Friday, May 16, 2014

In the Kitchen

It used to be that laundry was the only daunting home task that I felt a slave to, the never-quite-caught-up, never-ending cycle of always being behind.  Guess that was also when I was cycling through clothes more quickly due to wearing nicer things to work and not having so many days where I didn't get dressed at all [like today, I didn't leave the house, sooooo I didn't wear pants.  All day.]   It still never ends, but laundry now feels a little more controlled since I'm home all week to do it, and no longer suffering from all-day nausea like I was a few months ago.

No no.  Laundry's not the thing.  Other than the obvious lots-o-time-with-kid and less-time-in-the-car, my most notable change between working outside the home, and staying home, is the amount of time I spend in the kitchen.

The kitchen.  The room in the house I just recently became acquainted with.

Don't be fooled, I don't really cook. Even still, I feel like I'm ALWAYS in the kitchen.  Cutting something, washing something, putting something away.  All day long.   How does it get so full of dirty things soooo quickly sooooo many times a day?  It's sink always full, it's surfaces always covered.  It's appliances always begging for attention.

Some days, like today, I think I literally didn't leave the kitchen.  I prepared [note *prepared, not cooked] three simple meals for my family, and baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies in honor of National Chocolate Chip Day (it's a thing.)   This doesn't classify as Above & Beyond, this is just regular Mom stuff, right?  It's not like I cooked four courses from scratch for a dinner party, or roasted (baked?) a Thanksgiving turkey, which some people actually do in their houses.

Some of the reasons I feel so overwhelmed about being in the kitchen could be:

1) our kitchen layout stinks, we need more cabinet space to keep things and more counter space to do things.

2) our house has no "drop zone" like a mail area or purse area or diaper-bag area or shopping-bag area... you know all that stuff that you bring in from the car and put down on the first possible surface because your child immediately needs something or your pregnant self has to pee or it's about to fall out of your arms because you insisted on proving to yourself that you could carry it all in one trip... that stuff goes on our kitchen table or kitchen counter because there is seemingly nowhere else for it.  I hate this but I see no other solution due to the layout of our house.  Meh.

3) our kitchen is disorganized, we need to spend a good amount of time going through and finding logical homes for gadgets and devices... preferably places that I can reach... and getting rid of things we don't use.  What else is new.  Welcome to every room of our house.

4) I am grumpy and pregnant.

5) I am not an efficient meal-prepper.  My knife skills and my decision-making skills are slow.

6) My mother's kitchen is huge and organized with tons of counter space and ginormous refrigerator and freezer that fit everything a family could ever need to keep cold in their house.  I grew up with a mother who cooked a lot and cooked well, and had the perfect environment to do it in.  Spoiled, now not knowing how to function in such a tight space, which I might add is getting tighter the bigger my belly gets.  I literally almost burnt my stomach opening the oven door today.

No but how good does that cookie dough look...

I digress.

In my head I planned on this being a post all about how much I love my role as a stay-at-home-mom (which I do) and how spiritual and symbolic it is for me to prepare meals for my family (which it is) and how much I cherish that responsibility (which I do).   The words just kind of came out differently.

I'm sure there's a camp of baby boomers out there scoffing about how this generation never had to learn how to cook like we did. 

Do other moms feel like they spend too much time in the kitchen?  Or is this just me being thirty, with a toddler, and not eating out for pretty much every meal like I did in my twenties?

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