I can’t touch my toes.
I can’t ever remember being able to touch my toes.
Though my genetically short hamstrings haven’t stopped me from pursuing my dreams, I do watch with a hint of envy as someone in yoga class when someone bends in half at the waist.
In my role as a mother, physical flexibility is not as important as the other kind of flexibility. (thank goodness!)
Take today, for example. Mr. 7 should be on his way to the bus stop with his older brother and I should be folding laundry. (If I don’t start early I’ll never get it done. Pshaw – like laundry is ever done.) But, after handing him a teaspoon of cough medicine I’m snuggled next to him in my bed while he watches a cartoon.
Does this bug me? Not the snuggling part – that I’m cool with – but having my schedule interrupted does.
Ms. 5 off to kindergarten
Kids home from school
I know it’s not very glamorous, but it’s the life of a mother/author/employee/wife/cook/housekeeper/driver/and etc.
So how do I survive Mr. Schedule-interuptus? I have to stay flexible.
There was a time in my early mothering years when a sick kid would throw everything out of order and I’d get cranky. I wouldn’t take it out on them, but the mental turmoil was atrocious. I couldn’t wait for the next day so I could rewrite my to-do list and have a reset.
Fortunately, it got easier over time. Like stretching a muscle, if I worked at it everyday eventually it will become longer, leaner, and I’d bend in half with ease. The more children I had and the older they get, the stretchier my schedule became. Not because I worked at relaxing, but because they forced me to prioritize over and over again. Each time I chose my children’s health and happiness over having a clean house or sticking to a time table, my mommy-muscles stretched and grew.
I still have to work on it. That pile of laundry does weigh on me and my to-do list is calling. I’ll look at it throughout the day and see what can be done, but Mr. 7 is my top priority and if I can help him get healthy, then I’ve done what really matters.
One thing that helps, is to use my slow cooker to make dinner. Tonight we’re going to have chicken stir fry. Here’s the super quick recipe that we enjoy.
1 can of mandarin oranges
1 cup regular barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon butter
4-5 chicken breasts
1 bag frozen stir-fry veggies
4-5 servings cooked brown rice
In your slow cooker, stir together the first five ingredients. Add the chicken and turn it to coat. Cook on high for 6 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the slow cooker and cut it into quarter-sized pieces. Set aside.
In a large fry pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the frozen veggies and cook for ten minutes on medium. Add the chicken and 1 1/2 – 2 cups of the sauce from the slow cooker. Cook for another ten minutes. Serve over rice.
For more great, family-friendly recipes, check out The Hungry Family, available at Sam’s club, Costco, and your local book store.
March 12: My Bookshelf
March 14: Books Devoured
March 15: Utah Mom’s Life
March 17: My Reading Room
March 21: I Am a Reader
March 23: Tressa’s Wishful Endings
March 24: GeoLibrarian • Janet K. Hauling
March 25: A Room Without Books is Empty • June Jacobs