Thursday, October 10, 2013

Judgy McJudgers

I’ve seen this blog post shared a few times by fellow fb’ers:
The author writes about his experiences with people who seemed judgmental of stay at home moms and his response and high opinion of motherhood.

Some are in agreement and appreciative of the article and what he has to say about stay at home moms. Others are not and take offense because they don’t fit the description he outlined as admirable. I was surprised at the amount of comments, opinions, offences and defenses it aroused within my own facebook circle. I’ve always been aware of the debate and judgments between working and stay at home moms, but I had no idea that so many of my friends personally felt bad, less than or that they were being demeaned or belittled for whichever choice they had made because of other people's opinions.

Holy cow. According to the crappy generalized views of motherhood we're exposed to, a woman who chooses to be a mother can’t win in the world. You're a mother who wants to work? You suck. You're a stay at home mom? You suck. Both views require a defense, which means being a mother requires a defense. It's ridiculous. We need to just do what we want and stop being offended over other people’s opinions when what we do doesn't match what they would do.  They don’t matter. The world needs mothers (working or stay at home) and it's just preposterous that the role of mother requires a defense to the world no matter how she chooses to fulfill it.

I feel this is applicable not only in this case, but in life in general.  Make a choice, own it, feel good in your decision. Who cares about that other person who looks down their nose because I decided this was the best for me and my life at this time? Nobody deserves to have someone else make them feel guilty for doing what’s best, and the only person who can know what’s best for you is you and God. If you’re good on both accounts, nobody else matters…unless you’re married it might be nice to include your spouse in major decisions. They DO matter. I really think if everybody stopped caring about Judgy McJudger's opinions on motherhood, mothers would feel a lot more satisfied with their role however they choose to fill it.

Any mother who loves her children and is actively working towards giving those children the best life as she knows how is awesome. You know what else I think? Judgmental people suck. And there again, that’s just one opinion of one person and if you’re a judgmental person that I’m sitting here in front of my computer screen anonymously judging and you feel that’s the best life decision for you, then who am I to pay heed to?

I wish people could be comfortable in their own life decisions without worrying about what their neighbors think. It’s none of their business and if you feel it’s best for you, kudos! Do it! Do it well. Those Judgy McJugders are jerks and you don’t need them. Be as good as you can be (which is most likely pretty remarkable) and stop fretting over what other people are thinking because it really doesn’t matter. If you don’t think it’s what is best for you and yours, find ways to change it and make it better for you but don’t let what other people think influence the way you feel about your choice or cause you to get up in arms over their rudeness/ naiveté/ condescension/ belittlement/ judgments etc. More than likely they’re feeling guilty over their own life choices and trying to overcome that feeling by proving you (or others who have made choices opposite theirs) to be in the wrong rather than they, which is dumb because everyone has a different “best” choice. Own your choice, and feel good in it if it truly is the best for you. When I see mothers (or anybody for that matter) get defensive in their choices, I sense that they’re unhappy or unsure of the choice they’ve made and they’re trying to prove why their choice is valid to themselves as much as anyone else in order to not feel guilty. If mothers have made a choice they feel is the best possible way to go, they have no reason to feel guilty and I hate that the world has imposed that on them. Whatever choice a mother makes, ANY mother, she will be unjustly judged by someone (perhaps lots of someones) who doesn’t matter. If we understand this, then I think we have a better chance accepting that there is no way EVERYBODY will think we’re perfect even if we are, so we can be happy knowing we’re doing our best. Be good with yourself, be good with your family and be good with God. Try not to let opinions of people who don’t matter ruffle your feathers, even though they are idiots. I honestly feel that the people who are the most judgmental are those who are unsatisfied with their own choices trying to soothe themselves into feeling better. You should pity them because look at you! Making all sorts of best decisions for yourself and family that you feel good about. Everyone else is just totes jelly and can’t deal.

Stay at home. Fine. Go to work. Fine. Why can’t we all just be fine? Judgy McJudgers- go home (maybe after work?)! There are kids that need lovin’ and better examples of how to treat our brothers and sisters in the world and no good reason to make others feel guilty for not being you.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Gluten Free Double Mint Brownies

Here’s another gluten free version of a dessert that’s a favorite in my family. Usually my mom uses a brownie mix and tops it with the mint cream and chocolate topping recipes below. Instead of the boxed brownies, I use a delicious gluten free brownie recipe her friend gave her called “Gooey Chocolate Fudge Brownies”. If you want the easy factor of a boxed brownie mix, there are gluten free brownie mixes available…but they won’t taste as good as this recipe and it’s really not hard. The response I got with this recipe: “These are gluten free?” Yes. Too bad they’re not calorie free because I just ate 3 days worth in one sitting. Best to make these for a party or take them to work or somewhere else to share...random person next to you? Here, have a gluten free double mint brownie...or 10. Bam. Insta-BFF. And don’t think you can just make them for yourself and reasonably only eat one...or two… or four and save the rest for future days (maybe freezing them perhaps? I don’t even know if they freeze well because they’ve never made it to my freezer), because once you taste them you won’t be able to stop until they’re gone and unless you forget they’re in the freezer (which I don’t think is possible), they have no hope of survival. Or maybe that’s just me. I’m still learning self-control and it’s a hard lesson to learn. For me this definitely isn’t a lonely, I think I’ll bake something for myself tonight recipe. Sharing is the way to go, but if you’re looking for a few extra pounds there’s no happier way to do it and I wish you the best.


Gluten Free Double Mint Brownies

Bake brownies (recipe below). Cool completely in pan. Spread mint cream layer on brownies (recipe below). Chill. Pour chocolate topping (recipe below) evenly and spread over dessert. Chill.

Gooey Chocolate Fudge Brownies

¾ cup butter

2 ¼ cups sugar

5 eggs

½ tablespoon vanilla

¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose gluten free flour blend

¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

¾ teaspoon salt

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (or more)

(I also throw in a couple handfuls of walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Press parchment paper into a 9x13 cake pan and spray with pam (I just used the parchment paper sans Pam and the brownies came out fine).

Melt butter and sugar on very low heat (I also do this in the microwave- last time I made this recipe I did it on the stove in a pan that was too small and melted the sugar faster than the butter and got crunchy sugar crystals in my brownies and ended up having to pull the butter out to melt in the microwave anyway). Let mixture slightly cool and place in a large bowl. Add eggs gradually. Mix well. Add vanilla.

Stir dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture. Stir gently.  Add chocolate chips (and nuts if you want them). Pour into pan and bake for 35 minutes. (Mine were done after 28 minutes- brownies firm and toothpick came out clean).

Notes: I added all the eggs at once, and my stir gently was the lowest setting on my hand mixer. Still turned out great.

Mint cream layer

2 cups powdered sugar (I added a touch more)

½ cup butter softened (NOT melted)

½ teaspoon mint extract (I added just a smidge more- probably less than 1/8th of a teaspoon more)

3 drops green food color (mine was a gel, use as much or as little or none as you like)

Beat until smooth. (Don’t be tempted to add milk or water, especially if the butter wasn’t soft enough to start with and it’s crumbly. Keep beating. It will become creamy and smooth.)


Chocolate Topping

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup mint chocolate chips, or semi sweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl melt the butter and chocolate chips until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred.

Notes: I used semisweet chocolate chips with a tiny bit of mint extract (I didn’t measure it. It was probably around 1/8-1/4th of a teaspoon). I always prefer to use butter, but Imperial (stick, not tub) margarine is an acceptable substitute if you need/prefer in both the mint cream layer and the chocolate topping. It will still taste and turn out amazing. Most every time my mom has made this in the past she used Imperial margarine in the mint cream and chocolate topping and it always turned out a winner. I usually use butter in most of my baking, but the last time I made this I ran out and used butter in the brownies and mint cream layer and Imperial margarine in the chocolate topping. Still too good to not eat.