I was looking through old blog posts the other day and noticed a pattern with the frequency of my posts. Every time my son hit another milestone, this blog became more of an afterthought rather than a priority. For the first few months of his life, he was the worst napper of all time. I was lucky to get him to sleep for 30-40 minutes at a time. I had no time at all to spend writing out recipes much less making them, shooting pics, and writing. When he started solids he suddenly started giving me two longer naps a day. It. Was. Amazing. Suddenly I had a lot of free time to do things like shower or pay bills or blog. Then he started crawling. Then he started walking. Then he dropped the second nap. I love seeing the progression from each stage to the next, but it is a constant regrouping and figuring out a new rhythm every few months.
It seems like every time I focus on one thing, something else suffers. If I'm cleaning the house, my son is bored or throwing toy trucks at the dogs. If I'm trying (and usually failing at) new activities with my son, the dogs are bored and digging up the backyard. If I'm actually thinking about and making dinners ahead of time, my son is in front of a screen longer than I'd care to admit. I think that's been one of the hardest lessons for me to learn as a new mom. You really can't do it all, and usually one thing or another gets pushed to the back burner for awhile. For me, this is where the mom guilt creeps in.
This past weekend was Mother's Day, and this year it really got me thinking about all the social constructs centered around motherhood and what that means. It's funny how before motherhood, women are viewed as individuals with a vast range of different personalities and interests, and that is okay and celebrated. But for some reason after becoming a mother, the definition of what it means to be a good woman and mom narrows quite a bit. I think every mother I know has felt this in one way or another. Suddenly, you're either a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, and that is really all people need to know about you. If you work, people wonder if it's a financial decision or because you don't want to be around kids or something (do you see anyone asking dad this?). If you stay at home, people love to come up with side job ideas for you (because surely taking care of a tiny human and home isn't enough to fill a whole day). I am so done with all the labels and the media trying to pigeon-hole us ladies into one group or another. We're all women, and we all have to put up with a lot of crap on a daily basis...figuratively and for some of us literally.
And if you're a man and still reading this post - I'm super impressed...can we be friends? :)
My husband works at a nuclear power generating station and for the past month or so they've been working a refueling outage. It means many, many days of 12-hr shifts with very little days off. It means him averaging 10-12 miles every day walking around the plant. It means 12 hour days of me trying to keep a 19 month old plus two dogs happy. It means neither one of us wants to think about dinner. And it means this blackberry bourbon lemonade has made several appearances around here at the end of a long day.
Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade
This has become my go-to cocktail lately, primarily because it has only three ingredients and doesn't require simple syrup or any specialty liqueurs. It's tart, refreshing, and sweet, with that kick of bourbon I so often need at the end of a long day of chasing a toddler.
Yields: 1 drink
2 fl. oz bourbon
4 fl. oz your favorite store-bought, fresh lemonade ( I love Simply Lemonade - don't use the frozen concentrate)
3-4 frozen blackberries (you can use fresh too, but you will need to muddle)
fresh mint and more blackberries for garnish (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Shake vigorously.
- Strain into cocktail glass filled almost to the top with more ice.
- Garnish with fresh mint and more blackberries (optional).
- If you use fresh blackberries, muddle them in the bottom of the cocktail shaker before adding anything else.
- Experiment! Try swapping the blackberries for very ripe strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, and see which you prefer.