I look back at my thirties as the decade of birthing, nourishing, and raising our babies. What a decade! I think I could sum it up with words like exhausting, frumpy, chaotic, selfless, lonely, worrisome, precious, happy, sweet, tender, and priceless. Such contrasting terms for that time in my life. Today when I ponder on those years, I think, “I would never go back!” but if I think too hard, I could fall in a heap of tears and pine to hold those little babies again, just one day to cuddle them, feel their sweet breath on my neck as they nuzzled in for a nap.
Lonely. As a young stay at home mother I could go days without seeing another adult during the day. Nap times, sick babies, chores, errands, exhaustion, potty training, or poor weather kept me from a normal and fulfilling social life. Oh sure, I had a girl’s night out occasionally, but sometimes backed out because I was so tired. There was MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) too, but I am talking about the day to day social life. So in trying to keep my busy life simple, and fit in some kind of social life, I started having “Tea ‘n Toast Tuesdays.” I set up a tray with my favorite tea things and kept it covered in my pantry. I created little post cards and would give them out to gals in the neighborhood or church who I wanted to get to know, or who looked like they could use a day out. See, it was not a play date for my kids, it was for me!
The visits in the late afternoon on Tuesdays, were kept short and sweet, and were a breeze to set up and clean up. How simple is tea and toast? Very. I would offer an assortment of nice breads, butter, jams, Nutella, and honey along with a variety of teas, cream, sugar cubes, and lemon wedges. Toddlers gnawed happily on toast as they played underfoot and we mommas could get a good chat in before the little ones fell out with each other. Keeping it simple made my life easier but also made my guests feel welcomed and pampered without really being over the top.
Other things I kept on hand to make my visits pretty but simple were a white table cloth that could be bleached (just in case of spills), a package of pretty paper napkins, and nice chocolates. When my guests left, I would wash the dishes, place them back on the tray, and place the tray of tea things back in my pantry all ready for the next visit.
Try your own Tea ‘n Toast Tuesdays or a Coffee in Chaos Day!
How do you or did you create a social life for yourself as a young mother? Please share your tips in the comments below.