Family, Pressure Cooker

First, there was mom.

Ok, first there were lots and lots of moms. But this story starts with this mom, so first there was mom.

Hi, I’m Jenny, and I’m saving the world with my pressure cooker. At least I’m trying to save my little corner of it.

A little background…I live in a little town in Oregon. My husband and I were just married six months ago…this brave, wonderful, hunk of a man willingly and with his eyes (mostly) wide open chose to walk into my life of crazy, and I’m undoubtedly a better person for it. It took us a long time to get here, and I’m grateful every single day for him. The Pirate is a genuinely good dude.

I ┬áhave my fair share of upheaval just by nature. I’m constantly putting things down where they don’t belong and then I can’t remember where I left them. My brain goes ten million miles a minute and I can’t always keep up with it. My day job is in emergency management so can be super slow or mach five with my hair on fire, but nothing in the middle.

But I also have teenagers. Two of them. Under the best of circumstances that would be enough lol…but our circumstances weren’t the best. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good kids, but there’s been stuff. My eldest has had a particularly hard road. She’s smart and beautiful and creative. She’s also on the autism spectrum, and suffers from PTSD and anxiety. Her teenage years have been HARD. It’s a lot of doctors and therapists, a lot of emergency room visits and inpatient stints, a lot of police reports and paralyzing fear. I cannot think of anything more terrifying than the loss of a child, and that’s been a very real elephant in our various rooms for the past several years now.

All of that weighs heavily on her younger brother. He’s so helpful and supportive, both of me and of his sister, but all of that supportiveness is hard on a kid. It’s come out for him in various ways, including major gastrointestinal misery and depression.

I do my best to keep them both as centered as I can, but it’s a struggle. Can’t even pretend to lie on that. My husband is a saint in that he knew all of this and loves us anyway…I’m a very lucky girl. It’s hard for him too though. It’s a lot to take on.

So here we are. That’s where the pressure comes in. Throw in the usual teenage nonsense, school, dating…mom has a new husband…mom has a JOB…

Enter our wedding. My sister gifted us a magical pot (not THAT kind, though we do live in Oregon lol!!). My particular model is an Instant Pot…a wonderful beautiful electric pressure cooker. My life CHANGED.

We still have a ton of pressure in our lives. Girl Child will never be easy, and may never be able to fully be on her own. Boy Child struggles. Pirate struggles. I struggle. But I’m the mom, and it’s partly my job to keep this nuthouse functioning. It might seem little, but the fact that it’s not a disaster if I forgot to take dinner out to thaw is miraculous for my family.

My Instant Pot isn’t going to cure cancer or bring about world peace. You know what it will do though? It’ll make MY life better. It will let me get a decent dinner on the table in a decent period of time, even though the chicken is frozen solid and I’m an hour late getting home from work and I have to head straight back out again because of one crisis or another. It helps keep our budget in check because I’m not picking up pizza every night. That will let us regain our footing after a financially challenging year (ok fine, decade), buy our first home, maybe retire someday…

Seems like a good starting point, doesn’t it? Thanks, Instant Pot.

~Jenny

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