postmodyrn Eats! : Reality Check
Mothers feel a lot of pressure – from others, but probably most often from themselves. In a world of Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, it’s difficult not to take a glimpse into another mother’s life and compare. As a first-time mom, I had a tendency to guilt myself into thinking my child should always be happy, I should immediately shed all the baby weight, and my house should always be clean and clutter-free. It’s a tricky feeling to let go as things inevitably start to unravel. As a micromanager and notorious over-thinker, realizing you have no control over a situation despite strategically researching and planning ahead on things like setting a nap schedule – was beyond frustrating. There were times I found myself doubting every parenting decision my husband and I had made. (I mean seriously, why do all those cute Instagram babies always look so well-rested and smiley when I can barely get mine down for a 15 minute nap?) What I didn’t quite get at the time, was that I was in serious need of a reality check.
Without specifically seeking it out, that check came through getting to know a group of other first-time mothers. I remember the process being quite an experience. I was about four months into motherhood, and hadn’t slept more than a few hours in a row in about that same amount of time. Chances are I was sitting at home in pajamas (likely covered in baby spit up), and the prospect of showering, making myself look moderately presentable, driving with my baby to a class, and mustering up the energy to make new friends was an uphill battle to say the least. But I called my mom, and she somehow begrudgingly talked me into it (as she does).
Once I was there, I was really happy to be out of the house, in a supportive environment with other new moms who were going through some of the same experiences. After a few outings, I become part of a wonderful, and supportive mothers group. Many of these moms I still keep in touch with. I gained a lot of strength and confidence in myself as a mother with these women. I also learned to let go of the things that were beyond my control to fix. (Cue that annoying Frozen song…) With my family living so far away, these are the people I somehow transformed into a mother with, and they will always hold a very special place in my heart for that. Having someone to call in a frustrating situation, who has probably gone through something similar and can offer support and advice has been priceless these past four years.
I understand it’s difficult for new mothers who work full-time to take advantage of some of these classes, as many of them are scheduled during the day, but I highly recommend seeking out different ways to get to know other new moms. The ongoing benefits are definitely worth the effort.
The following recipe is a derivative of a dish I learned from one of these moms. Not only do my husband and I love eating these, but my four-year-old is a big fan as it’s a recipe he can help make, and loves to eat. From a nutritional standpoint, I decided to use turkey because it is an underutilized meat with many health benefits. It is a very good source of protein, providing 65% of daily value in one 4 ounce portion. Along with protein, turkey is an excellent source of selenium, niacin, vitamin B6, zinc, and vitamin B12. Additionally, turkey is high in the amino acid tryptophan, which is a building block of the brain compound serotonin. Since serotonin is an inducer of sleep, consumption of turkey may help improve sleep quality. And what new mom wouldn’t appreciate some more sleep! So go ahead and eat a few of these an hour or two before getting your little one down for the night!
RECIPE: Easy Turkey Sliders
½ lb ground white meat turkey
½ lb ground dark meat turkey
1 medium zucchini, grated
1 large egg
2 cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane or very finely minced
1 tsp cumin
Salt (to taste), I did ½ teaspoon, then added a healthy pinch
½ tsp dried mint
¼ tsp cinnamon
pinch cayenne pepper (to taste)
A couple tablespoons olive oil for cooking
- Combine all the ingredients for the sliders (except for the cooking oil) in a large bowl.
- Mix well (clean hands are your best tool), then form into sliders. Try to keep them consistently about ½ - ¾ inch thick so they cook evenly.
- In a large flying pan, heat up your olive oil over medium heat until hot, and cook the sliders in batches, approximately 4-5 minutes per side until fully cooked.
- Take off the heat and loosely cover with foil for a few minutes while you finish your sauce.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with the sauce spooned over or on the side.
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
Juice from ½ lemon
2 TBS olive oil
1 clove of garlic, grated on a microplane or very finely minced
Salt to taste
1-2 TBS chopped fresh herb such as chives, mint, parsley, cilantro
Optional additions: pinch of cayenne pepper, sumac, or smoked paprika
- Place all the ingredients except for the fresh herbs in a bowl. Mix well, then set aside to chill until needed. Mix in the fresh herbs at the last minute. Also, if you prefer a thinner sauce, add cold water 1 TBS at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency.