If you asked me my number one homemaking problem, I would immediately tell you: MEAL PLANNING! Which is kind of humorous because I used to really rock my kitchen game. I used to be a great cook (I can say it now that it is no longer true). I used to plan meals for an entire month and rarely repeated the same meal twice! For seven years, I was a kitchen rock star.
And then kids entered the picture around here. Lots of them. And as they multiplied, my menu planning woes multiplied, too! I have never really gotten my rock star status back. But, I am resolving (once again) to be better about getting my game back! Over the next few days, I will be sharing the steps I am taking to menu plan, follow through, and simply stated: feed my family!!
Today, I am starting at square one: motivation. The things that make me want to get in the kitchen and the things that will hopefully hold me in good stead as I resolve to get dinner on the table regularly. As you are reading along, I hope it will give you encouragement to find your motivation for menu planning.
My poor, sweet husband. He puts up with so much from me! When we first got married, I cooked a new recipe almost every time I cooked. If he absolutely LOVED a recipe, I might have made it 2 or 3 times over 7 years. He got very used to this process. Suddenly, he didn’t want to eat the same old, same old. We were never that family that could have a set of recipes that were our go-tos.
After we had kids, my ability to get a fresh recipe on the dinner table slowly faded away. With each new kid, there was the typical adjustment period – but then I just never got my game back. He put up with me and my inability to plan and get dinner on the table (he understood I was exhausted).
But about a year ago, he started actively searching for solutions to getting me back in the kitchen. He would suggest meals (a completely new thing!), he would even make super simple things so I didn’t have to cook. Quietly, in his sweet way, he encouraged me to get myself together and get back in the kitchen.
I am motivated to get my menu planning game back to bless my husband. If I am able to do this, he will not only be happy to be eating more at home (not out of desperation), but his budget-minded heart will be happy to know we can get things under control.
For a completely different reason, my kids motivate me to get my meal planning game back. Yes, they can be picky eaters (they all have their moments); but for the most part, they are my biggest cheerleaders in the kitchen.
In the rare times I have made meals for my family in the last few years, my kids celebrate it like they are having a gourmet meal! Typically, they enthusiastically try and like what I make.
When self-deprecation sneaks into my kitchen as I cook for my kids, I say, “Mama used to be a good cook.” Every time, my kids will assure me, “You’re the best cook in the world!!” That right there, that is my motivation to develop my menu planning and cooking game to what it used to be.
My kids motivate me to get back in the kitchen on a regular basis because they think I can! I am some sort of super hero to them, even in the kitchen. It would be a shame for them to slowly realize I don’t have it all together like they think I do. Yes, I know it is coming someday – but I would like to put it off as long as possible.
I have watched myself lately. I am happiest when I feel like I am a good wife and a good mother to my kids. And I realize that there are good wives and moms out there who don’t cook every meal – so I am not saying it is a requirement. But I am the most fulfilled when we are sitting down at the end of the day together – as a family and eating together.
The home-cooked meal is just the icing on the cake. And yes, it is pretty sweet. I revel in the moments created simply by mixing a few things together and heating them up for dinner. On the days when it gets hard, I want to remember my motivation is personal, too – I want to do this – I like to do this!
This week I will be sharing the simple things I have been doing lately to get dinner on the table that are working. Tomorrow I will be sharing about some of the hurdles I cross (and how I cross them) to get dinner on the table. But I want to give you a preview of one of my go-to solutions today.
The Healthy Meal Planning Bundle for 2019 is my go-to for meal-planning inspiration. I can literally go through entire meal plans and decide what works for us. There are recipe books to drool over in every possible category of food-preparation (special diets, quick cooking, instant pot and slow cooking, etc.).
Those resources constitute what I need right now. They are a sort of house-on-fire, absolute necessity helps to get me started back on track. When I have journeyed a little ways down the road, there are even more resources to help with menu-planning, even getting my kids to help!
I really find value in the Healthy Menu Planning Bundle. I only share what I truly believe to be a blessing to my family in hopes of it blessing yours. Check it out here to see if it is indeed a blessing to you.