There was a time last year when my husband was gone during the week for work and was only home on weekends. I found dinners to be one of my biggest challenges as I was tired after working all day never felt like cooking when I got home. But not making dinner was not an option as I needed to feed my son. I wanted to make healthy meals that would carry us for a few days and give me a small break. Having recycled through most of my on-hand recipes, we needed a change. Out of frustration one night, I pulled out some chicken and whatever vegetables I had laying around in our refrigerator. I chopped everything up, pulled out some spices from the cupboard, and got to work. In no time at all, we had a delicious and healthy meal made with love and it is now a staple in our home.
Having a kid has certainly put a new twist to our once-childless life. While parenting has filled us with a love we never knew was possible, it has also changed the dynamics of our home and our relationship.
Since having our son, my husband and I have struggled a bit with finding the new norm. The long days have resulted in us forgetting to connect in the way we once did. Don’t get me wrong, we spend time together, but we don’t often play together. We spend a lot of time sitting side-by-side, reading a book or, more often, our phones. We’re looking down instead of looking at each other – talking, laughing, smiling. We let our comfort in each other and the daily exhaustion take over what once was.
The cold months are back and it’s soup time!
I’ve always been a bit adverse to butternut squash, so when my mother asked me to try her butternut squash and sweet potato soup for the first time, I was skeptical. After feeling pressured from my parents and my husband to “just try the soup already!”, I gave in. Now this soup is a regular in our house.
This soup is creamy, delicious, and easy to make. Enjoy!!
Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup
You will need:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 small onions, diced
1/2 a butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cups peeled, chopped sweet potato (about 2 medium size)
4 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp honey
I had just put my son to bed and was staring at the computer, trying to think of something to write about while glancing at the monitor to make sure he’s asleep. Then it hit me. I’m a mother, but what does MOTHER really mean?
Mothers are the superheroes that don’t get capes (unless you’ve actually gone out to get yourself a cape, in which case I applaud you because you deserve it). Mothers are powerful beings who can cure boo-boos with kisses and make everything better with hugs.
The ones who don’t appreciate these people the most, and who really should, are the ones who call them Mommy (I know… I too was one of these creatures many years ago). It’s true that at their young age, they haven’t learned the value of the mother yet. They live in their own bubble until they’re ready to venture the world on their own. Once outside of said bubble, they are able to appreciate their moms on a whole different level (was true for me).
The holidays are over and my television shows come back on. One of the shows that returned is The Big Bang Theory. I watch this show on and off but I did manage to catch Thursday’s episode (okay, I recorded it so I watched it Friday, but I did watch it).
I admit I got emotional when the show moved on to Howard, Bernadette and their new baby girl. Bernadette came out of the room dressed in sweats and looking exhausted. After spending two hours trying to get her daughter to sleep, she succeeded. Seconds later the men came home, and a few more seconds after that, the baby woke up and started crying again. At that moment, I felt her pain. I felt her frustration. I felt her defeat. We had a very hard time putting our son down for a nap when he was an infant. He would nap maybe twice a day for twenty-minutes at a time. Napping was not his forte and he was nicknamed the Anti-Napper.
Parenting is one of the most rewarding yet difficult job I’ve ever walk into. It’s got ups and downs, pros and cons, trials and tribulations, but at the end of the day, I can look at the face of my little guy and be proud. I created life!
Two years ago, I go pregnant with my first (and to be only) child. Of course, there was the advice that came from the people we loved most in the world, our family and friends. That advice was helpful and welcomed. I had also chosen to read up on a bunch of expectant mother books and articles, all providing me with an overdose of information. I retrospect, I found the advice from my family and friends less intense and confusing than the books and articles I was reading.
Years ago, while working at as a Healthy Living Coordinator at a group home, I developed quick routines to do with the youth to get them more active, especially in the winter-time when everyone seems to hibernate. The workouts I did with them are quick and don’t require any gear, so it was hard for us to make excuses not to do them.
Like most mothers, I am tired after a full day of work and then caring for my family in the evening. The last thing I want to do after my son goes to bed is change into my workout gear and go down to our makeshift workout room in the basement and workout. I’d much rather pour myself a large glass of wine and watch television until I fall asleep.
Before we had our son, I thought I knew everything about raising kids and that I was prepared. I was a know-it-all. I had all the answers. I felt like I was at the top of that game. I thought since I had a background in psychology, I am an aunt, I have friends with kids, and I work with kids that I was set. “I’ve got this”. I’m great with kids and kids take to me. I’m approachable and fun. “I’ve got this”. Sure you do Karen, sure you do.
Truth is, I did not “have this”. Mrs. Know-it-all quickly became Mrs. I’m-sorry-I-was-an-ass-and-judged-you very quickly after I had my son. It wasn’t long after I gave birth that I apologized to all my friends and my sister. I told them I was sorry if I ever made them feel judged or if I was ever unsupportive, because I was sure I had at one point or another. They were good about it and all of them gave me a pass.
From the time my son started eating solids, I did my best to make sure he had wholesome and delicious foods. One day I made a banana bread and then it occurred to me that I could turn this banana bread into a healthy mini-muffin for my mini-human. For the past two years, I have been turning any bread and muffin recipe I come across into my own version of healthy mini-muffins. There were some fails, but I scored with this one! My husband calls these “hippie muffins” and my son loves them. They make a good breakfast with some yogurt or served as a snack.
When my son was in daycare, I sent him off five days a week, even if I wasn’t working. I used the given time I had at home to catch up on chores, write articles, and work on the latest course I was taking.
One night, my daycare called to cancel for the next two days for personal reasons.
That’s okay, I tell her, I understand.
I remember the thought sinking in like slime oozing out it’s container: what will I do with my kid for the next two days?
My anxiety set in: how are you going to entertain him for two whole days?