Sometimes Moms Need a Time Out
It had been long day teaching, and now I was cooking my second big meal of the day. I was tired and wasn't excited about what I was cooking. Lunch had turned out okay but took twice as long to cook since the gas bottle went out in the middle of cooking. Now my supper looked to be just blah. My family is not picky, but I love the sight of their faces when I cook something they like. I knew this would not be one of those nights. Plus I was having a pity part that I was in the kitchen working so hard while they were in the living room reading and having fun. They were taking a much needed break after a long day of school and work. Being a insecure about supper to start with, I was a little defensive and grumpy to the comments made as we sat down to eat. Nothing coming out of my mouth was what I wanted to say. This momma needed a time out. After supper, I excused myself and sent myself to my room where I took some much needed time to unwind from the day and reboot.
Most days I love cooking for and serving my family. My time in the kitchen is one of my favorite times of the day as I listen to an audiobook or worship music as a cut and chop. It is a time where I reflect on the day. I don't mind being alone but often W joins me to help with the dishes. We talk about our day and enjoy some girl time. On the day of my time out, I was focusing on all the wrong things. I was tired and no music was playing. Instead I was extra needy and ended up trying to make my family feel guilty that I had to work so hard. As a mom, I want my children to know that I love them. One way I can do that is by serving and taking care of them with joy. When I whine and complain, they can feel like a burden instead of a joy that they are. I want them to remember the fun and bonding we had around the table talking and enjoying a meal together.
It is important for us as moms to know our limits. On that night, I should have realized that I was spent physically and emotionally. Supper could have waited for me to get a 20 minute rest, or we could have even ordered kebobs from the bazaar. There were other options, but I chose to be a martyr. My mind was set on me, not on things above. What a difference praying for a few minutes or even putting on some music would have made. As a mom, I want to set the example of serving others with joy and love.
This week I have decided to take a time out before one is needed. In the afternoon, I take about 30 minutes to reboot. Laying down and reading is my favorite way to accomplish this goal. If my husband is home, I also enjoy sitting with him and talking about our day. I essentially take a time out before one is needed. My attitude is better, and I enjoy my time in the kitchen. It also helps me enjoy our time as a family around the table as we sit and talk about our day as we eat.
Now I know supper hour is hard for most moms especially those with young ones or who have worked a full day at the office. Here a few things that have helped me through the years with supper and planning.
1. I make a meal plan for the week. I try to make it flexible but also put simpler suppers on the nights where our days are busier.
2. We have tacos on Tuesday and pizza on Fridays. This helps me in two ways. First I don't have to think of meals for two days. Secondly, Big D loves these meals so is much more receptive to new things on the other days.
3. Crockpots and pressure cookers can save time. With a crockpot, you can make your meal in the part of the day when you have the most energy. Pressure cookers speed the cooking time up especially on those days you get home later than planned.
4. Some of my favorite memories of growing up were times around the table. I want my children to have some of the same memories. It helps to keep this goal in mind.
5. In the past, I have used a once a month cooking plan. It was a good choice for those seasons. Now I will sometimes make extra soup or some other dish and freeze the leftovers for another meal.
6. Simpler is sometimes better. There are times that a really nice meal is what is needed. Other nights breakfast for supper or even tomato soup and grilled cheese does the job just as well. We have even had nights where supper was popcorn with some fruit or veggies.
Is supper time hard for you? What helps you? Or is there another time of the day that makes you want to take a time out? What do you do to help reboot? I would love to hear from you in the comments.