Thursday, April 18, 2013

{No More Perfect Moms} Reclaiming dinner with some help

"I really wanted to make this chicken enchilada recipe I found. I really wanted to eat dinner at home."

Those were the words in a text I sent my husband last week during the 3 1/2 hours I waited to see my doctor only to have her tell me I needed to actually see a different doctor. Mourning my meal came on the heels of carpool drama and medical frustrations.

Dinner just didn't happen around our table last week. Monday there was an adult-only dinner at the private school our daughter attends so Greg and I ate there while my mother-in-law fed Cate and Ben. I don't remember what happened Tuesday, but we ended up going out. There was planned dinner out after t-ball practice on Wednesday evening.

And then there was Thursday, when I didn't get home until a few minutes after 6 just as Greg was getting ready to walk out the door to a meeting. My sweet mother-in-law who had been at my house since 2:15 so I could go to my doctor's appointment had waited until I got home so she could treat us all to dinner. Except I was at the doctor so long my husband couldn't join us. But Cracker Barrel tasted oh-so good after the afternoon with too much waiting and too little carpool communication.

We headed out of town Friday after school, so we got dinner on the way. We ate out all weekend with friends and family we don't see often enough. Then we came home Sunday afternoon to few groceries, so we went through another drive-thru. And I prompted thawed some chicken for our next dinner together.

One of my favorite things about my husband is he never makes me feel like a wife/mom failure for not forcing a homecooked dinner around the table. He doesn't care when we eat store-bought ravioli with jarred spaghetti sauce and garlic bread from Kroger's bakery. In fact, he tells me how good it is. And he means it. There are things he doesn't love as much as me, but he eats them and doesn't tell me about what he wished we'd had.

But weeks like my last, when life bombards dinner time, I get frustrated and crave that time around our table that is stained with spills and etched with imperfections.

I know how to meal plan and freezer cook. And I've seen these strategies greatly improve the 4 o'clock hour in my house. Instead of trying to come up with a plan, I'm making sure the casserole is thawed and we have some canned green beans to go along side it. {Well, you know, when I remember to thaw the poppyseed chicken ...} But I've been at a loss at what to make. It tends to come with the new {warmer} season.

So, friends, I signed up for eMeals. I'm going to receive weekly meal plans {seven main dinner dishes and a suggested sides} in my inbox. And maybe my favorite part: There is a grocery list catered to my preferred grocery store and organized by area {you know, produce, meat, canned, frozen ...}. This will happen for six months, thanks to my $35. I'll evaluate then about whether to continue.

But that first meal plan helped inspire me. And so far so good. If nothing else, I'll have a new set of recipes from which to choose. Obviously dinnertime -- the actually act of sitting down together or the food itself -- won't ever be perfect but prioritizing this time for my family is important to us.

This post is inspired by Jill Savage's Hearts at Home Blog HopThis is another post in an ongoing series about how God's teaching me to embrace imperfection. My favorite book in this process has been Jill Savage's "No More Perfect Moms," which is on sale at Amazon for $8.88.

Want more? Subscribe to get "Insights" in your inbox. Like 152 Insights on Facebook. Or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Affiliate link included. 


  1. So completely understand the dinner issue...important to us as well, but there are weeks that life happens and ee just makr the best of it! Interested in learning your opinion about emeals. Thought about this several times, but havent actually looked into it. Do you know if there is a way to customize what types of recipes you a way to easily work around my kids food allergies. I'm not sure it would be worth it if i was constantly having to make variations and substitutions for allergy purposes. Just curious...

  2. KristinHillTaylor4/19/2013 2:12 PM

    There were various plans, so you can look through them and see if there is one that would be more conducive to your family's needs. It would be worth checking out.