Parenting Guru: All I needed were some locusts

I guess it was the fact that we were having our first Thanksgiving in the new house. I really wanted everything to be perfect. I had cleaned like a woman possessed. I had shopped and prepped and prepared. It wasn't as though I was working with new untried recipes. These were the family favorites, sides I had made nearly a dozen times. Still, when I place that much pressure on myself, it's sure to go all wrong.

Have any idea what I'm talking about?

See, I'm the kind of holiday chef that likes to make everything from scratch. I insist. I make applesauce from bags of peeled and cored MacIntosh. I make stuffing from bread I have cut and dried, vegetables I have diced and sauteed. I make every side imaginable...from scratch.

While there was no smoke alarm, no fire, no true destruction, by the time the meal was ready, I could have sworn the only things missing to make it the true disaster...were locusts. That's all I needed. Locusts.

And I thought about it. I wondered where it all went wrong. I wondered where I made such a horrible mistake.

It could have been the new oven. Maybe I just wasn't used to it yet. It could have been the pressure that I placed on myself. All I know is that the meal...while looking very pretty...went horribly wrong. I'm talking...I scorched the applesauce, my gravy wouldn't hold together, my bird was dry despite basting religiously. All I really had going for me was dessert.

And I didn't feel so great about that. Their favorite was the chocolate pie. And while I technically made it...it was a pudding base. The pumpkin was made from a can and a frozen shell. All I had accomplished was the homemade whip cream to top all of that. And I didn't consider that much of an accomplishment.

Incidentally, that was our last Thanksgiving as a family. We ended up separating the following spring and my holiday meals have been super delicious ever since. I think the secret is that I no longer place a lot of pressure on myself. I simply don't have to. I'm surround by an amazing amount of support. And I cook, just like I always did, with a lot of love.