Start the car! Did someone say 15$ breakfast for the ENTIRE family?
Pre-kids, weekends were a time when my husband and I would wander around town, brunching life away. We loved to wake up slowly, and scout out the best spots to hang until it was appropriate to order a caesar to nurse the day's hangover.
Now, with a wild 2 year old and 10 month old in tow, getting everyone up and on board for breakfast out of the house (that we don't have to make or clean up) seems to be Mission: Impossible.
Going out to restaurants when you have kids is expensive and stressful AF. No one wants to sit still, you don't get to eat, your partner gets to eat his whole meal, and you're bordering divorce on your drive home (thankfully having a second child for us has meant neither one of us gets to eat so we're married again #greatsolution). Your toddler pulls the lady's hair at the table behind you, your baby leaves a nuclear disaster under their high chair and you realize you forgot the baby wipes as soon as that poopsplosion hits. Sound like a familiar situation? Yep, me too. We'd lost ALL hope.
In comes the discovery of IKEA breakfasts. A magical place where everyone can eat in peace, and your marriage will be saved (as long as you make a pact to not spend on furniture because a 15$ breakfast can turn into a 800$ breakfast REAL fucking fast). Here are the reasons why IKEA is the bomb.com for some eggs 'n' bakey, and your best chance at a hot cuppa java. It's dirt cheap. Like, I feel like we're dining-and-dashing, cheap. For all 4 of us to eat and be satisfied, we drop 15$. You heard me - 15$! What do we get for 15$? Two adult breakfasts with eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, home fries, tomatoes and SOMETIMES we even treat ourselves and add on the baked beans. Pancakes for the kids, fruit, two coffees, and a chocolate milk for Owen. It definitely isn't the best breakfast I've ever had, but for 15$ (without having to tip), can you really complain? Best part? You pay before you eat, which means you can dash at the first hint of a chaotic tantrum.
They have everything you need to set you up for a successful meal. You name it, they have it. High chairs, plastic cups, cutlery, bibs, microwaves, napkins. Lots of napkins. There is SO much space. Meaning, you'll always find a table, and your kids can be as loud and wild as they want and no one will bat an eye. People who grab a cheap breakfast at IKEA are also unlikely to complain or give you side-eye about your nutty family because (see above) they paid less than 15$ for their entire bill.
Circles of neglect. I need one of these for my home - seriously. They have these round bar-style tables that you can sit at while your kids play in the middle. If anything, it gives you those extra 7 minutes to finish your hot coffee in peace (which you can refill for free, might I add). Their family bathrooms are everything. More than enough room to roll in your double stroller, a chair (with armrests) to feed your baby without distraction (with a lock on the door to give you the privacy you need, or to fend the toddler from running away), a play kitchen and other toys, hooks for your diaper bag or coat, and a separate toilet area (behind a closed door) to again, keep the toddler's hands at bay. Need I say more? IKEA Market snacks I recently discovered some of the awesome snacks that you can snatch at the IKEA market (at the Ottawa location, right near the Bistro where they serve the cheap 'dogs and ice cream). My faves? The heart-shaped waffles, and alphabet crackers. Fun shaped food always wins at our house. If you have any other staples, please do send them my way! Yes, mama, you gotta try this out. If you're craving a sub-par meal that perhaps you don't have to make, without having to fork out your entire EI check, go to IKEA.