Category Archives: Mommy Corner


Simply Surviving

This past July, my life changed in the blink of an eye. OK, it was more like in the blink of 9 months and 25 exhausting hours. I was thrust into the most exciting and terrifying adventure of my life in my role as a new mom. Sometimes I still have to repeat it multiple times before it really sinks in. I am a mom. I am somebody’s mom. I will be somebody’s mom for the rest of my life.


One of the only photos of the two of us in her first two months of life.

One of the only photos of the two of us in her first two months of life.

Although I remain immersed in the world of education via many different channels, my recent transition into motherhood has inspired me to add some new topics to my writing repertoire. Not to mention that this new life has currently taken over just about every brain cell that I have. These days, I can’t think about too much besides diapers, tummy time, parenting styles, breastfeeding, swaddling, and sleeping. I have always excelled at the majority of the pursuits that I’ve taken on in my life, but I will be the first to admit that my first two months of motherhood has been hard. Really hard. Despite my best efforts, it was impossible for me to prepare for just how much my life would change, or how much of a challenge being a new mom would be.

In these early months, I could only describe my new life at home with baby as survival. We were not thriving. We were not living. We were simply surviving together. Every hour that we survived seemed like a miracle, largely due to my lack of confidence in my mothering abilities. All of my energy went into making sure that my baby was surviving, and sometimes all of the energy that I had didn’t feel like it was enough. I felt guilty that the very best that I had to give only ensured her basic survival, and that I had to let go of so many of the special things that I had planned on doing with her just so that we could survive. When she turned four weeks old, I realized that I had become so caught up in our world of surviving that I had failed to take any photos with my new baby in her first month of life, had not purchased a baby book for her, and had gone 16 days without washing my hair. I also found it very challenging to suddenly give up my career. My identity has always been very closely tied to my role as an educator, and having to form a new identity as a mother overnight was incredibly overwhelming.

Those rare smiles in the early weeks gave me confidence that not only was she healthy, but also happy.

Those rare smiles in the early weeks gave me confidence that not only was she healthy, but also happy.

At this point, I knew that I needed help. When my husband was home, he was the most caring, attentive and helpful person in my life; but his work commitments and our dependence on his income did not afford him much time off from work. So I reached out to friends who had young children for advice, we started receiving our first visitors who came over with the sole purpose of helping me adjust, and we hired a postpartum doula. Although the extra help did wonders for my nutrition and hygiene, what I gained the most from my growing support system was the reassurance that surviving was more than enough for my fresh babe. She didn’t need photos, a baby book, or for her mama to put makeup on every morning. What she needed was to be kept alive – to have a clean bum, warm toes, a full belly, and plenty of snuggles. I realized that I needed to drop the “simply” from the beginning of the phrase “simply surviving,” because there is nothing simple about it. Surviving is a huge deal. Keeping another human alive is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and right now surviving is more than enough. I am doing more than enough.


How a Local Food Startup Kept Me Sane During Pregnancy

I’ve always had a complicated relationship with food. With a sense of culinary adventure akin to that of a toddler, it’s safe to say that my food preferences are juvenile at best.

One of my favourite dishes - shrimp scampi!

One of my favourite dishes – shrimp scampi!

A common dinner for me consists of buttered noodles, a scoop of peanut butter, a slice of processed cheese and a pickle – nutritionally balanced and delicious. In fact, my Instagram hashtag #DinnerWithSarah – consisting of photos of my pathetic dinners – managed to attract quite the fan club.

This food relationship changed only a few months into my first pregnancy. I spent the majority of my first trimester not unlike countless pregnant women before me: eating meager portions of dry toast, crackers and candied ginger on my bathroom floor. But as the nausea passed, the second stage of pregnancy hit me, and hit me hard – the hunger.

Not only did the hunger make me so ravenous that I could have scared off a pack of wolves for a meal, but I was craving foods I had never liked, or even tried, before. I also started to consider that maybe pickles and cheese weren’t going to give me, or my growing baby, the nutrition and satiation that we needed. A lifetime of poor eating habits had left me painfully unable to prepare quality meals for myself, so I quickly turned to outside sources. Surely, somebody in Silicon Valley could feed me.

That’s when I was saved by a local food startup. A Bay Area based foodie company, Gobble, promised me big things – minimal dirty dishes, gourmet meals, and dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes. Fortunately for my increasing appetite and decreasing patience, they delivered on everything they promised. I found myself feeling like a 21st century Betty Crocker as I turned on my stovetop for the first time in six months and whipped up dinner armed with nothing more than a frying pan and a wooden spoon. The meals were mostly prepped, cut, marinated and sometimes partially cooked for me, but when all was said and plated I somehow felt as though the small amount of searing and simmering I did was really what brought the meal together.

I also took comfort in having somebody else do the nutritional planning for me. My days of choosing between brown bread or white bread were replaced with choosing lean cuts of steak, ancient grains, vegetarian dishes, or sustainably sourced fish. I can’t imagine going back to the bland B.G. (before Gobble) days now that I’ve had a taste of forbidden rice, freekeh, and spinach gnocchi. Gobble gave me the helping hand that I needed during my pregnancy to worry less about fumbling in the kitchen and not getting proper nutrition, and gave me more time to do what I really wanted to do all along – eat massive quantities of food. Alas, my hunger was finally satiated. Now all that was left to do was to find some dessert…