It has been one whirlwind of a month in Casa Steinhart (and most observant homes across the globe). We got back from camp on August 20th and I returned to my regular job on August 29th. That may seem like 9 whole days of freedom, but holy cow were they jam packed! Those days and nights were filled with doctors appointments, grocery shopping, weddings, sheva brachos, finding out that the school shoes I bought before the summer for the kids no longer fit, replacing said shoes, and of course attempting to get a start on prep and cooking for Rosh Hashana that was only days away. All the while having three (poo poo poo) very active kiddos home who needed to be kept from climbing the bookshelves and coloring on the walls (kidding, not kidding).
Baruch Hashem we did manage to fit in a really awesome day trip to Deal, where the kids played in the ocean for 5 whole hours (we barely sat on the makeshift camp we set up on the sand) and took the kids out to Coney Waffle for the most intense ice cream situation ever (affectionately known as “The Sideshow”)!!!
Knowing that I had to return to work in a few days, I found myself constantly obsessing of all the things that needed to get done, and truthfully it was pretty overwhelming. I felt no matter how much I did, it wasn’t enough. I found myself in the grocery stores every Wednesday and Sunday and no matter how much I bought, we always seemed to need more! After just 2 days of Yom Tov my fridge seemed to be empty again, how was that even possible?!
One night on my way back from my 20th trip to Shoprite I had a revelation. I didn’t need to have a million options for each meal. I didn’t need to scratch bake all the desserts. I didn’t need to make the more time consuming recipes. I even splurged and bought some pre cut and washed veggies (which I never ever do!) I had to cut some corners if it was all going to get done!
Now that its all over and we have a nice long reprieve till the next round of chagim, getting back to routine is my focus. School lunches, nightly dinners (seriously, why do they need to eat every night????) work, carpools, Baruch Hashem for routine! Routines are where I thrive. There hasn’t been enough time to get into a routine yet this school year and we are all feeling it! My plan is to sit down with the kiddos and make a weekly menu of what they will have for breakfast and school lunches. Mornings are very fast paced, so everything has got to go smoothly. This enables and empowers the kids to get their own breakfast since they know what to take, and I know that Waffle Wednesday is coming up so we cant be running low on waffles.
This system worked well for us last year. We have a menu hanging in the kitchen Hubby and I decide what we will have for dinners and add that to the menu too. This minimizes trips to the grocery store and ends up saving time and money. When I’m super on the ball, I cook a few meals on Sunday, or come home during my lunch break to prep dinner. Not needing to cook during that all intense time of coming home after a long day, kids hungry and homework is soooo helpful!
I am really looking forward to settling into our routines, and I think the thing I’m looking forward to the most is not having to go grocery shopping for a while 🙂