A post on a blog I read got me thinking about mom guilt and how I have a lot of it. I know in my mind that I contribute a great deal to the well-being of my little family and that I spend lots of quality time with my kids and that they love me.
I am away from them for 11 hours a day, 5 days a week. I have great hours at my job, but my commute is an hour each way. It makes for long days and a lot of time away from the kids. I hate being away from them for so long everyday and I hate even more than when I get home in the evenings I am sometimes so wiped by work/commute that I know I am only giving them about 25% rather than the 100% they deserve.
Plus, sometimes I just feel like I need some non-work/non-kid time and then I feel terrible for wanting to spend anytime away from the kids since I am away from them for so long already. It is a vicious cycle I tell you.
I’m not saying anything new here. Women have been saying this kind of thing since moms started working outside of the home. But … I feel it.
Sometimes when I am feeling especially bad about myself I engage in a behavior I like to call Extreme Domesticity. Extreme Domesticity is probably a clinical disorder. And I had a bad bout this weekend.
My Extreme Domesticity usually manifests itself in cooking. I know how hard it is to get dinner ready with two little banshees screaming at you through the day, so some weekends I like to cook up big batches of food that can be easily frozen. Normally I just cook a double-batch of whatever I am already cooking, but this weekend I totally spazzed and just cooked everything in my house.
First up … I made a big batch of these enchiladas. They are in the freezer so I can’t attest to how good they are, but they have gotten rave reviews on epicurious.com (aka my favorite website) so I have high hopes.
Then I made this white bean and chicken stew. This I did eat, and it is GOOD. Seriously good. I made a double batch and it is enough for probably three dinners and a couple of lunches. Really great value too, the whole pot probably cost about $12.
Then I made my Costa Rican Beans and Rice. This is a recipe I made A.LOT. when we were in Costa Rica (hence the name). It’s not based on any written recipe, but rather on what we always had on hand in CR – beans, rice, onions, carrots. From those meager beginnings, a star was born. We love Costa Rican Beans and Rice, the kids in particular are fans. I would share the recipe, but I have not been able to get it to taste as good in the states as it did in CR, so I feel self-conscious about it. If I ever figure out what I am doing wrong I will definitely share.
Then, I made a double batch of Mixed Lentils and Vegetable Stew from Classic Indian Cooking. I cannot say enough good things about this cookbook. I think I have made 90% of the recipes in this book and I have never been disappointed. There are so many things I love about this cookbook I have to bullet point them.
- She uses readily accessible ingredients. I live in L.A. and can get just about anything any weird cookbook asks me to get, but sometimes I just want to go to Ralph’s ya know. Most of the time I actually have everything I need sitting in my cupboard and can just whip something up.
- She lists accompaniments to all the dishes. I have made MANY full menus using her suggestions and the flavors always go together beautifully.
- Her writing is awesome. I feel like I have a little Indian lady in my kitchen telling me what to do.
- Some of the recipes are really time consuming (as Indian cooking can be), but she also has a pretty good number of recipes that you can basically just throw together. I love that.
This is an old school cookbook, but if you like Indian cooking, go buy it. Everything is delicious.
And then, last night, just for good measure, I made a ginormous pasta salad with pesto dressing, cause you know, there wasn’t enough food in my fridge yet.
In addition to the cooking, I also finished the blanket I had been knitting on (YEA!) and made serious progress on Aiman’s sweater.
I know all the cooking/cleaning/laundering/knitting in the world is not going to make me feel like I am doing a better job as a parent, but it does assuage my mom guilt a little bit.
Plus, Riaz is extra grateful when I cook up a ton of food and this lady’s pregnant feet need nightly rubs.
So there you have it, my Memorial Day weekend was … exhausting, but at least Riaz won’t need to cook for the next 400 years and I will feel slightly less guilty about going to work for maybe the next 4-5 hours.