Tea ‘n Toast Tuesday: A Momma’s Play Date

I look back at my thirties as the decade of birthing, nourishing, and raising our babies. What a decade! I think I could sum it up with words like exhausting, frumpy, chaotic, selfless, lonely, worrisome, precious, happy, sweet, tender, and priceless. Such contrasting terms for that time in my life. Today when I ponder on those years, I think, “I would never go back!” but if I think too hard, I could fall in a heap of tears and pine to hold those little babies again, just one day to cuddle them, feel their sweet breath on my neck as they nuzzled in for a nap.

Lonely. As a young stay at home mother I could go days without seeing another adult during the day. Nap times, sick babies, chores, errands, exhaustion, potty training, or poor weather kept me from a normal and fulfilling social life. Oh sure, I had a girl’s night out occasionally, but sometimes backed out because I was so tired. There was MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) too, but I am talking about the day to day social life. So in trying to keep my busy life simple, and fit in some kind of social life, I started having “Tea ‘n Toast Tuesdays.” I set up a tray with my favorite tea things and kept it covered in my pantry. I created little post cards and would give them out to gals in the neighborhood or church who I wanted to get to know, or who looked like they could use a day out. See, it was not a play date for my kids, it was for me!

The visits in the late afternoon on Tuesdays, were kept short and sweet, and were a breeze to set up and clean up. How simple is tea and toast? Very. I would offer an assortment of nice breads, butter, jams, Nutella, and honey along with a variety of teas, cream, sugar cubes, and lemon wedges. Toddlers gnawed happily on toast as they played underfoot and we mommas could get a good chat in before the little ones fell out with each other. Keeping it simple made my life easier but also made my guests feel welcomed and pampered without really being over the top.

Other things I kept on hand to make my visits pretty but simple were a white table cloth that could be bleached (just in case of spills), a package of pretty paper napkins, and nice chocolates. When my guests left, I would wash the dishes, place them back on the tray, and place the tray of tea things back in my pantry all ready for the next visit.

Try your own Tea ‘n Toast Tuesdays or a Coffee in Chaos Day!

How do you or did you create a social life for yourself as a young mother? Please share your tips in the comments below.


  1. Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer
    Posted April 7, 2011 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    Wonderful idea! I just posted on how some of my fave posts are actually ideas….perfect for me I was trying to think of ways to get to know my new neighbors and this would be nice.

  2. gremhog susan.hatch@gmail.com
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    I am from a very proper and very British family…and tea and toast was always on the menu for moments of joy or stress, pain or bee stings, loss jobs, headaches. Thank you for all the entries you post. And I LOVE the tote bag. It is perfect.

  3. the domestic mama
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    Awww, I love it, I love the pictures, the set up ans the ease of clean up! I wish I was one of those lucky moms. 🙂

  4. Biz
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    What a great idea Robin Sue! I guess I was lucky because I moved in with parents after Hannah was born.

    After she went to bed (and she was an awesome sleeper!) I could still go out with friends a couple nights a week.

    It is so weird, but I am just coming up on my 25th high school reunion – I just found a guy whose locker was next to mine for like 10 years of school – he and his wife just had their second baby – and their first child is only 2. I told him Hannah's about to finish her first year of college and he couldn't believe it.

    But I did love the snuggly days when Hannah would lay her head on my chest, suck her thumb and play with my hair – they grow up so fast!

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Sheila
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 9:37 PM | Permalink

    I sometimes suffered through those years but have learned to enjoy them now (thankfully with a few little ones still). It's hard being a mom of little ones and learning to enjoy time for yourself; I used to feel guilty (and sometimes still do). I think it is great as the kids have gotten older to be able to do some things with them that is also down time.

  6. Jenn@slim-shoppin
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    I am certainly glad my kids are getting older 15, 12 and 9. I was telling my girlfriend at work who just had her 2nd baby and her first one is almost 2. She was complaining how tired she was.

    I swapped kids when mine were little. A few Moms and I would take kids for 3-4 hours once a week while you could get your nails done, grocery shop in peace or just take a nap.

    Any time I thought it was too much, I would think of my mother in law who had 11 kids and if she could do that I certainly could handle three!

  7. oneordinaryday
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    How lovely! I wish I had been your neighbor back then. That would be such a nice way to spend the afternoon.

  8. Miri Leigh
    Posted April 10, 2011 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    What a lovely afternoon! Great photos!

  9. Anonymous
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 6:43 AM | Permalink

    I think I felt all the same things you did when my kids were little. Even though I went back to work outside of the home-I had grown up conversation (not social though), but my mind was on my kids and nothing else really mattered. I would rush home to get to them, felt guilty when something happened and I wasn't there. I never felt like I deserved a "Mommy play date". If I could go back and do it all again, I wish I had made time for some more social time-but I am getting some time now and I am so enjoying watching my kids grow and learn. I guess the common denominator for all of us mothers, is that there is a time when raising little ones that we do lose a little bit of ourselves for a while, but that it is only temporary and soon we will all be wondering how time went by so quickly as we pack them off for college, weddings, etc.
    Joyce K.

  10. Robin Sue
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    Joyce K.- You are so right. We do lose so much of ourselves but at the same time that time is what make us who we are. I think we birth guilt with the first child!- no book or anyone tells us that. And time is flying! I am enjoying my teenager, there are times when it is almost like we are friends laughing together, then I stop and think- how did this happen, he was just a baby yesterday? We must find it in us to enjoy every aspect of their little lives!

  11. Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

    Checking back in- so I didn't do the cards yet but I did invite some new neighbors over for coffee with your inspiration! They all wanted to know how I made it taste like a Coffee Shop 🙂 My secret is good coffee, pure water and a "whizzer", they thought I was so great, hhahhaa.

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