One of the hardest things of being single parent is making all of the decisions on your own. How are we supposed to know if we’re making proper choices when there isn’t a 2nd opinion giving guidance, support, or knowledge? It’s a lot of stress for one person to carry of what it sometimes takes a village to maintain.
In my experience of single motherhood (with no co-parenting and no child support), I always had anywhere between 2-4 jobs. And while I started building Sassy Chef, I was a cook at a local restaurant 3 days of the week, had personal chef clients 2 days of the week, taught group fitness 3 nights a week, and picked up catering gigs any and everywhere in between.
I managed decently (financially), but I STILL felt the struggle of always needing extra cash for every day things like groceries, gas, school/ activity supplies, etc…
So when Zared was “old enough” to stay at home alone, I had to make a hard decision I wish I didn’t have to; I took a part-time job as a bartender at a reputable fine-dining restaurant. I only worked one night a week. The restaurant was literally 2 miles away from our small apartment, but I couldn’t help but be pained with guilt every time I had to leave Zared for work.
Every Friday operated like this, Zared came home after school at 3 pm, we either played outside or watched a movie for a bit. I fed him dinner, kissed him goodbye and then at 4:30 I left for my bar tending shift. I’d usually get home at 12, sometimes 1 am with $200 cash in my pocket. And right when I walked through the door, I went straight to his room to give him a kiss, with tears in my eyes.
During one of my bar tending shifts Zared texted me to tell me he was hungry:
“Mom, I’m still hungry. What should I eat?” Says Zared
“Babe, did you eat all of your dinner?”
“Yes, mom I did. But I’m STILL hungry!”
“Babe, make a snack! Get creative! There’s string cheese, apples, carrots, find something!”
“I’m tired of eating the same stuff.” Zared complained
“Well that’s all we have. So you’re just going to have to deal with that until I can go to the store and get more food.”
I hated myself at that moment. I felt flushed with guilt. I felt like a horrible neglectful mother who was unfit to parent. If I were with him at home, he wouldn’t be hungry. But I also thought, If I wasn’t here at work, we wouldn’t have any money! It’s so hard - not knowing whether or not you make the right decisions.
About an hour later he sent me a photo of pancakes. The caption wrote:
“Look Mom! I made pancakes! They turned out pretty good!”
“You made those? Wow they look great!! How did you know how to make them?” I asked.
“Youtube! It was easy. We had all of the ingredients here! I’ll make them for you sometime. Love you.”
I didn’t know whether to applaud him for learning how to make pancakes on his own, or whether to cry BECAUSE he had to learn how to make pancakes on his own. It was bittersweet, this feeling I had. I was so proud of him, yet so sad for him at the same time.
One of the hardest things of being single parent is making all of the decisions on your own.
How are we supposed to know if we’re making proper choices, when there isn’t a 2nd opinion giving guidance, support, or knowledge?
That’s just it, we won’t ever know if we’re doing it right. We just have to continue to do what feels right. And until we figure that out, there’s always pancakes…..
Here’s a delicious, clean-eating pancake recipe that’s paleo, easy, and quick to make….
Almond Butter Chia Protein Pancakes
3 ripe bananas – divided
11/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A drop of Young Living Cinnamon Essential Oil (1 teaspoon cinnamon)
A drop of Young Living Nutmeg Essential Oil (1/2 teaspoon nutmeg)
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon coconut oil/spray
Time: 25 min Yields: 4
Combine all of the ingredients (except for coconut oil) + 2 bananas in a blender and blend.
Set your pancake griddle (or small sauté pan) on medium heat. Add coconut oil.
Scoop ¼ cup sized pancakes and line them on the griddle, enough to have 8 pancakes evenly distributed on the griddle. They cook fairly quickly so keep an eye on them. Flip once the pancakes have taken a solid shape. Cook for another 30 seconds.
Garnish with sliced bananas, almonds, chia seeds, and real maple syrup!
Paleo Option: Leave out protein
Vegan Option: Substitute eggs for ¼ cup of applesauce – make sure to use plant-based protein only