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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Stewart

the son

Becoming a new mom has it’s challenges. Most of you women who sit in this seat can relate when I say I have every book on my shelf about ‘mom life’ that you can possibly imagine. It starts with the stages of pregnancy, the birthing process, postpartum, breast feeding, feeding in general, organic baby food making, BABY 411 (my personal favorite), Essential oils and babies, and then there are the parenting books…The developmental stages, teaching your child, day care, and at some point you bring in the emotional part… the “am I a bad parent for sticking your child in front of the TV for 30 minutes so I can actually fold the clothes and make dinner and maybe answer a few work emails” book. (Insert deep breath here) It’s a lot. I think I can honestly say, even after being an actor my whole life, that this is the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. It’s a lot of questions of “am I doing this right? Am I being too emotional? Am I bad a mom if I think it should be done this way and not the other way? I know my husband hates when I say, ‘But the books say this!!!’ (insert half a smirk here).”

What I’ve taken away from all the books, doctor visits, and other mom conversations is the importance of being present. To take a breath, put your phone down, turn the TV off, put the computer away…and just be absolutely present. To talk with them. Sit with them. Play, pray, eat, and read to them. And that is exactly what I’ve been practicing.

I think a slow cooked meal is appropriate here… something I LOVE to take advantage of during this time of my life. There is a pulled pork recipe that I love using for purposes of ease… and you can use it for multiple days throughout the week. See below this fantastic slow cooker meal that allows you to be present in times of needed presence.


By Food Network & Me

* 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

* 1 (4 pound) pork shoulder roast

  • 1 cup barbeque sauce

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

  • 1 Can /Bottle of Lager Beer

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 extra large onion, chopped

  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

  • Flour or Corn Tortillas

  • Feta Cheese

  • Coleslaw – PreMade mix is great; otherwise a creamy homemade slaw works great!

  • BBQ Sauce (If you really need it)

  • Pour the vegetable oil into the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the pork roast into the slow cooker; pour in the barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, chicken broth & Beer. Stir in the brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion, garlic, and thyme. Cover and cook on High until the roast shreds easily with a fork, 5 to 6 hours.

  • When Finished… shred the pork into small shreds of meat and dress the Tortilla as desired!

This song I’ve paired my beer marinated pork tacos reminds me of a lullaby. An adult version of a lullaby about living in the moment… and it’s sung by one of my favorite bands. Fleet Foxes SUN GIANT. One of the band members writes this…”This one was meant to be just a simple ‘ode’ of sorts to the simplest things in life. I often get really caught up in the minutes of my day to day life so this song is just a reminder (to myself I guess) that there is value in just looking at the sun (or something equally simple) and not thinking about anything else.” There is value in looking at the sun. Or my son. And taking in these fast moments of when he’s so tiny and so free and growing and learning and loving so much.

It’s brave of me to say at this early stage I have this mother thing down… because I don’t. But what I do have down is listening to my gut a little bit more. And regardless of all the books I’ve read all the way through or part of the way through or just skimmed through I know that the most important thing these days is time. It goes quick… and if I could slow it down I would. But since that can’t happen, I’m going to sit and eat these delicious pork marinated beer tacos with my son in my arms and live in the most absolute present with him. In hopes that some day he will do for others that come across his path.

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