There are times when I wonder can time passes even more quickly? Are we approaching the end of September already?
A few months ago, I spoke about my dilemma about going back to work or staying at home full time. I ended one of my posts with trusting in the Lord and seeing where it takes. An opportunity appeared indeed and I was offered a very flexible position with part time hours. With much prayers, we decided to give it a go and made the decision that Asher attends day care for a few days a week.
Oh what a decision. In our minds, day care can be beneficial as it provides a stimulating environment for Asher to grow in too. As a mother though, the number of thoughts and beliefs that entered through my mind is astounding.
“How can I let someone look after the needs of Asher?”
“Will they take notice of him?”
“Will he eat/drink/sleep well?”
“I’m not a good enough mother for allowing someone else to care for him”
and so forth.
The mothers guilt.
We did our research. During the countless orientation trips we attended, Asher had a great play time. They did art work, and have equipment that resembles a tiny tot gym, and fed him (mostly) good nutritious food. I know he is well looked after there.
How was his first day? He did great. Cried a little as I left but settled not even 2 mins after I stepped out of the door. As I observed him outside the room, he played and engaged with carers and other children. I even felt a sense of pride when he attempted to take his own toy back when another child took it from him.
It took me 30 minutes to move shift my feet closer to the exit. Then it took me another 15 minutes before I physically willed myself to leave.
I’m a sensible person. I can be logical. My heart was heavy as I walked into the car. I felt like a total bad mother for leaving her child to someone else, but yet logically I know he will probably thrive in there with the activities planned. Deep down, I know he will enjoy the interaction. As I sat in the car seat, my eyes became watery. I swiped my phone and re looked at his photos that I have taken in that 45 minutes that I stood outside the room. Then I willed myself to put my phone away, and drove straight to the gym for a workout. I even scheduled a coffee with a friend- a fellow mother who reached out to me for a chat following our Pilates class. I rang the daycare twice, requesting specific information about his nap times, play, food intake, milk intake. As I went in to fetch him that afternoon, he yelled out “mama”, and gave me the biggest cuddle ever. We returned home to his favourite congee and custard for dinner.
Did it get easier? Perhaps. I have never left my son to be cared for by anyone for close to a day. Not even my hubby who probably had him alone for 3 hours once. Oh hindsight, what did make it easier was that hubby regularly looked after him for an hour or so when I went to the gym.
It’s a strange feeling though- like a new found freedom. Like being alone in the toilet for 5 minutes in peace. Or being able to try on some much needed jumpers and think for 5 minutes if I really wanted it (yup I did!). There was one day, I managed to scheduled in a remedial massage on a weekday! Bliss.
I have since started work (we started day care 2 weeks earlier to give me time to prepare for work- yup, readings and phone conferences) and I will update later about how we are managing. Those early days though, it was as if I put on a fresh pair of glasses whenever I’m with Asher. I made a huge effort to not do any cleaning when I’m with him. While I have always practised being mindful as we play, I realised I can be even more present and enjoy it. I’m less worried about the other stuff because it really really does not matter. I missed him terribly when I’m not with him, yet it also gave me a chance to breath and remember that I’m more than a mama.
It will always be a constant juggling act- one that I know will not always be balanced but that’s ok too.
Let’s talk cake now.
Inspired by WholeFoodSimply, I adapted her version and made a coffee cake for us. Pre Asher, we love coffee BUT post Asher we LOVE LOVE LOVE coffee. I try not to have it too much though as I believe it does raise our cortisol levels. I attempt to schedule in coffee free days (some weeks with no success), but generally stick to having one shot of coffee a day and 1 hour before my gym session. I truly believe that coffee gives me that little boost in my workouts but also lifts my spirits up when it’s 4pm and I’m dead tired from the daily chores. I made this cake as a treat and it was well worth it. Crumbly soft with a crunchy texture. Double yum. Serve with …coffee of course.
Crumbly Walnut Coffee Chocolate Cake
3 medjool dates presoaked in a shot of nespresso
2.5 cups of almond meal
1 tablespoon of cacao powder
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of bicarb soda
1/4 tsp of salt
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
handful of crushed walnut
handful of cacao nibs
1 cup of pecans
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of honey or brown rice syrup.
1) Preheat Oven to 180C. Line an 9inch round cake pan with baking paper.
2) To make the cake. Put all the cake ingredients in a food processor and blitzed for 1 minute or so.
3) Spoon into cake tin.
4) Make the crumble. Whiz the crumble ingredients for 30 seconds. Spoon and top it up on the cake. Bake for around 40 minutes but check that the cake does not brown too much in 25 minutes or so. Place a piece of baking paper on it if needed.
5) Cool and serve.