From the time my son started eating solids, I did my best to make sure he had wholesome and delicious foods. One day I made a banana bread and then it occurred to me that I could turn this banana bread into a healthy mini-muffin for my mini-human. For the past two years, I have been turning any bread and muffin recipe I come across into my own version of healthy mini-muffins. There were some fails, but I scored with this one! My husband calls these “hippie muffins” and my son loves them. They make a good breakfast with some yogurt or served as a snack.
My son attends daycare five days a week, even if I’m not working. I use the time I have at home catch up on chores, write articles, and work on the latest course I am taking.
One night, my daycare calls to cancel for the next two days for personal reasons. That’s ok, I tell her, I understand. Then the thought sinks in: what will I do with my kid for the next two days? My anxiety sets in: how are you going to entertain him for two whole days? I start running through scenarios in my mind. All day? Just me and him? Panic pulls up a chair, relaxes, and makes itself comfortable.
Weight has been an issue I have carried with me since I was in elementary school. My first memory of body dissatisfaction was in grade three. My class was doing an activity and we were all asked to all weigh ourselves. There was more to the activity and it had nothing to do with our weight per se, but weighing ourselves was a part of it. I was in line and saw the weight of the girl in front of me. I can’t remember the number, but I remember the feeling I had after I stepped on the scale and saw that my number was bigger. As a child who was eight or nine at the time, I had my first “I’m fat” moment. I have a hard time recalling where that thought would have come from because I have no recollection of ever being told I was overweight.
We love tacos! My husband, the cook-extraordinaire, has come up with another way to make tacos fun and delicious. We fell in love with fish tacos on one of adventures to Mexico and for some reason we neglected to make them upon our return (some four-plus years ago). We have been trying to include more fish in our diet lately and that’s when the light bulb turned on: FISH TACOS! This is a recipe we love and that our son can’t get enough of. Enjoy!
Blackened Fish Tacos with Caper Cream Sauce and Mango Salsa
After a long night trying to get our toddler to go to sleep, he apologizes to us by waking up at 7:00am instead of his usual 6-6:30am wake up time. He is officially forgiven for the strain he caused last night. I go into his room, turn on the lights, and give him a big kiss. “Good morning! Let’s get changed.” He’s up later than usual so I bring with me one of my homemade mini-muffins and milk so that I can get him changed while he has something to eat. I’ve got a half hour to get him dressed and out the door to take him to daycare and get me to work. But we hit a snag. I’ve given him the wrong milk cup. It’s not his green dinosaur cup, it’s his yellow ninja turtle cup. My mistake. And this mistake is the cause of the meltdown-morning we ended up having. Wow, it sure is amazing how things can go from good to bad so quickly in a toddler’s life.
My decision to go back on medication was not taken lightly. It certainly wasn’t a decision I made overnight. It’s been a lingering thought I tried to push back for months now. I’ve exhausted all my self-help go-tos and now I’m ready to admit to myself that I need to go back on medication. This isn’t the first time, and I don’t believe it will be the last.
I’m not sure why it took so long to make this decision. I’ve been on medication before. In fact, I’ve been on and off medication for the past 20+ years. This is nothing new to me. And while I want to be able to fight my battle “on my own,” the rational part of my mind is telling me enough is enough. I need help. Take the help. I’m ready to admit I need it.
On my way to pick up my son from daycare, I started getting ideas for my writing projects, and of course, I’m couldn’t write those ideas down. My anxiety started to build, but hey, I’m a pro at this by now, and I could handle this. Suddenly, like a sign from the stars who wish to cut me some slack, the school bus in front of me stopped to let off some kids, and I had a quick moment to jot my ideas down on the random Post-its I have in the center consul of my car. Thank you, Mr. or Mrs. Bus Driver, for giving me a break. You managed to settle my nerves for a whole 15 very welcomed seconds.
As I sit at the computer thinking of how to put into words to explain how my son has an anxious mother, my anxiety rises. I think of who will read this and what will they think of me. Will they skip to the end to see how it ends? Will they empathize me? Will they pity me? Or will they think I’m unfit to be a mother if I have so much anxiety? What will they think of me? I talk myself out of it and encourage myself to keep writing because it’s OK. Because hundreds if not thousands of mothers have anxiety.
I was ready to have my kid when I first got pregnant.
I was ready to have my kid after I felt it’s first kick.
I was ready to have my kid when I first found out I was having a boy.
I was ready to have my son after what felt like a long, hard, and painful pregnancy.
I was ready to have my son when he was due.
I was ready to have my son when he was ten days overdue.
And then everything changed.
I was ready to give up my son when he had his first non-stop cry fit at the hospital while I was still recovering from an emergency C-section and couldn’t calm him down.
My husband and I grew up very differently. We’re the equivalent of night and day, yet we work well together. There’s him, the logical realist who looks for solutions and ways to improve. Then there’s me, the anxious and high strung woman who seems to look for problems rather than solutions.
My husband is a fixer. Being the fixer he is, his nature tells him to step in and fix whatever problem there is. He racks his brain for solutions and Googles how to’s. He checks out online groups to see what other people are saying. He’s always looking for the best way to help. He’s a go-getter! It’s admirable and appreciated.