“Mom, Mom! Is it time to light the evening candles?” “Soon, sweetie, very soon.” “Oh, good!” We started a new little family tradition a few days ago. With the change of the clock back to standard time, and the oh-so-early … Continue reading
Every few weeks or so I come across an article, blog post, meme, or bit of fashion advice about how to avoid Mom Jeans (gasp!) and be stylish even though you may be a mom. Honestly, this advice simultaneously cracks me up and makes me roll my eyes and wonder what kind of writer’s block inspired the post. In the first place, I haven’t seen a pair of Mom Jeans since I was a kid–in the ’80s–when my own mom, and every other person, regardless of age and gender, wore them. In the second place, the antidote is the same. Every time.
Truthfully, I think there’s a new Mom Jean in town. But instead of high rise, tapered leg, acid wash, it’s low rise, skinny, dark wash. Or yoga pants. Pair with boots or ballet flats and a tunic or long sweater. You know that look when you see it!
Oh, and Mom Hair? The bob has been replaced with a top knot. Amirite? In our desperation to get away from what our mothers wore, we’ve created New Mom Jeans for our generation. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but the irony isn’t lost on me.
Does this crazy hatred of our moms’ clothes strike anyone else as hilarious? I kind of think this actually has very little to do with motherhood and everything to do with the fashion of the day, which leads me to wonder if our daughters will roll their eyes and wonder how we could EVER bring ourselves to wear something as unfashionable as skinny jeans (gasp!), an infinity scarf, and a top knot.
I wrote this little article a few years ago when my oldest child was tiny. Three babies later it still applies, and I get reminded of it on a regular basis, as I now have not just one, but four lil peeps that I awaken for at night. It’s much more occasional now, but still….
One night, as I was awakened for the second, or perhaps the third time by my baby needing me, the Lord gave me a revelation concerning nighttime mothering. I was rather frustrated, feeling that I would never get a real night of sleep, annoyed at my child for waking me, and internally whining to myself about how much I suffered to take care of my little one.
Without warning, a phrase popped into my head: nighttime mothering. It took me by surprise, as I was not in the mood for an attitude adjustment, nor was I in the frame of mind to conjure up some sentimental reason to be excited to be awake with my crying baby. And yet, I found myself strangely warmed and completely changed by the concept. With those two words I discovered a secret to motherhood, and a way to keep myself happy even in the middle of the night.
The essence of nighttime mothering is this: Motherhood is not a nine-to-five job. Nor is it nine-to-nine. Ah, if only it were that simple! Then I could awaken in the morning when I wanted to, get myself ready, then care for my precious baby all day, loving, caring, doing my motherly duty to the babe, fulfilling my role to the utmost, then, magically, at bedtime, I could put the little one to sleep, and clock out until the morning rolled around again.
But motherhood is not like that. At least, mothering is not. For mothering is more than simply bearing a child. It is giving one’s heart, soul, and body to nurture, love, and care for the real and imagined needs of a tiny human being. And mothering does not cease at sundown.
My desire as a mother is to portray tenderness, compassion, and gentleness to my babes. To be there for them when they call, to foresee and meet their needs even before they cry out. This is a huge job! It requires much more than I am physically, mentally, and emotionally able to give. And I desire to mother them not only during the day, but at night as well. Nighttime mothering is more difficult than daytime mothering, in my opinion, for it takes place at night, when nature itself sleeps. To be awakened time after time in the night would try the patience of the most noble of characters. And yet, as a mother, it happens to me on a regular basis.
Being the kind of person I am, I want my response to my child in the night to be holistic—caring and nurturing not only in form, but also in attitude. I wish for my whole person to respond correctly, as I see it, to the nighttime calls from people much smaller than I am.
This is where nighttime mothering comes in. That night as I stood, groggily, by my baby’s bassinet, wishing I were still in my own comfy bed, and complaining inwardly about my martyr’s life, I realized that nighttime mothering is impossible on my own. Impossible without the help and grace of the God who not only made me a mother, but also gave me a mother’s heart. I discovered that even in the wee hours of the night, He stands with me, ready to give me grace prepared for that very moment. I have only to take it from His hand. Do I always receive His grace and fulfill my mothering call? That night I was able to. And now? Well, I am getting better at it. And He is faithful to remind me.
There are some days that “what’s for lunch, Mommy?” is the second to last thing I want to hear, trumped only by “nooooo, I don’t want that! I want something else!” Really, kid? Maybe no lunch and a nap is what you’d rather have?!
Rather than emotionally and verbally spar with a hungry toddler or preschooler, I have a little trick up my sleeve to easily get me out of this lose-lose situation: beans and rice.
I realize this may seem simplistic. And possibly like I’m copping out making something I know they like when I don’t want to deal with fussing (to be fair, they most often don’t fuss when I say what’s for lunch, but if I think they’re going to, I consider myself a bit of a genius for heading them off at the pass). Also, I’m not really sure why this particular meal is such a favorite, but it’s healthy and easy, so it works for me! Besides, I love hearing the lil peeps cheer when I put their plates in front of them.
Beans and Rice
About 2 cups of cooked rice (or 1 pouch pre-cooked)
1 can black, pinto, or kidney beans
Garlic powder and cumin to taste
Sour cream, avocado, cheese, salsa, etc. as toppings (optional)
Heat beans and rice in a pan
Add a few shakes each of garlic powder and cumin
Garnish as you please!
See? Nothing to it!
Do you have a no-fail, easy meal you like to make for your kiddos? Please share in the comments!
The Lil Peeps asked for popsicles almost as soon as they woke up this morning. This may or may not have been my fault, as I made a joke about giving them “icicles for breakfast”. At any rate, I haven’t made a frozen snack in a while, so I told them I would make some popsicles to have for a snack later. They are outside happily munching away on said snack as I write this!
So these are no longer popsicles, but are now officially ice cream bars (in case you were wondering about the title).
Blueberry Ice Cream Bars
Blend in blender or food processor:
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
1-2 ripe bananas
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup honey (optional)
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.