No-Oatmeal Oatmeal Cookies (TJK)

If we’re talking about the most important thing about making oatmeal cookies, we could go many ways. The add-ins, white vs. brown sugar, white to wheat flour ratios, letting them cool on the pan vs. off… But do you know what the actual most important thing about oatmeal cookies is?

The oatmeal. Not the kind. Just putting it in there.

I made oatmeal cookies the other day in a rush. I had worked my overnight shift the night before (11pm-730am) and the baby factory had been a-crankin’ (I work postpartum in a busy metro-area hospital). When I woke up around 3pm or so the next day, I couldn’t move. Get up and go right downstairs to my loved ones, the hubs and the babe? Waste a half hour (okay an hour) and low-key anxiety-scroll through social media? Take a shower and attempt to act human again?

Sleep deprivation or even just an interrupted Circadian rhythm is no joke, peeps. Just FYI I was able to rescue the oatmeal-less cookies after only a minute or two of baking time, scrape them back into my trusty KitchenAid, and rectify things. Cookies turned out pretty yummy and chocolate-y throughout because of the melted chipz also (score).

PS, I’m so very lucky for my job. At the risk of sounding Polly Anna, I love it. I went back to school to get my (entry-level) Master’s degree in nursing at 29 just so I could enter into the profession. I got my first choice, maternal/newborn health, as far as what department I started in. Other people worried at me about starting in women’s health care and being stuck and I never once thought they sounded anything but ridiculous. I’m also part of a strong nurses union and get a pension – a crazy deal for us late Gen X-ers/early millenials, huh?

But this night thing, man. Continue reading “No-Oatmeal Oatmeal Cookies (TJK)”

Parenting with…Parents (and Potatoes)

When I was in my early-to-mid 20s, my relationship with my mom was…fraught. A tantalizingly efficient word meaning “causing or affected by great anxiety or stress” which feels…accurate.She would come to my two small,  respective walk-up apartments – which I loved with their hardwood floors and proximity to the co-op and Blockbuster (was this late even for the 2000s, ppl?) and despair that I wasn’t living somewhere “nicer”. She’d look at my newly cut fringed bangs and ask me if I wanted an appointment at her usual salon when I was home next. She’d sit and (actually) get weepy when she’d see a little accumulated cat hair in a corner, sure that I was living in a hovel and not reaching my full potential by refusing to live a lifestyle more readily available to the general public in the pages of Teen Vogue or Allure.

It was bad!

I’d feel the anxiety start to creep up on me a day or two before her arrival and would launch into some heavy-handed apartment rearranging and cleaning, stock up on the nicest groceries/toiletries I could afford, and get my stories straight: Yes, I was okay at my current job. No, I didn’t want to move home. I mean, maybe I wanted to go back to school but I wasn’t sure and leave me alonnne!

I was (am) kind of a pill myself. What can I say, apple doesn’t fall far from tree.

Looking back on it now and being a mother myself, I can much more readily understand where she was coming from (though I still don’t fully agree with her delivery.) Her personal anxieties, though misdirected onto me, came from a place of fierce love and general Mama Bear-ness.  She wanted the best for me no matter what, and though I believe she should’ve tried to empower me a bit more rather than set me up against the world based on her outlook,she did her best. And her best was pretty darn good.

When my mom comes to visit now almost a decade later…wow. Not only does she still buy me groceries like I’m 21, but she offers to watch Fiona, our 1 year old, while we go out together, run errands on our own, go to the gym for the first time in God knows…

It’s great. Obviously.

And most delightfully Fiona loves it. They giggle and squeal together as my mom chases and tickles her. They have little meals together and my mom always asks if there’s anything Fi shouldn’t have, and darnitall if she can’t get that kid to fall asleep on her chest for 1-2 hour afternoon naps where she just holds her. It’s pretty much fairy godmother time for all three of us.

Which isn’t to say it doesn’t go off without a hitch…

Continue reading “Parenting with…Parents (and Potatoes)”

MomScout Book Review : Dr. Sheryl Ziegler’s “Mommy Burnout”

The title is a little ominous and the reality a little scarier – “mommy burnout” is real, people! After reading Dr. Sheryl Ziegler’s book of the same name (Dey St./William Morrow, 2018) I’m convinced (and maybe a little freaked out) – moms everywhere are at risk!

Ziegler is a clinical child psychologist but felt moved to write this book when she noticed something about some moms who were bringing in their littles ones to see her. As individuals, they were exhibiting a small constellation of similar anxiety/depression-related symptoms that the author finally decided to name. DSM-approved the term “mommy burnout” is not, BUT as a practical term it works great.

As a new-ish mom to a 14 month-old wonder girl and another one on the way (Lord help us) it felt good to not be alone… Continue reading “MomScout Book Review : Dr. Sheryl Ziegler’s “Mommy Burnout””