Let’s Get Real: The Truth About Motherhood

Ok, I think it’s time to take the road less traveled and talk a little about the craziness that can come with new motherhood. We all heard the warnings, ‘Your life will never be the same’, ‘say goodbye to sleep’, say goodbye to sex’, etc, etc. I think the honest truth is, no matter  what you heard, and how many times, there really is nothing that can prepare you for this experience. I’ll never forget driving home from work with my Dad before I went on mat leave and having him tell me: “Honey, having a baby is like being hit by a 2 by 4; you won’t know what hit you”. I think my Dad hit the nail on the head and then some.
I am so happy to be a Mom, I can’t wait for all the crazy and fun and memories to come. But I will fess up and say I was truly overwhelmed when our young lady came along. I went into labour at 12:45 in the morning, and was in labour for 23 hours- so I got a great preview of the lack of sleep before Ari even made her debut! By the time the 3 of us came home from the hospital, my husband and I had maybe 3 hours of sleep; and we definitely didn’t get a whole lot more those first few nights. Safe to say pregnancy brain turned into Mommy brain squared. I couldn’t tell you what day it was, the time of day, or how old I was in that first week! I was in a total fog. 
Maybe you got pregnant without planning to, or struggled to get pregnant; maybe your pregnancy was difficult or you suffered bad morning sickness; maybe your labour and delivery didn’t go the way you thought; and/ or maybe the baby you got and how you feel about Motherhood isn’t what you expected. There is never any way of knowing what we are in for. I think the greatest hurdle for new parents- especially Mothers- is that there is no grace period. There is no easing into it. One day you’re pregnant, the next (or few later!) you’re a Mom. Period. No givsies backsies, no ‘hold on, wait I’m not ready!’. Nada. Some embrace this instant change, others struggle, and many of us fall somewhere in the middle.
In the first few weeks following Ari’s birth, I did a lot of soul searching. I was in love with this beautiful  creature that I had been blessed with, but totally stunned by how upside down I felt. And I will say that the lack of sleep probably compounded this. There were tears and hugs with my husband and parents where I needed reassuring that this new life would settle down. This was especially needed in the first few weeks when Ari was fussy in the evenings (see this post for how I found the silver lining).  I remember asking Will when Ari was maybe 3 or 4 weeks old if he thought parents ever feel like they get a grasp on things, or if it’s a constant evolution. He went with the latter, and I have to agree. Looking back even now, I can see how much has changed in such a short period of time. 
I don’t think I had the baby blues or post pardem depression, but I will openly admit that I struggled to regain balance on my new Motherhood legs. One of my best friends had her baby 2 days before me, and I revelled in how naturally she seemed to fall into motherhood. I still appreciate how she takes everything all in stride, and feel like I have started to do so as well.
One of the saving graces was joining a local Mommy group- you’ve heard me talk about it on this blog. I cannot say how much being surrounded by other new Moms has helped me. The babies range from brand spanking new to 6 months, and it’s beyond refreshing to see these women and their bumpkins every week to swap stories and share in the joys and challenges. If you are a new Mom or are currently pregnant, I cannot recommend joining one of these groups enough. Even if you think you have a strong handle on motherhood, you never know when you’re going to get thrown a curve ball and need some reassuring. For this glimpse of sanity (or whatever it is!), I have to thank my sister in law for suggesting that I get out of the house and check it out.
I hope that all new Moms, no matter how calm or overwhelmed they are by their new role, remember the person they were before motherhood. We are Mothers, but we are still ourselves, albeit new versions. I embrace this new phase in my life, but like all the important things in life, appreciate the work and challenges that make it what it is. 
The best things in life aren’t free, they take hard work, but that’s what make us appreciate them. When you look back at life, you’ll have the memories to tell the unique story that is yours. Enjoy writing it.

oxox

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Yummy Mummy Recipe: Zucchini Brownies

I’m always up for trying new things, and I love finding ways of adding nutrition to my cooking & baking. Now don’t think I’m delusional or anything, I’m not trying to say brownies are healthy, but I’ll take the chance to add some fibre, etc. And hey, if they fool the hubby, they’ll fool the kids too! 😉

I found this recipe on Rumbly in My Tumbly. Yum Yum! Seriously deadly chocolate territory!
Check out Shannon’s delicious recipe here.

(I swapped the walnuts for chocolate chips and only used 1 cup of icing sugar for the glaze, and the result is to die for!)

Photo Source:
http://sorumblyinmytumbly.blogspot.ca/2012/04/frosted-zucchini-brownies.html
Honestly, these things are SO MOIST it’s incredible! They actually remind me of the giant double chocolate muffins at Costco! 😉
Enjoy!

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas

I found this recipe while looking for inspiration for canned salmon. We have plenty of it since my hubby’s family catch it fresh, then can it for future use. It’s an excellent ingredient, since it packs a ton of valuable omega 3s, and versatile; it’s great hot or cold. 
I downloaded a salmon cookbook from Eating Well.com, so am trying out some of the recipes. You can check it out here. I made a few minor tweeks: I bought tostadas (see photo) instead of using tortillas. I also heated them in the oven for 5 minutes, then added the bean spread & salmon mix, and heated for another 5 before topping with the other cold ingredients. 
Some of the yummy ingredients
Yummy Mummy Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas:
(Source: Eating Well.com)

Makes: 4 servings, 2 tostadas each
Active time: 25 minutes Total: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

6-inch corn tortillas
Canola oil cooking spray
6- to 7-ounce can boneless, skinless salmon, drained
1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeños, plus 2 tablespoons pickling juice from the jar, divided
2 cups coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons prepared salsa scallions, chopped
Lime wedges (optional)

1 Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375°F. 

2 Coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake, turn- ing once, until light brown, 12 to 14 minutes. 
3. Combine salmon, avocado and jalapeños in a bowl. Combine cabbage, cilantro and the pickling juice in another bowl. Process black beans, sour cream, salsa and scallions in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on High until hot, about 2 minutes.
Serve with brown rice cooked with diced tomatoes and onions or salsa.
The finished product 🙂
As I mentioned, I made a few minor modifications. I also skipped the cooking spray and used a non- stick baking rack. The recipe made plenty, but I only made 6 for the hubby and I, and that was enough for dinner, allowing for leftovers the next day. We both agreed this is a funky recipe, worth trying again.

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Cabbage Soup

Last night my in- laws loaded us up with a ton of goodies from their veggie garden. Amongst all this edible goodness was a massive green cabbage (It was the size of a basketball!) , and some other yummy root vegetables. Being that we’re approaching the end of Summer, my cooking style is starting to shift away from lighter meals to hardier comfort food.

With this in mind I decided to whip up a batch of cabbage soup while the lil one napped. (Who says cabbage soup is just for people on diets?!) Here we go…

Yummy Mummy Cabbage Soup
Prep Time: Approx. 30 min Cook Time: 1 hour
Makes approx. 10 servings

For this rendition, I used:

1/2 a very large green cabbage = to one whole regular cabbage, sliced thin & centre removed
3 white onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 turnip, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
10 cups water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil and/ or butter
Optional: 100g bacon or ham (adds extra flavour)

Directions:

Start by warming some olive oil and/ or butter in large pot. Add diced onion & garlic.

Cook until onion is translucent; add 1 cup water, followed by turnip, carrots & celery

Once carrots & celery have softened, add bouillon cubes, remaining water & cabbage

Add salt & pepper to taste

Bring to a boil for 5- 10 minutes; cover & reduce heat for approx. 45 minutes to an hour

I let mine stand & cool on the stovetop for a while before transferring. With this batch I put some aside to eat right away, and portioned out the rest to freeze. This way, when the hubby has to work in the cold Fall & Winter weather, I can pull a bag to thaw overnight & send with him in a thermos.

I love when I get the chance to plan ahead!!! Any way to make life a little easier when you get the chance is a golden opportunity.

I hope you enjoy 🙂

Image Source: Simply Recipes