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Cooking: A Joy Or A Drain?

After an exhausting week leading into an even busier weekend, I somehow convinced myself that I needed to make a soup. I had the ingredients in the fridge and despite the sense of sluggishness taking my body over I had convinced myself that this soup took priority to a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

What is this about, you may ask? I suppose its about my hard core commitment to feeding my son healthy, homemade food. I really try not to overdue mac and cheese, pizza, or any of those quick and easy toddler favorites. I want my son eating pretty much what I eat- organic, wholesome, and appropriate for the season…hence my intense desire to make a winter chicken noodle soup- with dill, parsnips, and coriander seeds (a fabulous flavor combo).

But my husband saw my eyes when I walked in the door on Sunday evening. I was heading toward delirious and frankly, not in the best mood.

“Go lay down!” he ordered. “It’s only 5pm – there’s nothing to do. Go lay down!” Nothing to do? For a Mom, there’s always something to do. In that moment, I had a choice to make- it was Me or the Soup.

But what I realized is that the soup was really a symbol for my always good intentioned but sometimes, obsessive commitments to healthy eating! Is there ever a point where I’ve gone too far? I realized that if I didn’t lie down and I stayed up and made the soup, I had officially gone too far.

Health is everything- it’s not only what we eat but also the rest we give ourselves, the conversations we have time for, and how we are able to be present for playtime with our kids.

So I lay down. I slept for about 20 minutes. And when I woke up I felt better. The rest of the evening I was able to chase my son in his favorite game of “I Got You!” and give him a bath including a hair comb (if you’ve seen pictures of my son’s curls, you know this takes energy!). And after he went to bed, I turned on the Golden Globes and realized I actually had the energy to make the soup. And so I did.

It’s so easy to sacrifice the self and our individual needs for the perceived needs of our children. But I’m pretty certain my son was better off for being able to run around with me because I had actually rested instead of slaving over the soup at the exact moment I thought I had to make it. And anyway, he’ll enjoy a big bowl of soup this evening for dinner- and I’ll sit down and enjoy it with him too, knowing it was made when Mommy felt great about making it. And that usually makes the most delicious soups, doesn’t it?

Randi Zinn

Randi Zinn is the founder of Beyond Mom and Born from her own experience of motherhood, and the desire for a more connected community, Beyond Mom offers mixers, events and retreats for forward-thinking New York moms. She encourages moms to cultivate a life “Beyond Mom”—one that embraces the gifts of motherhood but expresses all that they are as individuals: creators, businesswomen, thinkers, friends and so much more. Randi has partnered with Comptoir Des Cottoniers, SoulCycle, Mio Skincare, TOWN Real Estate, The Mother Company, Body Conceptions and IntenSati. Her writing has appeared in FitBump, Epoch Times and Well Rounded NY. She is a certified yoga instructor through Laughing Lotus NY and has taught since 2008.

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