Willing – Not Stuffing My New Family Into an Old Pan

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You’re likely familiar with “The Meatloaf Story”…

A mom and daughter are cooking a meatloaf when the daughter asks, “Mom, why do you cut off each end of the meatloaf before cooking?” Puzzled, she replies, “Well I do it because that’s the way your grandma made it. We should ask her.” So the mom and the daughter call Grandma and ask, “Grandma, why do you cut the ends off when cooking meatloaf?” Grandma answered “Well that’s the way my mom did it.” So together they all call Great Grandma in the nursing home; “Great Grandma, why do we cut the ends off of our meatloaf before we cook it?” And Great Grandma laughs and answers, “Well I am not sure why you do it, but I did it because I didn’t have a pan big enough to cook it.”

As quoted by Ethan Linkner in his post “What’s Up With The Meatloaf, Mom?”

It wasn’t until I was in the throes of raising a family that I realized how very specific my belief systems were around how I thought a family should run. Because those guidelines were based on a different generation, different people, and different circumstances, I was becoming more and more overwhelmed with why everything felt so difficult.

Without even realizing it, what I was doing was trying to stuff our new family into an old pan.

As is true for everyone, our family today isn’t the same as the family of my youth. Sometimes, the only thing I need to do to foster more calm around here is to be willing to ask, Why are we doing it this way? Is this what works best for us? 

For a long time it was difficult for me to modify old familiar recipes, until I came to peace with the fact that I’m not really changing the recipe, I’m just willing to adjust what needs adjusting. And being Open, Honest and Willing seems to be just what the recipe calls for with every meatloaf Mama makes.

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