Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sometimes Dinner Just Needs to Be Simple


I'll never forget talking to my friend Crystal for the first time after she became a mom. We had been friends and roommates in college, married within weeks of each other, and she was the first to achieve the milestone of motherhood.

Sharing her many challenges with a newborn, she chuckled, "Sometimes we just eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. And that is okay."

I was kind of stunned by her brilliance. PB&J? Really? That was allowed?

True story: there is no such thing as the dinner police. Even a simple sandwich can count as dinner on occasion.

I'm not advocating neglect or laziness, and of course we should be considerate of our husband and children's tastes and health when preparing meals... but sometimes life circumstances make legit cooking extremely challenging.

Whether you just had a baby, are suffering through an illness, or are even just occupied with holiday preparations, know your limits and give yourself heaps of grace. There's a good chance that you may need to dial down your food prep time for a spell.

Although baby #3 has been a much easier transition than I expected {all of grace, friends!}, one of the ways I've made it even easier on myself is by keeping meals simple.

This post isn't meant to be a how-to on keeping dinner simple {but if you wanted my list of meals, it includes pasta with sauce, stir fry with meat and frozen veggies, baked potato bar, pancakes with eggs, omelets, and yes, sandwiches- rinse and repeat}, rather to be for you what Crystal was for me: permission to pare down to essentials in times of need.

If you're feeling overwhelmed and worn thin, maybe it is time to step back. What can you let go of to make things easier on yourself? Of course your family needs to eat three times a day {and so do you!}, but maybe you can serve cold cereal for breakfast instead of bacon and eggs, or roast beef sandwiches instead of a pot roast.

Maybe food isn't the toughest thing on your list- apply this principle broadly, and simplify whatever is taking the most time or adding stress.

We have limited time and energy as wives and moms, so figuring out what our priorities need to be and then budgeting our resources accordingly is essential.

I think Carolyn Mahaney said it best- "Honey... fix your husband a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner and give him great sex after dinner, and he will feel prized by you!" {Feminine Appeal}.

So there you have it. Cooking dinner might not be the most important item on your agenda today ;).

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