O.K, I work full time and I have two kids… but how on earth do you juggle everything and still find time to make your own spagetti sauce, taco sauce or meat or veggie stocks? How do you keep meals tasty, and healthy without spending 6 hours in the kitchen and only getting 3 hours sleep? The simple answer is ” sometimes you don’t“. Well, at least not quite 100%.
Am I the only Mama who steps in the shower in the morning and sometimes has to pick a few pieces of pasta out of the drain cover because one of my kids was soooooooooo sloooooooow eating that they finished their previous evening’s meal in the bath?
In the end a lot of this comes down to one very simple piece of advice: Pick your battles!
Jobs and commutes mean that sometimes even with making my own sauces, etc it all just can’t all successfully be squeezed into the day. Tonight after work I made two slices (bars) (Daughter helped crush the biscuits/cookies) for an event at work tomorrow and a Summer Fair day at creche on Saturday… right now as I type Daughter is reading her homework out loud… Son is cuddled up sleepily while listening at my other elbow (ain’t laptops grand?)
Hubby is working in the downstairs office on stuff for a client who needs it urgently… we were all home late , the kids were starting to flight themselves stupid in the car (hunger pangs = NO patience) so dinner was plain boiled pasta, barely boiled head of broccoli and sugar snap peas (we like them crunchy) and then fresh pineapple and cherries for dessert.. we were too tired , hot and today even too lazy to get the pasta sauce I thawed from the freezer out of the fridge and heat it up, so I slapped a few slices of deli ham on each plate, : Dinner on the table for hungry whining kids about 15 minutes flat !
Tomorrow’s menu? sorted! … use the pasta sauce up …. and think hard about what to put into lunch boxes tomorrow because we just ate the ham I was intending to use. My second piece of advice follows tonight’s reality; be prepared to be flexible and to improvise when you have to.
No, you can’t juggle all of the balls all of the time… but you can make life a little easier on yourself, and here are a few ideas about how:
*when you make lasagna, if at all possible make two at once, cut into chunks when baked and freeze for easy home made meals another day…
* If you roast a chicken, throw cold bones into a bag and freeze them.. when you have time and a bag full, throw the bones with celery, onion etc into your crock pot before you go to bed… the next morning you will have home made chicken stock, cool it and freeze and freeze in cups….
* Make pasta or taco meat or tomato sauces in bulk .. freeze in portions… one easy meal per week from your stash will free up time for learning to do all the other things you want to achieve.. it IS possible.
But lastly if it all slips out of your hands for the day, try not to sweat the small stuff … there are usually options even small ones, to help you out – can the kids help out? even small kids can fetch and carry something suitable, pick up laundry etc…
Can you recycle unused food into the next days meal? can you freeze something fresh that you see that you won’t get used today, or tomorrow, so that it doesn’t go to waste?
Come on, you know that if you don’t just transfer it to the freezer whilst it’s still good now, then you will find it in the back of the fridge in a week smelling evil and growing a small green bio-hazard lifeform. Even the smallest points can make large differences in managing the busy lifestyle choices of today’s society with less stress and more smiles.