Don't make Dinner during Dinner Time!

Or this happens:

My mom recently told me:
When she was a little girl, she would come home from school;
and her mother would be relaxing on the couch reading a book.

Dinner had been prepared earlier in the day.

My mom, actually thought, from that experience
- that being a mom, was a relaxing fun job.
Funny, right?

I do think the preparing Dinner, or at least knowing what to have for dinner
by mid morning, though is SMART.

Why didn't anyone tell me this before?
Don't make Dinner during DinnerTime.

This little piece of advice is life-changing for me.
I think, maybe, somewhere I've heard this before,
but I didn't listen or appreciate the advice.

(A favorite blogger of mine just recently posted about her fav. meal planner at Target for $10.)
(Another couple of my favorite bloggers, shared this and this about meal planning.)

I'm not always great at making dinner in the morning,
but I DO like planning my meals for about 2 weeks.

I write about 2 weeks of dinners on scratch paper, and stick it to the fridge.
(I don't bother with breakfast and lunch.)
I buy the ingredients for those meals. (This helps with meals costs.)

Then in the afternoon, when the kids and I start eating chips, cookies, and crackers, carrots and apples;
I stare at my 2-week meal list, and decide what I'm in the mood to make or eat for dinner that night.
Ingredients are usually in the pantry, fridge, or freezer,
and I can put something together without too much stress.

I could be better, at least, by thawing the meat in the am instead of at 5 pm with the microwave.

I still love this quote from Julie B. Beck:
Sister Beck said she learned how to prioritize her time as a wife and mother while observing her father-in-law, a steel worker who at various times in his career worked the day, evening or night shift. She said she realized she was working all three shifts simultaneously, and she had to prioritize the demands on her so she could provide the service her family most needed.
The most valuable time of the day for a family, Sister Beck said, is the afternoon/evening shift. "Be at the top of your game on swing shift," she said. "People are hungry, people are teachable. You feed them; that's when you serve them the most. Plan for swing shift, and then work the rest of your day around that."

There are tons of blogs you can find on this subject.

Just google meal planning and you could get lost in cyber space getting ideas.
A couple links caught my eye:

I think Freezer meal planning is a tempting idea, but I'm not ready to make 20 dinners in a day.
I'm not great at making 1 meal a day.
Maybe when I have more kids in school, this would be interesting to try.

One time, when I was in a overly-productive-super-homemaker mood,
I made about 3 meals for the week, after the kids were in bed, in about 40 min. That worked out great.
But, that mood hasn't ever come again. I'm too tired to be super productive at night.

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