Finding the Time to Eat as a New Parent

Popcorn snack

This post is sponsored by The Popcorn Board.

Adjusting to parenthood is really hard. It’s almost impossible to prepare for the shift between childless and taking care of a newborn. For the months leading up to James’s birth I pictured my life and honestly, I was pretty naive. I basically pictured a version of my current life just holding an adorable baby. Sure, I knew I would get a lot less sleep. But, I always considered myself someone who was able to function on little sleep. I knew our schedule would revolve around his needs, but there would be two of us working from home, we could get everything done.

The first couple weeks were a rude awakening into how all encompassing it is caring for a newborn. I knew he would wake frequently to eat, but I didn’t anticipate it being constantly. I knew I could function on little sleep, but wasn’t prepared for none. I never pictured a reality where having the time to eat a meal or even a snack was a luxury. Finding quick and easy snacks to eat became critical to my health and my sanity.

making popcorn on the stove

One of the best criteria I found for snacks was things I could eat one-handed. Something I could reach for while I was rocking him or something that wouldn’t jostle him too much if he had just gotten to sleep. Any parent will know that soul-crushing moment when you inadvertently wake a baby after spending half an hour getting him to shut his eyes. Popcorn became a go-to snack for us. It was easy to prepare, it met the “one-handed” criteria, and it’s naturally low in fat and calories. It also happens to be non-GMO, gluten-free, and whole grain, so it keeps me full for longer than some of my other simple snack cravings. When I’m really short on time, I love to pop up a bag of microwave popcorn which is super convenient!

Popcorn is also comforting to me, as it had been such a part of my pre-parenting life.

making popcorn for movie night at home

Daniel and I used to go to the movies at least 2-3 times a month. There was nothing better than sitting in a dark theater as the previews ended and reaching for that huge tub of popcorn. I would savor each kernel one at a time while Daniel would shove handfuls into his mouth to the point where Cookie Monster might pull him aside and ask him if he might have a problem. Our days of spontaneously seeing a matinee are over, for now. Luckily, popcorn is super easy to make at home. As our family gathers around our TV at home with a big bowl of it, I like to picture the day when our little man will be able to reach into the bowl and share that happiness with us. I realize I don’t have to grieve the life we lost, because we’ve gained so much more.

*As a note, popcorn shouldn’t be fed to children under the age of 5 since it can be a choking hazard for tiny tots!

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3 thoughts on “Finding the Time to Eat as a New Parent

  1. Elizabeth Hasan

    Sounds like you are doing great Andie!

    About popcorn/appropriate age – I think you might be surprised about what we’re told a child “shouldn’t” do vs. what you find yourself doing with your child :)

    Reply
  2. Anne F.

    Dear Andi, your life sounds pretty typical. If I DID gets dinner made, the baby would have awakened just as we began to eat! You just can’t plan it. Upon frustration, remember, this, too, shall pass. In two weeks, it will be something else. Just love him and do as best as you can. ❤️af

    Reply
  3. melissa A lucas

    Mine was being told “sleep queb the babies sleeps.” with my first all I wanted was to clean my house bc what if someone showed up to see the baby. i had a hard time asking dor help to the point I was having hallucinations I was so sleep deprived. But he was my baby and I was supposed to take care of him no matter what. With second I knew better. The house could be messy. My MIL could do the dishes and I didn’t feel guilty. We learn as we go but mostly we learn that everyone is different and we are all doing it ‘wrong’ but it is right for us. Enjoubypur beautiful baby!

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