08 June 2010

Dinner at Lunch

I've been working three full weeks now. A big thank you to my family and friends who are tending to my children. It has been much appreciated. I honestly didn't think this gig would last very long, but I'm surprisingly enjoying it. I don't think it has been as drastic a change as I thought it would be. It even has been good for our family, I think. I feel like I'm taking the time I have with my kids and using it better. Even my relationship with T-Bone is better. We're both working more as a team and I think we appreciate each other a lot more. One huge thing my work schedule has forced me to be is more disciplined.

One thing I was really worried about with my schedule was getting my family fed. T-Bone gets home at 6pm and that is when dinner is ready--except for some very rare occasions. I knew I didn't want to leave the dinner responsibility with him and definitely didn't want to put that burden on the babysitters. They are doing enough already. So I came up with a different plan.

I make dinner in the middle of the day.

I know it sounds weird, huh? After I drop Big Sister at school, Mr. Smiley usually takes his nap within 45 minutes or an hour. Then I have an hour and a half uninterrupted time. You'd think I'd want to do something better than make dinner, right? At first I wasn't really sure how it would work, but it has gone well! This system has made all the difference in my willingness to make dinner. There is no little kid trying to pry himself between me and the counter or climb his way up me into my arms. I don't have to hold cabinet doors shut with my foot that he's trying to open for attention. There is no kid asking me to come see what she's done in the other room, or beg me to play a game with her. I love my kids, but they can be pretty demanding while I'm trying to make dinner. I also have started putting the audio scriptures on while I'm making dinner too, so I'm killing two birds with one stone!

It does take some planning though. I am forced to be disciplined in my meal planning. Before, I would get lazy and just plan each meal on the fly resulting in reluctance to actually cook. Now I have to have my weekly menu and shopping done at the beginning of the week. I like it that way though. I like cooking but it's when I don't have a plan that my motivation meter goes to zero. I know I have to get food for my family so I have been forced to be motivated.

I like this plan so much, I'm thinking of continuing it once I stop working! We'll see how long that lasts with summer coming...I can plan though, right?


Cheryl said...

Not weird at all. When my BIL was in school and working nights (well, evenings), my sister made lunch be the main meal of the day. I know that's not quite what you are doing, but it's kind of similar. Kind of.

I have just recently (like two days ago!) decided to make meal plans! Hooray! So, I get it. I was the "on the fly" person, too, and so planning ahead is a big thing for me. Here's hoping I can keep it up!

(and you, too. :) )

The Roz's said...

I love this post! I've been making dinner in the afternoons lately too then I put them in the fridge so they're ready to roll at dinner time. It just seems like we have something to do every night and I can't just make hot dogs every night (though we do have them weekly!) We always make a weekly dinner plan when we shop.
I'm glad that your working is going so well... it even gives me ideas... haha! It's wonderful that it has blessed your family! You guys are so awesome, keep it up!

Staceygirl said...

I started planning a week of meals in advance years ago, and it has saved me so much money! I can plan to use half the sour cream on one meal, and half on the other, etc. Our food waste is near zero. I didn't know you were working. Being a working mom is hard. I did it when we just had Will & Kyle, and I felt like all I did was work at work and then work at home. I miss working, but working and being a mom is hard!! I'm glad you have a system that helps you out :)

Anonymous said...

That's an awesome plan. Good for you.

Carrie said...

I really need to get back in to planning my menu. When I do it is awesome. It really helps save money and food is not wasted! I love that aspect of it...I feel like we waste too much around here. So where are you working? Is this just a temporary job?

Anonymous said...

There you go again, raising the bar for the rest of us. The perfect excuse to just stop making dinner, and you have to find a way around it. :)

Sharon said...

The crock pot is ideal for this, if you're into that. Another advantage is that if you need to bake something in the oven or work at the stove, you can do that part when the house is not as warm, the way it gets closer to dinnertime. Then just reheat later.
Any favorite meal plans would be appreciated, especially Mexican food!