Tuesday, October 14, 2014

When Life Gives You Bruised Bananas... Make Banana Bread!

Some days I wake up wondering exactly how I am physically going to accomplish everything that needs to be done. It seems there just aren't enough hours in the day, I'm programmed to tell myself this. Now I stop myself and think, "There are just enough hours in the day to accomplish whatever it is I need to get done". The former control freak slowly loses this battle as I become more and more aware of my words and the power they hold.

As I get older I realize that I cannot do EVERYTHING all of the time. I simply cannot be EVERYTHING to all people in my life, and I'm finally okay with that. I feel as a society we get wrapped up in "yes" and don't realize the wonderful power in the almighty "no". Being okay with however things turn out and accepting them as if they were chosen to be that way has been a power struggle for me. There is no such thing as "perfect", only how your mind chooses to perceive the way something should be. Anything outside of that is okay too I've come to learn. It's ALL okay and is going to be just fine. The belief in this is what has lead to my peace and stillness while things seem chaotic or overwhelming.

There is a certain surrender that happens when you have children (especially if you have them close in age) that helps you understand that at the end of the day it's not all under your "control". A surrender I feel is necessary to be able to enjoy the "bruised bananas" so to speak. Let me elaborate...

Last week was a doozy! A busy week where it seems we just couldn't seem to catch up. An endless rotation of dishes, laundry, packing/unpacking snacks and lunches, groceries, meals on the-go and rushing through our bedtime routines. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job. I call it a job because it is the hardest work I've ever done in my life. Although it is my greatest pleasure to raise my boys and be able to witness the constant evolving miracle they are, it's a round-the-clock, never-ending, no-lunch-break-having, lucky if you get a shower in before racing out of the door kind of job. Still, I consider myself a very lucky woman, whose husband is not only capable of providing for his family but wouldn't have it any other way. I am well aware of the struggles that working mom's go through as well, I couldn't imagine working a full shift and only getting a few stolen moments with my boys each night before rushing to do it all again the next morning. I also know working moms who couldn't imagine pulling off what work-at-home moms do all day without a break or much adult interaction.

I feel as though sometimes mom's compete in this arena. DON'T! We ALL have our struggles, no matter what we choose. What works for you may not work for other moms. What you may be willing to sacrifice could be unimaginable for some. We come in ALL shapes and sizes and so do our families! The more comfortable you are with your decisions, the less you need others to be comfortable with it. So do what works for you and your family un-apologetically and move on! (That's all I have to say about that) I can only speak from my own experience and my experience is this:

Some days I look at my house and have no idea how I am going to pull it all off. Last week I looked at dishes piled high (the price you pay for being Eco-friendly and refusing to use paper products AND cooking everything from scratch) and decided I was going to skip the frantic cooking/cleaning mom bit and do what makes me feel good in the midst of chaos, BAKE!

I had some old spotty bananas and remembered I had pinned an awesome banana bread recipe that called for some fresh blueberries. I decided to round up my two favorite assistants and get to work!

The joy that they get from helping me bake is endearing, all they have to do is hear my Kitchen Aid stand mixer turn on and they race from the playroom to the kitchen with bright eyes eager to help. These baking breaks we take are fun and informative. They are allowed to add and mix the ingredients and following recipes all on their own as I stand by and facilitate for safety and the good chuckle I get from their little conversations. I enjoy showing them the process of cooking / baking from scratch and using whole ingredients, teaching them the importance of using real food instead of canned / boxed items. I stop and embrace these simple special moments knowing that all too soon they will be in school and a new phase of our lives will begin.

It still doesn't take away from the nagging pressures of everyday responsibilities, sweeping, mopping etc... I used to have internal meltdowns or hustle until the wee hours trying to get it all done, only to start again each day. I often see new or young moms struggling with the same pressures and figuring how to juggle it all. I've since learned to stop in these moments I feel overwhelmed and get back in touch with what really matters. To center myself and be fully present in the moment, no matter what it may be. My boys won't remember how clean the kitchen floor was growing up or how dinner was always promptly at 5pm. They will remember those times their mom threw caution to the wind and "changed the dance" so to speak. Those evenings she left the laundry on the couch and took them for pizza at the park on the inter coastal to watch the boats go by at sunset. Or the time she used all the bananas in sight to bake the best Blueberry Banana Bread known to man in a kitchen that would scare Cinderella.

Having lost a parent I know all too well the memories that stick with you the most and get me through the toughest moments long after they are gone. If all I'm doing is dishes and laundry what sort of memories will I leave my boys with? What will I teach them about coping with life and learning to let their freak flag fly? How will they learn to be silly and draw laughter and perhaps a bit of grace from those tense moments life often offers.

So if you come on over and the floors are a little sticky, or the tables, windows and counters aren't polished. You must excuse us, we are baking memories...

Essentially Yours,



  1. Great post. Parenting gets easier with time. I'm new to the whole mommy thing and I have been trying to "perfect" it since the moment I found out I was pregnant. Although it can get crazy, motherhood is so much fun and very rewarding.

    I love that you bake with your family! I have been cooking with my little guy for quite some time now and he gets so excited. I hope he keeps his excitement as he gets older.

    Hang in there mommy, you're doing great!