Monday, October 28, 2013

Life Beyond The Microwave

My girfriend Diana is one of those Moms who always seems to have it together 100% of the time. Diana swears that this is not true, but I'm still waiting for proof. She inspires me every day to look at parenting and family life in a new way, but one afternoon I found something out about my friend that I just didn't know if I could get behind.

About a year ago, my little darlings and I were at Diana's house for a playdate and I needed to reheat McClain's baby food. I searched high and low for her microwave but I couldn't find it anywhere. I reasoned that it must be hidden behind a secret panel, an aesthetic solution that many city dwellers are opting for these days. After asking her where it was, I found out that Diana refuses to own a microwave. "Excuse me?!" and "Why?!" Were the first two questions that came out of my mouth.

While some people believe that a microwave changes the fundamental structure of food and won't use one for that reason, I consider my microwave a god-sent. It quickly reheats the coffee that got cold while I was distracted with the baby, it is the secret to cutting my potato baking time in half and in just a few seconds, the premade food that I picked up at Whole Foods for the kids (because I was too tired to cook that evening), is warm. It's ease and convenience make life so much simpler for me that I couldn't imagine my kitchen without it. I recently brought this topic up with Diana again because I wanted to get the full scope on why she seemed to be making life so much harder for herself.  This was her response:

Everyone has made bets on me getting a microwave by this point, but my reasoning for shunning this "necessary" invention is two fold:

First, I truly believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where your children are nourished in mind body and soul. It is where joys are shared, where stories are told and where concerns are discussed. Second - Patience. Cooking involves patience and allowing moments to pass. The questions a child can ask while waiting for water to boil can create priceless memories. The ability to wait until an explanation is concluded before acting, controlling your hand to pour without spilling, to focus on one activity and only one activity -- these are invaluable lessons of personal control and patience (something I learned from my Grandmom that helps me every day inside and outside the kitchen).

Also, we seem to value things more when we've waited for them and when we've helped create them.  I want my children to value the meal on their plate in front of them and know how it came to be.

In this world of instant gratification, I want my children to be able to have moments of mindlessness. I want them to have the ability to listen and to value their body, mind and soul and appreciate what goes into it.  Everyone has those moments from your life that are forever in your memory and heart. Those moments that shape who you are. For me those warm moments and memories were in my grandmother's and mother's kitchens. I dream that one day my children will have that too.

How amazing is this? I truly respect my friend's steadfast resolution to break with what is convenient on a day-to-day basis in order to cultivate what she believes is important for her children and family. There is no way that I will ever give up the ease of a microwave in my kitchen but I love Diana's take on the importance of looking at the bigger picture in parenting and family life and finding ways outside the box to teach one's children valuable life lessons.

I hope that you find a little bit of the inspiration that I found from her words. Not everyone's style or methods of parenting will mesh, but I think it's important to be open minded. You never know how one family's tradition will affect your own!

With love,
Mrs. Darling



  1. Thank you for posting this. I need a gentle reminder every once in a while to think about how the food I cook nourishes my daughter's body and mind!

    1. Thank YOU so much for reading! I too need that reminder every once in a while. It is so wonderful to have friends who help us look at life and parenting in different ways!

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