Monday, 22 July 2013

Just YOU.

I LOVE the Huffington post.  It always has articles that make you think.  I like that.  I like to think about stuff.

I read this article last weekend and it really had me hooked.

Have a read of it here & then skip on back here if you would like to hear what I think about it.

I LOVE it and here is why........

  • we have begun to overthink EVERYTHING we do.  This in my opinion is a recipe for stress, self doubt & disaster.  Not just for us as parents but for our children too.
  • by overthinking our parenting methods we lessen the quality time we give our children.  We stop having GENUINE interactions with our kids and stop every time we go to speak with them for fear of saying the wrong thing.
  • Isn't it a good thing that our kids DO see us get it wrong? - by doing that we make it ok for them to have trouble with stuff, we give them permission to find it tricky to get through situations, to make mistakes but still keep plugging away to try better next time.  Life isn't easy & I am not an advocate for making it so hard it is unpleasant but I am by no means an advocate for the 'everyone is a winner every time' method either.  Learning resilience is one of life's best but hardest lessons. Our kids deserve to understand this.
  • Laughing at ourselves is one of the best things we can do- no-one wins by being serious all the time. Laughing with my kids at my own (many) mistakes & shortcomings is one of my favourite things to do. We laugh a LOT in our house. What does that tell you.......
  • I think we worry so much about everything we are missing the important conversations we desperately need to be able to have with our children.  The ones that are not about achievements or success but about nothing at all- yet about everything at the very same time.  Just talking for talkings sake. 
  • DO we really need to be finding yet ANOTHER thing to compare ourselves against other parents or children with? Of what benefit is this to anyone?
Imagine being able to just KNOW that in fact you were doing your best.

GIVING your child the best YOU.

And that was indeed enough.

MORE than enough.

No charts.

No numbers.

No alphabet.

No after school activity or tutoring.

Just YOU.

A very calm YOU.



This is one of those Chinese dishes that leaves your body feeling like it has breathed a DEEP sigh of relief.  A kind of 'Thankyou for nourishing me' type feeling.
Mr Girlfriend and the kids LOVED this and all asked for seconds.

It uses a chicken stock as a base- not unusual in Chinese cuisine.  The quality of the stock you use will of course determine the flavour of your soup.  I cannot recommend making your own stock more.  I think it is absolutely necessary in dishes like this.
It is NOT hard so please give it a try. 

  • 2 chicken frames
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns
  • 1 unpeeled onion
  • 2 carrots (washed but unpeeled)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • water
Pop all ingredients into a large pot.

Put enough water into pot to JUST cover the frames.

Bring to a boil and skim off brown froth.

Reduce heat to a simmer and leave with lid off for about an hour.

That's IT!

  • 250g firm fish fillets (if you are unsure ask your Fishmonger for advice), cut into large chunks
  • 2 egg whites (save the yolks for making mayonnaise)
  • 1 teaspoon ShaoXing Rice wine (available at your Asian grocer)
  • 2 teaspoons corn flour
  • 1 litre of good quality chicken stock
  • 6 slices ginger
  • 4 bok choy plants sliced in half through the stem
  • 1 tablespoon Light Soy sauce
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped roughly
In a large pot add the chicken stock and slices of ginger and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer & cook for 10 minutes to let ginger infuse through stock.

Now add the bok choy & cook for 2 minutes, then remove and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large bowl add the eggwhites, cornflour and ShaoXing rice wine & mix to a paste.

Add fish to the paste and coat all pieces well.

Add the coated fish one by one to the stock, bring back to a simmer for a minute.

Add the bok choy back to the pot and add the Light Soy and the roughly chopped fresh Coriander.

Check seasoning & serve.

We are playing this a lot at our place at the moment.  I took my big two to see them live a few months ago. SOOOO great. If you get the chance to see them live I highly recommend it. My 12yo is teaching himself the mandolin part for this track. Soooo cool.


  1. OMG GG priceless. I think this has been my parenting modus operandi incognito. Thanks for sharing yet again, you are a top chick and mama for sure

  2. You inspired me to start a Punch Brothers station on Pandora Radio with this post...what great music to work to! (am listening to Soon Or Never) Am I allowed to say that on your beautiful blog?

    Am going to replace the fish with prawns, the cori with Kaffir Lime and the Punch Brothers with Chris Thile just to make it my own.

  3. After reading this a few days ago I said to my best friend " I've got to try the CTFD approach!" She agreed that I should as I had spent the previous few days wigging out about my baby's small weight gain which in turn caused me to think my milk supply was no good which in turn made me doubt my breast feeding capabilities which then made me feel like a crap mum. Insane? Yes! I totally need to CTFD!! Problem is I find it hard to do. I'm naturally a bit of a stressy mum who doubts her herself but I keep trying :)

  4. coalvalleyview22 July 2013 at 13:34

    You've hit the nail on the head with this Post Ruth. LOVE it!!! In fact, I've just posted about all the silly stuff I did as a result of my "baby brain" because the Kids (and I) find these stories insanely funny and I didn't want to forget them down the track. They love it when I stuff up. I've never done charts and we don't have any after-school activities during the week, just sport and dancing on the weekends. Mel x

  5. Couldn't agree more. It seems like every parent I speak to want their child to either be the best or have the best. I just want my kids to be happy and inspired. We've gone back to basics here, no extra curricular activities, just us. After school the kids get outside and ride their bikes and play. We're just enjoying hanging out, cooking, getting out into nature, reading together. You're right, kids want just you, happy relaxed you. If they have that, they've got everything.


  7. This is how I've always parented - I hope I always stay this way. Maybe it's because I don't have the energy to helicopter or micromanage, maybe it's because I learned by doing and being, and I want my children to learn similarly. I CTFD and thoroughly recommend it to everyone. I have a lot of people always comment on how relaxed I am and how relaxed our playdates are. Maybe it's because I only have two kids though... haha!

  8. GourmetGirlfriend22 July 2013 at 13:55

    people seem to be truly incredulous at how calm our very small family home with seven people crammed into it is...i say it has a lot to do with laughing, not really taking ourselves too seriously, not worrying about how clean the floor is. I too totally recommend CTFD- whether you are a parent or not.
    No helicopters to be seen at our place.

  9. GourmetGirlfriend22 July 2013 at 13:56

    sheesh yeah....the 'having' of the best boring.

  10. GourmetGirlfriend22 July 2013 at 13:57

    and us busy parents of many just don't have the time either do we Mel?! ....or is it that we learn through lack of time to let go of all that stuff? I have always wondered that.......xx

  11. GourmetGirlfriend22 July 2013 at 14:01

    aw Reannon- you need to have more faith in yourself! from everything i know of you, you are an ace mumma.
    no bubba is gonna judge his/her mumma on her milk supply.
    one of the best bits of advice I ever got from my doctor was not to make judgments on my baby's weight over only ONE week. a 6 week length of time yep, but one week is not going to give you an accurate picture.
    CTFD and trust yourself sweets. no more wigging out ok?! hugs. xxx

  12. I rarely take anything seriously! It's the best way of dealing with everything. humour first :)

  13. July 2013 at 16:00

    You're right, Ruth, resilience is so important. Letting your kids see that they're not always going to get things right, that things don't always turn out as we plan and acceptance of both of these is so important - I think if we adopt a CTFD approach these lessons will naturally flow. And it's important for them to see Mum and Dad hitting the same hurdles - and in our house we certainly hit those hurdles! But then we hopefully have enough time together as a family to chat about these things so that we all understand our fallibilities and disappointments and how we get over them. I'd love to always CTFD but I sometimes have trouble because of the school demands ( my kids are years 11 and 9) - homework, sport, music - all stuff they love and want to do but gee, it makes CTFD time hard to find especially if you are trying to impart values such as honouring commitments and always doing your best. Life is sometimes tricky - but I'll try not to over think it!

  14. coalvalleyview22 July 2013 at 23:38

    That's exactly right - there just isn't the time to muck around with all that stuff with lots of Kids. But I'm not sure which came first either. I like to think I'd still be like this if I had 2 Kids but maybe it is borne out of necessity....will have a little ponder x

  15. I loved this article and yes I agree about childrearing,do what you feel is right no one else but you and the most important thing you can give them is your time, mine are grown up now but that is how we raised them.Thankyou for the recipe Ruth can't wait to try it.

  16. Thanks for this post. As a 50+ mum of 3 children(21, 24 & 26), I feel for young mums now who seem to bombarded by information from all directions. This often leads to anxiety and self doubt about the way in which they are parenting. Trust your judgement and enjoy the often bumpy journey. I often reflect on those early years and wonder how I did it but I did and look forward to becoming a grandmother at Christmas time and doing some "grandparenting"!

  17. Oh my, I totally need to CTFD. Every day. And then I see my kids needing to CTFD and I know that they are just mimicking me. It is a horrid thing to watch. This weekend I have a column being printed about being a competitive parent. It is a funnier look at myself but the reality is I am full of that self doubt. A work in progress, shall I say?

  18. Thanks for the timely reminder Ruth!! I spend a lot of time just hanging out and being with my kids, but for some reason this week I have been stressing over everything! Time to CTFD again. xo

  19. Amy {The Misadventurous Maker}9 August 2013 at 21:25

    Oh I LOVED that Huffington Post article when I read it a few weeks ago Ruth! I seriously need to take that on board today!!!! I love your words in response to the article too. My kids certainly get to see me doing it wrong regularly!!!! ;-) I'm never going to be a completely chilled out person, but I can certainly CTFD in many areas of my life successfully. Like having a tidy house - never, EVER on my radar!!!!

    I also loved the article you tweeted last week about "good" mums. And of course I'm not in your home or seeing the entire picture of you and I will endeavor to avoid the word good, but I really draw strength and inspiration from you Ruth. The way you speak about your sons and the way you speak to them and how you guys lead your family, itreally is motivating and an example I'd like to follow. I have been a fan of yours for a couple of years now, but meeting you in person last week really cemented my affections for you. I love our chats on twitter and even more than that I look forward to sharing a meal with you again soon beautiful Ruth.xoxoxoxoxoxoxo


Thankyou SO VERY much for making time to comment.

I LOVE to read your comments.

Just know that it totally made my day that you made a comment on my blog :)