Complicating Pumpkin Pie (or Working Mothers – Part 2)

Pumpkin Patch in Nanaimo, British Columbia

This Thanksgiving weekend we find ourselves on the west coast visiting my wonderful sister and niece. While we are making memories and digitally capturing smiles coated with sea salt, we are also on a journey of endurance. The adults are grasping for time to reconnect even though our brains are fuzzy from sleep deprivation and a pre-occupation with fulfilling the role of guest or hostess. Children’s routines and rules are slightly different and everyone struggles to compromise. It is a ‘holiday’ of tried patience.

Within this mess, my sister and I decided that we were going to make real pumpkin pie. We’re not talking about pumpkin pie filling from the store. Oh no, we went out and actually plucked a pumpkin from a vine to begin our creation. It is a complicated project for such an already complicated weekend. So, why do it?

I believe that parents need to reach for an identity beyond parenting. In light of my recent decision to not return to my job, I am now involved in a search to redefine myself. Even though I may spend most of my time with the Bear and Banana, I am also reaching for that alter ego. As long as the world puts such a high onus on identity in terms of career, then parents (especially mothers) will need to constantly consider their re-invention.

Which brings me back to the pumpkin pie. My sister and I are complicating Thanksgiving dessert for the sake of an experience that reminds us that we are sisters who love to cook and eat. The weekend is not just about the kids and us mothering them. We are willing to complicate things in order to touch on identities other than ‘mother.’

Aside from the obvious slow food element of baking a pumpkin pie from scratch, I believe that slow parenting involves those touchstones with an identity other than mother or father. The mantra of ‘just leave the kids alone’ is not only good for the children, it’s vital for the parents too.

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4 Responses to “Complicating Pumpkin Pie (or Working Mothers – Part 2)”


  1. 1 vg e liquid February 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Keep us updated as your original website was outstanding!

  2. 2 Michelle October 11, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Hope that you’re pie was extra delicious and that you had fun making it.

    I, too, struggle to identify myself beyond “mommy.” Often, I find the biggest obstable in extra-curricular pursuits to be the “shoulds” – I should get ahead on the laundry, I should play lego with the kids. The dreaded Mommy Guilt.

    • 3 Mama Tortoise October 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Michelle! Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

      Good point mentioning the guilt factor. Do you think that experiencing guilt is something that we can stop feeling as mothers? Do you have any methods or strategy (you’d be willing to share) that you use in order to stop feeling guilt so that you can pursue other activities?

      My strategy is to remind myself that I am a better mother after I’ve had space and distance from the kids doing an activity that is all mine! It’s usually not a hard sell 😉


  1. 1 Tweets that mention Complicating Pumpkin Pie (or Working Mothers – Part 2) « Tortoise on the Loose -- Topsy.com Trackback on October 10, 2010 at 1:50 pm

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