“What’s for dinner?” You’re bound to say it, think it, and hear it at least once a day. But when you’re a busy parent, it’s one of many things YOU have to solve. Here’s how Autumn of mamachallenge.com and her family work to get dinner on the table with la Madeleine.
Thanks to La Madeleine for sponsoring this post and making meals possible when everything else isn’t.
There’s really not such thing as a normal day. The more I plan, the more it goes awry. But a mom’s gotta try, right?
Here’s a typical rundown.
5:15 am // My iPhone softly begins chirping to get me up and go to the gym before the kids wake up. I argue with her, hit the snooze and return to dreaming about vacation, organized closets, and clean dishes (mom stuff.)
6:30 pm // The iPhone’s ring has upgraded to a siren and the hubs and I both wake up like a fire drill. We charge upstairs to wake up the kids, argue about outfits (because we forgot to lay them out the night before), and head to the kitchen for breakfast.
7:00 am // Breakfast for the kids consists of anything from yogurt, waffles, sausage or whatever else we can pull together. They eat while I throw together my daughter’s lunch.
7:05 am // While they eat, I find a few minutes to pop in my K-cup, grab my favorite mug and fill it up with cream. The sound of the Keurig dripping into my coffee is the most beautiful sound in the world, next to my kids saying “I love you.” On some days I’d say the coffee wins. (I’m a big fan of la Madeleine’s French Press to get me moving. Pronto.)
7:20 am // Hair, teeth, and whatever else is squeezed into our last 10 minutes before we have to jet to school to make the line and the bell.
7:30 am // My kids head to the car with the help of their dad and load up while I slap on my workout wear so I drop them off in something besides my pajamas and to motivate me to head directly to the gym. I run to the car and we jet to school to get into the drop off line.
7:50 am // We made it before the bell rings! I pull over and hit up my phone for my first round of emails to make sure what’s sitting in front of me for the day. A quick look lets me know what needs immediate attention and what can wait until 9 am.
8 am // Let the delayed workout begin. On some days I hit up spin class, others I run the treadmill, or when I’m lucky, I get to work with my trainer to really make me do the stuff that I need to be doing for around an hour or so. This year is about my health so I’ve made this a priority so I can be a good example to my kids. I wobble to my car.
9 am // Ah, breakfast! It’s been a few hours since I woke up so I’m starving. However, the phone is ringing and emails need attention. Another cup of coffee and hopefully something healthy goes in my mouth while I slide into my chair and get to it. While in the kitchen, I look through the freezer for something to pull out for dinner, but get distracted by the phone, the doorbell, and the mounting work.
11:30 am // A conference call, emails and work. I had scheduled out my day differently, but most days there’s at least a few fires to put out and there’s always a deadline to make so I’m already behind. I found a big win with an article on one client – whoo. I see one of my posts on mamachallenge is getting some great traffic – whoo hoo! Facebook is building, Twitter still needs love but Instagram is my favorite so I’m excited to really see a few comments here. However, I’m launching two new other sites (always a project happening) so it’s a little bit of craziness! I love promoting and helping others see their dreams come alive with a new website, social buzz and that big magazine win. I admit it’s nice when it’s mine, too.
It’s the duality that I think that makes me the best at what I do. I realize I’m famished. Some days I plan for meetings, but today there’s no time. Protein shake. Get back to it.
1:45 pm // Found myself on Facebook a little longer than I should. There was a recipe (can I make this for dinner?), then a cute dog, and then a sad friend. Sucked into the void – a break better be soon.
2 pm // After a few more hours of getting out timelines, press releases, posting, I need to put together a mini photo shoot for the dish I’m planning to make for a blog post and TV segment. This is both my fun time and crunch time since the kids will be home soon, so I have just about 2 hours to get it made and photograph. Then clean it all up. I throw carrots and a few pieces of cheese at my face and chug a bottle of water since I was due several ounces before noon and I’m already behind.
4:02 pm // I’m already late. I should have been in the car to pick up the kids from school and then off to their afternoon activities. Run in and get them and then sprint to the car to get to theatre practice for the big one, gymnastics for the little girl.
4:30 pm // While they practice, I head to the closest coffeeshop to get in another hour of work. Wireless connections and coffee rule my world. Husband also calls to tell me he’ll be home a few minutes late.
Days don’t always go as planned, but I always have la Madeleine to make me look good at dinner.”
6 pm // Pick up time! I do the rounds at practice we head home. “Mom, what’s for dinner?” I hear. Oh yes, I forgot! That dinner thing looms again. Something quick, but not a drive through. Plus we have a few allergies so I have to think where can I get something that everyone can eat, that we aren’t tired of eating, isn’t and doesn’t take an hour for us to get. We want to eat at home and get our other stuff done, too.
6:05 pm // La Madeleine has a new app so I open it up, make our options and click. It’s ordered so I head towards the cafe which is also on the way home. Relief.
6:20 pm // I roll into la Madeleine’s La Madeleine has a new appand tell them I’m here for pick up. Everything is already sacked and ready to go, so I’m off!
6:30 pm // We’re home! And in just a few minutes, dinner is served. There isn’t a pretty presentation, but with two hungry kids, there’s no time and it still hot. I just open the tops and let them get after their sandwiches. The big one begged for the sacher torte, so I negotiated with a surprise to satiate his sweet tooth.
I grab a few bites Caesar salad with balsamic chicken and ask them about their day. Dad comes in and looking for dinner. I picked up a jar of his favorite Tomato Basil soup for him – it’s gluten free and with a few servings in each jar, he can enjoy it for lunch tomorrow at work (and I might sneak a bowl in too.)
7 pm // And now it’s homework time. Folders, letters, math, all that – it’s a two person job to try to get them both done before we start the B routine: baths, brushing teeth, books and bedtime.
8:30 pm // Lights out begins. It’s a process that normally lasts until around 8:45 pm, but since it results normally in hugs, snugs, and kisses, I let it stretch. Besides, it’s my favorite part of the day. However, we both need time to get back to work, check in with each other. Plus that salad and soup still have a few bites left.
9 pm // Computer time for both of us as we sit in bed and catch up on everything we haven’t watched. We work until the other one starts to snore and realized it’s time for bed. Lights are out and get ready to start the next day.
12:15 am // I lie in bed and start thinking about tomorrow. “What’s for dinner?”