Thursday, July 16, 2009

muffins and mothering

First, a recipe:

Anyberry Muffins
(adapted from A Passion For Baking)
2 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 veg oil
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 large eggs
1 T vanilla
1/2 t orange extract
1 T baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
5 cups flour
2 cups anyberries

Preheat the oven to 425.
Mix together sugar, oil and butter.
Add eggs and vanilla and orange extract. Mix it, mix it.
Add baking powder, baking soda, salt.
I like to add the flour and the milk and sour cream in shifts. A little flour, a little milk, a little more flour, the sour cream, more flour, milk, etc. etc.
And for the anyberries, I used blueberries and cherries. Yum! Just don't use strawberries, but other than that, the berry world is yours.
Spray your muffin tin. Pour the batter in the muffin tin (makes 24!!! awesome muffins).
Bake for 15 minutes, lower the heat to 350 and bake for 12-15 more minutes.

I also made this recipe into a quick bread a little while ago. I just poured the batter into two loaf pans and baked them for like an hour or until they were done, done, done.

and on mothering:
Every now and then I hit sort of a blah place in mothering. I get snappy and irritable. And I hate it. The kids don't seem to mind, go figure. But I hate it. Anyway, I was in that place and then yesterday morning I woke up with this realization. Ready for this one? It's gonna blow you away. Here goes nothing:

Mothering is hard.

See, what I noticed about my blah place is that I think to myself things like "why can't I do this right?" "Why do I feel overwhelmed?" "This isn't that hard. What's my problem?" "I mean honestly!! I have a MASTER'S DEGREE IN EDUCATION!!!" And on and on...and instead of helping (!) it just makes me feel worse.

So, yesterday when I woke up and I thought, "hmm....mothering is hard." it made a huge difference. Instead of getting upset with myself during the day, I would remind myself, "yup. this is hard work." and it felt so very validating. When I got tired around 4, I didn't sit around and wonder why. I realized that I was tired because I had been working hard all day. Cooking and cooking and baking and cleaning and laundry and caring for active and trouble-seeking boys. Spinning and spinning from one thing to the next to the next to the next.

And I also know that the way I do things, I really ask for it. I mean, honestly, can't I just buy a loaf of bread instead of insisting on making it all of the time? Seriously. I totally add more work for myself. But, I like my systems and routines and the more work. I like making bread because I like homemade bread. and muffins. and cakes. and, well, you know.

So, I thought this might be worth sharing because maybe someone reading this is a mom and doesn't realize that mothering is hard work. And so, just in case, I thought I should let you know: this is hard work.


Cat said...

thank you for making my day! I also have blah days and feel bad about it. Then I remind myself that I could be sending my kids to daycare full time. Then I'm proud of what I do, even if it's not perfect.
Thank you for sharing!

Mama V said...

Use ANY berries (wait! but not strawberries!!!). You crack me up!

It is SO hard! And you weather it very, very well... (Ask me; I know these things!)


debs14 said...

Sure it is a tough job, and sometimes those challenges seem to just keep on coming, but it is the most satisfying job in the world and the most rewarding.
Just remember to build in a little bit of 'Robyn-time' into every day!

Seeking La Loba said...

Yep, really hard! And confusing. At 4:30 this morning, I was asking Eric, "but what should I do?!" :)

Shannon said...

Mothering is probably one of the hardest jobs there is! But so worth it!

I am going to make these muffins in the next week or so...blueberry picking is on the list this week!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, mothering is SO hard. It is wonderful, but also so very challenging. You are doing a great job :)


Melissa said...

Yep. Agreed.

I hope you keep giving yourself the credit you deserve, Robyn.

Mothering is hard.

Why not strawberries?

I can imagine a million possibilities why you'd feel overwhelmed. I could probably list a hundred just from my week that could be evidence that mothering is hard! So I hope you are done telling yourself that it shouldn't be hard.

Goes On Runs said...

this is hard work! thanks for saying it out loud.

Cat said...

finally got around to trying these. I made the blueberry+raspberry version. Excellent. I had to make a mad dash to the freezer before the boys (jake (4) and pat (43)) got a hold of all of them! Thanks for the great recipe. I hope to try it with apples very soon... Do you think it would work?