Having a plan was not always as exciting for me as it is now. I think part of my blossoming into a real adult was finally enjoying the warm embrace of having a plan. In general I am really more a girl who enjoys spontaneity and going with the flow, but since I’ve married a planner and become a mother I have decided a little structure never really hurt anyone. It was this awakening that set our family on the road to meal planning.
It all began when I became a stay at home pregnant lady after classes were over and my internship ended. I then had hours of spare time to kill and decided one day to write out a plan for our meals that week. I did not really think much of it since I had done this off and on in the past, but it never really caught on then since my schedule was so hectic while waiting tables. What really sealed the deal for this to become a regular thing was my husband telling me that he enjoying knowing what meal he would be coming home to.
My husband has meals he could eat everyday (meat and potatoes, refried beans and cheese on a tortilla, etc) and others that he would rather see a little more spaced out (pastas, anything with balsamic vinegar, etc). The comment he made that really stuck with me was that he could make it through the meals he did not love a little easier knowing that in a couple days we would be eating something he really enjoyed. Plus, he liked just having a plan.
This thought process had never really crossed my mind. I’ve long been aware that his idea of a meal varies a bit from mine, but it never really occurred to me that there was something I could do to help him enjoy the meals that he didn’t love just a little bit more. So, we just kind of adopted meal planning into our home after that.
When the countdown to our due date began getting closer and closer, I started letting the meal planning slip to the side. I was so focused on crossing things off our third trimester checklist that I didn’t really devote any time to the present. (I highly suggest that you don’t do this. Just keep living your normal life as long as possible. As soon as you stop living and start just waiting, like I did, time really seems to just drag its feet.)
I really did not enjoy not having a meal plan after getting so used to the luxury of having one. When there is a plan I don’t have to spend an hour on Pinterest looking for something that sounds good. I am not required to come up with something on the spot after asking my husband what he would like me to make, knowing he will tell me “whatever you want.” I don’t have to scramble to get dinner on the table at the last minute.
If there is a plan I can thaw out what we need for our meal that night (or with even more advance if needed). With a plan I can shop for specific meals and try to use something like fresh parsley more than once before I throw it out. With a plan I can make quicker meals on night when there isn’t ample time and choose more time consuming, fun recipes when we have all night.
A little extra effort up front can make all the difference later on for a little more peace of mind, especially on those days with a little more chaos. If meal planning seems like something you would want to add to your household check out How We Meal Plan.