Learning a lesson

I started working again this week (for SmugMug) and I’ve really been enjoying it. I’ve been squeezing in time while Mackenzie’s napping or just entertaining herself and it’s very rewarding to be able to contribute to our family’s income (well, currently I AM the income 🙂 ) while doing something I love.


I’ve found that taking care of the house, keeping good food on the table, feeding Mackenzie every 3 hours (for about an hour), bathing Mackenzie, cuddling Mackenzie, etc. etc. AND working… well, it keeps me pretty busy! Scott has his “boards” in four months, and a heavy class workload on top of that so I’m really trying to take care of everything else so he can focus on studying.

Last night, Scott was off at the library, studying, and I made dinner, while working and jiggling Mackenzie, during The Witching Hour. (Yes, my life is full of commas these days. 🙂 ) Dinner was split pea soup and when Scott walked in the door it smelled delicious. Mackenzie was content, and I was feeling on top of things.

Approximately three minutes later, Mackenzie started fussing and I smelled something burning. Somehow I had left the soup to “simmer” for an hour on MEDIUM heat instead of LOW heat and it was burnt. Badly burnt. Burnt beyond hope of being edible and it left a nasty pot to clean as well. I just started crying, right there in the kitchen with my poor burnt soup and fussy baby and poor husband who would have to forage for his own dinner (something he didn’t mind doing in the least). Scott wiped away my tears and whipped together a yummy spinach salad with red pears while I fed the baby.

For my part, I got back in the saddle and currently have a double-batch of split pea soup* simmering on LOW right now. There’s laundry in the washer and I just finished folding a batch. I have already squeezed some work in today (though not enough) and Mackenzie is clean and content. I was sitting here feeling “on top of things” again and had to do a reality-check. I’m amazed how quickly I fell back into the trap of “I can (and must) do it all”. When I feel that way, something like burnt soup can be the end of the world because my perspective is out of whack.

I laughed out loud when I stumbled across this just now, written by a mother of six.

“The answer to, “How do you do it all?” is simple. Nobody does it all. If you bake your own bread and mill your own wheat, then you probably don’t polish your silverware. If you polish your silverware, you probably don’t parse Latin verbs with your kids. If you do Latin with your kids, you probably don’t have a garden. If you have a garden and do all of the above…you probably don’t take a shower. And I’ll bet your garden has weeds.”

Point taken.

*Seriously, though… my split pea soup is yummy and easy to make as long as you can manage to turn down the burner on your stove. Here’s the recipe, which I always double:

1 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, sliced thinly
2 carrots, sliced thinly
1 cup split peas, rinsed and drained
4 cups veggie broth
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 1/2 tsp. dried)

Cook onion in olive oil for a couple of minutes until softened , then add celery and carrots and cook for 3 more minutes. Add everything else and cook on LOW for 50-60 minutes (30 will work in a pinch). Pull out 2 cups and blend it until smooth and return it to the pot. Add salt and pepper and enjoy! 🙂


About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
This entry was posted in I am a mother, Life as we know it, Recipes, Tough Days and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Learning a lesson

  1. Maya says:

    that soup sounds *really* good!


  2. No kidding. I think unless there is one of you for each child (no, make that two per child :)) you’ll never be able to do absolutely everything. It’s fun to try though, isn’t it? (har, har, har)


  3. lisa h. says:

    it will get easier and you will be able to manage to do lots of stuff….but i think you’ll just always be tired, i know i am!

    but, isn’t it wonderful to have a husband? can you imagine doing it by yourself? even when he’s busy and gone, when he comes home it’s such a welcome relief!


  4. Wendee says:

    I’m gonna try this recipe, Anne. It sounds so good!


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