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Redefining My Strengths As a Mum

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We all have those things in our mind of how we will be as a mum and what we will be if not great, decidedly brilliant at. I had things I thought I would be decidedly brilliant at because I became a mum. Even things I wasn’t great at I just knew they would come to me. I would somehow just perfect it, be automatically amazing at such things as craft, painting, designing, keeping the house immaculate. Everything would smell amazeballs and fresh and most of all I would just fall in love with cooking. I thought I would get better at it, love it and just become a natural kitchen whizz with scones on Sunday baked by 9am and a roast whipped up and ready on a Friday night. 7 years in and I still draw stick figure people and well, the cooking side didn’t really get much better.

I have never really liked cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I love food. I worked in hospitality for many years so I love it whizzed out of the gourmet kitchen by some amazing guy coordinating 45 other meals at the same time, the presentation of it and the eating it, but I just don’t like the whole preparation and making it part. It is such a chore to me and I hate how long it takes. Not to mention the washing up after it took you all of 4 minutes to eat it. It also makes me incredibly stressed all that coordinating of things, different vegetables and sauces, the saucepans and other stuff. I don’t even cook the kids’ dinner. I have a fabulous husband who coordinates everything like a pro and just magically makes stuff happen and fast and tastes amazing.

On the odd occasion, let’s say 15 times in the whole existence of my children’s lives, who have been around the last 7 years, is how many times I have baked. I have revved the whole event up with the “let's get our bake on kids!”, got the dusty aprons out and started banging and clattering around the kitchen in order to find something that could be a rolling pin. They have now learnt to nod and agree with probably an eye roll behind my back, or the finger but at this stage, they still make out like they don’t know what that is yet. The problem is every time we start to do the mixing, or the kneading, or dicing, or whatever it is I just crack it and lose patience. They aren’t doing it right, it needs to be perfect and look like the picture! They are making too much mess, which if you have ever seen me cooking before is a complete walking contradiction. They have put 37 chocolate buttons instead of 25 and “that isn’t what the recipe says, for goodness sake! It says 25! 25!!”. And then it just isn’t fun and they run away until it is time to lick the spoon.

It’s taken me this 7 years to look myself in the mirror and accept I am not the baking and cooking mother. When their dad is away they actually feel the need to compliment me on my cooking because it is such a shock and well, I do realise I can’t feed them frozen fish and microwave veggies for 2 weeks. But now that the school fetes are in full swing and the parties and the play dates I need to realise that cooking or baking is not my strength and it never will be. I won’t be the mum that whips up something that afternoon because I had it all in the cupboard and when I need to bake cookies for the school fete, I am eternally grateful to Woolworths for their awesome bakery section. I am also eternally grateful for not realising until said events that I had actually picked amazing friends who apart from just being amazing are also extremely talented in the kitchen. And when I say amazing, they seriously are. I’m the friend who always says “righto then, see you in 15, I’ll bring the wine”.

So I am redefining my strengths as a mother and accepting what I will never be good at. I should have done it years ago, but hey, now is better than never! While my husband cooks the dinner I focus on the other household tasks and take my time to shine at the 5 baskets of washing that have been put back in cupboards, a quick hoover in the morning before work, you know the usual household chores. I also specialise in a ridiculous amount of kisses and cuddles which I know in the near future will just be totally gross.

And I am particularly good at tickling fingers that can chase you around the entire backyard before you are crash tackled to the ground. I am totally awesome at putting at least 2 loads of washing on a day and folding and getting it in off the line. Actually that brings me to ironing. The other day while I made 2 lunch boxes for school, I then used the chopping board as the ironing board with a tee towel because that is what I call multi tasking! Maybe I need to rethink my ironing abilities too next month…

Suzy x

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