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People are mortified to find out how many moms daydream about being hospitalized

Yes, it's a real thing.

woman lying in a hospital bed looking out the window
Canva, @emilykmay/X

Lying in bed and looking out the window with no one asking for anything? Yes, please.

It's hard to explain the relentless intensity of having young children if you haven't done it. It's wonderful, beautiful, magical and all of that—it truly is—but it's a lot. Like, a lot. It's a bit like running an ultramarathon through the most beautiful landscape you can imagine. There's no question that it's amazing, but it's really, really hard. And sometimes there are storms or big hills or obstacles or twisted ankles or some other thing that makes it even more challenging for a while.

Unfortunately, a lot of moms feel like they're running that marathon alone. Some actually are. Some have partners who don't pull their weight. But even with an equal partner, the early years tend to be mom-heavy, and it takes a toll.

In fact, that toll is so great that it's not unusual for moms to fantasize about being hospitalized—not with anything serious, just something that requires a short stay—simply to get a genuine break.


In a thread on X (formerly Twitter), a mom named Emily shared this truth: "[I don't know] if the lack of community care in our culture is more evident than when moms casually say they daydream about being hospitalized for something only moderately serious so that they are forced to not have any responsibilities for like 3 days."

In a follow-up tweet, she added, "And other moms are like 'yeah totally' while childfree Gen Z girls’ mouths hang open in horror."

Other moms corroborated, not only with the fantasy but the reality of getting a hospital break:

"And can confirm: I have the fondest memories of my appendicitis that almost burst 3 weeks after my third was born bc I emergency had to go get it taken out and I mean I let my neighbor take my toddlers and I let my husband give the baby formula, and I slept until I was actually rested. Under the knife, but still. It was really nice," wrote one mom.

"I got mastitis when my first was 4 months old. I had to have surgery, but my hospital room had a nice view, my mom came to see me, the baby was with me but other people mostly took care of her, bliss," shared another.

Some people tried to blame lackadaisical husbands and fathers for moms feeling overwhelmed, but as Emily pointed out, it's not always enough to have a supportive spouse. That's why she pointed to "lack of community care" in her original post.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to raise a mother. Without the proverbial village, we end up bearing too much of the weight of childrearing ourselves. We're not just running the ultramarathon—we're also carrying the water, bandaging the blisters, moving fallen trees out of the way, washing the sweat out of our clothes—and we're doing it all without any rest.

Why don't moms just take a vacation instead of daydreaming about hospitalization? It's not that simple. Many people don't have the means for a getaway, but even if they do, there's a certain level of "mom guilt" that comes with purposefully leaving your young children. Vacations usually require planning and decision-making as well, and decision fatigue is one of the most exhausting parts of parenting.

Strange as it may seem, the reason hospitalization is attractive is that it's forced—if you're in the hospital, you have to be there, so there's no guilt about choosing to leave. It involves no decision-making—someone else is calling the all shots. You literally have no responsibilities in the hospital except resting—no one needs anything from you. And unlike when you're on vacation, most people who are caring for your kids when you're in the hospital aren't going to constantly contact you to ask you questions. They'll leave you to let you rest.

Paula Fitzgibbons shares that had three kids under the age of 3 in 11 months (two by adoption and one by birth). Her husband, despite being very involved and supportive, had a 1.5 hour commute for work, so the lion's share of childcare—"delightful utter chaos" as she refers to it—fell on her shoulders. At one point, she ended up in the ER with atrial fibrillation, and due to family medical history was kept in the hospital for a few days for tests and monitoring.

"When people came to visit me or called to see how I was, I responded that I was enjoying my time at 'the spa,' and though I missed my family, I was soaking it all in," she tells Upworthy. "My husband understood. Other mothers understood. The medical staff did not know what to make of my cheerful demeanor, but there I was, lying in bed reading and sleeping for four straight days with zero guilt. What a gift for a new mom."

When you have young children, your concept of what's relaxing shifts. I recall almost falling asleep during one of my first dental cleanings after having kids. That chair was so comfy and no one needed anything from me—I didn't even care what they were doing to my teeth. It felt like heaven to lie down and rest without any demands being made of me other than "Open a little wider, please."

Obviously, being hospitalized isn't ideal for a whole host of reasons, but the desire is real. There aren't a lot of simple solutions to the issue of moms needing a real break—not just an hour or two, but a few days—but maybe if society were structured in such a way that we had smaller, more frequent respites and spread the work of parenting across the community, we wouldn't feel as much of a desire to be hospitalized simply to be able to be able to rejuvenate.


This article originally appeared on 9.7.23

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10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

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The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

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