Guest Post:Terrible-Parent Guilt Muffins

October 3, 2011

Hi, Readers! I hope you had a weekend as joyous as mine. Actually, my weekend isn’t over yet, because the best houseguest ever is staying until Tuesday, and I’m determined to pack as much fun into those days as humanly possible.

This is good news for you, because today my hilarious, witty, thoughtful friend Naptime Writing is sharing her words in this space. If you haven’t visited her, you should. Really, you need her in your life. She’ll make you cackle and think and vow to be a better parent–a thing I vow to do daily and usually fail to accomplish, but that’s neither here nor there.

Enjoy her (I know you will).  And thanks, dearest Nap, for bailing me out today!  You rock, sister in snark.

***

We all have moments (I keep telling myself this, hoping against hope that I’m not the only one with outsized guilt after a particularly bad parenting moment) where we want to go wake our children and apologize for our behavior.

So in the throes of an “I can’t believe I yelled at those perfectly wonderful and innocent children” moment (you know the one: it comes before the “hey, wait a second, if they were wonderful and innocent I wouldn’t have yelled” hour), I pulled out my cookbooks and tried to find a recipe to assuage my guilt. And to make breakfast faster. Because I’m terrible, but I’m not dumb.

I found a recipe for Sweet Potato muffins that is too easy to be properly filed under Hairshirt. So I complicated it up a bit. It’s just my way.

Ingredients

  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/8-1/4 blackstrap molasses depending on your taste (why use brown sugar when you can make your own with more mess and tools to clean?)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (because every chef on the planet is wrong and we all need more vanilla)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour (Yes, you can use all unbleached white, I guess. If you hate your kids. All whole wheat? Sure. If you hate your kids)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground  nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 C peeled, shredded sweet potato*
  • 1/2 C dried grudge fruit**
  • 1 C  nuts (optional)
  • ¼ C oats

*Note: There are plenty of recipes that use canned sweet potato. But I thought you had some serious parenting guilt here. Do you remember what you did? Chances are, if you feel that badly, they probably had it coming and you probably have some extra energy to burn. Try grating 4 cups of sweet potato. It’s almost like beating them in effigy.

**Note also: Most recipes call for raisins. But my kids eat too many raisins. I use muffins as an excuse to get rid of extra dried fruit that sounded good at the time but didn’t get eaten. We’ve had dried persimmons in the house for years because, though I love them, I’m very angry at a former friend who has a persimmon tree. Long story short, she told me I was too intense to be her friend. Well, people of the Interwebs, even snarky people have feelings and when our big, gooey center is called unloveable, it hurts. So use whatever dried fruit you want, or make your kids happy with raisins, or whatever. I use whatever fruit I’m holding a grudge against.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12-cup muffin tin or plop little silicone cupcake liners into muffin tin. Then kiss whoever invented those bakeable non-toxic slips of goodness.
  2. Whisk together wet stuff (except the sweet potatoes) in a small bowl. Feel better that you did all that tater shredding because “beating” eggs is a pathetic catharsis substitute for aggressive tuber grating.
  3. Mix together the dry stuff (plus the sweet potatoes but not the fruit and nuts) in a large bowl. Commence lamest baking step ever: make a well in the center, and pour in the egg mixture. I know it’s stupid. But think of what you did and why you’re sorry and do something right for once in your parenting career.
  4. Stir everything together. Then stir in the dried fruit and optional nuts.
  5. Spoon the batter into the tins. Or, really, fork it in, since you’ve just spend time whisking with a fork and the last thing you need at the end of a day like this is another utensil to wash.
  6. Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Or sit two rooms away eating ice cream until you can smell the muffins ‘cuz that usually means they’re done. Cool them for a few minutes, then take them out of the tin to cool completely.
  7. Go to bed guilty that you’re going to serve your rotten kids day-old muffins because you suck too much to get up early (since you’ll most likely forget your guilt while you sleep the sleep of the Doing-Your-Best-And-Always-Exhausted Parent).

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Nobody October 3, 2011 at 6:08 am

those muffins sound delicious! the only thing not-wonderful about the recipe, is that there isn’t a picture so i can’t pin it on pinterest. (i’m not addicted, i SWEAR *twitch*) i’ll add it to my book marked recipes for sure!

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Naptimewriting October 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Oh, Nobody, I forgot. Not Kitchy’s fault, but photo coming soon. I just emailed it to her.

See how I’m both a bad parent AND a bad food blogger?

Pinterest at will.

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Jenna October 3, 2011 at 9:51 am

Hi Nap! Any friend of Kitch’s is a friend of mine. Great sounding muffins! Next time I have guilt (though not parent guilt, since I’m not yet a parent) I’ll have to pull this one up. =)

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Naptimewriting October 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Jenna, that’s even better. Baking something wholesome for yourself because you like taking care of yourself is much better than baking out of guilt. Enjoy (and use mashed sweet potato if you don’t have enough anger to grate 4 cups’ worth).

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Rocky Mountain Woman October 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm

My kids are old enough that they should have the guilt now. Do you think I could talk my son into making these for me?

maybe….

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Naptimewriting October 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Yes. He should and you can. Bust out the stories of labor or teething or hitting or potty smearing or sleep lost or sense of self eroded. If nothing else, they can be “Make Mom Stop Trying to Guilt Me Muffins.”

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BigLittleWolf October 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm

These sound delish. And fattening!

As for yelling, um… isn’t that in the parental handbook? Then again, the illustration appears next to the definition for Maternal Guilt.

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Naptimewriting October 3, 2011 at 1:43 pm

BigLittleWolf you are a genius. I forgot to check with all the other parents on the planet…yelling at kids to shut their toothbrush holes and get in bed is totally on the list of acceptable behaviors depending on the night. Blogs rock because we can remind each other that Dr. Sears is fine until about 6pm and then it’s every parent for themselves.
This recipe is magic, btw, because all the fattening bits go into the kids’ muffins and all the wholesome goes into mom’s. So whichever one you eat will be mostly fiber, iron, and flavor. The kids get the sugar and oil.

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pamela October 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Naptimewriting is no stranger to me. I think she might have been the first blog I ever read. I lurk frequently and wonder if she is hiding in my bushes as some days, we seem to have the same life. I believe we were even pregnant at the same time. I promise to comment more as my lurking is inducing guilt. Will be making these muffins fo’ shiz.

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Naptimewriting October 3, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Pamela! Nice to meet you. Good gravy, there’s enough guilt in life to go around…no need to feel anything but unencumbered for lurking. Feel no obligation to do anything you don’t need or want to, for there are no rules for blog enjoyment. And you have enough “should”s in your life, I’ll bet. Enjoy the muffins.
And go ahead. Use the raisins.

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Stephane in Alaska October 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I’m permanently beset with guilt, I bake and I love sweet potatoes, so I guess this recipe has my name on it. Your philosophy re: vanilla is interestingly apropros as I just made yellow cupcakes which accidentally contain 2x the required amount of vanilla–and they’re delicious! Your experience being hurt by someone who was supposed to be a friend is eerily familiar as well, as I have a former friend who (out of the blue) told me she was dumping me because she didn’t/doesn’t condone my parenting-style. (I think she was referring to the fact that I make/made my children face the wall for a couple of minutes when they misbehave/d but as she didn’t elaborate, I’m really not sure.) CRUSH-ING. Meanwhile, I’ve been getting up relatively early to fix my kiddos a hot breakfast every morning this school year so healthful, tasty muffins will be a welcome respite. Thank you!

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Naptimewriting October 3, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Stephanie, I’m a big fan of cooking the night before so mornings go smoothly. Want another secret, because I’m guessing parenting in Alaska is, like, twice as hard in the fall and winter…prep your french toast batter and let the bread sit in it over night. Then just bake the whole mess topped with berries and you have no burning of the toast while you chase pantsless kids, no flipping, and no forks lost in the batter.
Sorry your former friend sucks. She clearly doesn’t have enough vanilla in her life.

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Kelly October 3, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Next guest post: The story of the ex-friend with a persimmon tree. I need to know!

The muffins sound great. I rarely bake, but I do the guilty-mom breakfast. Because I’m a wimp in the kitchen, mine is usually eggs or a smoothie in place of the standard oatmeal.

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Naptimewriting October 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Kelly, I love the smoothie breakfast, but it’s getting too cold for that. And I crockpot oatmeal overnight to avoid morning hassles. Mine like a little arroz con leche treat now and then, too.
Here’s a persimmon tree friend post, though it doesn’t have many details. http://naptimewriting.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/open-letter-to-the-friend-who-quit/

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unicorn October 3, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I can’t believe you are doing a 15 step baking rehab program over here Nap! And with raisins and OATS? Shit. Ok, put down the umpteen utensils. Take the “put the egg in the well” and the shriveled up terds and horsefeed shit, and hit reverse. Back up the bus lady.

Step 1. Put all the shit in a bowl and mix. Save the utensils and the guilt.
Step 2. Slap it in the oven.
Step 3. Eat the shit.

You know what happens in that time of doing all those damn steps of yours? YOU AGE. I have no idea why people separate the liquids and non-liquids, and then go all Sous Chef Chemist with the mixing order. Throw it all in the damn bowl and save yourself years off your life.

I’m holding a grudge against you for the oats. What were you, raised in a barn? Oats. Pshaw. :)

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Naptimewriting October 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Unicorn, you ARE the ultimate in realism. Such a lovely reminder that a unicorn is not just a horse with a horn…they’re magical, mythical, powerful oat haters.

You’re right, of course, with the mixing. Except that if you put the stuff all together, you get big ol’ clumps and it never mixes well until you’ve so abused the flour that it’s an angry glutinous mess. Of course, they’re rotten kids anyway, so that’s all they deserve, right?

It is true that I’m aging. Except that relationships with unicorns keeps one young. And glittery. So I can afford the extra hairshirt steps. For now. When they’re teenagers I’ll leave the instructions for them and skip all the steps.

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Melissa October 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I did not even know we were supposed to apologize with muffins! All these years, my poor deprived kids. Can I really use mashed potatoes? I don’t even own a grater. (Not sure how that’s possible, but I know it is true.)

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Naptimewriting October 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Melissa! You can’t fool me. You never need to apologize to your children. You’re the very image of awesome, perfect, melodic, well reasoned parenting. You’re always patient and reasonable and good. There’s no way you need guilt muffins. But you deserve to eat some, so I’ll make you a batch. Because I feel guilty you have the days you do and don’t get yell-y like I do.
Now. How is it possible to make soap flakes for awesome clean mud projects without a grater?! I’ll bring you a box grater when I come over with muffins.
(Yes, use the mashed kind as long as there isn’t added water. If there is, add a few teaspoons of oats from Unicorn’s portion.)

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camilla October 4, 2011 at 1:50 am

Sweet potato and muffins would never come into my head…together so thanks for a laugh and a new recipe to try- Oh and glad to hear you’ve had a fabulous break with kitch!

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Naptimewriting October 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Camilla, happy to put two sugary and awesome ideas together in your head. Wish I could tell you about peanut butter and chocolate, but I’m guessing you know that one.
I only wish I’d been with Witchy this weekend. She has a lovely visitor and I’m at home barely making it through my real life while reading about what fun she’s had. That’s okay. A guest post got her a few extra minutes of fun so I’m happy to have my bad parenting entertain her readers.

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Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes October 4, 2011 at 6:12 am

I’m Belgian, we silence our guilt with chocolate.

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Naptimewriting October 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm

And that, Tinne, is why Belgians should rule the world. Perspective. Taste. And simplicity.
I think Unicorn will want to move to Belgium soon.

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unicorn October 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm

AHAHAHAHAH! I’m already there!

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tara October 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm

belgians should definitely rule the world. nap, i had a friend who apologized to the kid after she went sleep deprived apeshit and the kid seriously looked at her and said “um what are you talking about?” he didn’t even recollect and she lost a whole night’s sleep over it, she also was asked by same son when she ate, cause he never saw her do it, even though she was killing herself making sure they all sat down together. she decided she was invisible and better just keep trying… hopefully they remember the good stuff? see you didn’t even need to make muffins, they didn’t even remember probably? i’ve lost 4 friends in the last 5 years, 2 from being too intense and 3 cause i didn’t send my kid to preschool. so much for feeling supported in mothering, at least the ones i have left really rock and we respect each other no matter who lets her kid have starburst. carry on dude, you’re not alone, all our arms are sore from grating sweet potato.

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Naptimewriting October 5, 2011 at 12:10 am

Oh, he remembers. But I’ll pretend he doesn’t. Because I need the sweet potatoes for fries this week. ;-)

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Jane October 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I adore you, Nap! And you can cook, too! What a fun story/recipe to read. It’s a treat to find you here today!

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Naptimewriting October 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Hi, Jane! Glad it was a fun read. It was not a fun week, but if we can’t turn trying times into comedy, what do we have? ;-)

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Cathy October 4, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Can I add some chocolate chips? Kind of kidding actually. This recipe reminds me of these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins I make (with cream cheese frosting). I am that BAD parent.

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Naptimewriting October 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Cathy, Cathy, Cathy. Nothing goes better with pumpkin than chocolate chips. But these are sweet potatoes, honey. I think the proper pairing is butterscotch chips. Is there such thing as cinnamon chips? Must go invent those.
There is no bad when it comes to baking. We all think we’re going to be wholesome and well balanced until we have kids and can barely get buttered bread to the table before they kill us or themselves. So if cream cheese frosting (hello, protein) and pumpkin (hello, fiber and vitamins) is the worst you have, well then come on over and gawk at my horrors for a while. ;-)

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