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10 everyday things that might seem mundane, but all parents come to appreciate

Waking up naturally is a divine and precious gift.

parenting, appreciation, family, kids
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Take pleasure in little things when you're raising kids.

As a parent, it sometimes feels like you're supposed to be fueled entirely by selfless love and a "spiritual connection" to your children.

But you know what? You matter, too! And there's nothing wrong with needing a little soul-nourishment that doesn't end with you on your knees scrubbing barf out of the carpet.


Yes, it's possible to love your kids deeply but also be a little overwhelmed by what your life has become. It's totally normal to need a little more than just love to keep yourself going.

With that in mind, here are 10 things all parents can agree on about the tiny, but hardly insignificant, pleasures of the daily parent-grind.

1. You've determined that one and a half is the perfect number of drinks.

Perfection.

Drinking alcohol is fun! It's also a brief reminder of what it used to be like when you were allowed to have adult fun. But each drink also increases the amount it will suck if and when the kids wake up early or in the middle of the night.

wine, drinking, alcohol, responsible behavior

The perfect amount of drinks fro healthy relaxing.

Photo by photo pic on Unsplash

The magic number usually tends to be around two drinks, less the half beer left sitting on your night stand after you've just given up and passed out, netting a perfect 1.5.

2. You hate washing dishes, but you love that warm dishwater.

Washing dishes while holding baby? Parenting level: expert.

Children are basically mystical fairies that fill your home with dirty dishes while you aren't looking.

Washing those dishes is an endless, thankless chore, but at least soaking your hands in the hot, frothy water feels kind of nice.

3. You know that silence really is golden.

...

No, no, don't ruin it. Just listen.

Ahhh...

4. You don't drive just to get places.

Most people think cars are just motorized hunks of metal that take you from Point A to Point B.

Parents know that they are, in fact, complex machines designed to make children fall asleep while you pick up dinner at the drive-through, or even just drive aimlessly through an area without a lot of stoplights.

5. You cherish the days where nothing happens.

Getting up, going to work, eating dinner, and going to bed. That's all we really want.

Any day where no one gets sick, injured, or inexplicably, inconsolably cranky is a success.

6. You also love Mondays. (Really.)

Having a young child is kind of like making a bomb out of household items and carrying it around with you. Even if you're really careful, there's a chance it might explode.

Monday (for many of us) means dropping the kids at school or daycare where, short of severe injury or illness, anything that happens after that is their problem.

7. You have a new appreciation for waking up naturally.

bed, morning intimacy, freedom, slumber

Absolute joy when sleeping in and the kids are away.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I barely remember what this feels like..

Being kissed awake by the sun's heavenly rays is so rare that when it does happen, you assume your child must have died in their sleep. But once you confirm that all's well and melt back into a peaceful slumber, there's no better feeling in the world.

8. You know that hot showers are everything.

See: Warm dishwater, silence.

9. You hang out with other parents to put everything into perspective.

Hanging around a bunch of parents is amazing. Everyone's wearing sweats, no one's in shape, and showering is totally optional. Everyone's just trying to get by, OK?

And if you have to go home because your kid's having a meltdown, they're all too busy cutting food into small pieces or monitoring timeout to give you the side-eye.

10. You drink coffee like it is the source of all life.

coffee, source of life, trouble sleeping

The pleasure found in a perfect coffee.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Drinking coffee doesn't really have the same effect as getting more sleep, but it's possible to convince yourself otherwise. Sometimes, though, you'll drink coffee too late in the day and have trouble sleeping.

The only solution to that? Yep. More coffee.

Being a parent is hard. It's OK to admit it.

It doesn't matter if you're tired. It doesn't matter if you're sick. It doesn't matter if it's your birthday. It doesn't even matter if you're tired and sick ON your birthday. (And you will be.)

At least, that's how it can feel.

But psychiatrist Gail Saltz told TODAY Parents, "You have to put your oxygen mask on first," so to speak. "If you go to pieces, everyone is going down with you."

That's why we're all so desperate for that spa day or for a beer with friends. But it might be a while before we can get one on the books.

In the meantime, it pays to look for the little moments in between that give us the juice we need to keep going.

This article originally appeared on 03.15.16

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10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

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The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

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