Guilt-Free Motherhood

May is the month for Mother’s Day. A day to celebrate the hard work of motherhood and show our appreciation to mothers everywhere.

Or, it’s a day to feel guilty.

I’ve known women who’d rather skip celebrating Mother’s Day due to babies that have died, strained relationships with their own mothers, or because they suffer from an acute feeling of failure in their own mothering.

Mother-guilt can come in many forms. Do I breast feed or bottle feed? Continue to work my full-time job or stay home? Parenting choices and options are endless. Add to that the constant stream of social media that can lead me to compare my lifestyle choices to those of others and I can soon be questioning if my choices are the “right” ones.

Thankfully, there’s a way to be set free from guilt-induced motherhood.

Continue reading over at For the Family

Five Spring-Inspired Meals

Springpasta-003 The days are growing longer and the air warmer here on the east coast. Yards are full of spring flowers: daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. The air has a fresh earthy smell. Kids are outside playing after school with bubbles and sidewalk chalk.

Spring is here.

As I menu plan the seasonal change is apparent in the list of meals I’m making. Gone are the hearty stews and slow cooker soups. I want lighter—yet still filling—meals that are full of seasonal vegetables yet easy to prepare. Here are some of my spring favorites:

Spring Couscous Salad

I love this couscous salad bursting with bright flavor, despite the rather simple ingredients. It’s a perfectly easy one-pot weeknight meal that tastes like spring to me.

The Ultimate Club Sandwich

Sandwiches are an often-overlooked dinnertime choice. But pared with some tortilla chips, hummus, and fruit, it makes for a deliciously easy and simple dinner. Joy the Baker’s Ultimate Club Sandwich really hits the spot. Creamy brie cheese, crisp bacon, ripe tomato, silky avocado, and roasted turkey—what’s not to love?

Lemony Salmon and Dill Toss

My kids don’t like asparagus, but they do like pasta and salmon, so there’s enough in this tasty meal to make them happy and full. I love the flavor combinations of salmon, dill, and lemon.

Classic Cobb Salad

We love hearty salads around here and the Smitten Kitchen’s cobb salad is certainly that. Loaded with protein (bacon, chicken, hard boiled egg) this salad will leave you full. If you’re short on time, you could always buy salad dressing instead of making it.

Chive Risotto Cakes

I love risotto but it’s not really doable on weeknights. It’s more of a special occasion type of thing. But Ina Garten’s Chive Risotto Cakes are soooo good. You can also make up the mixture ahead of time and let it refrigerate overnight! The cakes are fried crispy on the outside and yet are creamy on the inside. They are hearty yet taste of spring with the fresh chopped herbs. Even my kids like them! (What kids won’t eat anything fried?) We adults eat them over a bed of spring greens with a drizzle of olive oil and splash of lemon.

What spring-inspired recipes do you enjoy?

Cultivating Creative Motherhood

“I don’t know how you do it,” she said as I walked my friend towards the door. “Homeschooling, four kids, writing…” her voice trailed away.

I didn’t know what to say. Instead I felt uncomfortable and said lamely, “Well, it keeps me busy!”

But that was the third time someone had said something similar to me in a month. I’m not wonder woman. I don’t have amazing multitasking skills. I don’t want people to think I do. I don’t do more or better than any other woman who juggles children, work, home, and extra-curricular activities.

But I have made creativity a priority, even after I became a mother. I don’t want to look back over my life and say, “I wish I made more time for _______ instead of washing dishes and doing laundry.”

Whether you identify yourself as a “creative type” or not, everyone is creative in some aspect of their life. As a Christian I believe God made us in His image. He is the ultimate Creator. When we use our creative talents for expression and problem solving we are imaging God, and so it is little wonder we find the act of creating so satisfying. When we create, we image God by crafting beauty, displaying truth, fulfilling a service, or doing good in the world on behalf of others.

But not everyone feels the need to be creative. I’m not writing this article to make you feel guilty if you aren’t a person who desires to have a creative outlet. I’m not advocating adding one more thing to your to-do list or for you to get less sleep than you already do. But if you identify yourself as someone yearns to express yourself creatively but struggle to find time or make time for it in your life, I’m writing this to encourage you.

Continue reading over at Ungrind.

How do you cultivate creativity for yourself in your home?

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