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Pressure Cooker

I've heard people say "I can't afford to have children right now. I have to get a better job and start saving some money. And I need to be more settled."

The truth is, there will never be a time when you believe you are completely 'ready.' After all, parenting doesn't come with a handbook or a checklist that tells you the things to look for and to prepare for. Every experience is different. Every child is different. Every approach is different.

Parenting my twin daughters helped me to hone in on this. The process reminds me of a pressure cooker.

And boy am I thankful for my pressure cooker. It changed my life and ...

One key about the pressure cooker is its design. By design, the pressure cooker seals itself, forcing steam and liquid into the foods. The items within the pressure cooker are able to start out raw and unprepared but after a short amount of time, the items are fully cooked and ready for consumption. The pressure cooker creates a closed-off, tight environment that prepares things quickly for the next phase.

The role of the pressure cooker in my kitchen is synonymous to my twin daughters in my life.

Even good systems can stand to be updated from time to time. I like to think of a pressure cooker like a modern day crockpot. While there is still some benefit to a crockpot, our 'microwave mentality' created an opportunity for updates to be made. Likewise, there are some ways that I parented my oldest daughter that simply needed to be tweaked and altered when parenting the later born twins. I didn't get rid of my old tricks and techniques, but I needed to add a few variations as the years progressed. I needed to enhance my tactics in order to meet the needs of a younger cohort of youth. Sometimes, sticking to the old tried and true methods of parenting (and living in general) keep up boxed in and stuck. Over time, progress should be happening in and around you. That may just require you to update your thoughts, beliefs, circles, and actions. Look around you, what updates do you need to make in your life?

When your level of responsibility increased, so does a need for flexibility. One of the perks of a
pressure cooker is the ability to prepare multiple things at one time. We know about casseroles and crock pots. Same idea. How can we accomplish more with less? More ingredients with less dishes? More nutrients with less time? The pressure cooker allows for more streamlined and more flexible practices. When I was a new parent, I was very stuck in my patterns and ways of thinking. I had a schedule and was able to stick to it. But as my number of children grew, so did the number of activities on the schedule. It began to be a challenge to keep up with. Still wanting to prepare fresh, healthy meals for my family, I resorted to the pressure cooker which gave me flexibility to change the meal at the last minute and still get it on the table within a reasonable amount of time. In what areas of your life are you learning to cut back and be more flexible?

The infusion of multiple ingredients is what creates a well-prepared finished product. When preparing an entree or meal in a pressure cooker, all needed ingredients are thrown into the pot at the same time. At the beginning of the process. In parenting, we pour lots of things into our children. A hint of past hurts. A smidgen of past shame. A pinch of past pain. These are mainly unintended, but they're there nonetheless. We also pour in lots of love. Countless containers of confidence and correction. Dallops of direction. Jolts of joy. Time goes by quickly so we only have a short time to be with the kids and pour into them before they go out into the world to conquer it on their own. Instead of wasting the time we have, we must make the most of it. We start the process with lots of random ingredients but we always come out with a masterpiece. What are you stirring up in your pot?

Instead of waiting for just the right time, go ahead and get yourself into a pressure cooker. It'll prepare you for your very purpose.


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