I recently returned to work from maternity leave. Because this was my second child, I expected coming back to work would be easier but it was actually more difficult. The sleep deprivation and second childcare bill hits a little deeper. Having said that, there were a few things that I did to prepare for my return and meal planning was the most important.
Each weekend I write down on a dry erase board what will be for dinner each night for the week ahead. This helps me in two ways. Because my memory can be a bit foggy at times, it’s helpful to think about meals only once during the week and if I forget what I thought – I just look at my board. Here’s what I look for when gathering dinner ideas: easy, quick, healthy and meals that I can make and save for later. I get most of my recipes and menu ideas from the internet and I have found that Healthy100.org has tons of easy meals.
The second way that planning ahead is helpful is that I can get everything I need at the store in one trip. I use to visit the grocery store several times during the week but now I have set aside one day to shop and a few hours on Sunday afternoons to cook. I cook several of the meals for that week and most of them go in to the freezer. Cooking a few meals at once is an easy way right now for me to manage dinners during a busy work week.
There are many stresses for a working mom especially the first few weeks back to work and I found this to be a big stress reliever. So although this doesn’t ease the pain of sleepless nights, now I have one less thing to think about Monday through Friday.
Are you looking for healthy recipes that you can make in advance? Try these recipes that are available on Healthy100.org.