Picture this. You’re a 30-something mom of a toddler, living in a busy city, dreaming of a good sleep. You usually wake up everyday to a rushed routine, a hectic day and busy evenings catching up on everything. But today is different. Today, the city is not busy at all. It is quiet because everyone is quarantined at home and have been on home arrest for weeks due to this era’s pandemic, called Corona Virus. Today, you need a simple pancake recipe fast! Because you woke up to a toddler nudging you at 6 am, demanding pancakes.
Your first reaction is “get a bit more sleep, you’ll have pancakes later”. Your second reaction is thinking your toddler has suggested an activity, something to keep them busy. So you oblige. You get up, wash your face and frantically search for the easiest pancake recipe there is. You don’t find it, because most pancake recipes nowadays require fancy ingredients and bananas, which you forgot to buy because you’ve been sitting home for days on end to stay safe.
That’s where your grandma’s recipe comes in. The old traditional pancake, with traditional milk and sugar and flour. The one you make in a second and it turns out fluffy without letting it “rest” or bothering to separate egg whites from egg yolks and all that jazz. You dust off that recipe notebook you haven’t used for ages and start gathering the ingredients.
It literally took 10 minutes overall, to gather the ingredients, mix them all together (with toddler participation!), then cooking them on a pan until golden, to plaster a big smile on my daughter’s face. All that before 9 am!
Here it is, the not-so-groundbreaking pancake recipe that can literally save a mom’s life (and mental health).
P.S. The recipe is downloadable.
On one of my typical days, you’ll find me working on my projects, working out at home, running errands and looking frantically among my recipe books for something like “Easy Cake Recipe to make with kids”.
Re-adjusting to nursery and routine has been tough on us lately (check out the reason here). As a result, I’ve been dragging a 2 year-old, fiercely determined to make me feel guilty, to nursery every morning. As a good old mom who falls into a typical trap, I’ve been (as a result of desperation) referring to bribes and lots of promises I have the pressure to keep. One of those promises is to get ingredients so we can bake something nice in the afternoon. So we have been baking quite a lot lately. However, there’s no question that the recipe should be of the easiest ones out there. Since a toddler is still impulsive and wants to do things themselves (plus, test their limits along the way and show no shame when it comes to tantrums), you need something practical and fast. A long search, a few messy experiences and burnt-on-one-side cakes later, I have found it! A yummy and easy cake recipe to make with kids, with a few steps and a nice outcome!
So! Who’s trying this?
A little over a year ago, I took the big decision to quit my full-time job and take the freelance route (you can read more about what I do here). For most people, freelance life is crazy, careless and risky, but I knew it in my heart that I couldn’t survive in a corporate environment where you had to stay put from 8 to 5. Determined, I set my mind up to it. I decided I could do it. That I could match my income and that it wasn’t impossible. Then I vowed to never think otherwise. If I were to cave into negative thoughts and the influence of conventional people, I would not be where I am today.
FREELANCING AS A MOM
Freelancing as a mom however, is no piece of cake. This summer, I found myself trying to work freelance with a toddler on vacation! In our family, staying in the city during summer is out of the question. Add to that the fact that Alex had caught all possible viruses during the year, it was time to take a long summer holiday. So at the end of June, we moved to the mountains for 2 months of fresh air and no routine (panic!).
When you become a mom, you Self is put last. You start caring for a tiny human being who has no power and is fully counting on you for survival. Then, this tiny human starts growing and you start finding a balance, but most of the time, you find yourself exhausted and on edge about the smallest little things. You realize that if you don’t actually take care of yourself, your tiny human will end up being cared for less, because you’ll be too exhausted to care for him to perfection. So take on the offers to babysit and head out for an hour or 2 to self-care. Here are 5 ways to save your body and mind:
- See a nutritionist. Forget vanity, looking thin and avoiding people telling you you’ve gained weight. I started seeing Rouba when I had gained a few kilos and stopped feeling like myself. She helped me achieve a healthy lifestyle while still indulging in food. I still go for a monthly check up, because it makes me feel good, it helps me maintain my weight – which became essential for me after seeing how much energy it gave me, how much better I could take care of my child and feel less tired (especially after a sleepless night). Eating better is everything! It is good for your gut which, in turn, is good for you.
- See a psychologist or life coach. 7 years ago, I met a life coach who changed my vision about life. This is a huge thing to say but it’s true. His advice and statements sticked with me and help me out of situations till now. Since then, I’ve always wanted to see someone regularly. Coming from a psychology background, I always believed in seeing a professional to preserve your mental health. Needless to say, it helps you keep things in perspective, brings you back to earth and gives you tools to survive difficult situations. Mental self-care is related to physical self-care. The body gets tired of fighting the mind sometimes, and gives way to all kinds of diseases and physical unease.
- Walking or gym or dancing or whatever makes you happy to move. Since forever, my favorite workout has been walking. It helps me meditate and be alone with my thoughts.
- Take it slow. Not having a hectic life is not wrong. Our society puts so much pressure on having non-stop activities and people to see that we forget how important it is to just slow down. Night in with a book or Netflix on your mind for the 6th night this week? Do it. Let the guilt go.
- Say no to things you don’t want to do and to people you don’t want to see. Limit situations where you feel uncomfortable and stressed. You’ll lose people along the way, you’ll maybe fight with your husband, or mom, but with time, they’ll learn your limits and how to respect them. This is maybe one of the things I struggle with the most in my self-care routine. It is so hard to do what keeps you sane without justifying yourself to everyone.
And most importantly, be yourself. Do not let anyone or anything change who you are. That is true self-care!
Any other self-care tips? Comment to let us know!
Here is an article I wrote for Jaleesa a few weeks ago, that I thought you’d like to read!
I’ve always been a fan of the supermarket. Ever since I was a child, a trip to buy groceries and roaming around a huge supermarket has always been fun and kind of comforting. I especially love it when I’m in no hurry and have no list to stick to. We just walk around, inspecting aisle after aisle till we find something we need, discover a new product or even welcome products that we’d only seen abroad.