Inevitably, years of parenting do not pass by without periods of slump. Like any job, enthusiasm for certain tasks ebbs and flows. Of course the suckish part of parenting is that you’re in your job 24/7, so unlike regular employment, the hard times are not just an aspect of life that isn’t working, it’s more a feeling like YOUR WHOLE LIFE ISN’T WORKING.
Of course, it’s never that bad, but there’s something about the inability to get breathing space that does make perspective and negotiating your way out of a parenting lull quite tricky.
Usually the fixes are pretty easy to find. Maybe the kids will move out of their current frustrating stage, or you’ll just wake up one day with a fresh bit of perspective. Or they might do something particularly loveable, like give you lots of cuddles or manage to wee IN the toilet for a day or two (sometimes it’s the little things).
And sometimes you have to just suck it up and jolly yourself out of it. A bit of attitude adjustment and tackling things in a new way can make a massive difference.
In my job (as a graphic designer) I tackle tricky clients by pouring love onto them. You know, if a client is complaining I totally take their side, shower them in attention and find that pretty much any situation is instantly diffused. I take the same tactic with my parenting – I find the core issue, and pour some love on it. Whether it’s just a conscious bit of mental reassessing of a situation or a more physical manifestation like cooking my way out of it. Which is why I say these muffins will pull you out of a parenting-hole, particularly if it is lunchbox-shaped and demanding attention five days a week.
Make a double batch of these and freeze them. Then instead of groaning at the thought of packing lunch on yet another day, you’ll have a bit of instant relief. And it’s home-made too, which is positive for you AND the kids.
Chocolate seed muffins
1/2 cup seeds (any combo of black chia, sunflower, pepitas, flax)
1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
Juice 1 orange (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
3 tbsp maple syrup (optional but recommended)
1 small ripe avocado
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease or line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
Give the seeds a blitz in a blender, food processor or mortar & pestle – you need to break them down a bit. Tip them into a large mixing bowl and toss in the flour, cocoa, sugar and oats.
In a separate bowl or large jug, whisk the egg, then combine in the orange juice, milk, butter & maple syrup.
Tip the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently until just combined.
Use a fork to mash the avocado in a small bowl, then add that the the muffin mixture and combine in.
Divide evenly between the cases and bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops spring back with touched and a skewer comes out clean.
Need more ideas? Check out my 40-week lunchbox planner, full of super simple and seasonal ideas!