Being a working mom always leaves me feeling like the time that I do get to spend with my children needs to be quality time, and that quality time means engaging them in a special craft or baking activity or game that I have planned. I am not sure how I came to this conclusion but recently, I am glad to say, I came to my senses and realised that this is most certainly not the case. My idea of what quality time can entail somewhat changed, and this was a light bulb moment for me.
After a busy morning at work, and then the usual quick trip to the shops, planning dinner, running a few other errands and then fetching the kids from school, I then had half an hour to sit and respond to all my emails whilst my kiddies ate lunch. Needless to say, my half an hour of responding to emails equalled half an hour of endless nagging from my children. “Please play with us mom!” All I kept thinking was that I needed to get these emails done and then I needed to get dinner on the go, so where would the playing fit it? There aren’t always enough hours in the day.
I explained to my son that I needed to quickly do my work, and make dinner and then we could play. He eagerly told me that all of that would take far too long, and asked if please they could help me make dinner. That was actually a great suggestion – they could help me make dinner. My two kiddies love spending time in the kitchen, and I would be killing two birds with one stone – getting dinner sorted whilst spending time with my kids. It wasn’t an activity that I had planned, but something as mundane as cooking dinner together could be good quality time spent with each other. Could this be a clever tactic I could use in the future?
Emails were soon done, so I could get right down to some special time with my kiddies. I had found a new recipe to try, so it was exciting that we could figure it out together. We started by gathering everything that we needed to make our sweet potato and spinach quiche.
Our recipe required:
• One large sweet potato
• One Onion
• Bag of baby spinach
• 6 Eggs
• Feta Cheese
• Salt and Pepper, some oil and spray and cook
Before we started, we had a little chat about team work and that we needed to work together, help one another and possibly take turns. My little girl is only 3, so there are many things which are not safe for her to do yet in the kitchen, so my task was to ensure that she also had jobs to do that were important.
We put the oven on at 180 degrees, sprayed our quiche dish with spray and cook, and then began by peeling the potato. A very important job was ensuring that our work surface was clean at all times, so collecting the peels was done by my littlest.
I then sliced up the potato into even thin slices. These would form the base of our quiche.
This was a great opportunity to talk about circles. I cut some into halves, so we had wholes and halves, and we put halves together to make the wholes…..a few basic mathematical concepts so we were learning along the way too – shew I was really doing well here. They each then grabbed a pile and we layered the bottom of our quiche dish with them.
I then placed the dish in the oven to bake the potato slices for 20 mins. Whilst that was cooking, we had a little tidy up and got the next part of the dish ready – the topping for the potato base.
I sliced the onions and we pushed them apart into rings, we then fried these in a little olive oil, to soften them and added the baby spinach leaves.
We fried these for 5 mins until they had softened and shrunken down in size. We set this aside and worked on the egg mixture which would bring our quiche together.
We measured out half a cup of milk. We then added 4 eggs, some salt and pepper, and two egg whites. Taking turns was key here!
We mixed it all together. We took the potato base out of the oven. We then spread the spinach and onions over the potato and poured in the egg mixture. We sprinkled feta cheese over the top of our quiche, and it was finally ready for baking, our team work had paid off.
The finished product was delicious! The kids loved it, and daddy was so impressed that our two little kiddies had made such an amazing dish.
I was left feeling very proud. My little man’s suggestion of making dinner together had been a fabulous one. The whole experience ticked all the boxes for me – quality time with my kids, learning experiences for them whether it be learning about halves and wholes or whether it was to have patience while each other had a turn, they explored textures, practiced varying fine motor skills, and most importantly we had FUN doing something together which was usually very mundane – my chore of making dinner.
So this was my light bulb moment, instead of segregating all the things that I need to do in my day and rushing through them, it was better to combine them and include my kiddies in the everyday chores that on some days I simply dread. Thank you to my kids for ensuring that I keep on learning!