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Monday, September 26th, 2016
Volume ∞ Issue ∞

The Working Mom - Good Mom Gone Bad

By Tammy Danielson

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in All Columnists

Just like a good investigative TV show or gossip column would start their juicy story, I have to ask: “When did it all start going wrong?” Where did this mom go bad? Well, it all started as I took a reflection on my history of mothering and decided I had to have messed up somewhere because my kid dislikes vegetables and barely acknowledges fruit. This article starts where my one from a few years ago left off.

Remember…the one where I wished my son’s feet would stop growing so our shoe budget was not more than our mortgage payment? Bad mom! I can guess that the most recent parent magazine might score me low on the super mom ranking scale when they find out I have dust bunnies in most corners of the room. And, because of that and because my mirrors need cleaning, my home catalog parties are always scheduled after 6:30 p.m. so I can dim the lights (and you thought it was because Saturday mornings are too busy…ha! Fooled you my friends!).

My next confession is that my refrigerator has something growing in it, my kitchen floors need washing, and there are fingerprints on my glass doors from two weeks ago when the neighbor kids came over for treats and then more came by selling food for their school fundraiser. And ladies, I did not buy fruit or vegetables. Nope…the purchase was microwavable pizzas for a quick meal for my guys when I am in night class. So there, the truth has been told and the secrets are out.

So why am I sharing my dirty (literally) secrets? Well, when I ran into a friend of mine who was with her four kids doing some school shopping and she commented that my house is always so clean, I had to tell that my “surface clean” was deceiving. After all, it wasn’t fair to her to put up a charade. She needed to know the truth--- the truth is that all moms struggle with what they SHOULD be doing and what they love to do and, hence, the dirty house. We moms would love a sparkly clean home like in the unrealistic Windex advertisement. But, given the choice of a day of cleaning or closing our eyes and pretending it doesn’t exist so we can take our kids out for a fun activity, the activity wins out every time.

I started this article over five years ago as a tribute to the working mom (at home or out of the home) and hope that it always rings true to those readers who are coping with the busy days at work and short nights with their kids. We need to cut ourselves some slack and learn to co-exist with a bit of dirt.

And guess what? Looking back to my childhood, I do not remember a dirty fridge or dust bunnies in every corner, but I DO remember the vacations with my parents and the fun times with family and friends at our home and theirs. Hey moms…our summer is winding down so enjoy those last warm days with your kids and family and close your eyes to the daily house chores---they are guaranteed to be there tomorrow.

Thanks to Joan at my campground for this family friendly crockpot recipe—yum! Do you have a recipe to share?

Slow Cooker Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (29 oz) tomato sauce

1 c water

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried oregano

1 pkg (8oz) no cook lasagna noodles

4 cups (16 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

1 1/2 c (12 oz) small-curd cottage cheese

1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

1. In skillet cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt and oregano. Mix well.

2. Spread 1/4 of the meat sauce in an ungreased 5 quart slow cooker. Arrange a third of the noodles over sauce (break noodles if necessary). Combine the cheeses; spoon a third of the mixture over noodles. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining meat sauce.

3. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until noodles are tender.

YIELD: 6-8 servings.

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