Okay, before reading this understand three things, one that I’m just a normal, newbie mom dealing with lots of new things like so many others, two this post has absolutely nothing to do with waffles (although the recipe is at the end) and third, I ask that you read this I’m it’s entirety prior to commenting and/or passing judgement. Be mindful that posting one’s feelings on the internet for all to see is no easy feat but I choose to do so because my goal is to let other women who may be in the same boat realize it’s okay and totally normal.Truth: I definitely have days when I am too hard on myself. I suppose it’s natural to find fault in areas you’re weaker even if we try to talk ourselves up and out of it. Though in a world where good is often never good enough I find myself sometimes hating the little things.
Now hate is a very strong word so maybe I’ll choose dislike instead. It softens the blow a bit. As a writer I’ve always been about expressing my feelings and thoughts, as hard as it can sometimes be. To open yourself up to a world that reaches a limitless number of people as well the possibility of judgement is not only hard but equally as scary. However, writing has always been very therapeutic for me. It’s been an outlet of sorts to genuinely express my dreams, worries, opinions, fears, memorable moments and experiences. I know some may think it is me seeking praise or weird to talk about ones feelings so openly or whatever else but I find it helpful. I write quite often and although many entries are left unpublished I do like to share the ones that I feel may reach someone in a familiar sense. And without directly speaking of anyone in particular here’s to those women…
So back to the word dislike…I’ve always had to work at being fully comfortable in my own skin. Like most people, we always seek to better at least one aspect of ourselves, whether it’s our hair color, amount of wrinkles, weight, finances, what we drive, where we live, etc.. Sadly, much of that is due to the impact of social media but regardless, I don’t think there’s one person out there reading this that has never considered improving upon one thing at least once in their life whether publicly shared or not. Well it’s safe to say I’m right there with you. Every now and then I find myself wishing away the cellulite on my legs from pregnancy that just won’t seem to leave, wishing I didn’t have to cut my hair so short due to post pregnancy hormones and my hair constantly breaking and falling out, erasing the wrinkles on my forehead that make me not like to take pictures of myself lately, wishing my boobs were a bit more like they used to be pre pregnancy (sorry TMI), and even wishing I didn’t have to work so hard at feeling ‘attractive’ or even ‘sexy’. See a running trend here? Although at various points in my life these things have varied, many of the internal battles I’m currently facing were gifted to me post pregnancy. It’s pretty amazing what your body goes through while pregnant so it’s no wonder it take such a toll on you emotionally.
Pause for a second, I don’t want you to misread what I’m saying as me being unhappy or regret having been pregnant or anything negative surrounding it because of these changes. In fact, I’d do it all over again times ten because being a mother to the most amazing little girl is well, simply put, indescribably wonderful in every single way. Rather, what I’m saying is that it often feels lonely and isolating. It can seem as if you’re the only one in the world who suddenly feels as if you’re no longer attractive not only to your significant other but to yourself. Spending your days with unwashed hair, covered in spit up or baby food and having no time to throw on even mascara while your baby is dressed in the most adorable matching outfit, hair brushed with a bow and ready to take on the world is just how it is. You tend to dodge mirrors to avoid the reality of it.
I love my daughter with every ounce of my being so I’ve come to just ‘be okay’ with everyone and everything else coming first. Is that normal? Maybe, who knows. Either way, normal or not, it’s still a bit like being the only one on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean. Having generally always been a strong, independent women and suddenly feeling like you’re secretly hoping for a compliment or even to be able to catch a glimpse at yourself in the mirror and not immediately notice all the things you dislike first, truthfully, is hard. Still, you know you’re not the only woman out there who’s raising children thusly having once been pregnant too meaning they’ve also, if not now, probably had similar feelings. I try to reassure myself that it will pass, it’s just hormones or I’m having an off day but I think it would be helpful to be reassured that I’m not alone.
Because in truth, we aren’t alone, us women, mothers, role models, expert diaper changers, pro multitaskers, story teller extraordinaires, always on time chauffeurs, awesome wives, girlfriends, partners. We are all of those things regardless of what we dislike or secretly beg to change about ourselves. It’s all there even if it’s sometimes hard to see. We are strong, resilient, brave, beautiful, powerful and amazingly lucky women because we get the opportunity to be all of those things and then some. I’d like to be able to reach a point as a mother and as a girlfriend to believe I can be covered in some of the grossest things imaginable and still feel as ‘sexy’ or ‘beautiful’ both inside and out. More importantly, I aim to really believe it. I think that in all of us we have more than enough ability to do so. Like anything in life, nothing worthwhile comes easy. Being a great mom and an equally as great partner does take work on so many levels and it’s an ongoing path of challenges, bumps, points of failure but equally there are laughs, memorable moments, growth, success and of course love. Some days will be good and others will take more work. It’s life and it’s totally okay. You can choose to feel like the only one on the path of motherhood or you can walk, head held high, believing that you are an amazing woman, beautiful inside and out, whether you are told so or not and more importantly do so knowing that you are not alone.
So as mentioned, this piece of my mind has absolutely nothing to do with waffles…
Although on second thought, I suppose it kind of does. A waffle can, like us women, be so many things all at once like healthy, delicious, full of protein and whole grains, be sweet or savory and yes, even green. What makes these gluten-free waffles green is a little added spinach in the batter. What better way to sneak in a few extra veggies into you and/or your kids (and they won’t even know it!). These waffles work great with both sweet or savory toppings. My favorite combos include bananas, pistachios and chocolate chips or an over easy egg and sliced avocado.
Spinach Oatmeal Waffles
Makes 2 large waffles/ Prep time: 5 minutes/ Cook time: about 5 minutes (depending on your waffle maker)
- 1 c gluten-free rolled oats (Not quick oats)
- 1 c fresh spinach
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp flax meal
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Desired toppings: maple syrup, banana, chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, over easy egg, avocado, etc.
- In a blender, add the oats, spinach, eggs, flax and maple syrup.
- Pulse until you reach achieve consistency.
- Pour half of the batter onto a preheated waffle iron (set to medium) and cook about 5 minutes (or as instructed for your particular iron).
- Remove waffle from the iron when done and set on a cooling rack.
- Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Serve waffles warm with favorite toppings.
Note: these waffles can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days or frozen for a longer shelf life. To heat, place in a toaster or toaster oven.