A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at a local parenting group about how to get healthy, family-friendly meals on the table when you’ve got limited time, money, skills…and, let’s face it, desire.
I told the audience about how, when I was a new mom, we ate “blue box” mac and cheese, ramen noodles, spaghetti and jarred sauce most of the week…and then drive-thru or takeout pizza the rest.
How I had no idea what I was doing in the kitchen, was disorganized and easily overwhelmed by recipes, and lacked the confidence to even try simple recipes like roasts and stews.
How it took several years of small, gradual, incremental changes and improvements and experiments before I got to the point where I felt comfortable in the kitchen (and actually wanted to be there.)
After the talk I thought back to those early years of motherhood and marriage. It wasn’t just the kitchen where I felt like a fish out of water. What a tragic housekeeper I was! I wanted so badly to have a comfy, functional home, but couldn’t seem to get it together.
Eventually I learned the hard way that doing a little bit of cleaning a few times a day is way better for my sanity and surroundings than trying to “save it all up” for a weekend cleaning spree. And that, like anything else, the ability to keep a home functioning is a skill learned with time and effort, not a gene you’re either born with or hopelessly lacking.
Funny thing is, the more efficient I became at keeping the house clean, the more I enjoyed being in my home and the more satisfaction I got from the small cleaning tasks that punctuated my days. [click to continue…]