This week Jude’s delightful and hilarious blog reminds us that it’s important to cut ourselves slack. Sometimes, especially through the medium of the media, you get a glimpse of someone else’s life and it leaves you feeling less than satisfied about what you’re doing or achieving.
But when you consider the whole picture, it often puts into better perspective what you’re actually achieving, despite the obstacles and challenges along the way. When you’re a parent you can’t just switch off your children when you want to watch something on the television, read a book, attend an online meeting or cook dinner. Imagine how efficient we would all be if that was the case!! In reality, unless they’re out with someone else or asleep, our little children are usually very much there, ‘helping’ us achieve the tasks we have set for the day. This is certainly something many of us have learned over the last year as we have juggled having our children around us, pretty much 24/7. Who hasn’t experienced a meeting where a small child has popped up on someone’s lap, proudly showcasing the junk model that they have been so diligently making for the last 15 minutes, offering a full description of every Sellotaped cereal box and toilet roll inner.
So, here is Jude’s funny MasterChef story. It made us laugh, and did a brilliant job of reminding us how ‘helpful’ our children can be, and how resilient we are as parents, to keep achieving all that we do…
I can’t get enough of MasterChef right now. I don’t watch a lot of telly, but when it’s time for John Torode’s lovely Australian twang and Greg’s shiny head to pop onto my screen, I’m on my sofa faster than you can say “one extraordinary plate of food”.
But the other day, as I was busy marvelling at the deep-fried seaweed gnocchi and wobbly fennel pannacottas being created, I suddenly realised I didn’t need to feel quite as inadequate as I did.
These talented contestants may be creating gastronomic masterpieces well beyond my competence, but look – they do it in a clean, shiny, well-equipped kitchen, in a room where only adults are ever present. You don’t see homework sheets cluttering the surfaces in the MasterChef kitchen. No reward charts needing to be re-magnetised to the fridge every time you go to get the milk out. And no favourite toy fire engines on the floor threatening to send you flying at any moment, whilst emitting an infuriating battery-powered shriek of a siren.
Take away the child-related distractions, and I reckon I could have a good go at creating some fine dining myself!
So, forget cooking four courses for a three-star Michelin chef. Here’s the challenge I’d really like to see on the next series of MasterChef:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, today we would like you to create one main meal for a family of five. You have one hour and fifteen minutes. HOWEVER…
- Instead of the MasterChef Market, you have the paltry selection of leftover baked beans, limp lettuce and five individual pots of the least-favourite flavour of yoghurt in the fridge to create your dish from;
- During the challenge, a toddler will come and cling to your leg for between 30 and 90 seconds, on at least four occasions. You may attempt to remove the toddler but this is likely to result in an extreme tantrum, disrupting the delivery of your dish even more than the impossibility of moving whilst he clings to you.
- It will take you at least ten minutes to find the potato peeler. (Last time you found it tied with a sock to the back of a plastic minion after your six-year-old had decided it would make a good booster rocket.)
- Two children will be shouting in the room next door about whose turn it is to use the computer. You may ignore them if you wish, but we can’t rule out the possibility that they will begin to cause each other physical harm, possibly at a crucial moment in the caramelisation of your onions.
- When your toddler is not clinging to your leg, they may be doing a poo. Who knows where?
- And finally, it won’t be Greg and me judging your food this time. It’ll be three young, loveable, irritable and totally fussy children. One doesn’t like potatoes, one only likes potatoes, and one won’t eat anything that doesn’t begin with the letter ‘C’... Let’s cook!!!“
We are sure there are many mums (and dads) out here that can relate to that scenario!?