My friend and fellow SAHM Samantha and I meet for breakfast once a week. Our two oldest kids go to first grade at the same elementary school, so we alternate houses and meet up immediately after morning drop-off. We each have two younger kids who always tag along and join the fun, too.
Dubbed “Breakfast Club,” our get-togethers consist of eating some type of breakfast food that ranges from bakery donuts to homemade biscuits and gravy. The menu varies widely depending on how much sleep that morning’s cook received during the previous night. Our culinary skills aren’t the focus of our Breakfast Club, though. We just relish a chance to get together, enjoy some adult conversation, and exchange gripes and victories from the trenches of stay at home parenting.
Part of our dedication to Breakfast Club stems our roles as our families’ primary caretakers. Some of our other mom friends have office jobs that take up most of their weekdays, leaving them available for mom/kid hang time only on the weekends. Neither Samantha nor I have full-time jobs outside our homes. Our schedules are anchored by school pick up and drop off, so we are pretty much always free to hang out during school hours.
The other morning, Samantha pointed out that SAHMs are rare these days. She’s right, but our kids’ young ages also contribute to our current roles. We are both college-educated and held career-track jobs before motherhood shifted our priorities. She worked as a teacher, and I wrote full-time for a regional magazine. These days, we change diapers, sing the alphabet, peel mandarin oranges, and referee sibling fights, but one day we will likely both return to the professional world in at least a part-time capacity.
But for now, it’s a relief for each of us to have another couch where we can shove aside a pile of clean laundry, plop down, and snuggle our littlest ones while our bigger kids play dress-up and build blanket forts. We don’t plan crafts, decorate pancakes with our kids’ initials using homemade maple syrup, serve organic fruit, or try out the latest Pinterest anything.
The kids play until they want to watch TV, then we let them watch a cartoon. Samantha and I talk about our exasperation with teething babies, creative ways to find more time to read (pro tip: breastfeed forever! Just kidding), frugal places to day trip with the kids, our life ambitions before we got married, and our tentative five-year plans. We eat carbohydrates and drink multiple cups of coffee. Unless we extra exhausted from pulling the night shift with our youngest kids, then we guzzle espresso like it’s chocolate milk.
I like to think our Breakfast Club is reminiscent of the get-togethers our grandmothers used to have in the ‘60s before playdates became a thing with organized crafts and themed goody bags. I’m told that moms of that era smoked cigarettes and gossiped while their kids watched TV in the other room. Cigarettes have since been proven to be deadly and their popularity has sharply declined, but unstructured hang out time for mom and kids should make a comeback. There is a nonjudgmental air to meeting up without deep cleaning the house or composing an itinerary.
That is my favorite part about Breakfast Club. Well, that and Samantha’s espresso machine. Mama needs caffeine and friendly conversation, and I’m grateful I found it in today’s era of Pinterest play dates.