My goal with Eat at Home is to give simple, easy ways for families to have dinner together. Family meals don’t need to be complicated.
But there are times in our lives when even the simplest of meals is a struggle. If you find yourself feeling stretched-out and worn-out sometimes, this blog post is for you. I wrote part of this for a blog post awhile back when I was struggling a lot with migraines.
There are seasons in life when focusing on meal planning and cooking (or anything beyond the bare basics) is not the right timing.
Some seasons call for survival mode.
Here are some things that have gotten my family through survival mode seasons. Maybe some of these ideas will help you too.
1. Be kind with yourself.
It’s okay to cut things out of the calendar, pare down the housework to bare minimum, and have the easiest dinners ever.
2. Fall back to your easiest meals.
If you find something you or a family member can easily make and that is tolerated on a sick stomach, it’s okay to have it regularly. There’s no prize for variety in this season.
3. Don’t worry about big grocery trips.
I usually shop once a week and try to keep extra trips to a minimum. During hard times, it can seem impossible to think through what we might need or want more than a couple days out. Small trips to the store may be easier for a while.
4. When you start to feel better…
~ Make a plan for simple meals. The slow cooker is your friend, as it can be loaded in the morning when energy is higher.
~ Set backs happen. Try not to get discouraged as you recover. Focus on the progress you’re making. If you need to grab food from a restaurant one night, it’s okay.
~ As your energy returns, try making something simple to stock the freezer. You’ll feel good about accomplishing something and you’ll have something easy and homemade for later. Try doubling a favorite casserole or soup recipe or make a big batch of homemade meatballs.
As moms, we can be so hard on ourselves. It’s too easy to focus on what’s not working – the dinner that didn’t get fixed, dishes that didn’t get washed etc. We get down on ourselves for those things. We tend to think we should have it all together.
Let’s be kinder to ourselves, just as we would be kind to a friend going through the same thing.