Home ยป Family Friday (vol 1): Meal Planning, Dinnertime, Life, and Communication

Family Friday (vol 1): Meal Planning, Dinnertime, Life, and Communication

Anna Maria Island by Kate Bradford

I’m starting something new on the blog in 2016 – dedicated posts to my ramblings of life. Down and dirty…life. My goal is to get a post up every Friday as it’s my day off work. Seeing as it’s Saturday and this post is yet to go up…well, I’m doing my best.:) Hopefully you enjoy it, I know I will. A little break from recipes may be refreshing!

And before I forget to gush over that beautiful family photo of us…if you’re in the Sarasota area, you really ought to seek out Kate of KBradford Photography (or Facebook). I’m a wee biased as I grew up with the sweet girl, but her photography is out.of.this.world. and we were fortunate enough to have a session with her while we were in Anna Maria Island around Thanksgiving. Thank you, Kate!

So, this week started off rough. Mr. Prevention’s work hours have seen an uptick and Monday and Tuesday he was at work until 7pm-ish. Issue #1 is this is Shea’s bedtime. Issue #2 is: where the heck does this leave us for dinner?

I’ve asked time and time again for Mr. Prevention to give me a heads up via text if he’s going to be home past 5:30/6pm, otherwise I am trying to wrangling the tornado toddler while trying to make dinner, aiming for dinner around 6:30pm (this is a whole other issue because this time means Shea is on my lap eating my dinner with me, melting down by the minute).

Early this week, meal preparations didn’t start until after the baby had gone down at 7ish and after Mr. Prevention and I worked out in the basement. So, in short, we were eating dinner at 9ish when ideally, we’re crawling into bed around 9:30pm. No us time. No decompress time. I was not a happy camper. The practical me steps back and thinks, “Okay, Nicole. You work short days (8:30 to about 4pm is my typical work day, Monday through Thursday, with a 10 minute commute) and are home around 4:30pm with Shea. Just imagine if you worked full-time and/or had a long commute!” Sigh.

I need to do a few things differently to make next week an improvement from last.

I need to meal plan smarter. Meals need to be prepped ahead, if possible. They need to be simpler.

I need to have a heart-to-heart with Mr. Prevention…again. A text just isn’t that hard. I know he’s 100% in work mode while at work, but it means a LOT to me to have that communication.

I need to be more active during the day so I’ve walked more than 2,000 steps when I walk in the door after work. Between patient appointments, I want to get up at MOVE. Since wearing my FitBit, I’m realizing how insanely sedentary my job is.

None of this is rocket science, I know. But for me, balance is sooooo important. If I have no time to decompress before bed, I turn into a very unpleasant person in no time flat. I need evening time to read or catch up with the DVR. Or BLOG!

While I need to do a lot this week to improve our time management in the evenings, we can do it! Off to meal plan…wisely!

Be well,


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  1. Cyndi
    January 10, 2016 / 7:25 pm

    When my son was between 1-3ish, I prepped pretty much everything on Sundays for most of the week. He was impossible to leave alone for more than 5-10 minutes. My DH also gets home at 7ish all the time. We put DS to bed then eat dinner. We ate lots of soups & easy meals. (BTW I’m a part time RD also, 4 five hour days)

  2. Biz
    January 11, 2016 / 11:14 am

    I was a single parent living with my parents when Shea was that age, and my Dad worked from home so he was always there to start supper if my Mom and I were running late. I understand the decompression time though!

    I’ve just started reading before going to bed and I am loving it – I usually watched Netflix on my tablet, so it’s much more relaxing to read.

  3. Katie
    January 12, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    I hear you on the needing to be more active at work. A good day for me is 3,000 steps before I leave. I’m trying to get up at least once an hour, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.
    Loved your post!

  4. Faye
    January 12, 2016 / 5:02 pm

    The balancing act is quite the conundrum. You are doing a lot of things right. They just haven’t all figured out to fit together. You will get it. You will find your rhythm.

    Would you consider having dinner at a certain time, regardless if hunt has made it home or not? I understand trying to maximize time with him and as a family. It’s a goal we strive for as well. But if cooking dinner around when he finally says he is leaving work is actually sabotaging you to the point where you are losing time, isn’t that a double loss?

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