Our First Priority
At Christmas my mom plans nice meals for every night; she makes the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners; she cleans up everything after dinner; she prepared everything for a Bob Ross paint night; she spent months planning and executing a Harry Potter escape room; she buys all of our presents; she wakes up super early to get her work done so that she can take my sister's dog out for her, then she comes back in and changes my daughter Nellie's diaper and helps me get breakfast for her; and this year she did all of this year all while exhausted because a week prior to Christmas, she was in Utah with me and Nellie and we stayed up late and woke up early because Nellie was still on East Coast time.
Why in the world would she do all of this?? One answer: for her family.
Now, we do certainly try to help her with the cooking and cleaning, but more often than not Nellie is crying or the dogs need to be taken out, or it's time to give Nellie a bath before getting her ready for bed, and my mom ends up being the primary cleaner even after she has just spent all day doing things for us.
She recently told me that she was talking to a friend who asked her why she didn't just assign each of us, her children, to a specific day and have us be in charge of planning and cooking dinner, and then cleaning up that day so that she could relax a little bit. Her answer? She hardly ever has her whole family together, so when she does, she just wants us to create happy memories and those memories are far more often happening when we are laughing during games or working together in an escape room.
Now, I am certainly not saying that in order to create happy family memories, the mom needs to do all the work. What I AM saying, is that recognizing the sacrifices my mom makes for us has helped me see the emphasis she places on family and I think we can all learn from that.
During my Master's of Public Health degree, we talked about how family and community relationships actually affect the health of an individual. Strong family bonds allow us to feel a sense of grounding. When trials come, it is beneficial for our health to know that we have someone by our side no matter what. Kind words of encouragement from our family can help us keep going and give us the strength we need to do so.
So how do we create happy family memories and keep our relationships strong? First we put in effort. It isn't cheap for us to fly to Missouri for Christmas each year, and it certainly isn't cheap for my mom and dad to buy all of our food, but creating memories and strengthening family relationships are worth it, so we prioritize spending money on family.
Next, we forgive over and over again. Each individual in our family has their own unique personality. We disagree about many things and then throw in two new faces of my husband and my brother's wife, and we are bound to have an argument or two. However, we forgive and move on and we are always willing to work through and try our best to have patience with one another.
And finally, we couldn't have had such an amazing week without the help of our favorite GKW products. My sister and I were able to help my mom cook this week and we were all so grateful for the time saving kitchen tools like the GEFU Force One Potato Press
for mashed potatoes, the GEFU Treppo
for dicing vegetables, and the Bredemeijer Bella Ronde Teapot
so we could have warm tea for hours and didn't have to keep re-heating it!
Our goal here at Gourmet Kitchenworks is to help you spend less time in the kitchen, and more time with your family, all while getting healthier and I am so incredibly grateful for the products we have that help us do just that. Yes my mom worked hard for us all week, but with the help of these products and with a few of our hands helping her out, we were able to create many happy memories together.
We laughed and laughed when we had to restart our Avalon game over and over again because we kept messing up; we enjoyed every time my mom and I got last place because that is just what happens when we play games; we had the time of our lives figuring out the Harry Potter escape room together as a team while my mom tried to not give us any hints; and we all loved eating delicious homemade food and snacks with the help of our GKW products.
Family is complicated and messy, but here's to being willing to forgive over and over and putting forth the effort to strengthen family relationships. I wish you the very best as you do so with your own family!!
Taryn Pratt, MPH
P.S. Have any questions?? The quickest way to get an answer is to DM me on our instagram @GourmetKitchenworks