They call it the “witching hour.” If you are a mom, you know what I’m talking about. It almost always hits just as you are starting to make dinner. The whining, crying, and fighting begin. Not to mention the kids start getting restless…. 😉
So, what’s a mama to do? How do we keep our cool and stay sane when our stress level begins to rise and our blood sugar starts to plummet? First, eat a piece of dark chocolate and then try some of these tips to avoid it in the future–or at least cope with it.
1. Make a meal plan – We hear this all the time; but, let’s be honest, how many of us are consistent at actually planning meals for every day. I’ll the the first to admit that this is an area of homemaking that I struggle with. However, I’ve realized that during this season of life, if I don’t plan ahead I won’t get anything accomplished. It doesn’t really matter if you chose to plan weekly, monthly or create a rotating meals system. Just find what works for you and stick with it. If you don’t have time (or the desire) to create your own meal plan, there are services you can utilize, like eMeals or Once a Month Meals. These services provide a variety of meal plans to choose from–complete with shopping lists and prep instructions. (FYI-One of The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle bonuses is a one month subscription to Once a Month Meals!)
2. Prep in advance – This is key for dinner making success in my home right now. I have begun to prepare meals and snacks in advance. Freezer meals are becoming a regular occurrence in our meal plans. Lately I’ve been going grocery shopping the Saturday morning after pay day and then use to afternoon (during naptime) to prep meals and snacks for the next two weeks. This has been a huge sanity saver for me many evenings! There are several resources (some of which are included in The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle) to help you get started in make ahead meals. Check out my Make Ahead & Freezer Meals Pinterest board for some inspiration.
3. Entertain the kids – I have no shame in admitting that I sometimes use the television as a babysitter while I’m making dinner. Some days Playdoh or art supplies at the kitchen table do the trick. Other nights I allow little hands to help. If the baby is awake, she is usually in the stroller “watching” Mommy work.
4. Turn on the music – Depending on your personality or mood, you may enjoy some energetic praise music or prefer instrumental hymns. Perhaps listing to the Bible or your favorite podcast helps calm your nerves. Whatever you decide, choose something that will help promote a peaceful atmosphere in the kitchen as you work.
5. Wear an apron – Okay, this may seem a little crazy, but sometimes looking cute in the kitchen can help restore some sanity. Whenever I wear my Flirty Apron, I feel more “domestic” and in control of my meal prepping. It seems silly, but it works for me. (By the way, you can get a Flirty Apron for 50% OFF + FREE SHIPPING today! Just use the code MOTHER50 when ordering.)
6. Pray for patience – Maybe I should have listed this first because it should be our primary response when feeling stressed. Even when all the other suggestions fail, praying and leaning on the Lord for strength will always lead to less stress. Be sure to turn to God in your times of need–even if all you can manage is mutter is, “Jesus, help me!”
So, those are the sanity-saving tips that work for me right now. What about you? I would love to read some of your suggestions in a comment.
How do you stay sane at meal times?
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