When I heard “meal planning for busy working moms” for the first time,
I was desperate for a solution.
After being newly married and pregnant, I would have never imagined the stress marriage and motherhood could bring into my life.
Every night, at 8 pm exactly, was the beginning of the same nightmare.
I would stand in front on my fridge, staring at vegetables I didn’t remember buying, and leftovers I was convincing myself I would eat (eventually) .
As always, I was “planning” my dinner right on the spot.
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To say the least, my stress level was through the roof.
And it got to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. My husband and I were arguing
(ALL. THE. TIME).
Not about parenting styles, but about food.
Yep, it was that bad.
The thing is all of this could have been avoided, if we had talked and tried to find a solution to this recurring problem.
In complete honesty, I was the one who brought the arguments.
As a perfectionist and a woman who wants to give the very best to her family, I didn’t see things clearly.
Being a good mom and a wife for me, meant to cook every meal of the day, every single day. And if it wasn’t the case, it meant that I wasn’t worthy of their love and respect.
Boy I was wrong.
Times and times again, my husband suggested me to “delegate” and rely when needed on other solutions to relieve me from the stress I was putting on myself, like: eating out, spending on take out and so on…
But the stubborn nut that I am saw things otherwise.
I think seeing my mom raise my 3 siblings and I, by herself most of the time (since my dad worked abroad) made me believe everything we ate had to be homemade. She was (and still is) a force of nature:
- The house was always decently clean
- She worked
- Found time to have a social life
- Took time to be the best wife and mom she could be
- And still had time to cook great meals.
And somehow… it became the norm for me.
That’s what I thought a working mom was supposed to do (can you relate?). But it shouldn’t have to be this way.
People’s lives and realities are different. And also we shouldn’t judge what a person should do, based on another person’s life or what people say we should be doing. We need to live for ourselves, and not to get people’s approval.
What is normal is what feels right to you.
So you might be wondering why I’m sharing this personal story with you, right?
I’m telling you this because as funny as it might sound, feeding your family is a serious topic. I can’t count the number of posts or comments I read expressing how stressed many moms are about dinner time.
This kind of situation is really stressful.
And too many times, a lot of us dwell on an unjustified guilt because we think we’re not doing enough.
This is the reason why I’m writing this post on meal planning for busy working moms To share with you some of the things that I’ve learned and continue to overcome with you.
I want to help you find a meal planning strategy that works for you and your family.
So here’s a few tips you can implement to start meal planning or even upgrade your meal planning game.
And you know what?
Because I’m feeling soooooo good about my leftovers right now I’m even giving out the…
Beginner’s Guide To:
Meal Planning For Busy Working Moms
At the end of the post. All you have to is to enter your email and press enter
(scroll down to see all the goodies you will get 🙂 ! )
Without any further ado, let’s dive in the 5 tips to make your meal planning for busy working moms a success.
But first, let’s clarify what is meal planning (for busy working moms):
According to this article from thekitchn.com meal planning is
asking the what’s for dinner question once for the whole week, instead of every night, and then shopping for and prepping the ingredients before cooking. We believe the simplest way to approach meal planning is with three steps.
- Select your dinners and their recipes, if needed.
- Shop for ingredients.
- Prepare those ingredients.
1. Try meal planning one week at the time
If you’re really convinced by the benefits of planning your meals ahead, do yourself a favor and start slow.
Don’t plan on cooking every meal of the day, 7 days a week. Start with making 2 dinners for example. And as you get comfortable over the next weeks and months, you can throw more into the mix.
It’s better to do 2 great and tasty meals, than doing 5 and your kids won’t touch their plates.
Progress remains progress, no matter how small (That’s my new mantra in life!).
2. Plan dishes your family likes to eat
There is nothing worse than spending hours in the kitchen after a long day at work and realize no one likes the food you’ve just made.
Trust me, I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. My husband doesn’t like mac & cheese (I still can believe it… who doesn’t like freaking mac & cheese???!#@!).
To avoid confusions and waste of food, ask your significant other and your kids what they would like to eat for dinner. And who knows…? You could make each person feel special and let them pick a dish on a specific day of the month.
They will love your for it!
3. Get your family involved in your culinary endeavors
You know what they say? Two heads are better than one.
And your meal planning strategy isn’t an exception to the rule. Don’t be scared to ask for help.
Maybe your children could help you set the table and learn how to cook with you. Or you could ask your “babe” to do the heavy-lifting and help you with the grocery shopping.
Getting “your crew” involved is a great way to get significant help and strengthen the familial bounds.
4. Become a batch lover
As a working mom, you need to save all the time that you can, to be able to spend it on things that truly matter to you.
I am not saying that cooking for your family isn’t time well spent, on the contrary that’s what this post is all about.
What I mean is, instead of cooking rice two days in the row, you could simplify things for yourself and cook rice or anything for that matters in bulk, for several days.
That’s a hell of a hack 😉 and I use it all the time.
5. Switch your mommy OFF-DUTY button on
It was a joke guys! Moms are always on call, like my craving for chocolate. But seriously, Allow yourself to take a day off of cooking and go eat out, or have a take out with the Fam’ during the week.
There will be days when the thought of cooking will feel like walking the Great Wall of china from beginning to end. And other days when your body and your mind will refuse to go to the kitchen.
You’re a Supermom!
But even great superheroes need to take 5, to think about how they’re going to save the world.
Alright my friend! Now that I’ve given you the 5 keys to make meal planning work for you and your tribe, I’m going to share another 5 keys, to make sure you don’t fall in the common traps non-meal planners stumble into.
Ready? Go !
1. Buying groceries without a list
Buying groceries at a supermarket without a list, is a little like adventuring yourself in the jungle.
You know when you enter , but never know when you will get out and what you will get out with.
I can’t count the number of times I went to the supermarket and ended up buying things I didn’t plan, things I didn’t really need and the worse, things I’ll probably never use… (I still do it sometimes, but I’m sure you get the point).
Make sure to have a shopping list with you, otherwise your credit card will pay the price (obviously…).
2. Blaming yourself for not following your meal plan
As you know, life happens sometimes and following a plan isn’t always possible.
Don’t beat yourself up. Instead, embrace the unpredictability of your day to day life and learn to make adjustments.
When you’re short of time, using “30 minutes or less” recipes can be a huge reliever.
(As you will see in this great guide I’ve created just for you)
We need to stop feeling guilty for not being perfect and not doing the “right thing” all of the time.
I’ve come to realize that as long as we do our best and try to feed our families “something”, even if it isn’t “Instagram worthy”, that makes us pretty great.
3. Avoid letting your vegetables and fruits turn bad
I’m highly guilty of this, even though I have really improved lately.
Try to use all the veggies you have during a week in different ways and in different recipes.
Also, a good way to conserve your produce is to cut them into the shape desired and to leave them in the freezer. Once you need to make a dish with that ingredient, all you need to do is to take it out 30 minutes to an hour before and that is it.
I think it’s really important we show our children the importance of not wasting food and become more responsible, because a lot of people in the world are not as fortunate as we are.
4. Cooking dishes that take hours to make
I’m also guilty of this, once in a while. I think it’s in our human nature to always want to excel and over achieve. But realistically speaking, it’s a huge NO-NO when it comes to cooking.
You might feel good starting a recipe and then regret you didn’t go for something easier in the middle of it. One too many times, I’ve felt like shedding a few tears , especially when there is nobody else to blame but yourself.
5. Try complicated things you don’t master.
There is this specific “sauce” that my little hubby always raves about, and to be completely honest with you it’s one dish I do pretty well (where’s your humility girl?).
Unfortunately, it requires that I dice 20 onions or more (it’s an African onion soup). You’re reading right, 20 onions that I have to dice finely. Before the soup comes to life, the kitchen is a war battlefield. I’m crying, screaming a bunch of non-sense and using my knife like a ninja.
I can take up to 60 minutes just chopping onions. What I’m trying to say is, even though cutting veggies might not seem difficult, chopping them nicely and quickly is a skill.
And sometimes sticking to the basics and learning as you go is the best solution.
By now you might be able to do great with your meal planning strategy. But what if you could get more help than what I’ve listed above?
What if you had a friend that could guide you step by step, from start to finish and help you unlock your meal planning superpower with just one click?
Well… today, you can get the Beginners’s Guide To Meal Planning for the busy working moms
by entering your email below. I will send it straight to your inbox, along with valuable goodies every week.
A few of the benefits you will get in this awesome guide are:
- A clear step-by-step strategy to plan meals for your entire family
- A beginner’s approach that understands you’re not Gordon Ramsay yet (neither am I for that matter lol)
- 10 invaluable meal planning tips to make your “working mom life” better
- A dinner theme list of 40+ ideas
- A list of 50 recipes to do in 30 minutes or less
- A weekly meal planning calendar printable
- A grocery shopping list printable
And much more…
all you have to do is enter your email below to gain instant access to this great guide.
Come on! You’re one click away from saying bye to your anxiety and stress related to food…
WOOHOO !!!YES, GRAB MY COPY!
I want to hear from you
→ What does meal planning means to you and your family ?
→What is your biggest struggle you face in the kitchen?
I will end this post by asking you to comment and share this post with a fellow Super’mama
sharing is caring.