A tin of corned beef and rice again, but it’s a dish I can stretch to feed the four of us, baby included. I’m always the last one to eat, not just because my priority is feeding the children first, but also because I want make sure that everyone else has eaten enough and that no one goes to bed hungry - apart from me that is.
Of course I know that I still need to take care of myself because my kids need me (and I’m still breastfeeding), but feeling the discomfort from a little hunger is more bearable than knowing that my children are hungry. I don’t even let my husband know that I didn’t have enough to eat as I know he’d quite willingly split the hunger, but I’d still prefer to be the secret sacrifice.
I would love to be able to feed my children organic, ethically sourced produce, but when you’re living on a bootstrap budget, all you want is for your children to be fed - full stop.
(This time we were extra lucky to have leftover potato!)
I admit that sometimes I take a trip to the bathroom so that I can sit on the toilet to cry without anyone seeing me. Sometimes I lie awake in bed worrying about how to make our money stretch, “how are we gonna afford our son’s school lunch?” and, “am I gonna have to ask my mum for help, again?!”
Then I remember that there are far worse things than trying to make a tin of corned beef and rice stretch, in fact, there’s a long list of things that are worse than that. “Remember that news report you saw about that Syrian mother whose baby was starving because she couldn’t breastfeed him, because she was starving herself. Now there’s a real problem. Stop feeling bad because you’re cooking egg and rice again. You are lucky to have your first world problems.”
The next time I start to feel sorry for myself I must try to remember that there is still so much to be thankful for; we have food to eat, we have our health, we have a home, we have each other, we’re alive, and how wonderful is it that a bag of rice can go so far?!... So much to appreciate.
(When you’re challenged to create something palatable for the family with an almost empty fridge and random tins in the cupboards, it forces you to get creative, which is always a positive thing.)