Friday, May 1, 2015

Survival Mode: Example Meal Plan

One night this week, Mary (6) offered to make dinner on my behalf.

I didn't hesitate to accept the offer!

And we use paper plates too!

How does she do it? How does she homeschool four kids, while expecting number five, live on five hours of sleep per night in one-hour stretches (due to typical third trimester complaints), and her husband travels a lot for work?

I suspect my friends in the same shoes would say the same: how I do it is often called Survival Mode and it looks very simple. Forget Martha Stewart (for us oldies!) or Pinterest (for the hip ones)!

Survival mode means that I was really happy that my six-year-old made us a dinner of frozen waffles, scrambled eggs, and chicken nuggets (reheated from McDonald's no less!), with store bought cookies and milk for dessert. (I don't know when I've last had store bought cookies in the house, not because I'm a food princess but because I have no willpower if they are within reach.)

(And, really, if we're going to talk about McDonald's nuggets, I, for one, have to dash off to watch Jim Gaffigan on McDonald's [see Mr. Universe at 27:30] and health fads.)

What does a Survival Mode meal plan look like when one's husband is off supporting the family and simultaneously enjoying delicious business dinners in London for seven days? This last week, it looked like this at our household:

Sausage, fried in a pan
Jar of vodka sauce
Frozen peas

Mini frozen pizzas from Costco


Frozen waffles
Scrambled eggs
McDonald's nuggets

Eggplant Parmesan (frozen breaded cutlets from the store that bake for 10 minutes, with pasta and a jar of marinara)
French bread (not even homemade--the frozen store bought kind already spread with garlic butter!)
Salad (if I'm feeling energetic) or frozen peas (if I'm not)

Golly, the word "frozen" appears a lot in the above meal plan!

But, you know, this is a season of life. Every time I feel like a loser because I'm not soaking black beans overnight, making bone broth, or buying our chicken at the all natural specialty butcher in town, I remind myself that I will be in my third trimester with baby number five and all the children eight and under for only one season. And this is it! I do what I have to do to keep the household afloat, maintain order, and keep Mama from snapping like a brittle stick like the kids dragged inside the house again . . . "Didn't I tell you 'no sticks in the house'? Put that outside!


  1. During a mommy down with a cold situation over the winter my kids made boxed mac and cheese and boxed brownies for dinner. It was a collaborative effort. Hang in there mama!