Two meals that make me question my sanity as a mom

There are two meals that I love to make for my kids because they absolutely love them.  My kids eat well, but when I make these two meals, they really go to town.  And what mother doesn’t love it when her kids beg for more of her food?

But though I love these nice, easy, yummy meals that my kids will eat, they almost make me lose my mind!  I have to really stop and think every time I make them, weigh the costs (a.k.a. mess) and ask myself “Is it really worth it?”

So here we go!  The two meals are…


I bet you knew this one was on the list!  I LOVE spaghetti.  It’s so easy to make.  A little noodles, a little meat, a little sauce.  And voila!  A meal is made!  It’s so easy and so good!  I even like it for leftovers the next day.  (Good thing, because that’s what the Carroll clan is having tonight!  I might have made too much last night!  Well, OK!  Way too much!)

But oh the downsides of spaghetti!  I’m pretty sure my darling children must think that it’s also paint because it gets spread everywhere!  All over their faces.  Their hands.  All over the table.  Oh, and on the chairs too.  And it’s extra special when the meal is over and you find it all over the floor.  And darn it, those noodles are sticky!  So they stick on the kids clothes, they walk around with it, and you’re finding noodles for days!  I might as well strip down the kids at the end of the meal and stick them in the tub.  It’s pretty ridiculous!

Did I mention we’re having this for leftovers again tonight?  I’m really starting to question that idea! 🙂

Anything with rice

On Monday night, I was so proud of myself for the dinner I made.  We had teriyaki chicken with rice and edamame.  Caleb gave me lip about not wanting it when I told him that’s what we were having, but when he heard we had rice and soy sauce, he started singing a different tune.  The kid loves soy sauce!  All three kids went crazy over this meal.  I knew they would, and it made my heart happy that they were loving it…

until one of my kids decide to eat it with his hands.  No fork!  No spoon!  No utensil at all!  Just his hands!  Shoving bites in his mouth and watching rice rain down all over the table and his body.  And at one point, I caught him throwing some on the kitchen floor after it had fallen on him.  What the what?!!!  Pick it up and put it back on the table, kid!  This is another thing that sticks all over the children and gets tracked through the kitchen after the meal.  Now I know why my mom wanted to install a drain under my brother’s chair when we were kids!

I know this is just a stage.  Someday we’ll all be able to eat without making a huge mess.  (Maybe!)  Carpe diem!  I should enjoy every minute of these experiences, right?

But until that day, I’ll be questioning my sanity over these two meals! 🙂

photo (34)      photo (35)

Leaning into tension

I hate, HATE tension and conflict.  I want everyone to be happy all the time, be best friends and sing and dance like they do in the musicals.  This isn’t too much to ask for, right?  Right!  Good!  Glad we’re in agreement!  It’s perfectly reasonable.

For most of my life, I did whatever it took to make sure tension didn’t happen.  I did everything in my power to head it off at the pass.  Make sure that it didn’t ever start.  (Come on!  Really!  I’m not sure why I ever thought I could avert tension!  For goodness sake, it’s everywhere!)

And if it did come my way, I took off and ran with all my might to the hills.  (Or at least made sure that I was pretty well protected from it before I ran.)  I didn’t want any of that!  No sirree!  Tension is bad, right?

I’m pretty slow at these things, but I’m finally coming to realize that tension and conflict are not always a bad thing.  That they can be used and turned into a whole lot of good if they are addressed well.  (I’m growing up!  Finally!)

I have one friend in particular who has been helping me with this lately.  I’ll describe to her what I’m going through and how I’m feeling, and she boldly tells me what I need to do.  That I need to face the issue.  Not let it pass me by and let it continue to nag at me for days, weeks or years.  To stand up for myself.  To speak truth in a loving way.  To stand for what is right.  To do something about it!  I love this friend dearly, and I’m so glad that she is willing to be open and honest with me.  She loves me enough to not let me settle.  She pushes me to do hard things because she knows it’s what’s best for me.  And that good will come from it.  That it will make me stronger.  And when I have my little successes, she’s the first to hear about it!  She’s my biggest cheerleader!

And I’m trying!  But this is all so new and fresh to me.  It’s hard!  Stinkin’ HARD!  I want to give up so easily!  I want to back down.  Some days I just want to go crawl back in bed and bury my head in the covers.  It seems much safer all covered up and hiding in bed.  But I know that I have to keep making right decisions no matter what.  Even (and maybe especially) when they are hard.

So, I’m trying to lean into tension.  I continually (pretty much daily ) have to fight the urge to run.  To make myself stop, think and start moving toward the tension.  To really lean in.  Embrace it.  Experience it.  And learn from it.

Leaning, walking or running into tension is a huge learning experience.  Sometimes we will handle things well.  Sometimes we won’t.  But we will always learn.  We will always be better for it.  For we have fully participated in life.  Life is beautiful.  But life is also messy.  And we should lean into both the beautiful and the messy!

I encourage you to lean into tension.  When you feel the urge to run, decide to walk toward the tension.  Be brave and courageous!  I believe that if more of us leaned into tension, things would change.

Go and be a world changer!

What are some ways that you have had to lean into tension in your life?  How did that go?  What did you learn from it?