Dinner Epiphany

From the moment I was pregnant I realized I was now a mom. Obviously, I knew that this new responsibility would bring about some changes in my life. To assist in the transition, there are tiny reminders along the way which make it all that much more real: The first time I said “just water for me will be fine,” while caressing my bulging belly, brought home that my 4 am martini nights are a thing of the past (or the very distant future). The first time I came home from girls night at 1am, only to be up at 6 am with my child, highlighted that mom duties starts when the kids are up no matter what time I make it to bed. The first time I spent the day alone with my new born baby and my toddler I realized very quickly that when my husband is at work, I am outnumbered. (Some days it feels like a four to one ratio instead of a two to one.)

Between these little nudges, and let’s be honest, birth, one would think I figured it out: Life as I knew it had changed. It didn’t fully sink in until my second child was 6 weeks old (my first being 17 months). I was in the kitchen at 7:30 am. My first coffee was finished, baby was in the bouncy chair and toddler was just starting stir. And me? I was prepping dinner to go in the…wait for it…CROCK POT (shudder). And what was worse? I was excited about it. I felt so organized. The family would have a healthy meal without me having to prepare it during the witching hour that is between 5 pm and 6 pm.

Practical as it is, nothing says your no-kids days are over than a crock pot dinner. If she could have seen me, my no kids self would have smacked my two kids self for even owning a crock pot, let alone using it before the sun was up. It is a metaphor for spontaneity lost. No more eating what you want to, when you want to. The stainless steel appliance reminded me that instead of showering and getting ready to go out for dinner, I am now showering to get food out of my hair after dinner. I used to be so busy after dinner: What movie to go to? Which club? Should tonight be yoga or Pilates? Now I am swamped before dinner: Which baby needs to be changed? Who will cry the least if I don’t carry them around the kitchen? Is ten minutes on the IPAD while I get dinner cut up really a big deal? Um, didn’t I just change you?

My friends with older children tell me the crock pot is also a symbol for a new social life – not yours mind you – the childrens’. The time between school and after school activities and play dates is limited; the crock pot promises a healthy, easy way to deliver protein and vegetables to your family. Sigh. It seems it is here to stay. Darn healthy, organized, practicality.

The best part about the epiphany? I am totally OK with it. I like that when 5 pm rolls around the house smells wonderful. No matter how the day ran away with me I am not scrambling to come up with something at the last minute. The trendy restaurants can wait a few years. The worst part about the epiphany? Now I want a bread maker.

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