’s promises: After receiving the frustrating diagnosis of ‘unexplained infertility,’ the fear of the unknown drew me closer to God, my rock. Somehow, in my heart of hearts, I knew that He wanted me to have children and I held steadfast onto that intuition. I wholeheartedly believe our Lord wants us to receive the desires of our hearts…especially when that desire is to build a family. In the end, I think the strongest notion –my saving grace throughout treatment– was the promise conveyed in Luke 11:9 (NLT): “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”