I had a sweet surprise this week.
All my kids were home Sunday night into Monday morning. It was a treat.
I did something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile — BAKE!!!
I enjoy working in the kitchen. It relaxes me to bake and cook for others. I enjoy the process and the presentation. I haven’t baked for awhile because baking in quantity with no one around to consume it is not good for my middle area.
So when I realized my kids were here for Monday morning I decided to whip out my Joanna Gaines’ cookbook and try a new recipe.
Fresh Orange scones! (Oh my goodness… AMAZING!!!)
But here’s what I realized while whipping them up. It was a bit more concentrated work than I anticipated for a Monday morning with limited coffee intake.
I have a process with new recipes. —The first time through… I follow the book.
I figure the person giving me the recipe knows what works and doesn’t. They’ve perfected and completed this recipe numerous times. I’m trusting they know how to do it with the best results.
Plus the first time through it takes me, at least, double the time. I’m continually checking and double-taking back to the recipe asking, “Now what am I doing again?”
I use more bowls than necessary and I’m tedious about the measurements.
“If I follow the directions exactly, it’s going to turn out like this picture of perfection in the book!” —- That’s what I tell myself.
But I know from experience it doesn’t always work out that way. There are too many variables and there are no guarantees.
It’s like motherhood!
That first time around, we mamas work to follow the books… line by line… note by note. If the experts say it’s that way, it must be true.
Our poor firstborns!
- We pre-wash all clothing in special baby detergent.
- We sanitize binkies after each contact with the floor.
- We place our babies in bare minimum cribs with nothing cuddly or soft, lay them in the center, face up, in a tightly swaddled wrap.
- We follow all the food recommendations from the experts and NEVER offer cows milk before the one year mark!
We’re nervous and unsure. We continually check back with the experts, follow all directions, pay attention to every detail and take more time than required for everything!
But still… there are no guarantees!
For any kind of trip anywhere... even the park… it takes twice as long with that first born. We pack extra clothes, extra blankets, extra drinks and extra snacks, sunscreen, hats, bug net for the stroller, sanitizing wipes, diapers, toys in case they’re bored, extra binkies for germ-free options. The list is endless and our first time mama-drama is worse!
I remember with my first born I was so full of “No, that’s not the way the book says to do it!”
After about 4 days of that my own mama spoke up and said, “You know, Rachel, I raised 6 kids to adulthood and didn’t lose a one. It’s okay — you’re going to be okay!”
It took me down a notch. I sat back and said to myself, “She’s right! I’m consulting a book written by someone I don’t even know. And my mama… who got me to this point in life —and whose got a good way of cooking up a mama recipe — is right here with me. I should trust her!”
And I did.
I backed off a bit and listened to those who have done this thing before…. especially those who turned out a great product!
As mothers, we grow more comfortable in this role of motherhood as we do it day in and day out.
By child number 3,
- we ain’t got time to prewash all those clothes — we’re just glad they’re dressed!
- That dropped binky — we just stick back in!
- Sleeping swaddled in an empty, clean crib — we’re just thankful they sleep, however it comes!
- Food recommendations before one year — they eat whatever they get their hands on!
It’s that first-time-tedious-recipe versus our tried and true day in-day out. food-on-the-table method that we figure out.
We can make that recipe with our eyes half-closed — few measurements are required and it whips up in one simple bowl.
Parenting is that way.
We improve as we go and learn to trust our instincts. We understand how to put together that favorite recipe for our unique family unit.
And, of course, there are still no guarantees.
We all screw up our kids in someway.
It’s inevitable. We’re not perfect and we’re raising imperfect beings.
But here’s my encouragement to you!
- Trust the greatest recipe book for life – God’s Word.
- Keep at the good stuff.
- Let the nonessential, over-detailed minutia go and enjoy the process of learning each child’s uniqueness.
- Create your own family favorites and make time for them often.
After I finished baking those amazing, melt-in-your-mouth scones, I looked at the pile of dishes and the mess on the counter. “Holy Cow, that was more work than I anticipated!”
Dave answered with a glint in his eyes, “I’m guessing these won’t be an everyday staple!”
No— but definitely a special treat.
Because that’s how parenting is—
It’s more work than we anticipate,
the process is daunting…
…but the life-well-lived is nourishment to our souls and the treat in the end is sweet!
Happy Mother’s Day, friends! Have a great weekend!