Friday, September 24, 2010

family meals are priority one: what I'm letting slide to get it done...

With school and work ramping up these days (a nice problem to have, but I have to admit to being a little overwhelmed as most parents may be these days...) I've had to let a few things slide to keep up the really important stuff-like family meals...

• combing my daughter's hair (there, I said it... occasioanally we do a surface-comb, but ponytails hide many sins...)
• vacuuming
• mowing the lawn (since the kid who was doing it went back to school we are living in a jungle...)
• bi-weekly grocery runs (we're down to one for fresh and one for non-perishables. I dislike having to shop at two places, but do...)
• daily blogging
• unpacking (why bother, I'll just need to pack in a few weeks again)
• ambition with cooking- remember that doing family meals is a marathon, not a sprint. When things get crazy, I rely on easy, quick standards, quick pan-cooked meats with glazes, mac-n-cheese, couscous, more cut-up raw veggies, I buy pre-washed salads, we might eat out more, eat more left-overs, do the giant crock-pot meal and eat it for 3 days. I tend not to try new recipes...
• tidying up- inside and out-my yard looks like a plastic obstacle course. Orange cones, hula-hoop, bike, helmet... tumble-weeds of cat-hair.
• laundry. the mega-loads that take 30 minutes to fold...
• exercise (I need to get the walking routine going again. Will walk tomorrow after a meeting.)

What do you prioritize and let slide?


  1. I'm terrible at prioritizing. Combined with a serious net addiction (I check Facebook and my other sites probably close to 50 times a day), I rarely get things done when they should. >_<

  2. I really liked this post and will undoubtly think of it often. I really get hard on myself when I can't complete everything I want to do in a day, really hard. And incorporating regular meals has made things harder not easier, so I've felt like failure a lot lately. I needed this. It's reassuring to know that other people, smart, accomplished, respected people aren't perfect. Maybe that will help myself lower the bar for me.

  3. Kate. It IS HARD! I say this as I stare at the basket of unfolded clean laundry for yet another day... I am learning to try not to focus on what I am not doing and pat myself on the back for what I can do. Scheduling time for meals and snacks, or "eating appointments" as my friend at calls it is hard work. But, the payoff is worth is if possible. It doesn't mean it will always happen. Tonight for example I have a meeting late and will get M at 5:30. She will be hungry, it will be too late for a real snack, and too early for the usual family dinner, so we're either doing Chinese buffet or take-out Pho noodles. I will let her chose. But, we will eaither be in the restaurant or at home eating together. (hubby will have to forage left-overs and might appreciate having a few more minutes to get work done as I know he feels the pressure to be home for family dinners.) When things get crazy, we need to nurture ourselves, do the best we can, "forgive" ourselves when we fall short and move on, look at what can fall aside for now (mowing, hair-combing) and keep trying! I do hope you will find that with time it will feel less hard to do structure etc (it feels really hard at first) and that you won't be so hard on yourself! I always tell myself, a messy, but happy home is better than a spotless one with miserable people. I have seen families sometimes prioritize cleaning over sitting to eat with bad consequences. (The family I think of had a particularly easy to distract little one who would ignore her food and watch mom cleaning and racing around while she sat in her high chair. Her weight was falling off and had the feeding team eval and worry etc, and maybe just sitting calmly with the kiddo would have helped more than having a spotless floor...) Anyhoo... Got a client call, gotta run!

  4. This was exactly what I needed to read tonight! I have gone back to school, took on a volunteer job organizing a street fair, work full-time, and my daughter started pre-K so I'm shuttling her back and forth to daycare. I just realized that I have let other things take priority over family meals and am paying the price in terms of how my daughter is eating and relating to food. We are still eating together but it's so rushed and busy and limited in options...I need to get back to basics.

    I'm not sure what ELSE I can let slide, though ;-) I already have the stacks of laundry, unmowed lawn, furballs in the corners, and tons of unread books, blogs, and unwatched shows. I do brush M's hair but it only gets washed once a week, with maybe one more bath in between.

    Personally I'm always searching for that balance of me-time, family-time, and work-time and I need to put the family dinner back on the priority list.