I think the mommy world can feel a little bit judge-y and competitive at times. This is somewhat supported by social networking sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Both provide a steady stream of mostly perfect or desirable images, cheerful status updates, and recent holidays and purchases. This can leave us wondering things like "Why don't I have the time/energy to spray paint pumpkins for Halloween?" or "Am I a horrible mother because I haven't signed my child(ren) up for a second language course/piano lessons/toddler expressive dance?" or "Why haven't I made a decortative box to store my nail polish in?" or "How come I'm not out for a super fun girls night?". To combat this self-doubt/anxiety I try to keep clear the things I like and the things I don't.
The things that bring joy to my life and allow me to feel fufilled are:
-spending time with friends and family
-recipe reading, cooking, blogging
-talking, laughing and hearing people's stories (and telling my own)
-working outside the home a few times a week
-reading; specifically fiction and Macleans magazine
-clean, clutter-free kitchen counters
The things that I don't enjoy and seem to drain my energy or patience are:
-decorating my house for any holiday other than Christmas
-crafting with very few exceptions
-gardening and yard care
-working out at the gym
-being super outdoorsy
The things that I am hoping to one day enjoy:
- having a chaise lounger in our master bedroom
This helps to remind me that I have things in my life that I love and that I am good at. There are things outside the realm of motherhood on my list. Being a mother isn't my only role or the only place I find fufillment. Once I admitted to my list of don't enjoy I was off the hook. No need to feel inadequate in those areas because I tried and they are not my thing. I also have some stuff to look forward to on the last list. Makes it real easy to keep my priorities straight.
Of course I still love Pinterest. I just like to point myself in the right direction, which is how I found the recipe for Cheesy Quinoa Bites.
2 cups cooked quinoa (about 2/3 of a cup dry quinoa to 1 1/3 cups water)
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded carrot
2 stalks green onion, diced (I didn't have any so I added 1/2 cup of shredded spinach instead)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together quinoa, carrot, egg, green onion, garlic, cilantro, cheese and flour.
3. Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Adapted from here.
This was popular with the whole family. Two and a half year old and seven month old devoured them. I got close to 24 bites. Great as leftovers and easy to double and freeze.
I hope you can take more joy in the things you love and drop the things you don't and feel good about it. I want to make it real clear it is not Martha Stewart Living over here....like you ever thought it was.
Tiffany McFadden, RD