Looking Back at Perfect

In the midst of decorating the high chair for my daughter’s first birthday party I ask my friend “Does this look ok?

It looks great!” she replied.

I let out a sigh of relief and said “I’m clearly not a Pinterest mom.

With that statement came an entire conversation that we moms are all too familiar with.

Expectations…

Too many to count. We place them on each other as well as ourselves and in fact, we place them on every person we have a relationship with. The expectation that family will show up to the party, that a good friend will offer help, that everyone will enjoy and have fun.

Some expectations are healthy. Like the expectation that your partner will help with what needs to be done. And others may not be so healthy, like the expectations we place on those that often let us down.

But furthermore there is one expectation I’d like to explore in more detail. The one that we can control. The one we place on ourselves to be the ‘perfect mom.’ The mom that captures the perfect photo, has the most beautiful cake and decor at her child’s birthday party and all to show her friends and family how much she’s got this.

That expectation is one we can choose to do without. We place it on ourselves, therefore we can remove it if we simply set it free.

Imagine the brain power you could free up, the money and time you could save, and how much more you could enjoy being a mom without this silly expectation.

Yes…that homemade cake may not be as pretty as the one from the store, but it could taste better and at the very least the memories you’ll have if you let your littles help you will be worth it. And don’t worry, that mess can wait till bedtime. You’ll get to it. Just breathe.

And yes those beautifully staged photos of your child in a nice outfit, alone, surrounded by cute props are so pretty to look at and maybe hang on your wall.

But in the future when my daughter asks to see photos of when she was little, I imagine she’ll be looking for her memories, as I do.

Memories of how her mumma held her hand that first time down the slide, or how her papa hugged her when he got home from work or maybe how she played with her friends at her birthday party.

Those candid real life shots, those are the memories worth coming back to. So capture them and let the rest go. Give yourself grace and spend that precious time and energy on either working on yourself for your family or with your family. Don’t worry so much what your friends and other parents will think of you if you don’t do all those things you’re expected to do.

Just do you.

Our only true judges are our littles. And they’ll be happy to declare you the title of perfect mom” if you let them.

You got this.

Cherry Crumble Saves the Day!

As a mumma it can be hard to find time to run to the store and stock up on groceries. And when you do sometimes you get too busy and forget some of those things you put in the fridge…(or maybe that’s just a me problem?)
Then one day you open the fruit drawer and realize you forgot about those delicious berries that you bought on sale! Now they need to be consumed quickly or they’ll go to waste. Fear not mumma, that’s where this recipe will save the day!
I love finding ways to save money and time by reusing things and giving them new life. Like that milk that’s about to spoil? Turn it into yogurt! That fruit that you forgot about? Bake it into something delicious! And that’s what this one’s about. Take any berry, apple, pear or pitted fruit in your fridge that’s about to spoil and quickly turn it into something warm, yummy and magical.
Oh and don’t worry too much about the presentation, what it lacks in show it makes up for in taste. I promise! Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:
2 cups pitted cherries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
1/3 cup oats
1 stick butter
1/4 tsp of salt
1/2 a tsp of cinnamon

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Butter inside of baking pan (leave out to soften but do not melt.)
3. Make crumble by combining flour, butter, and half the oats. Crumble by hand until you get a sand like texture.

 

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4. Add brown sugar, salt and cinnamon to the crumble and mix in by hand. Set aside.

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5. Toss cherries in white sugar and place in baking pan, spread out evenly.

6. Add the crumble to the top of the cherries evenly.

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7. Sprinkle the last half of oats over top.

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8. Bake in oven 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 50 min until top begins to turn golden brown.

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9. Enjoy a la mode or top with vanilla ice cream! So yummy!

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This is 30: My Miscarriage Story

“Do you have kids?”

My hiring manager asked me in my interview just 15 days after I learned of my miscarriage and had my D&C performed.
In short I answer “No.”
Setting aside this invalid question as mere small talk rather than an attempt to understand my qualifications.

“Do you want kids?”

He asked next. OK I’m thinking maybe he just recently had a child and is looking for areas where we can relate. Hmm… how to answer this question.
Yes. I was pregnant before. She decided she didn’t want to come after 10 weeks of growing in my belly. I haven’t even been able to say this out loud yet….
“Yes.” I respond as I try to stop my eyes from watering.“Sorry… allergies” I say as I prepare for the next question.

“When do you plan on having kids?”

Now I see the pattern to the conversation women fall victim to over and over again. He can probably tell from my resume and the year I received my Bachelors of Science that I’m almost 30. Plus there’s a wedding band on my finger so he’s assuming children would naturally be my next step.
How can he be asking these questions as interview questions? If I say soon he’s taking a risk hiring me. If I say I don’t know, I may look like I’m not being honest. I’ve never been good at lying, the truth is written all over my face…
Next I do something many would be too fearful to do.
I kill these questions with honesty.

“I was pregnant for the last 2.5 months. I lost my baby and my body didn’t recognize the loss. I had a D&C earlier this month. Are these your standard interview questions?”

Needless to say I got the job but guess what? I had to resign when I found out I was pregnant again. Without a year of employment prior to babies arrival, I had no benefits, no maternity leave and no F.M.L.A…

 

This is America.

 

Where women can expect to be asked these questions in the workplace, even during an interview and then have to choose between working to pay for daycare or leaving their jobs because they don’t offer maternity leave.

 


 

Pregnancy is not easy or even an option for many women. I learned this the hard way. I had never known any woman to have a miscarriage and I blamed my body for failing to support my growing babe. Little did I know miscarriages are more common than I thought. Now why, WHY didn’t I know not to blame my body? Why didn’t I know this was a common occurrence?
Because many women suffer in silence. They go about blaming themselves, or their bodies for failing them. They enter into depression and fear the very questions that I was asked in that interview.
It’s this fear that keeps us quiet, the fear of being judged.
Only when I began to talk about my miscarriage while traveling with my husband was I able to heal and move forward. We took a few months and packed in as many trips as we could to reset and found ourselves healing in far off places. After talking through it with him, I was slowly able to open up to others. And when I did, I was surprised at what I found…
I learned I wasn’t the only woman I know to have suffered a miscarriage. In fact MANY women near to me had.
If only I had known this prior to my loss. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself, maybe I wouldn’t have suffered in silence, while everyone slept. Thinking about my lost baby, how I just knew she was a girl, why did she decide not to come? Why did my body not keep her safe? Why didn’t I wait to tell close friends about her? What if I just wasn’t meant to be a mom… what if…what if…what if…
Almost exactly one year after my D&C our little Rya arrived. I think now my first baby brought her to us. And I’m thankful for the short amount of time I got to know her, because without her I wouldn’t have my Rya and I wouldn’t be the mumma I am today.
This post is dedicated to that one brave momma I know who posted her miscarriage and D&C experience in a foreign country on Facebook. You inspired me to open up, speak up, and begin to heal. I hope this post will help other mummas as yours did for me.
If you or someone close to you have ever suffered a miscarriage don’t let it burn a hole in your heart.
Don’t hold it in.
Speak up.
Let it out.
Share your story and know it wasn’t your fault.
You are not alone.

Easy Teething: Oatmeal and Banana Biscuits

Teething…where do I start? Lack of sleep, fighting naps, extra cuddles and lots of crying; oh and baby was uncomfortable too!

I was a mess when my poor babe started teething! If only mummas cuddles could soothe her teething pain! The only thing that seemed to help was a cold washcloth for her to suck on and a hard teething biscuit… which tastes much better than a wash cloth if you ask me.

Instead of heading to the store to buy something I wasn’t sure would help, I spent just about 20 minutes in the kitchen and ended up with something we both could enjoy. These teething biscuits are so tasty she even felt the need to share with her puppy!

Mumma approved, baby approved and puppy approved, I think you’ll approve too!

Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

1 cup Steel Cut Oats (ground optional)
1 cup All Purpose Flour
2 large ripe bananas
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

1. Using a large bowl add oatmeal, flour, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and bananas. Mash together with a fork until mixture is a soft moist consistency.

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2. Roll dough out until about 1/4th inch thickness.
3. Cut dough using cookie cutters or roll into 1 inch thick 2 inch long bars for easy gripping for baby. If using cookie cutters be sure to smooth edges of dough for clean looking biscuits.
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4. Bake biscuits at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until edges starts to brown.
5. Let sit 24 hours to harden (optional.)

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Enjoy!

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Feel like baking something for you mumma?

Check out my other recipes on this blog!