Mother's Day - Fig and Apple Oatmeal with Chia and Flax

I don't even know how to describe motherhood. It's more challenging than a PhD, I know that. It makes me happier than chocolate, or foot massages, or even both at the same time. It can make me feel as golden and glowing and powerful as the sun, or as powerless as a defunct and drifting satellite. (What can I say? I love sci-fi.) 

I adore my daughter, I love being her mother, and I really really want to continue with this motherhood thing for a long, long time. Like till I'm 90 ... or 95 ... at least. 

Nelle's been doing her own baby's washing ...

Mother's Day is a haunting time of year for me. There's a poster on our bedroom wall that Robbie and Nelle made for me on my first ever Mother's Day - it's Nelle's feet, stamped in pink and green and blue and yellow paint, spelling out 'I Love Mummy'. I look at this poster every single day - multiple times a day - and it fills me with happiness. 

But, it's happiness with an edge. Because when they made me that gift, for my first ever Mother's Day, we had no idea what was coming.

Yep, it's that time of year.
My cancerversary (a term I like to think I coined ... and which elicits a rolling of my husband's eyes every time I say it ... ) falls every year just after Mother's Day, bringing all that darkness into the back of my throat, like reflux. 

I never can quite figure out what to do with those uncomfortable thoughts when they hit me, the pangs of sadness, the twinges of guilt. They're there. They're part of me. I know they're important, but I don't want them to control me. So, I wring myself out with yoga. I sing at the top of my voice to music, and dance in the kitchen. I shatter my body with workouts, because somehow making my body stronger might just make me stronger, too. I eat too much chocolate. And compensate with green tea. I feel close to something, close to healing, close to seeing my daughter go to school (after all). Close to moving beyond this. Swallowing the fear, the anger, the uncertainty ... for at least another 6 months or so. 

Close to acceptance.

The longer I go without recurrence, the better my chances of survival. The better my chances of watching my daughter graduate and my own hair turn gray. Of traveling Africa, India and Central America. Of writing this book. Trying that pre-digested coffee that's supposed to be so amazing. 

So, I guess I should be celebrating this milestone. This four years.
Or maybe I'll just climb into bed with my baby girl and hold her tight.

With all my heart, Happy Mother's Day,
Amanda xx

Fig and Apple Oatmeal with Chia and Flax
serves 3

This recipe was a huge hit with the family - probably because it's a little sweeter than my usual. I shred the apple directly into the oats, rather than boiling it separately. It's so much easier that way! If you can't get fresh figs you could probably substitute soaked, dried figs instead. 

The time
15 minutes

The ingredients
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup milk
3 fresh figs, chopped
1 unpeeled apple, coarsely shredded
1 Tbs rapadura sugar
1 Tbs each ground chia seeds and ground flaxseeds
pinch of sea salt

maple syrup and milk, to serve

*Try to use organic ingredients when you can

The process
1. Bring the oats, water, milk, figs, apple and sugar to the boil in a heavy saucepan - then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir regularly, until the oats are cooked - about 10-15 minutes.

2. Then, remove from heat. Stir in the ground chia and flaxseeds.

3. Spoon into bowls and serve with a splash of cold milk and a drizzle of maple syrup. Plus a cup of hot, black coffee to counterbalance the sweetness.

The cost
Definitely less than $5 to do this organic, but how much less will depend largely on the cost of the figs.


  1. Such a beautiful reflection on motherhood, Amanda. I only hope that I am fortunate enough to experience it one day.

    I have never had cancer so I can't imagine how you must feel on your cancerversary. But I know that I also struggle with fear, anger and uncertainty and that I deal with it in much the same way as you do - yoga, green tea, dark chocolate (it's medicinal, right). I hope that these things will give me a greater chance at living until I'm 95. But I can only be certain of today. I need to learn how to live for this day without worrying about the future.

    Your blog is helping me to ground myself in the moment. To appreciate the simple things, and to accept this day as it is.

    Now off to a cafe to indulge in a pot of green tea and appreciate the warmth of the sun on my back....

    Enjoy mothers day!

  2. What a lovely comment, Lauren! Thank you - your words were like a ray of sunshine :)

  3. Amanda, I am in awe of your optimism, strength and bravery in conquering cancer. Reading your blog and trying some of your yummy recipes has inspired me to look a bit closer at what we eat, to appreciate the little things (and I have discovered we have a few things in common including chocolate and green tea!)Your updates are one of the highlights of my week. I look forward to the next one! Hugs Donna Xx

  4. So beautifully written. I hope you had a wonderful day with your family. The oatmeal looks very warming.. x

  5. Thank you, Donna,

    Thank you, Sherilyn,

    I hope you had wonderful Mother's Days too! xx

  6. However you spent your Mother's Day, I hope it was wonderful and I pray that you do have many, many, more and that you will one day be celebrating Mother's Day with Nelle and her children :)

  7. So lovely! Warm oatmeal with almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon and apple is my standard breakfast during the cooler months. It's so tasty!


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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx