Extreme Domesticity

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.

But ….

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.

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2 Responses to Extreme Domesticity

  1. Kristina, you are definitely a good mom! And you are right, we all had those days/nights when we were raising our children and working. ( I can sympathize with your 1-hour commute each way as I did it for a long time.) They will know you love them. However, they grow up quicker than you did! Law of Relativity — Ha. Sounds like you did a lot of cooking this weekend. Have a good week.

  2. Mom says:

    Ah, yes, Classic Indian Cooking, one of the greats. 🙂

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