“You’ve No Time For Us!” : Friends say I have changed after motherhood

How much does your relationship with friends change post a baby. Are you the same any more?

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The perfect mom – isn’t that what it always is about? The ‘perfect’ is everywhere you look; the pressure to be perfect is in every aspect of life. But is ‘perfect’ real? Is the photo of the mom who’s rocking her baby, her beautiful curly hair flowing in the wind, both baby and mom smiling at each other, silhouetted against a setting sun, amid a field filled with gorgeous daisies – is that photo real?

Here:

(a) I have not washed my hair in the past 4 days, (it is a new grunge look I am sporting; goes well with my crumpled tees), and
(b) There are no daisy fields around me.

So, I am guessing that photo is not real and all it does is make me feel bad. Truth is, motherhood is the most blissful period of my life but it is the toughest too! It is a juggling act wherein you are constantly trying to keep all the balls in the air and the balls have a mind of their own. As new mothers, we read a lot, are advised a lot, prepare a lot… but nothing can actually make us ready for what is in store. You go in with a lot of preparation, yet you actually learn on the job.

Once you become a mother, your relationships change too. The most important person in your life now is a small human, who does not come with an instruction manual, is very unpredictable, and mostly sleeps but for short periods of time. After becoming a mother my priorities and my capabilities changed. My friends felt that I was changing, and yes I was. I was no longer the perfectly turned out, fashionably dressed girl with the latest designer bag in hand (one within my budget), ready to go out on a moment’s notice in my ridiculously high heels…

The perfectly turned out feature was lost somewhere in my third trimester when my transition from human to waddling penguin was complete. The fashionable dresses changed to clothes that would fit me now, would be easy to wear, and could survive constant spit ups, and a lot of wiggling and pulling. Oh, I have tried wearing fashionable blouses, with frills, boat necks, layered ones…But trust me, it gets really difficult when you have a toddler who thinks it is absolutely normal to hang from and pull down mom’s dresses necklines! Now I stick to tees and yoga pants almost entirely. The designer bag is filled with sanitisers, diapers, wipes and snacks with an odd toy or two. And heels, you say?

So what about going out with, or talking to, friends? Do I get to do it?

Read it further  On WOM, were I originally wrote this :

Real Moms Real Stories

Project : 50 Toddler snacks by an #avgmom No.6: Chickpea & Spinach Cutlets ; Gluten Free snack

Here is another successful experiment in my snacks for my toddler journey, and again this one also is a snack which is good for both the baby and adults. In fact this turned out so yummy that I am on cloud nine. The great thing about this recipe is that it can be done as a gluten free version, a deep fried version or a shallow fried one, and all of these turn out great. I have tried them all. It is full of good heath and nutrition and it also passed baby’s approval. He likes these cutlets. They turn out quite soft so he doesn’t have any problem in eating these.

As mentioned, I used Chickpeas and Spinach in this one, both very tasty and packed with nutrition. Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense legume which has protein, dietary fibre, folate, and  iron and phosphorus.And Spinach, well Popeye eats it, doesn’t he? Spinach is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, iron, folate, B vitamins riboflavin and vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and dietary fiber.The idea of mixing these two just came into my head and I can’t believe these turned out so good too. 

So, Here goes the recipe of my very successful experiment. Give it a try you will not regret it. 

Soaking time : Overnight

Prep time : 15 mins

Cooking time : 5 mins 

Ingredients :

1/2 cup Chick peas

1 cup Baby Spinach leaves

1 tsp Ginger paste 

1 pinch Asafoetida 

1 tsp Cumin powder

1 tsp Coriander Powder

2 tsp Olive Oil , more for frying

Salt as per taste 

1 Fresh Soft Brown Bread ( optional) 

2 tbsp peanuts ( optional )


Method

Wash and soak the Chickpeas overnight or a minimum of 6 hrs

Pressure cook the chick peas with a pinch of salt 

Drain and blend in a grinder, if the paste is too hard you can add a few tsps of olive oil for grinding it smoothly

Wash and chop the baby Spinach leaves

Now blanch them for a few minutes in an open  pan with very little water, do not over boil. Stop when the leaves start wilting and take off heat


Drain the excess water and grind the leaves to a smooth paste in a blender, do not add any water 

 

Now in a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients, apart from the peanuts

I added the peanuts after making enough cutlets for the baby as I am not comfortable giving him whole peanuts in his food yet

Also I add asfoetida powder because it is good for digestion, it helps with it but has a pungent taste, so use a little bit if you do not like the smell so much. 

Alternately you can also add Carrom seeds as these also are very good for digestion

My spinach paste had beome a bit more watery  this time, so I crumbled and added a whole wheat bread to bind the mixture


Now I do not follow a gluten free diet as I do not have any gluten insensitivity, but if you want to avoid using bread you can add a mashed boiled potato as the binding agent

Shape the mixture into small round cutlets with the palm of your hands, roughly the size of a cookie


In a flat pan add a little oil and shallow fry the cutlets 

Turn over once one side is golden brown and brown the other side

You don’t need to fry these too much as the chickpeas and spinach are already cooked


The above measurements will give around 15 cutlets. 

Serve them hot

There are few variations you can try with this recipe. You can deep fry the cutlets as they are or you can also dip it in eggwash and coat them with breadcrumbs 

That will give a more crispier cutlet

I do not do that as I want to keep it soft and not very crispy for the baby’s liking

Enjoy these with hot cups of tea as I do. 

I am glad that my toddler loved these, I was wondering if any more such combinations can be tried out, do suggest if you think or know any more such recipes. Would surely love to try them out

Mommy confessions of an #avg mom ; Dedicated to all the dads 


Dedicated to all fathers

These two can spend hours together; I don’t know what they do together. I flee the spot the moment hubby man takes over the baby duty. I do not stand around idling, for fear, lest I may get called upon to provide assistance. You know, get the wipes, get water, toys, clothes, any help. I run away and hide before hubster could as much as say ‘Hey’ 😂😂😂

But truth is, as much as I behave like a free bird just out of her cage, I do come crawling back, to take a peek and just stand there and watch them laughing and giggling and jostling with each other. I stand there mesmerised and from time to time let out screams, coz I am always scared the baby will fall while they are playing. They run and roll around so carelessly. But he never does fall. 😊

It is true that a mother’s love is the most beautiful thing in the world. It is so thick and deep you can almost touch a mother’s love. It is so much present. But a father’s love is equally beautiful. A father may not carry the baby in his womb, neither does he have the extremely sharp mother’s intuition or the protectiveness of a tigress that she has, but his love is different. His love is anxious when he watches the baby scans for the first time, it is scared when holding the hand of the screaming woman in labour, afraid when holding the tiny human for the first time in his hands, vulnerable when holding and rocking a crying infant all night, melting when those tiny lips smile up to him for the first time, showing him that those little eyes recognise him too, proud when he sees the baby walk for the first time, fulfilled when the baby calls him ‘dada’ for the first time and holds his hands, happy when the little bundle waits by the door and jumps in his lap the moment he walks in. His love is different than the soft giggles and whispers shared with the mother, it is a loud boisterous laughter, a jump high in the air, a run from the tickle monster. But, it is permeating and all the more beautiful. A father’s love is not so much talked about coz it is mostly overshadowed by the mother’s love, which has a lot more expression. But, it is the glue which holds these moments together. Thankful for it always…

Project : 50 toddler snacks by #avgmom No 3. Instant meal for the road 

#instantmueslimix #50toddlersnacks

After having a baby, travelling becomes quite different. It is one thing taking care of bub at home, but when you are out on the road, it becomes a lot more challenging. You have to be prepared and plan before venturing out of the home with baby.

New parents seem to carry around their whole house with them when they head out of the house. Same is the case with us. Even a trip to the supermarket means we pack the way Noah may have packed supplies for his arc. Diapers, sanitisers, hot water, sippers, bottles, wash clothes, change of clothes etc etc.

But the most important of all is the food for the baby. As long as baby A was breastfed this was not a problem, as I myself was food, thank you. So, we were set in that area. But post 6 months, once he started solids, going out meant that we had to have baby’s food prepared and ready before we leave the house. Walking out of the house with the baby, to even have dinner was not that easy anymore. 

As a personal choice, we decided against giving him any instant infant cereals, not that there is any harm in it, but we wanted to give him only normal home food. Also any infant cereal has a lot of added sugar etc which I want to avoid as much as possible.

So I always carry my Philips Blender and Steamer for baby food . It is quite easy to carry along and i just pop the vegetables with some cooked rice or some fruits in it and it steams and blends within 20 mins. Thus, even when we were staying at any hotel, i just had to ask for boiled rice, fresh fruits and veggies could be bought at any nearest store and I was set with baby’s food. This way I have been able to avoid giving any prepackaged or instant food to baby.

But, this time we planned for a long road journey and this got me a lot worried as without a decent stoppage, using the blender was not possible. Since it was a long journey, carrying all his meals, prepared from home, was also not a possibility. Small A is now almost eating what we eat but still we could not hope to give him the roadside hotel food. I knew that once we reach our destination, I could ask the hotel staff to make plain Rice and pulses porridge ( Khichdi) for him and that would be enough along with whatever food he eats with us. 

The problem was the road journey and his three meals en route. 

That is when this idea came to me and I am glad it worked. I ground muesli into a powder and used this as an instant cereal for him. I buy only plain muesli with no added sugars which has oats, millets, raisins, dried nuts, dried fruits and grains. It is less on added artificial sugars than other cereals. 

We carried this mix along and also boiled milk in bottle in the ice box. 

Wherever we stopped I just had to ask the restaurant staff to warm up the milk, mix it in my instant muesli mix, leave covered for a couple of minutes and voila! Meal was ready. Small A enjoyed it and ate it thankfully. 

This made our life so much more easier, only it is a bit husky in taste, wish I could change that, but it tastes good and is very filling too. So there you go, do give this a try when you have to travel and need to have baby food handy which doesn’t need cooking.

Also, whenever travelling with baby, do keep a lot of snacks handy. Homemade cookies, bananas, etc are a few options which you can keep in your hand bag. 

Hope this helps you while travelling.

Project:50 toddler snacks by #avgmom No2. Apple Banana Oats Pancakes

Project #50toddlersnacks from #avgmomNo. 2 #applebananaoatspancakes

I have been a bit lazy lately and have been unable to pen down anything. The extreme cold weather, some personal works and a small vacation all have kept me rather busy. Also, truth be told I was also just being lazy and avoiding sitting down to write anything. Little A keeps me on my toes the whole day and frankly I am dead tired by the end of the day. Toddlers are a handful I tell you. The whole day just flies by in preparing his meals, feeding, cleaning, and dressing him, all the while whilst he is putting up a fight against each of the activities. 😂.

In trying to keep up with my efforts to include as many fruits and vegetables as possible in his diet, I try to put them in his main meals as much as possible. This helps me include seasonal fruits / veggies in his diet and even his meals are interesting for him.

This apple banana pancake is a special favourite of my son and I am super happy as I am able to include a lot of good ingredients in this one. They taste awesome too, so all three of us relish these. 

But I really do wish I had better photos though, frankly, cooking for a toddler is not a leisurely activity. You are just about able to rush through the whole thing and dump it in a plate while he is behaving like a creeper determined to make you trip and fall on your face. Thus, the hastily clicked photos. Mostly I just forget to click any photos before serving him.

Nowadays, I have completely removed refined flour (maida) from my kitchen. Thus I am always trying out new substitutes for the same. What I use regularly nowadays is oats. I find oats very diverse and very easy to use. For most purposes I use instant, plain oats which have no added sugars. Many people use the steel cut variety, but as far as I understand that nutritionally both steel cut and instant oats are same. Instant oats is more processed thus takes lesser time to cook. Since the nutritional value is same, I prefer using the instant variety. I don’t however buy the packets with added sugars or flavours etc but only the plain oats.

To use in my day to day cooking, I dry roast a large batch of the instant oats and powder them in my blender. I store this in an airtight container and use this regularly in place of breadcrumbs / flour etc. The slightly nutty flavour of the oats gives any dish an enhanced flavour and it acts as a very good binding agent. 

This pancake below is a complete win win for me as I am able to include apple, banana, eggs and oats all in one dish. And the baby likes it. Yay. Thank God for that.

Ingredients :

Apple – 1/2 (grated)

Ripe Banana – 1/2 (mashed)

Egg -1

Roasted oats powder – 1/2 cup

Unsalted butter – 2 tbsp (melted)

Brown sugar – 1 tbsp

Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp

Milk – 1/2 cup or as required

Butter for frying

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and make a slightly thick batter. 
Add milk as per requirement, the batter should not be very runny but like a normal pancake batter

On a warm skillet scoop out 2-3 tbsps of the mix to make round pancakes

Cook on low heat till one side is done and then flip it.

Use a flat spatula for this, since we are not using refined flour the pancake will be a little hard to flip. It just needs a bit more patience. 😊

Once flipped I drop a sizeable dollop of butter on the cooked side of the pancake and let it melt, since little A likes butter ( of course, who doesn’t). But this is optional.

I serve these plain to him, without any syrup or sauce as he not a big fan of sweet. But you can serve these with honey or maple syrup too.

There are a couple of variations too which I do for this. When little A was smaller I used steamed and pureed apple in place of grated apples. Now I use grated apple for this.

And also at times I use only apple or banana, if both are not available.

Mommy Confessions 118 ; who sleeps first?

One of the biggest challenges of parenting is,  not falling asleep, before the sleepy baby, whom you are trying to rock to sleep is finally asleep. 

Husband man regularly fails in that.

So we have a snoring papa bear and beside him an excited toddler still doing his somersaults on the bed way past midnight. 

Mommy Confessions 117; One day Hot; 364 days NOT

Reality check on 1st day of the year.So, cleaned up and went out on NY’s eve. Looked good too. Come New year and am basking in the glory of compliments. GFs telling me I look hot, it made my day 😊😊😊.

Then comes the Amazon guy in the morning with a delivery package. While handing over the package, he asks me, with a raised eyebrow and a stern voice , ” You are Smita Sinha?!!!”

And I went, ” YES, 😠?!!!”

Clearly he was having his doubts about the person in front of him, in mismatched over sized PJs, dishevelled hair sticking out at odd angles, and said person clearly in need of a wash and some clean clothes. He didn’t think I could be capable of shopping, let alone online shopping. 

And no, hadn’t ordered clothes either, just plain old groceries.

I am not exaggerating, I wish I was though. 

Mehh.. So, that’s motherhood for me in a nutshell; One day HOT 364 days NOT…