6 Simple Time-Saver Meals To Get You Through It
Having just came through the postpartum stage of Josie's birth (it feels good to be on the other side of that! Whoo-wee!), I have been looking back on the last 3 1/2 months and reflecting on how I actually made it to this point. There were days, y'all. Boy, there were days when I thought things would never be back to normal. Will I ever be able to wash a load of dishes, bathe a child or keep up with that mountain of laundry without having to take twenty-five breaks just to catch my breath?
Be encouraged, new Mama. Day by day, it does get better. It is slow-going, but God made our bodies to heal at the perfect pace. Although it is frustrating when you face the day-to-day demands of a home and family (and for some, even more demands outside of home), try not to rush yourself through this stage.
Interjection--I'm so thankful for my mother-in-law who came and spent two whole weeks with us to help with things when Josie was born. It was such a blessing! And my Mom, who popped in and out (still does) to do whatever she could to help.
For me, the most challenging part of the day during this stage was suppertime. 5:00 - 6:00 is, indeed, the witching hour. The big kids are hungry and underfoot, the baby is crying, the phone is ringing, and you're energy supply, even after 2 naps, has depleted. Hubby is due home from work at any minute. Even though my man was happy to come home and cook supper, without complaint--bless him--there were days when it did my morale good to have the accomplishment of a hot, delicious meal my family could enjoy.
Here are 5 simple meals that are favorites of our family. They will not leave you with 5 dirty pots and pans to wash, or, um, leave to soak in the sink overnight and wash the next day. I advise using paper plates (recyclable, of course) as much as possible to contribute to the simplicity.
1. Loaded baked potatoes. Wrap in foil, bake for 30 minutes to an hour in the oven, or until a fork goes in easy. Add butter, sour cream, bacon bits (the real kind), cheese, and any other toppings you so desire. Your children will love you, your husband will kiss you. And look--there's nothing to wash except a few forks and the cheese grater!
2. Biscuits & Sausage Gravy. Biscuits are a bit messy to assemble, so if you're not feeling up to it there is always (whisper) canned biscuits.Oh my. The healthy, natural Mama police are gonna get me! You can always go back to making those yummy homemade ones when your C-section scar is completely healed, MM-K? It only takes about 5 minutes to brown a package of ground sausage and 10 more to whip up some milk gravy to combine it with. Soo good. Makes really rich milk for your ninny baby, too. And don't worry, you'll burn off those extra calories while you're nursing.
3. Tacos. Brown a pound of ground beef (or in our case, deer), and stuff your tortilla with all the fixin's. Only one dirty skillet to wash!
4. Fajitas. My family love, love, loves chicken fajitas. Just chop your meat up, and add in a package of fajita seasoning (or cumin, chilli powder, and paprika). With some fresh cilantro and desired toppings, you'll have a delicious, satisfying meal, lickety-split! Note--I love to cook my fajita meat in an electric skillet. It cooks super fast and always seems to have more flavor for some reason).
5. Crock-pot Colorado Burritos. We live in the south, where the menfolk (and some womenfolk) take deer hunting very seriously. So we usually have quite the abundance of venison, in many forms--ground, chopped, and steak. You can use beef for this recipe, but if you have venison on hand, it cooks up so tender you'd never guess it's not beef steak. I don't actually use a recipe--I just chop up about 2 lbs of deer steak and throw it in the crockpot. Then I pour in one can of red enchilada sauce and cook on low until the steak is completely done (about one hour). Spread about 1/4 cup of meat and sauce into your burritos with a little shredded cheese and place in a casserole dish. Drizzle sauce and a little more shredded cheese over the top and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Serve with rice or corn on the cob. Really, they are so filling you don't need to serve much with it.
6. BLTs. We like our BLTs around here, and if you're needing to build up your milk content, this ought to do it! Bacon, a slice of tomato with salt and pepper, a pile of lettuce, a smear of mayo on one slide of bread and on the other, the secret ingredient--peanut butter! Yes, you heard me right. I was raised on this combo and it no BLT is complete without some PB. Don't forget to toast that bread!
Why only 6 meals? Because the 7th days is Sunday around here for us, which means we go to Mama's to feast, go out to eat, or if we do stay home, clean out the fridge of leftovers from the week. However you do it, think simple is better! Simple meals leave more time to cuddle and enjoy your new little gift.