Monday, March 5, 2007

Oh, the Horror

The thing I dread most about returning to work isn't the work itself, or getting up so dang early, or even leaving the baby in daycare (although I'm sure I'll be tearful), it's the dreaded dinner hour. Dinner at our house is pretty horrific even now (I've taken to calling it the nightly "scream-a-thon"). Even just getting a simple meal on the table involves leaving Rainer to sca-ream in the stroller or his bouncy seat while I try to chop, saute, make the salad, and just basically get food on the table for the family. And sitting down together is almost just as bad. Rainer is still not happy and Deiter pretty much has one or two tantrums as well. "Another relaxing dinner hour at the Umholtz house" I always say (to Faith's annoyance). Yes, I do try to Moby Rainer, but it often just doesn't work--he wants to walk around in the Moby, not stand at the counter and chop, or sit at the table while mommy eats. And unsafe tasks (that involve the stove, for example) aren't suited to baby-wearing anyway.

Sooo, I'm really trying to see how I can relieve this stress for us, for Rainer and me especially I guess, because this is the main time I'm going to see the kids for the next 3 months. Here is what I've come up with:
  • I've made four weeks of menus (which takes us to Spring Break), bundled each week's recipes together, and written a coordinating shopping list for each week.
  • I'm not planning to actually cook on the week nights. Instead, I'll re-heat. I'm planning to make a casserole and a soup Sunday morning, which we'll eat throughout the week. Each night I'll make a salad. Saturday morning will be devoted to shopping with the pre-made list.
  • Regarding salad: I just can't bring myself to buy a whole bunch of bagged salad greens, especially since we eat a lot of salad. So I'm planning to wash a couple heads of romaine all at once (on Sunday) and roll up the clean greens in tea towels and store them in a plastic bag in the produce drawer of the fridge. This will relieve a lot of the stress of hauling out and washing the salad spinner every night.
It's not an ideal solution--nothing is, but I'm so hoping it will improve things and bring the focus back to family time. And leave time for a relaxing walk after (or before) dinner.

1 comment:

Gift of Green said...

DITTO, DITTO, DITTO! (And yes, I am yelling) (okay, this is my last comment, I promise)