When you’re a kid and wake up on Easter, you’re just ready to get out there and see what that freakishly large bunny brought you. I was always so excited for the Reeses (my favorite) and to eat the hard boiled eggs. The fun of […]
Month: March 2015
So I am not sure why I have never posted about this before. The other day I was asked by a mom how I manage to get out with my daughter to run errands early in the morning. I told her about all of my prep work. All of Audrey’s clothes are organized by type and style. Easy to grab everything. It’s gotten to the point that if I ask her to get something, she can and usually does. But I also make sure to do meal prep for her.
About every 2 weeks, I will whip up a bunch of food for her. It’s items that can either be frozen and easily heated up in a microwave or toaster or individually wrapped in the cupboard. I have also set up cereal bars (need to learn to make my own) on a shelf for her to get if she needs food faster than I’m moving.
I am amazed at how much time it saves and less food is wasted by this. Some of the things I’ve managed to make so far are:
1. Pancakes, I will whip up huge batches at once. I make them small for her and I add a few drops of maple syrup to the batter. Once they’ve cooled down, you just toss them in a Ziplock and freeze them. When she wants to eat one I toss it in the microwave for 30 seconds on each side. You’ll have to see what works for you with reheating. They’re great if you don’t have time to sit down to eat.
2. Belgium Waffles, oh my favorite. I don’t like the frozen ones from the store, taste like cardboard. Again I will mix up a huge batch, usually doubling the recipe. Once they’ve cooled down, I put them in a baggy and freeze them. The fact that they break into quarters make them great for a toaster. I like mine with a little crunch.
3. Yogurt has become a staple in our breakfast routine. If you have seen the applesauce squeeze pouches, you can buy those. They have a huge mix of foods. Only they’re kind of pricey. So we started making our own. They have refill kits online you can buy or you can go to Walmart and get the reusable pouches. If we’re going to be running around or I’m going on a run, then I will fill up a pouch for her.
4. Drinks are a necessity. I am not a fan of giving her sugar filled drinks so I buy huge containers of juice and the night before we have to go somewhere I’ll fill her sippy cups up and let them wait in the fridge.
5. Snacks are a big deal to kids. You can get baggies and fill them with crackers or cereal. Or you can buy these cute little cups that are made for tiny hands.
6. Sandwiches are our lunch almost every day when the weather warms up. I will make them up ahead of time so we can take them to the park for some play time and a picnic.
7. Fruit cups are fun for kids. Packaging alone makes these expensive. I like to get fresh fruit cut up and put it in her tiny bowls and wrapped up. She’ll eat them if they’re exciting.
Now I am not a Pinterest mom (I wish) but I do enjoy making her meals fun once in a while. I’ll cut up her sandwiches with a cookie cutter or let her use the adult silverware. She loves dip cups too. My cousin’s wife has used ice trays for their girls.
So what are your meal tips for kids?
Motherhood has come naturally to me. I was one of those people that was meant to be a mom. It’s what I have always wanted. But there have been struggles. Days where I cried because I was exhausted and couldn’t take much more. My hair hadn’t been washed in 5 or 6 days. I had been using baby wipes to “clean” myself. Those first 6 months of motherhood were hard. Never again would I think about having more. I obviously can’t handle this. This was a huge mistake. This poor human being was brought into this world by an incompetent mother.
I was home alone every day with her. I had to do feedings, changing, bath time, everything by myself. There was no escape. While looking back I wouldn’t change any of it, I just didn’t realize it would take such a toll on me. On the outside I looked put together and happy. On the inside I was screaming and curled up in a ball. The stress got to such an extreme state that my milk production went from being able to feed a village in one sitting to puffs of dust in just a few weeks. There was so much anxiety at the thought of even telling my husband about how I was feeling. How dare I be such a selfish bitch and complain about being able to stay home and raise our daughter while he busted his ass working 40+ hours of hard labor in hell like weather. No, we had planned from the very beginning, before we had a child, I would be a stay at home mom and raise them to school age.
Finally, I had to tell him. Lack of food coming out was kind of a big deal. I had expected him to be mad at me for complaining. Call me selfish and ungrateful. He surprised me. Explained that there was a lot of truth behind the saying
It takes a village to raise a child.
He said that I can’t take care of a child if I’m not taking care of myself first. So I started making sure I found time to shower and eat. We went on walks almost every day to the park we live next to. I grabbed my big glitter Starbucks cup and drank more water. Finally I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My hormones were settling down and I was finally able to embrace this beautiful life.
So many women suffer in silence every day. I had 2 friends who both went through post-partum depression. It’s a very serious issue. It’s not just feeling blue or being weepy. Your mental health can make it impossible to do anything. You begin to feel like just changing your child’s diaper is an enormous task. I didn’t understand why my friend needed to be away from her baby until I had that moment myself. After 2.5 weeks in a hospital bed and 27 hours of induced labor, it hit me. The night of my daughter’s birth I broke down, hard. She had been crying and crying. She was fed, dry and napped but just cried. I began to sob uncontrollably. Explained to my husband that I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t take care of this baby. I was not meant to be a parent. He held me tight as I cried and continuously apologized to he and this 9 hour old baby because I didn’t love her. I thought I would feel the love bursting out of me when I held her. He told me, “You’re going to be the most amazing mother. I already know it. You’ve shown it forever. Hormones, hunger and exhaustion have taken a toll on you. You love Audrey more than anything in the world.”
He was and still is right about that. I love my daughter more than anything in this world. I will do anything for her. If I didn’t love her, would I have been so upset with myself for how I thought I felt? I have always believed that bad parents don’t worry and question if they’re good enough. I have worried for my whole life about the kind of parent I would be. I’m proud of myself. I am starting to realize I must be doing something right when my daughter runs over to give me a random kiss. While it still is frustrating some days, it’s worth it all. I enjoy sitting at the table with her while we drink our “coffee” and eat our pastries. She’s my favorite reason to wake up.
Moral of the story, never be afraid to ask for help. If you’re not comfortable asking family or friends then call your OBGYN or the hospital where you delivered. They want to help and can direct you to some great resources.