Before I get to today’s recipe, I wanted to talk about something that’s been on my mind a lot lately; and that’s women. Yes, us. Just hear me out okay?
My visiting teachers came over yesterday morning and since they were new to me, I asked them about themselves, you know, like what their hobbies were.
“We take care of our kids.”
Let me rephrase my question then, when you have spare time, if you do, what do you like to do? How do you spend it?
I was at a loss so I started filling in the silence. I like to run, a lot. I ran 3 half marathons this summer. When I was in college I danced ballet. I majored in business organizational development, etc., etc. you get the picture:)
They got to know me a lot this morning. But I know nothing about them other than what their husbands do for work and how many kids they have. And even that I felt like I had to pry out of them. I take that back. I do know that they are awesome mothers who care about their kids and they have great husbands who support them so they can stay at home and work as the primary nurturer of their kids. I would definitely place myself in this category. It’s just that there’s more to me than that. I know there is more to each of these women than that. Why is it that we feel like society expects us to lose our own identities when we take on the role of mother?
I want to keep my hobbies. Maybe that makes me selfish, but I don’t think being a mother and having my own hobbies are mutually exclusive. Most of my hobbies I can either do with my kids or I sacrifice other things, like a career, or sleep, to maintain them.
Like running. I don’t have a lot of extra time to devote to training for my races so my daughter comes with me most of the time. That sometimes means I don’t shower until the afternoon because I wait until it’s her naptime so she sleeps in the stroller so I can get a longer run in. (I don’t know about you, buy my two year old doesn’t handle much more than 20mins in the stroller so I’m confined to pretty much 3 miles unless she’s asleep.)
Or, sometimes I have to put down projects before I’m finished, or books right in the middle of a crucial scene, so I can attend to my child’s needs, but I always pick it back up. I think that’s the hard part is picking it back up. At the end of a long day of working hard to attend to your children’s needs, it takes a lot of effort to finish that crafting project or finish that chapter before your head crashes on the pillow. I’m passionate about what I love and I don’t want to lose that.
I love seeing moms picking up new skills and continuing their educations. That to me exemplifies hard work and dedication. When you have that you can accomplish anything. Being a mom is the hardest job in the world and you need all the skills you can get! If we don’t take care of ourselves first, can we really be the most effective caretakers of our children? What we need to teach them is balance, moderation, hard work, among many other things. What better way to teach than by being examples of those very things we try to teach them. We participate in service organizations so they learn how to serve. We sew and craft so they learn to love to create. We run and dance so that they learn exercise and nutrition are vital to our health. We stimulate our intellect by reading and writing and showing them at an early age that those are important skills.
If you halt your education, your interests, your hobbies, to follow your children’s, where does that leave you when the children are gone? Because as we all know, they do leave eventually. You have nothing left to call your own. Not the vision I see for myself.
I see myself pushing a double stroller around the track during the winter when there’s nothing else to do. I see myself as a grandma teaching my grandkids how to crochet. I see myself living in another country speaking Portuguese with my husband doing a service mission. I see myself continuing to pursue life long learning and following my passions.
SOoooooo, awkward transition here,
Hawaiian Chicken and Grilled Pineapple–via GroceryBudget101
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 2 inch pieces
Fresh Pineapple cut into slices
1 T. Cornstarch
1/4 c. cold water
1. In a small bowl mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic powder for marinade. In a separate dish place the chicken pieces and several pineapple slices that have been chopped into small pieces into the dish, Pour the marinade and stir until well coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. I don’t recommend marinating overnight if you’re using fresh pineapple as the enzymes in the pineapple will break down the chicken and change its texture.
3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Soak 10-12 Wooden Skewers in a tall glass of water. This prevents the skewers from burning during cooking.Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers.
4. For the basting sauce, in a small sauce pan add the leftover marinade over medium heat, stirring occasionally. While it is heating in a small bowl mix cornstarch and COLD water. Once the marinade is bubbling hot, add the cornstarch/water mix. Bring to a boil until thickened and no longer cloudy (this means the cornstarch is thoroughly incorporated into your sauce).
5. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill the chicken kebabs 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, or until chicken juices run clear. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the pineapple slices, grill lightly on both sides.
Alternatively, you could use canned pineapple chunks and make Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs by alternating pieces of chicken and pieces of pineapple.
Serve with rice or some sesame noodles. Yum.
And if this isn’t already the longest, wordiest post ever, I was featured at Slice of Southern!