Finding the Time to Eat as a New Parent

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!