This afternoon, I was throwing together another batch of the lasagne recipe that I made up recently, and it struck me - next week, I will have been married for FOURTEEN YEARS, and I have never figured out how to cook for just two people! When I started that recipe, I was genuinely trying to make a small pan of lasagne for 2 people and a tiny baby. I ended up with a 11 X 7 pan that fed 6 adults & 1 baby and I still had leftovers for 3 lunches. Sadly, that was one of my better efforts at cutting back. I would have normally ended up with a 9 X 13 pan PLUS either an 11 X 7 pan or a loaf pan. Oh dear.
Obviously, this is not a new issue. It goes back (waaaay back) to my childhood. My mama is an excellent cook (as is my grandmother). She can take what a lot of people would see as an empty fridge/pantry, and make a tasty meal. By the time I was old enough to really help in the kitchen, there were five people in our family, and two of them were young boys who were growing like weeds. So while I was learning how to cook, everything that my mama and I made was whipped up in fairly large quantities. When I moved out on my own, I seemed to have cooking for one down to a science, but it was because I was so limited on funds and that it sort-of happened on it's own. When Don & I married, and I started to really cook, our portion sizes spiraled out of control very quickly. By choosing to stay home most nights - eating in instead of out - we each put on (at least) 20 pounds in the first year or so of our union. Our fridge was constantly full of leftovers... a trend that has not abated over the years...
*le sigh* It's just that I love to eat, and I love to cook. It pleases me enormously to see large quantities of fresh, beautiful foods become meals for the people I love under my hands.
I think that maybe I need to learn other ways to express my deep and abiding love for my family. The absolute LAST behavior that I would want to model for my daughter is a poor body image/low self esteem. So this is it. Time to put up or shut up. Time to either lose weight and stay there, or become completely comfortable where I am so that Lily Ruth never sees me panic when I put on clothes. Oi, the responsibility!
You know, I started this post with a very different twist to this theme in mind. I can't even fit it in now. It just won't go... I'm just so very tired. I even made myself sick - anyone want to join me for one of my semi-bi-annual sinus infections? I feel a bit overwhelmed. When I feel like this, it's easy to lose sight of what's important. Like the fact that my husband is NOT abandoning me so he can go party like a rock star out of town every week. He is, in fact, working his ass off so that I can stay home to raise our daughter. Or the fact that I am incredibly lucky to have this time in my life, with this family, in this house, in this body. Or even the fact that Lily Ruth will not always want to sleep with me. It feels like an imposition on my time, good will and sleep to have her want so desperately to be near me, but there will come a day when she will want nothing more than to sleep alone in her own space and I will idealize this time in my memories.
It's time again to step back, center, breathe and give thanks. Even if the best take on this that I can manage tonight is 30 minutes to myself with a small glass of wine and a 'hug' from my dog. It'll be enough... and tomorrow I will manage more.