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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: The next step

Monday, January 16, 2012

The next step

Friday we cleared off that kitchen table (or wherever you take your meals) and got started on washing those dishes.  How'd you do?  Did you keep up with it over the weekend?  You are the only one who can do this.  Let me tell you, after we got the kids in bed for nap time yesterday afternoon, I was looking forward to bringing out my sewing machine and working on a project.  I was so excited to get started that I fully intended to leave the breakfast/lunch dishes in the sink for later.  Then I reminded myself that choosing a "something fun" over my responsibility to keep up this home was a selfish choice (after all, My Beloved would have to look at that mess all afternoon too!... and who knows how badly it would set back dinner) and that I needed to just "do it enyway".

So I did.  At least, I decided, I could rinse and organize them.  But as I finished that part up, I decided it's not all that much more to just get them washed and I'd be so much happier if I did.  And I was right.  I didn't want to be washing those dishes instead of working on my quilt, but as I was washing up the last few things, I felt so good.  I'd done right.  If you do well, will you not be accepted?


So this morning... did you wake up to clean dishes and cleared table???  I do hope so!  And I hope that, no matter how hard it was to make yourself do it (I know that sometimes it can be the hardest thing there is!), you felt that sense of accomplishment at what you'd done.  You took care of your home... fulfilling your God given role!  (If not?  Every morning is new!  Don't beat yourself up... get going!)

Now, don't stop there!  There is much more to breaking out of depression and keeping your home and caring for your family than just dishes.  We're just taking these things one step at a time.  You can do this!  But trying to do it all at once probably won't work for you.  You'll just give up and end up back in bed focusing on your failure.  Don't do it!

So where do we go from here???  There is no particular order all this should be done in.  I'm just picking the next logical one for me.  The way I see it, now that your dishes are done and your table is cleared, the next priority is to feed your family!

Don't forget, these steps I'm walking you through are assuming you're starting all over.  Maybe you've been sick so long you don't know how to begin again.  Perhaps you've been depressed and unable to cope.  Maybe others have been helping out since the birth of your last baby and you are feeling the need to get back on track yourself but don't know how.  Whatever the reason, you've decided (or I've told you) that it's time to "stop being lazy, get up, and do your job!"  (Again... I'm talkin' to myself here!)

How many nights have I failed to have a dinner ready for my family.  And justifiable or not, it always leaves me feeling miserable.  I turn into a grumpy mommy, a downcast wife.  Instead of being able to greet my sweet husband at the door with a smile and a kiss, I am laden with guilt, knowing I've let him down again.  I haven't done my job!

So let's do our job!

The most important part about this is to have a plan of some kind.  Your plan with look different than mine, I guarantee!  And, hopefully, your plan will grow as this "keeper at home" thing gets easier for you.  For now, let's start as easy as possible.  Again, this will look different for each of you... it all depends where you're starting out.

For those of you who've been reading here a while, you may know that we aim to eat a pretty healthy diet... cooking from scratch as much as possible (this is certainly the reason we end up eating out as much as we do... I fail regularly and don't have a back up plan!)  I must warn you that what I'm about to propose is nothing like that.  What I'm about to sit here and tell you may leave some of you confused about what we do in our home.  I'm not telling you what is right for us.  The purpose of these posts is to help you get up and get going.  I want to start where you may be.  Take these tips and adjust them to fit where you are.

Now that I've said that... let's get started!

Let's assume your normal is no plan at 5pm.  Been there!  And let's assume that you're either too depressed to think long on any one topic or that you have so many young children than you're too distracted to think long on any one topic.  Either way, it's near impossible to come up with a plan... all. day. long.  Been there too!  I'll also assume that the answer found is either to pick up fast food or to let each man, woman and child fend for themselves.

My recommendation?  This is not the time to try getting impressive meals on the table.  It's so tempting to go from never have dinner ready to wanting to surprise our husbands with his favorite... or something really nice.

Just get something on the table!  But you must plan ahead.  Here is a very simple "getting started" menu plan:
  • Monday:  Frozen pizza, bag of premixed salad greens with dressing
  • Tuesday:  Hotdogs and Baked Beans (start with a can of Baked Beans, cut up hot dogs and warm together in a pan.  Serve in a bowl.  Easy.
  • Wednesday: Chicken Strips with Shake and Bake, ketchup or Ranch Dressing for dip, mac n cheese, celery sticks
  • Thursday:  Cheese burgers (buy the pre-made burgers in the frozen foods section for extra ease!) and frozen steak or crinkle fries
  • Friday: Velveeta Zesty BBQ Chicken (or other flavor), apple wedges
  • Saturday: Tacos (ground beef/turkey, taco seasoning packet, lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc.), refried beans
  • Sunday:  Hamburger Helper (check link for coupon!), baby carrots, applesauce

Again, remember... we are all starting at different places.  Some of you have never used any of these products before and others already have some of them in your pantry.  Some of you were used to a less processed approach to meals before things started to unravel at home... this is just a place to start.  Not every week will look like this for you.  Maybe you'll use only a few of these to give you a couple days to come up with something more.  Perhaps you'll need to repeat this menu for a whole month.

Perhaps you're ready for a little bit more than this, but not much.  Do your own thing!   Here are a couple more ideas... 5 dinners in a bag, Betty Crocker Recipe finder.

Later this week I'll try to share a less processed "getting started" menu for you.

In the mean time... keep those dishes done.  And don't let "failure" keep you from starting again!

Participating with Meal Plan Monday!

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