One of the many things that stresses me out is dinnertime. Growing up, my mom almost always had us four kids and my dad sitting down for family dinner. We all griped, and she made the same thing all the time, but it was an important time for so many reasons.
Now I am married with kids, and I want that same tradition. Unfortunately, my husband works til 7 and has a 45+/- minute commute home. Our 3 kids are ages 4 and under, so add that all together and you get no family dinner, a crazy mama trying to make dinner, and then an even crazier mama trying to keep the peace while feeding all the cranky kids, with another hour or two til dad gets home. NOT FUN. Oh, add in that this is what my kitchen looks like (note the size and lack of dishwasher):
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I got super stressed about this, and at one of my appointments with my midwife (therapist), she suggested Bust-a-meal.com. I was very hesitant to pay money for something that I should be able to do on my own (come up with meals, make a shopping list, and keep recipes organized), but let me tell you, it's been SO helpful. I recommend checking it out, you can get a week free if you remember to cancel your subscription before it starts charging you. It's been a lifesaver. And if you are one of those lucky iPhone owners, there's even an app for the site. My kids have even liked most of the recipes, which is saying A LOT (thank you 4 year old who won't even eat plain pasta if she's in the mood to battle).
(I wish I was being compensated for this plug, but I'm not)
What tricks do you use to make meal planning, shopping, cooking, etc. easier and more enjoyable, whether you have kids or not?