My third baby made his appearance this past weekend! A wonderful birth and a beautiful, healthy baby. But with a new baby, comes adjustments. The routine I once had is completely gone and the other two kiddos are a bit thrown off. With the new baby also comes exhaustion, sibling jealousy and rivalry, and mommy’s attention needed even more.
So preparing and cooking meals has become merely impossible. With three kids three and under, mealtimes tend to get a little stressful and overwhelming for both mom and dad. One parent is always with the baby or trying to keep the two year old out of harms way, and the other parent is trying to survive and maintain sanity.
But it’s true, having a baby changes everything. You’re tired, anxious, worn out, and loaded with an overwhelming amount of tasks. You don’t have time to think about dinner every night. You just don’t. Yet eating is important for both mama and baby. Read the tips below on how you can make life easier for yourself.
Get Used to Big Batching Meals
Don’t just prepare in advance, but cook in big batches. Starting a dinner from scratch every night is too tiring and challenging. Instead focus on one marathon cooking session a week to prep a few meals that can feed you and your family for the week.
You could also make several batches of muffins for breakfast, freeze soups in gallon sized ziplock bags, and cut up your veggies and potatoes for the week ahead. Of course this will take time, so steal yourself when you can, even if this means for only 5 minutes at a time.
Acquaint Yourself with Easy, Hands-off Cooking
Get your slow-cooker out! Hands-off cooking is the best way to survive with a new baby. Overnight oats, roasted chicken and veggies, taco meat, spaghetti sauce, are just a few ideas for you to toss around. Also, freeze meals for those crazy Mondays! Play around with your crockpot and make it your best friend–literally. It will save your butt every time you use it and you’ll be thankful you prepped a meal earlier that day.
Cut the Rules
Sometimes you have to cut the rules and just eat. Meal prep is great, but let’s be honest, that requires time and time isn’t something you necessarily have right now. Super simple meals or snacks are things such as hummus and veggies, cooked oatmeal, fruit to snack on, and protein smoothies. Also check into a meal kit delivery service such as Hello Fresh. While you still have to do the cooking, the exact ingredients come ready in a box so it’s fuss-free and the meals are delicious. Plus you can customize the meals to your liking and dietary needs.
Make Double EVERYTHING
Or even triple. Every time you have a chance to do some cooking, automatically double or triple it and then freeze the leftovers to save yourself time later on. Also, microwaves will be your best friend for a while. I promise having a new baby won’t leave you out of the kitchen forever. It’s just the first few weeks of trying to adjust to life and the demands of a newborn. I’m on my third newborn right now. Sure, it’s crazy with a three year old and a two year old, but you have to find tricks and tips along the way that work. And when you find something that works, stick with it.
Give Yourself a Break
The most important thing is to let go of the guilt and do the best you can. If cooking feels like too much right now, then do an online shop and stock up with some easy things you can throw in the oven. Also, make sure you delegate; if you have older children or a spouse, then get them cooking for you.
If you want to get back into the kitchen though, why not treat yourself to a few new kitchen gadgets to motivate yourself. It could be a slow-cooker, a juicer, a spiraliser, a new apron, a recipe book, or even take a look at the best ceramic knives of 2019 – they’ll make you want to get chopping again.
Either way, do what is right for you and when it feels right. Don’t rush yourself and don’t put any pressure on yourself. This season of life is so short and it’s a special one. And please remember, you can’t do it all. Learning to let go of certain things is a game changer for you and everyone else around you.