I may consider myself a meal planning master, but you haven’t witnessed firsthand my many, MANY failed attempts at it. We all have good intentions, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t happen.
If you find yourself struggling with putting dinner on the table, cut yourself some slack. It’s okay, and as mom’s, we can’t do it all. Based on my past experiences, these are the reasons why dinner never gets on the table.
What Sabotages Your Meal Planning & The Solutions:
- Too tired/unmotivated: Yep, I’ve been there and I probably feel this way every. single. day. And it’s not that I physically can’t do it, but my husband gets home and just wants to sit and ya know what, so do I! Now most of the time, I don’t let this get to me and I power through, but we all have days where we just can’t. So what I do is always search for freezer dinners (yes, I said it). I only buy a couple each week. But here’s the kicker, you’ve got to read the ingredients. If you can find a frozen dinner that is full of ingredients you can actually pronounce, then go for it! Lastly, once a week I usually make a big batch of something for dinner. Then those leftovers get put in the freezer for my super lazy nights.
- Nothing sounds good. You may be thinking, duh! But hear me out. When I meal plan, I meal plan with good intentions. Usually I am easily persuaded by another health blogger to make something I didn’t really like in the first place, but they made it look SOOOO GOOD. Then when it comes down to making it, it just sounds sort of blah. I say if you have clean eating dinners that you love, then make them and make them as much as you want. But don’t eat something because someone told you to. Enjoy what you eat!
- Lack of time: There are some weeks where it seems like everything was scheduled into it. Practices, games, playdates, etc. Usually you know when a crazy week is coming up so it’s vital to plan ahead. I have a 5-day meal plan that I created specifically for these week. I have it handy in my recipe binder so when I know something crazy is coming up, it’s done. If you don’t already have one created, no worries, get my 5-day Busy Mama meal plan here.
- The kitchen is finally clean and you don’t want to dirty it again.: Is this just me? Where are my neat freaks at? There are some days where I feel like I am playing catch up in the ktichen. I have a toddler so I don’t always have the time to clean it all in one sitting. With that method, it may literally take me ALL DAY! So when dinner rolls around, I can’t look at another dish. Now, if you have paper plates, and disposable utensils use them in this case. I don’t advocate for a lot of waste, but if you don’t do this often, I think it’s ok. But what I do is have my superfood shake handy for dinner. All I need is my blender bottle to make it. My toddler loves it and my husband approves as well. So yes, sometimes I cop out and go this route 😉 It’s high in protein and helps balance my blood sugar so it actually keeps us full through the next morning.
- Not enough food in the house: Yep, maybe you went out of town the week before and just didn’t have time to shop. Life happens so in this instance, I always have a set of food staples stocked in my pantry at all times. I did a post last week of what I have on hand. That way if something like this comes up, I’m equipped with the right ingredients to make something on the fly.
- Mood eater: Lastly there are times where we just aren’t in the mood for anything that was planned. My solution is combining the “fixes” in #1 and #5. I like to have a variety of leftovers in my freezer for this reason. If I have lots of options, one of them is bound to jump out at me. Also, keep that pantry fully stocked. With the right ingredients, there are a ton of options for meals.
How About You?
Are there any excuses I haven’t covered? Let me know in the comments below and let’s find a solution!