Welcome to the feed, your family tonight, podcast. Do you dread hearing the question? Whats for dinner? What are you spend your days? Keeping up with toddlers, running kids to after-school, activities are juggling a career and family getting dinner on the table. Can be a struggle for us all. Im a Rafi box. A business owner wife, and mom of four. Im on a mission to build stronger families. One dinner at a time. And Im here with tips, tricks and inspiration. You need to feed your family tonight. Hello friends, welcome to the Future family tonight. Podcast episode 150. Im your host, marifi Bach. Im so happy to be here with you today. Today for talking about for tips to feed your family during a tough season of life. If you ever had a season of live where theres just a lot of Life happening for a, lots of different reasons and fixing dinner, feels overwhelming than you are in the right place. Today. Were kind of going to do a deep dive into some ways to help ease. The burden of feeding your family. When youre in a tough season. These can be short test seasons and they can be longer test Seasons. The tips work for both. I was recently on Kroger website and right at the front of the website. They said, the average person makes 221 food-related decisions. Everyday. 221 decisions, friends. And if youre a mom, I bet you could double or triple that, that is a lot of decisions about that. We are making everyday a hard season of life and our bandwidth gets a little bit shorter, those decisions, feel heavy and burdensome. Theres times where we just dont feel like cooking and theres times when life kind of gets the best of us. I personally have had a few weeks for life is kind of got the best of me. It wasnt any big deal, but there was just a lot of little things that kept piling one on top of the other. And will you put them all together? Its still a lot of my brain space and its still a lot of my bandwidth. If you follow me on Instagram, Im at feed your family tonight. You would know that a couple weeks ago. I accidentally dumped an entire can of raw turkey. Egg roll meatballs all over my Evan. This little mishap was kind of the straw that broke the camels back. And what you didnt see on Instagram, is that I ended up on my kitchen floor in a ball sobbing and we dont show those things on Instagram, but were friends. Ill let you know a little more of the story. I just finished my TV interview from home and I was baking up what I had made on TV. And when I went to go put the pan into the oven, something happened and they slipped and all of the Meatballs just dumped and it was just too much for me on a normal day dumping site pan of Meatballs would be really frustrating and really annoying. But on this particular day, there were so many other things that I had on my mind that it just did me in and when I finished with my little SOB best I looked and I looked like Tammy Faye Bakker. I had television makeup, just dripping down my face, and mascara dripping down my face look back now cuz I kind of gotten past it and I can laugh a little bit and I hope that you are laughing at the sight of me would like mascara and heavy makeup. Just dripping down my face because I was a sight to see But I tell you, this friends, because we all have seasons where our bandwidth is thin. No one is immune from it. Sometimes decisions are long and sometimes these seasons are short, maybe for you. Its just a sport season for your kids where you are booked to the nines. And if one little Domino falls out of place, then the whole change. It starts falling apart. Maybe its a really busy season at work. Im thinking of you accountants when March hits and you know that its a marathon to get to the end of April with tax season. Maybe its a season where you have a new baby and a toddler and a preschooler. And all you want is eight hours of sleep. At least one night a week. Or maybe its that, you got some family members that are sick and maybe its a short illness. Like you just have a kid that has a stomach bug and that just messes everything up for a couple of days or maybe its a longer illness with a family member with something thats a little bit more serious. And it takes a lot of appointments and brainpower to face the illness. Nothing about these seasons of life is they come, but we still have to feed our family. Even when life is really really tough. We all still have to eat and Im here to help you feed your family during a busy season with a little bit less stressed because heaven knows youre under enough stress. When we hit these busy Seasons or these difficult task seasons of life. Theres plenty of stress to go around and feeding your family can feel like just that straw that broke the camels back. Its like me and the silly meatball. That was, thats what did be in? Because I just didnt have any more bandwidth left. I feeding your family is just the thing that just bogs you down during his busy season. So I got some tips to help you ease, the burden, the little bit and and get through the season. And honestly, sometimes getting through with enough, you dont even have to get through with perfection or Grace, you just I have to get through and these tips will help you get through. So I have 4 tips. And the first two tips are about being realistic to the. Number one is to not expect too much of yourself in these Seasons. You do not have to be wondermom. Your family meal deals. Do not have to be 100% homemade. They dont even have to be 100% nutritionally. Perfect. so many times, we self-imposed ideals that really feel like burdens when we hit these test seasons and Im wanting you to think about some self-imposed ideals that she may have that, maybe you can lessen during this time of stress. Weird kids be okay. If banana is an organic, maybe your family idea is that you only eat organic produce. Will your kids be okay, if the only veggies that they eat are baby carrots and frozen peas. Maybe youll have family idea of having a variety of vegetables all the time. You want to remember that. You are only one person and you are likely the person. That is very the emotional burden of feeding your family. I talked about that in episode 75 if you want to go back and listen and it goes back to that. Kroger thing where there are hundreds of decisions that we make as a mom everyday, regarding feeding, our family, and most of them are subconscious decisions, but were still making them and they are still taking brainspace. But your bandwidth is narrow. You need to keep your expectations of yourself realistic. You need to remember that feeding. Your family is enough. Chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, Cold, Cereal, all count as dinner. It is, okay. So think about your ideals and see where maybe you can loosen those a little bit just for season when youre really in that trying to get through. Tip number 2 is related to tip number one and that is to not expect too much of others and this is kind of tricky, but it really needs to be said, I am in a stressful time. You may want everyone in your family too kind of pitch in and do their share. Do a little more and work together. Not a bad concept but expectations must be clear. If you want your husband to empty, the dishwasher before he goes to work in the morning. Do you ask him to empty the dishwasher before he goes to work in the morning? You cant expect others to just pitch in and help. Even though thats what we really really want. Sometimes you have to make your expectations, clear with that. This goes for your kids to you. Cant just say, I need you to help him pitch in a little bit more. You need to be really clear with your family members and you need to be really specific and what you ask them to help you with. Youre going back to the example of the dishwasher. Ask your husband if he can help you out by just emptying the dishwasher before he goes to work. If youve got a teenager thats getting home from school in the afternoon. Can you have them take the Crock-Pot insert that you prep the night before with that chicken tortilla soup? Have them take the Crock-Pot insert and put it into the crock pot, plug it in and turn it on, on high. If you ask that of a teenager, I also recommend going to their phone and setting an alarm to remind them because teenagers can get a little flaky and sometimes just setting an alarm on their phone to remind them, that will help you might even set up a bunch of alarms. Be yourself so that you dont forget to do things. Having others help. You is really, really good. But ask for very specific, things from them and make expectations. Very clear, so that youre not disappointed that theyre not helping you in the way that you need to help. Tip. Number three is to look for ways to simplify. Where can you make life a little bit easier in this season? Small little ship will add up. I usually buy a 5 lb bag of carrots, and I peel them and cut them into carrot sticks. And thats how my family likes to have carrots. But when we hit a busy season, I am buying the baby carrots. I know they dont taste as good. I know my family prefers the other kind but its a small little ship that saves me. A little bit of time and a little bit of brain space. Maybe you like to make homemade bread and it this is the season where youre going to buy it at the grocery store, or maybe youre like me and you usually do Two grocery stores a week. And in this season, you need to cut back and just go to one grocery store. And that may mean that you may not have your preferred brands of certain things. And they mean that its going to cost you a little bit more money, but you have to think about what the monetary costs versus the cost to your sanity and your brain space to take this to the Ninja level and get grocery pick-up or grocery delivery. But when you are doing that, you need to be really, really sure that you are meal planning at the beginning of the week. If you dont have the feed, your family tonight, free weekly meal planning sheet, go to feed your family, tonight. Comm plan and pick up your free weekly meal planning sheet is going to have you look at your schedule and its going to have you think about planning meals around? Whats your life is really like and when youre in a busy season and youre doing grocery delivery or grocery pick-up, you need to be planning really, really well, so then youre not running to make The trips to the grocery store to get things when a youre too tired to cook and what you planned wasnt going to happen or that youre planning meals, that actually work. With the reality of your schedule. Youve got to be realistic with yourself that kind of goes back to tip number one, but its really important especially when youre looking for ways to simplify. What can you simplify from your weekly meal planning and the kinds of foods, youre feeding your family in this season. Does it mean that your kids are going to get hot lunch at school every day, rather than having lunch from home? Maybe its that youre going to have the same 10 meals for an entire month over and over again. In really busy hard Seasons. Boring meals are a very good thing. Its okay to not have new and fresh ideas when you are in survival mode. If you have the luxury of knowing that a busy season is coming up, then do a deep dive. Grocery shopping trip and a deep dive shopping trip and get your house. Up with the basic. I talk about Deep dive, grocery shopping in episode 99 and I always do a deep dive trip after Thanksgiving. Either late November or early December so that I can be ready for the gauntlet. That is December in our house. December in our house is crazy. Most peoples house is a little crazy and December, but my girls are always in a play. And that just makes it even more challenging. So, I make sure my house is stocked with things like toilet paper, and soap, and canned goods and freezer foods. So that I have more brain space. And when I have to go grocery shopping, all Im getting is things that are fresh like fresh meats and fresh vegetables. So episode 99 talks about that. Its going to save you a lot of time and a lot of energy if you know that it The season is coming up. If you know a busy season is coming up include extra backup meals in that deep. Dive shopping trip. I talked about backup meals at episode 4 there anything that you can get on the table in 20 minutes or less with ingredients that you keep in your house all the time. And if you know, youre going to be entering a busy season having those backup meals. As part of your regular meal plan is a really smart idea because you know, the things your family will eat and you know that you can get them on the table fast. Look for ways to simplify 2/4 is give yourself more cooking brakes. I talked about cooking breaks in episode 133. It is really important when you are in an intense or tough season to plan more cooking brakes and theres a lot of different ways that you can get cooking breaks. It doesnt have to just be take out stock up on some of your familys freezer favorites. If they like a frozen lasagna and my house is bag potstickers from Trader, Joes? Plan for take out and you get so much more joy out of take out, if you put it on your meal plan and you can look forward to it all week. Then if you hit Friday night at 6:30 p.m. And everything is all just falling apart and you throw your arms up in frustration and you dial for pizza because you just dont have anything left. If you know that you got this break coming at the end of the week and youre not going to cook dinner on Friday or Saturday night. It kind of helps you get through the hard times earlier in the week because you know, youre getting a break, put those brakes on your meal plan, put them on your calendar and plan for them and youll get so much more joy out of your planned brace. Another way to give yourself a cookie break, and actually going to do a whole podcast on this because I think that it is underutilized is using the grocery store as your take out. Again. I got a whole podcast, tell me about that in a couple of weeks. But this week on television. I made a chicken, Caesar salad, wrap, and it was rotisserie chicken. A bag of Caesar salad kit that had the salad dressing already in it tortillas and a little parmesan cheese, everything quickly purchased at the grocery store with me, 5 minutes to assemble a sandwiches. It is a fast and easy, no cook meal. And the grocery store is full of hidden gems. That if you can put the right things together, you can have semi homemade meals that are less expensive than take out but fast and easy to make and still much easier on you as the cook. Everyones going to hit some seasons in Life or its tough, but we still have to eat. Its okay, if you dont want to cook, its okay, if you dont feel like cooking, but you still got to feed your family. And so, I want you to be realistic with yourself, be realistic with others, and look for ways to simplify and schedule in those cooking brakes because that will ease the burden of a tough season so much. I cannot emphasize that enough friends. I hope that you are doing well and I hope that these tests Seasons. Dont hit you too frequently, but I hope that these tools kind of help you when they do come. For now, I need to feed your family tonight. Facebook group. Id love to hear how you managed. Test Seasons when you are trying to feed your family and follow me on Instagram. If you want to see a little bit more of the good things that are happening in my family. Im everywhere at feed your family tonight. I hope youre doing well. Take care.