real moms of the quad cities: meet dana

Editor’s Note: 

Here’s the next in our series celebrating Quad City moms like you. This week, we are sharing a peek into the lives and hearts of local moms. These moms have vastly different lives, experiences and challenges. 

But they are also a powerful reminder that while while we have differences, we also have a lot in common. We are Real Moms of the Quad Cities

There’s no time for mommy wars when instead we cheer each other on! So read on, comment below, and follow along on Facebook to share your own answers to our prompts! (And let us know what you think.)

Name: Dana Linze-Dengler
Kiddos: Kayla- 18 years, Zakari-14 years, Izeah- 11 years, Zane- 10 years
Husband: John Dengler
Job: Full time RN Case Manager for the VA, full-time mom, part-time athlete

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What’s your guilty pleasure?

Beer. No lie. I like beer. Good Beer, not crap beer. I like going to local breweries, sitting outside on a nice patio table, and relaxing with my husband.

How do you find balance in your life?

This answer is two fold here:

  1. My partner. I depend on my partner and he depends on me. Not an “I need you” type of dependence, but an “I support you” dependence. We ensure each other have outlets, time alone, and time to improve ourselves.
  2. We view life in BUCKETS. There is a friend bucket, a family bucket, alone time bucket, hobby bucket, etc…. when our buckets are empty, we tell each other (John and I do) and try to keep all our buckets full!

What’s been your biggest challenge as a mom? (And how did/do you overcome it?)

My biggest challenge was when the father of my children passed away suddenly. My boys were 5, 2, and 12 months. Turning into a single mom over night is shocking, sad, scary, and the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Keeping my boys safe and feeling secure during that time was my biggest concern and challenge. How did I overcome it? I quit my job and made my children my priority. I wanted to protect their hearts so they would recover and not have life long mental battles from not being able to see that when someone dies, the rest of us still need to keep living and loving.

What’s your favorite family activity/event/location in the Quad Cities?

Well, it’s summertime… so currently we adore the pool, Scott County Park, and the pool is worth the drive!

We also eat, sleep, and breathe baseball. So the River Bandits is one of our favorite places as well. We are also known to do things such as the zombie parade as a family as well.

How is parenting different than you expected before you became a mom?

I will NEVER forget the day that I was standing in the kitchen after dinner, right after Zane was born, doing the dishes… and it hit me. Hit me like a ton of bricks. The realization that “Yes, Dana, you are a mother of 3, and you have to do this EVERYDAY. You have to do the dishes, and the laundry, and pick up. THIS… This is your life now.”

But the other thing I never expected? The love. The intense, heart-stopping, I would lay down my life for my child love. The love that you can never get right but you never stop trying to get right. The love that makes you cry just thinking about HOW MUCH you actually can love another human being.

If there were only one thing you want to impress on your kids, what would it be?

The one message I truly hope my children learn from me is this: you can do it.

Life is going to kick you in the shins sometimes and you have to kick back. When you get knocked down, you get right back up. Don’t ever let someone tell you you can’t, because you can.

I have had people my WHOLE life tell me negative things:

  • “You can’t raise three boys on your own!”
  • “Who is going to want you now being single with three kids?
  • “That’s a lot of baggage!”
  • “You have a bad back and weak bones, you need to find a new hobby, no running, and never lift weights”

Guess what? I found a wonderful man who loves me AND my three boys, I’m raising them just fine, I just ran a half marathon, and I compete for power lifting.

Yes, folks, yes I can. Yes children, yes, you can too.
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Who do you turn to for parenting advice and support?

Actually? My husband. He really has wonderful parenting skills and is very in tune with how to raise young men. Plus, he is a wonderful role model for them as well.

What is one parenting “job” you wish you could outsource?

 All of it!?! Kidding…. but that laundry! There is ALWAYS laundry. Always. Like, I swear, I can wash every single washable item in this entire house and with in 1 hour, there is another basket of dirty stuff….. and folding! AGH. AND PUTTING IT AWAYYYYYY! That’s the pits! I have even been known at times to buy them extra underwear just to stall on how often I have to do laundry. No joke.

And may I add a few items to say to other moms:

  1. Don’t ever forget to go away and spend time with your lover. Now I know, some moms think “How can I ever leave my children?” or “How can I leave them with someone that’s not family?” Here’s some truth – you can, and they will survive it. Your house may be dirty when you get home, laundry dirty, kids dirty – but they will be okay! The best part is that  you will reconnect with your partner AND have some fun too! Don’t neglect yourself, ever.
  2. Love your kids as fiercely as you can, they will remember it forever. Unfortunately, I know all too well that, yes, it can all end in 1 second. One moment can change your life. Love them unconditionally and with every ounce of your being.
  3. Screw the mistakes. You’re going to make them. Your kids will hate you from time to time. The biggest two things to remember in parenting is that: A. your children will likely dislike you sometimes but that’s ok, and B. if you mess up, apologize to them. It’s okay to admit your mistakes and your children will respect you more as a person if you own it and apologize!

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One Response to real moms of the quad cities: meet dana

  1. Olivia August 31, 2015 at 6:03 am #

    I love this so much Dana!! Thank you for your words of wisdom and sharing your story. You’re a strong mama in so many ways 🙂

    And YES…LAUNDRY is my nemesis too!!!

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