When I was a kid, I loved sloppy joes. Though I have to confess, I did not know you could actually make them from scratch. I thought sloppy joes only existed from a can until I was well into adulthood. When I finally discovered the formula for making them without all the icky processed garbage you usually find in canned varieties, I fell in love all over again. This recipe is really just as easy to throw together on a busy night. Plus, it is far healthier and tastes even better than you remembered. Serve it traditional on a bun with a side of corn and oven roasted sweet potato fries. Or eliminate the processed carbs, and serve it over a baked sweet potato. My kids love it either way.
People often wonder why I decided to have children, or more specifically so many children. The answer is quite simple, so that one day I could relax while someone else took care of the house. I hated doing dishes as a child, and I wanted to pass that experience along to my own kids.
Just kidding! I simply felt the need to poke all those people that scoff at the idea of making kids do chores. “Let them be kids.” “They’re not your slaves.”
Seriously. There are people that truly feel this way.
Personally, I (along with herds of other parents and parenting experts) think chores are an integral part of teaching my children responsibility and life skills which they will one day be extremely grateful for. My kids will know the importance of contributing and having a good work ethic from a young age, and it will serve them for the rest of their lives.
We live in a world of constant overstimulation, distraction, and over-commitment. As I am writing this, I have two kids coming home from school wanting a snack and wanting to tell me about their day.
“If I read 20 minutes a night for the next month, I get two tickets to a baseball game!”
I have one kid playing with Play-Doh® wanting to show me everything he is creating and wanting me to play with him.
“I made a cookie for you, mom.”
“Eat the cookie!”
“Make me a cookie.”
I am also eating lunch, listening to Dr. Oz, and checking email and Facebook. I am thinking about what we are doing tonight and about a party I have coming up. My mind is swimming with tasks, big and small, which need to be completed. It is impossible to concentrate, and my stress level is beginning to rise!
“What’s for dinner tonight, mom?”
“Should we get subs again?”
“I don’t have anything in the house to cook. Let’s just go out to eat again.”
“I guess we can just throw in a frozen pizza.”
Does this sound familiar to anyone? It definitely does to me. There was a time not too long ago when a large portion of our monthly income was going to restaurants and take-out. We were unprepared for breakfasts and lunches every day, so the kids were eating sugary cereals and overly processed school lunches. We were spending too much money on food, and we were definitely not eating the healthiest. When my husband lost his job a few years ago, I knew something needed to change.