This job is so much harder than I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong-I never thought that staying home full-time and raising two kids would be a walk in the park, but I just never thought it would be as difficult as it really is. I’m not talking about the physical challenge of taking care of two very different children. That part is actually easier than I thought. But physical challenges have never really been an issue for me. I kinda have that Superwoman complex where I believe I can do anything and am indestructible. I even went for a run 2 weeks after I had my daughter. (I didn’t say I was smart…) So physically speaking, I’ve got this. I can make a sandwich with one hand while the other one is holding my nursing daughter. I can lift my 45 lb. son (yes, I said 45) onto the potty while holding or nursing my daughter, then manage to clean him up afterwards…those things are a walk in the park compared to the mental and emotional challenges I have faced with this recent promotion. No one told me about that part.
The challenge is this: My newborn daughter needs a certain kind of care and attention at the same time my 3 year old son needs a totally different kind of care and attention. And all that different care and attentiveness needs to come from me. Me, who is still trying to recover from giving birth, who is exhausted and achey. And then somehow while I’m giving all this one-handed care and attention to my children, I have to get the laundry done and the dishwasher loaded and unloaded, and then loaded again, the floors and furniture clean from the occasional spit-up and poop, and dinner planned and cooked. I look at all I’m doing now and think, ‘How did I not have time for pedicures and vacations before?!’ And for the past week, with the weather being so cold and rainy, both my kids have had bad colds. I’ve been swimming, upstream, in a river of snot. So maybe it will all get easier once the weather gets better and the snot river dries up. Maybe this job really isn’t as hard as I think it is. Maybe I shouldn’t be blaming my mothering abilities, but rather the abilities of Mother Nature. Maybe she’s the Mother who needs to get her s#it together, not me. Wake up, Mama Nature!! Throw me a bone here!!!
All I know is this- (and I am quoting my very good friend and fellow Double Mama when I say this) – My new favorite times of the day are coffee time and wine time. I look forward to that cup of coffee like it’s Christmas morning. And the image of that 5 o’clock goblet of wine takes over my brain the minute the clock turns 3 pm. Without those two things, I would be a mess. Sometimes I talk to my wine. I will look at it and tell it how thankful I am that it doesn’t need anything from me. There is no snot to remove from its nose, no diaper to change, just a beautiful and loyal friend who wants nothing but to see me happy and relaxed. I love my wine and thank the universe for it daily.
Then I look at my children. My two beautiful children. And I forget about the snot, the diapers, the stains, I even forget about the wine. I remember that my sole purpose of living at this moment is to raise them to be the healthiest and best that they can be. No, I do not get paid for doing the hardest job in the world, but I was built for this. I look the happiest with one of my babies in my arms. Without me, they would not be here. Without me, they would not know the importance of a mother’s touch, how a simple hug can save the day and a kiss can turn a tear into a giggle. Their lives are in my hands, or more specifically, my hand. So yeah, you can call me Superwoman. I’ve got this.
This recipe is a great use up for leftover red wine (right. like that really happens.) You’re literally cooking your rice in red wine, and it’s delicious. I always use quick-cooking brown rice, but white rice works perfectly fine. You can serve it as-is, or make it a sort-of pilaf by adding in some chopped red grapes, slivered almonds and chopped tarragon. Either way, this is a very elegant and extremely easy dish.
*Red Brown Rice
(This serves about 4. But servings can easily be altered by changing amounts of liquid and rice. Just remember the ratio is double the amount of liquid to rice.)
-In a saucepan, saute 1 small onion, minced, in some olive oil until soft. Season with salt.
-Pour in 2 cups of dry, red wine and bring to a boil with a bay leaf.
-Add 1 cup of rice and allow it to boil again.
-Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
-Stir in your grapes, almonds and tarragon now if you’re using them or serve plain with your favorite protein.