Thursday, October 21, 2010

Survival Mode

So we've been operating in "survival mode" for quite some time. You know - cutting corners, doing things (or not doing things) we feel pretty guilty about to make it through the day. And I don't mean bad things...I mean things like we eat out far too often, or give Colt hot dogs for dinner 3 nights in a row, we don't eat together as a family, sometimes we keep Colt up too late just for some play time, or skip Owen's bath for the third night in a row and instead wipe him down with a baby wipe. You know you're in survival mode when it takes you 4 days to complete a blog post.

I think every family hits times where it's "survival mode". I don't believe this is just an issue in families where both parents work, though I've been struggling with feeling like that lately. Work, for me, has been both awesome and exhausting lately. Most of you know this is the time of year that I travel and this year was probably the most travel I've ever had in a season. I believe we've come through it with grace and peace and continued thankfulness for having family at every corner who can help get us through.

There are lots of things in survival mode I want to change. Going to church more often is a big one. We go every Sunday morning but I'd like to go Wednesday nights and spend more time with our small group/Bible class. Unfortunately that's one that probably will have to wait as my kids are melting down and ready for bed by 7p during the week, sometimes earlier.

Spending time with my husband that doesn't involve football games or favorite sitcoms (meaning out of the house) is a big one. But unfortunately every extra minute I have outside of work I'm wanting to be with the boys. Or asleep!

One thing I have taken control of is weight loss and exercise. It's not easy, oh no. Not easy. But I joined Weight Watchers, and I'm losing weight! Noticing a difference in my clothes and feeling better about my looks in just a matter of weeks. I personally think it's pretty impressive with all the travel I do and how little control I often have over my diet. In addition, I've joined a Zumba class and when I'm not in class I'm doing the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred. I HATE it. I HATE exercising. But I'm doing it!

The biggest one that I often feel guilty about is meals. Colt has to eat early, he has an early lunch and is starving by the time we get home. I also HATE to cook and I'd rather spend those few hours in the evening with the boys rather than in the kitchen. And so, we've relied on Gerber Toddler Meals and as of late hot dogs or fast food. And after he goes to bed, John runs to fast food restaurant again for our meals. It seems so simple and yet it's so exhausting.

So I'm trying something new. I've made a list of easy-to-make meals for Colt. Things I can make over the weekend and reheat. Meals with better ingredients that can be assembled and cooked in minutes. And, honestly, just having a plan. It sounds so silly but I've been praying about it a lot. It's a goal I have that is going to be HARD for us. I dread it, but know that I want Colt to eat better or at least be exposed to better food.

For reasons that require their own post these meals are not necessarily for me and John. Seriously, it's a whole other post. But it's a step. A start. I'll never be known to my kids as a great cook. But I can at least feel like their mealtimes were important enough to me to make a plan and spend time in the kitchen.

I'm motivating myself to cook several meals tomorrow by baking Pumpkin Bread tonight. It's one of the things I'm actually pretty good at. So I will enjoy warm, gooey, buttery pumpkin bread tomorrow as I slave over the oven. Feel sorry for me, ok?!


Sammy said...

Hey Jessica. Phew, it's hard. Working and raising small children is tough.
I heard a wise lady say that you can't be an amazing mother, incredible wife, on top of it homemaker and work. Something has to give.
Well, the house gives for me and it's hard to let go. Our meals are a joke. But I figure as long as they are healthy and Ruypi is eating, its ok.
He often has ham, sandwiches, yoghurt and even (gasp) cereal for dinner. And I think he will be just fine. I think he would rather have me spend time with him than stress over a stove to make something he may not eat anyway.
We eat really healthily but it's not always home cooked meals. We assemble food a lot!
And as soon as I can afford it, I am getting a house cleaner! One more thing I just don't have the time for. And when I try and do it all I end up a ratty stressball. Not nice for anyone!
We also feel that this is a survival season, but its a beautiful messy, incredible survival season too!

BB said...

I hear ya!

One of the things we have startingd doing for dinner is using the crock pot. They probably aren't my fave dinners, but they save all the cooking time and are ready right when you get home. W just throw some frozen chicken and some different things on top and set the timer and take off. Sometimes it is as simple as a can of beans and some salsa or some broccoli and a can of cream of mushroom soup. We do it about twice a week.

alison said...

I hear you, I do. I feel like we're coming out of our own survival mode lately regarding money (as we've discussed. :) It's hard when both of us work, as you said, but I feel like we'd be doing this even if one of us was home all day.

I actually enjoy cooking, but that doesn't mean I do it. We have mac and cheese and hotdogs or chicken nuggets farrrr too often. And please know that if Colt is having hot dogs for supper, there's an 85% chance his buddy B is as well. :) For reals.

It's a struggle, but we just do our best. My mom is a great cook, but she just chooses not to do it. So I grew up on mac and cheese (noticing a pattern here?), frozen pizzas, and pot pies, and I lived to tell about it. Don't worry, your boys will love you no matter what you put on the table for them.

Leah said...

I'm catching up on my blog reading and I just want to say, I completely understand!

You are doing a wonderful job. If I sat and told you about all of the shortcuts I'm currently taking, well, I think you'd feel much better about yourself and how you guys are doing. :)

Meals are always the hardest thing for me too. I'm thankful right now that my kids are only on formula and baby food. Once they graduate from that, we'll be scrambling! And if I don't find a way to get organized now, I'm afraid my kiddos will be eating mac n cheese and hotdogs. . . exclusively!

Just remember that you are WONDERFUL. You are doing an amazing job at this motherhood thing. Your children are beautiful, happy, and healthy. :)