When I first became a wife and full-time step mom, I sailed onto the scene with the full force of an ambitious 24 year old woman, who had just spent four months working full time, taking graduate classes and planning a wedding. My time management skills were at their peak and there was nothing I could not or would not accomplish.
And then I came to a screeching halt.
It seemed that motherhood did not consist of checking things off lists. There was no academic support system of continual feedback. No corporate ladder with clearly defined rewards for initiative and innovation. No paycheck, nor any hope of a raise.
I soon realized that in the role of Mother, Everything-You-Have-To-Give is simply par for the course. Your very best days are only what’s expected of you. You can definitely let people down, but there’s almost no way to impress anyone. It’s a rigged gig!
The whole point of this post initially was not to bemoan the serious ego-slam one endures as Mom, but instead to say, I developed a few tricks of the trade and wanted to share them with other women struggling to imitate June Cleaver in an Arrested Development world.
The following two documents have saved me numerous hours, dollars, and headaches. When used correctly, they should make your life a little simpler too. (Don’t use them if they are a hassle)
The first document is a list of 54 meal ideas I’ve come up with that feature an entrée, starch, and veggie (or sometimes fruit). 54 is not a lot, but the beauty is that you can mix and match columns. It does not include recipes because I Google each item I want to make, look at four different recipes, write down the proportions of the main ingredients, and then make my own version.
I use the Meal Ideas document to fill in the second part: my Meal Plan. I have laid it out Sunday – Saturday, with breakfast, lunch and two rows of dinners. This is because I find it easier to keep my son’s breakfasts and lunches the same each week (he can now make 75% of the items himself) and plan two weeks of dinners at a time. My husband has an erratic work schedule so I type in his hours in the purple bars. When I’m done, I print it out and tape it to the front of the fridge so everyone knows what to expect. You will notice I have linked a few recipes; I found those while investigating other meal planning blogs. I really like Meal Planning 101.