Breakfast with a Friend

french toast

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonest.”- Titus 2:3-5

If you read my blog post, “Cultivating Friendship,” then you may remember where I challenged myself and my readers to go out and find another mommy friend. I’m happy to say my challenge couldn’t have come at a better time.

Last Saturday, I had breakfast with a dear friend from church. I first met Michele at a Memorial Day picnic, but it was my Mother-in-law who connected their family with ours.

Michele has been married to her husband for 16 years and has four children. Her kids are older than my daughter, but I knew I wanted to connect with a veteran mom who’s been where I am now.

I remember waking up that Saturday morning with excitement. I couldn’t remember the last time I met a friend for a meal. I would love to say I went went to breakfast dressed nice from head-to-toe. Instead, I wore a hoodie and yoga pants. That’s the mommy fashion anyway, right? I knew Michele wouldn’t mind.

Michele and I met at Bob Evan’s for breakfast. I had never been there before so I wanted to try it out. It was amazing! An upgrade from IHOP.  When arrived, Michele was already there with a table. I was so thankful because I had yet to have my morning cup of coffee. The days I try to function without it seem like a mess.

Michele and I began to talk about our week. I remember it being a stressful week for me at work and home. Then, Michele began to tell me about her week. We were so in depth in conversation, the waitress approached our table several times to take our order.

During the time we placed our breakfast order and got our food, we were learning a lot more about one another. This was the first time Michele and I had a one-on-one conversation. I told her about my family and she told me more about hers. We went from talking about things we liked to how both of our husbands love Dr. Pepper. I even discovered we have a similar passion for the show, “Fixer Upper.” The more we talked the I began to realize how much we had in common. It was refreshing to not only connect with another mom, but one that has similar tastes. As time passed, our conversations became more in depth. It was as if we had known each other for years. By the time my plate was empty we were on the topic of how overwhelming motherhood can be. We were not complaining about it by any means, just opening up about those difficult moments. For me, I explained how I felt like a failure that week because my husband had to feed Aurora  formula. Until then, she was strictly breastmilk fed. I was struggling with production, but still felt like it was my fault.

As we were gathering our things to leave, I remember telling Michele why I asked her to breakfast. I explained my struggles finding other mommy friends. I was a little nervous to say those words out loud because I felt embarrassed. Michele replied that she was dealing with something similar when she first moved to the area as well. She went on to suggest we do something like this once a month. That’s when I learned Michele wanted to get out of the house more herself. That was a wake-up call.

By asking Michele to breakfast I was thinking it would be more for me than her. She’s been a mom longer than me and has other friends so I felt honored that she gave up her time on a Saturday morning. However, I realized that she needed those few hours of mommy friend time just as much as me.

It goes to show that no matter how long you’ve been a mother or what season you’re in, time with other moms is needed.

Did you take my challenge? How did it feel to connect with another mom? Are you making it a monthly or weekly thing? I hope you were able to feel the relief when connecting with your new mommy friend. Here is my next challenge.

First, go re-read the verse I included at the beginning of this blog post. Titus 2:3-5. Let the words sink in for a few seconds. Then, I want you to write down at least 5 moms that you know. They can be older than you, younger, a sibling or friend. I challenge you to connect with them throughout the week. It can be a quick text message or Facebook message. I encourage you to ask how things are going in their life, ask them how you can pray for them that day or throughout the week, and send them an uplifting message or scripture.

Maybe you can go a step further and meet them for coffee or FaceTime for 15 minutes this week. As you go throughout your week, remember to pray for them. Even if you don’t know what to pray about. As the week goes by, you’ll be able to see how God is working through you to reach other moms. You may even see how God is working in your life as well.

Feel free to share this post with other moms. I would love see a week where mothers encourage each other versus comparing or judging one another. Once you’ve completed the challenge, post your experiences in the comment section below. You never know what mother you will encourage to make a difference.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Meal Prep

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If you’re a mother, you’ve probably had a few days where you stay so busy that you forget to eat. This is true whether you are a working or stay at home mom. As a working mom myself, I barely have time each day to pack my lunch box and get out of the door on time. Many times, my husband is doing it for me while I finish getting ready.

My husband works 6:00am to 1:30pm Monday through Friday. I work 2:30pm to 11:30pm Monday through Friday. We both are our daughter’s care giver throughout the week. Even though my daughter takes multiple naps while I’m home, I use that time to start getting ready for work or enjoy a cup of coffee. When I started back to work, I was scrambling to find food for lunch and dinner. I would grab anything close to being healthy, throw it in my lunch box and head out the door. Before I got off work, I would be starving. Then, I would be tempted to go pick up something from a restaurant or gas station.  Of course never feeling fully satisfied. I finally got tired of the stress so I decided to plan my meals weekly.

Sunday is when we take a few hours to prep our meals for the week. We usually pick a meat like chicken, beef or fish along with a veggie and carb.  It only takes a couple of hours to get a WHOLE weeks worth of food. As a mother that breast feeds and works full-time, it’s important for me to eat a healthy meal. It helps with milk production since my daughter is strictly breast milk fed. Also, planning my meals keeps me from buying food that is unhealthy. The best part is it saves money.

Many people argue buying healthy food is expensive. It can be depending on where you shop and what you buy. I would love to say I can afford everything at Whole Foods, but I can’t. My husband and I are lucky enough to have Aldi and Costco. Aldi has improved a lot over the last few years. They carry organic food half the price of many other places. In the last year, Costco has worked hard to put healthier choices in their stores. There you can find organic food in bulk. The same stuff you will pay more for in Whole Foods. The best part about Costco is you can buy in bulk which helps when you’re prepping a week’s worth of meals.

I also like the divided containers. I can put my entire dinner in one container; which makes it easier to carry to work. I bought several two-section containers at Wal-Mart for a couple of bucks but you can also find some on Amazon that are reusable. It’s an easy way to not over fill a regular container. You place the carb of your choice in the smallest compartment and fill the large section with veggies and protein.

For stay at home moms you may not benefit from dinner meal preps, but breakfast and lunch could help insure you’re getting something to eat . Especially for the days the kids keep you busy. I know as moms we tend to put everyone else’s needs above our own but eating a good meal is something you need to do for yourself. Any easy way to prep ahead for lunch could be making a large salad with your favorite toppings and meat. Then at lunch all you have to do is put some in a bowl and eat. You can also prep your lunches to be similar to what I make for dinner. You may even want to prep breakfast, lunch and a couple of snacks for each day. Some snacks could include carrots and hummus, almonds, fruit or a protein shake.  I try to eat six times a day. Three meals and two snacks. What about breakfast?

An easy breakfast to prep days in advance are overnight oats. If you’ve never tried them I suggest giving it a shot. I have a whole board on my Pinterest dedicated to different flavors of overnight oats. Basically, you put dried oats with yogurt, milk, fruit, chia seeds or other things all in a mason jar. You stick in the fridge over night. When you wake up in the morning, you take the oats out of the fridge and eat straight from the jar. Depending on the age of your kids, it could also be a good breakfast for them as well. Especially when you’re needing to get them to an activity, school, or the gym. Overnight oats saved me while I was on maternity leave. I struggled finding the time to eat at all, but they made it so much easier. Oats also help increase breast milk, so if you’re not a fan of regular oatmeal, this could be a better option.

Here are a few recipes I found on Pinterest of Overnight Oats. Each recipe will tell you how many servings it will make. I buy the smaller mason jars, but you can put a couple of servings in a larger jar. Overnight Oats last in the fridge for about three days. Once again, it’s quick and easy to make for those busy mornings.