Real Life Mama: A year’s worth of learning and growth

How do you like your eggs? The year 2023 has been a journey for me – one that includes learning a lot about myself — ironically enough, when it comes to eggs.

My mom used to always joke that I didn’t know how I liked my eggs. You know, like on the movie, “Runaway Bride.” Basically, Julia Roberts likes her eggs however the guy she is dating likes their eggs. She has no idea how she actually likes hers.

That was me — except with a little twist. I liked my eggs however everyone around — kids, friends, men, family — liked their eggs. It didn’t really matter to me, I would just eat the eggs however everyone else wanted them. I am a people pleaser – I wanted to make everyone happy and that worked for me – as long as, eventually, I got to what made me “happy,” a drink.

But as I put down the drinks this year, I started to learn a few things. One major thing was that I don’t even really like eggs all that much. Sure, a hard boiled one here or there or even poached from time to time, but honestly, I could do without them. They aren’t my thing.

But, more importantly, as I looked around, I noticed something else. When we made big breakfasts for our crew, the bacon and pancake or French toast, all of it was raved about – and rarely did we have any leftovers of those things. And yet, we always had leftover eggs – whether they were left on plates and thrown away, or just never even dished out, the eggs were never really eaten. While bacon could be used as a bargaining tool for swapping for French toast, eggs didn’t hold any value as a swap.

No one really cared for eggs. We just made them because, well, you make eggs with breakfast.

And I have never seen drinking more clearly than I have after figuring out the egg situation. I mean, just like everyone likes eggs for breakfast, everyone just drinks.

Friend get-togethers, holidays, random rough Tuesdays, happy Wednesdays, Sunday Fundays, stress free Saturday afternoons, end of week Fridays. It’s time to drink, just like it is time for eggs with breakfast.

No one wants to not serve eggs for breakfast. Every commercial, every tradition, every known part of breakfast includes eggs. No one wants to be the one passing on the eggs. Me included! I didn’t even like eggs, but it was the thing to eat – at least it satisfied a hunger.

Much like drinking. I wanted so badly to stop — I hated the way it made me feel the next day – sure it satisfied the thirst in the moment, but that was it. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t want the eggs.

But telling everyone was, well, weird. Who doesn’t want eggs for breakfast? Who doesn’t drink at a party? Interestingly enough though, if you decline eggs, no one really cares (Annie Grace speaks more about this in her book “This Naked Mind”). But turn down some drinks? And you are either pregnant or have a major problem.

And that is what I have learned about me in 2023. I just don’t really like eggs. And it is more than okay if other people like eggs, they can eat eggs – all the eggs they want. It doesn’t bother me. I can be around eggs – I don’t hate eggs – or the people that eat them! I just … don’t like them.

In case you missed it, we probably aren’t talking about eggs anymore.

And in finding that I don’t like eggs – telling people that eggs aren’t for me – I have realized that there are actually a lot of other people that don’t like eggs either. Who knew?

Back to actual eggs.

We stopped making eggs here recently – oh we still buy them to use for the French toast. And Bubba will still cook up his perfectly timed over medium ones that he likes for some quick and easy protein. But when we make breakfast (or our favorite, breakfast for dinner), we nix the eggs. Because 2023 was about finding out what we really like – what really makes us happy. And most of us in my house, we don’t like eggs.

For me, 2023 came with a lot of feeling. Which was not always easy – especially without eggs. Feel. Deal. Heal. Three words – a year’s worth of learning and growth. There were tears, outbursts, heck, even a few internal tantrums. But I made it through — praying, crying, laughing, loving, leaning on God and figuring out what it feels like to be comfortable in my own skin – how to truly be happy – without eggs.

I learned that I like my coffee with a few ice cubes – not iced – warm, but cool enough to drink. I love bubble baths – sometimes by light of a candle with a Bible meditation and sometimes with a good book. I love snuggles under soft blankets and backrubs just because. I love handwritten notes – both giving and receiving. I love “me” time in the quietness of the morning – even if that means getting up early before everyone else — where I can spend time thanking God for the goodness in my life.

Because 2023 has taught me that this life is so good. Even when, or rather, especially when, I just don’t have eggs.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.