Recently, I wrote a mircoblog (a fancy term for a sort of longer story post on Facebook. I used to call them Flogs. That didn’t seem to catch on.). The sentiment was about dinner. And about how sometimes, I make dinner. And other times, I make dinner happen. Because some nights, my children eat chicken and veggies or spaghetti or homemade naan pizzas or tacos. And other nights, we have cereal. Or we order in pizza. Because, as the cliche currently states: Balance.
This morning, I stopped by the grocery store on my way home from the gym. Why did I stop at the grocery store? Because the cupboards were bare. Erm. Okay. The freezer was bare. Because truth of all truths in my heart: my children eat frozen breakfast.
Correction: my kids eat breakfast that starts frozen. And then gets popped in some sort of heating source.
Our normal morning routine consists of them opening and closing and opening and closing the freezer drawer. It consists of toasters and microwaves. It includes but is not limited to: french toast sticks, mini pancakes, Eggo toaster goodness, and the piece de resistance… banquet freezer sausage (made to taste so delicious by the added BHT, ABC, and other acronyms that I’m sure spell poison).
Now. If you are currently shrouding me in judgment, you may just wanna go ahead and close down this post. Because mama, I just don’t care.
I used to care.
I did. I used to try to make my children from-scratch offerings with every turn. But I have to tell you, it stressed me out. Getting up earlier to spend time as a short-order cook, only to often have tears and jeers from my Littles about the state of the menu, well, it just totally harshed my vibe. And so I quit.
I quit cooking breakfast from scratch on the daily and honestly, sunshine and lollipops seemed to fall over our mornings. Because my children eat. And their bellies get full for the morning. We chat as they eat. And we are all a happy ship.
But here’s the most bananas part of it all. While my kids eat factory-food, I cook breakfast for the hubs and myself.
I know. Double standard, right? Makes no sense, right?
Who the freak cares if it makes sense, mama? You have to figure out what works for your crew and do you.
I am currently laying off the grains and eating a more fresh diet of foods. It helps with my inflammation. It helps with my side effects from my current meds. It helps. So I eat fresh made breakfast.
And the hubs and I have always loved fresh breakfast. We like eggs (my children do not. Unless they are squishy (aka hard-boiled) so I do make those). We like protein. We like veggies. So that’s what we often eat.
On the weekends, we cook up a batch of pancakes or waffles or biscuits for the whole fam (usually with the hubs on chef duty). But on the weekdays, we are what we are. And what we are is happy and fed.
The easiest web to get caught up in is that of comparison. It’s almost impossible not to look at Mama Around the Corner and think, “Man. She makes her kids breakfast.” or “Gosh. She likes to play.” but seriously, girl, you gotta let that shit go. It’s toxic and it will ruin the way you want to parent. It will mess with your very special mama mojo if you are only doing things because you think you’re supposed to. Because there are a million ways to raise very wonderful humans. And in your lifetime, there will be a million more.
When I was a kid, one of the most impressively gorgeous mom-souls I’ve ever learned from (besides mine, obv), would morning-sit us. Along with other children who were dropped off when parents headed to work, one or two days a week, we got to eat Bonnie-Breakfast. And while my mama’s breakfasts always knocked it outta the park (Egg casseroles, coffee cakes, and on and on), Bonnie’s approach was one that I am so happy to have added to my arsenal as well. She was a mother to 11 children of her own. She was a teacher. And a care provider. And she knew that the most important part of breakfast for a kid is this: that they eat it. She would make my brother tomato soup. From a can. She would cook up fresh donuts. She would serve us haystacks (the old shredded wheat bales). She would make macaroni and cheese. Because the most important thing to her was that the children ate, filled their bodies, and had a happy beginning to the day. And I have long carried that with me.
I forgot it for a bit. At the beginning of being a mom, I found myself doing what I thought I was supposed to do. I started to do what I thought other stay-at-home moms would expect of anyone in their field. And then, I realized… it just isn’t our thing.
But why would I care enough about my body to make fresh, “healthy” foods and then give my children, these humans that I want to grow and nourish, sub-par stuff? Because to me, it’s not sub-par. It’s something they will actually eat without moaning and groaning. And their tummies are happy. And so are their brains.
So. Breakfast in a box. Giggles at the counter. Time for shoe tying. And day planning. As I drink my coffee, listen to music, and make eggs. And my kids eat breakfast. From the freezer.
That’s what works for us right now. This is where we are. And where we are, is in a good place. And we might always be in this place. Only the years will tell.
So if you are doing some part of parenting simply because you feel like you should well, maybe you should see what happens if you don’t. Maybe you should remove the thing that is stressing you out and messing with your day, and give yourself a freaking break. Maybe you should stop carrying around everyone else’s expectations or their opinions that you think they have and remember that just because one mama makes breakfast or packs cute lunches or lets her child play with knives doesn’t mean she thinks that every mama should roll that way. It simply means she’s doing what works for her own family.
If you love to make breakfast, this is not an attack on that value. In fact, get down with your bad-breakfast-producing-self. If you hate to cook, don’t feel one ounce of angst. If you hire out a cleaning person, that’s nothing to take on guilt over. And if you never want to have anyone else see the inside of your toilet, that’s alright, too. You. Do. You. Mama. It will feel so much more right. And I have truly come to believe that that is what makes mamas good. Because when we let ourselves be, our children know they can be, too. And that, to me, is a life lesson worth teaching.
Today I stopped at the grocery store. I picked up yogurt. Milk. Fruit. and boxed breakfast. And my kids gobbled it right down. And left for school, loved and happy. And surprisingly without any meltdowns or lost shoes or missing Friday Folders.
I’d say that for our family, we did this morning right.
I may not always make breakfast. But I make breakfast happen.
And for us, that’s just right.