I've begun to notice a trend with running into other young mothers at the park, walking to the library, or yes, Target, the store version of the playground, where you'll inevitably see a woman wearing a newborn, messy bun in place, dark circles under her eyes, and the frantic air of someone who hasn't left her house in days and is in desperate need of validation (not that I'm speaking from experience or anything ;) Anyway the trend: asking the question "Do you work? Or are you a Stay-At-Home-Mom?" (SAHM, BTW). Kudos to those who omit the cringe-worthy "just." (Just a Stay-At-Home-Mom??) I'm inclined to think if you say "just" in that sentence, then you A) don't have kids, B) had a full-term baby who sleeps through the night, eats tidily and maybe even sweeps the floor for you with a doll broom or C) plain forgot how much work it is now that your kids are grown and/or out of the house.
I am reluctant to admit it, but I find myself falling into justifying not working full time. Too often I catch myself saying yes I have twin babies, but I also do web design and social media for a foundation and friend's bakery business and that hopefully soon I'll start up my own custom baking. I say this in the hopes I will not be judged, or seen as lazy, or labeled as a stereotypical housewife who is certainly not a feminist and lacking in ambition. But the truth is these few hours of work per week either in the wee hours or squeezed in right before bed are nothing compared to say, scrubbing poo off the floor, crib rails, sheets, wall, and yes, from around the mouth of my baby who during one (okay two) naps managed to whip off her diaper and proceed to play while the other one laughed in glee from her crib. And yet, this is "just" being at home with the babes. When my husband asks what I did all day, he is amazed I am still standing. And even those days when I jokingly say "Well...I kept our babies alive today," he knows sometimes that alone is no small feat. (Mamas and papas, if you can, convince your partner to be with the baby/babies all day or several days in a row and they will forever be impressed. I get a warm glow every time my husband asks "I don't know how you do it," genuinely perplexed).
So fellow parents, lets have some conversations about our hobbies, what books we like to read to our kids, exchange our favorite YouTube workouts to sneak in while the little ones nap, and move that "and what do you do? Just a SAHM?" question to the back of the line, because we can all appreciate just how much hard work it is even to just wake up around 3am for 9 months straight and manage to feed your kids, with at least a couple clean dishes in the cabinet.
One way I release stress and find a little "me" time: baking and recipe invention. (Could you tell??)
I especially now love quick easy recipes that I can quickly whip up, because at nap time I never know if it will last for 10 min or an hour and often they don't even fall asleep at the same time anyway. So 5 minute recipes are key! You're welcome.
Step 1: Take a vegan protein or energy bar. I'm newly obsessed with Ever Bars, as they are are yummy handcrafted hemp bars.
Step 2: Take your fave protein powder and add water and/or juice. I used Orgain Vanilla Protein Powder and added pomegranate powder and water. Drizzle this on top of the bar and sprinkle chia on top.
Step 3: Melt nondairy chocolate (I used dairy-free soy-free Enjoy Life chips) and cover the bar, and sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top if desired. Freeze to set then enjoy!