Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The "Fixing Maegan Project" begins.

Several days ago, I was talking to a friend about my ambivalence about having children. As much as I'm looking forward to someday starting our family, I sometimes doubt whether I'm going to be good at the job. Being a full-time mom is, after all, a job - and from what I've heard, it's challenging to do it right. And one of my biggest concerns is whether I'll be able to even do the minimum at home - keep the house clean, get dinner on the table, and be a happy mom.

It's always been a challenge for me to use my time efficiently, and that has become even more difficult since getting married, now that I spend most of my time at home. When I wake up in the morning, the hours of the day stretch on before me and I feel as though I've got all the time in the world. Before I know it, though, it's three in the afternoon and I've managed to push most of my to-do list down to the last two hours before Brian comes home. The most frustrating thing about this is that I know most people would realize they're making this mistake and then would just decide to get everything done in the morning. But I can't seem to get my butt in gear. And so I wonder - am I just going to get worse when kids come along?

So I was voicing these concerns to my friend, whose kids are mostly grown and out of the house and whose life and routine seem very well-organized. "You waste time," she pointed out, "because you have no one to answer to. There's no baby waking up at this time, who needs to nurse at this time, and who needs to nap at this time. You'll see that you'll have to manage your day better just because you know that all that time isn't yours anymore."

"I think I would feel more organized if I could just get a good dinner on the table within a reasonable time after Brian got home," I said. Recently, Brian has been coming home, nine nights out of ten, to me racing around the kitchen trying to come up with something to make for dinner. And more often than not, it's been eggs. What kind of wife am I, I ask myself, when my list of responsibilities is so short and yet I consistently fail to get it done? Even the most basic - dinner - when cooking is supposedly one of my favorite things to do? "Did you always have dinner ready at the same time every night?" I asked her.

She nodded. She explained that her husband was always starving when he came home from work at the same time every day and that it just made sense to feed the family at 6:30. "I just figured out in my head what I was going to make for the week and then I'd shop for those meals. I never wrote out an actual meal plan, but I have friends who do and it works really well for them. I just had the same fifteen meals that I sort of rotated every couple of weeks. It was sort of comforting for there to be a meal that everybody liked."

Several days later, I got a free issue of Cooking Light in the mail. Of all the cooking magazines that I've tried, this one is my favorite. The recipes are creative, affordable, and always spot-on (the ones I've tried, anyway). So last night, I sat down to pick out new recipes to add to my new "Meals We Eat in the Summer" list. A cardboard insert in the magazine caused the pages to flip open to some place in the middle, a beautiful picture of a garden-fresh meal. Over it, in bright yellow type, were the words, "Make a meal plan." I laughed to myself. I guess this is something I just should be doing. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Meals We Eat in the Summer
  • Whole chicken on the grill / salad or grilled vegetables
  • Venison kabobs / grilled vegetables and sweet potatoes
  • Barbecued chicken thighs / grilled vegetables or salad
  • Cuban black bean patties with pineapple rice / salad
  • Salmon cakes with dill yogurt sauce / salad
  • Chicken caesar salad
  • Barbecue venison / coleslaw
  • Stuffed chicken breasts with basil and sun-dried tomatoes / potatoes and broccoli
  • Chicken breasts with roasted cherry tomato sauce / grilled broccoli or asparagus
  • Venison steaks with herb butter / grilled vegetables or salad
  • Pecan-crusted chicken and mandarin orange salad
  • Omelets with spinach, ham, and mushrooms
  • Chicken marinara / grilled broccoli
  • Still in progress...
  • 1 comment:

    1. Sounds like a restaurant! Can I come over? My "summer meal plan" looks like this: Hotdogs/chips, Hamburgers/Fries, Tacos, Chips & Cheese/salad, Ramen Noodles!