My husband and I had a great date tonight where we talked about the overload factor.
Like many families, we struggle with balancing many things:
- my over-full-time job (ministry is never done)
- Albert’s part time job with a 40-mile commute
- Albert’s volunteering in the local school doing tutoring and assisting in classes
- Daniel’s fencing training and competitions
- Megan’s being in two orchestras
- Both kids taking music lessons
- Megan going to youth group
- Albert being the local armorer at the fencing club and doing some fencing himself
- Both kids homeschooling (Albert and I do grading and they do online classes)
- Me: volunteering to help with DVD/CD orders for the Davis Junior High and High School orchestras.
And then there is ministry:
- Albert: website updating, helping out in children’s ministry, playing bass, leading a college men’s small group
- Megan: junior high group
- Daniel: helping out in children’s ministry with Albert
- Me: women’s ministry, adult ed, small groups/Group Life, Faith/Compassion/Justice, Vision Team, Branding Team, tech support, church database, communication, worship team (my volunteer time), all-church programs, support of other adult ministries (prayer ministry, library), and various projects here and there (Alpha, 40 Days of Community focus, Christmas decor), etc.
Like many other families, our plate is full. What tends to happen is that we end up scrambling at home to make everything fit.
One area in particular that is stressful is the area of food. So after some strategizing today, we came up with a plan and I came home and immediately started organizing.
Problem: Due to flex schedules, often the kids make their own lunches and never know what to make.
Solution: I created a 2 week rotational schedule for them. Albert goes to Costco on Thursdays so I made a shopping list for him to get for the week’s food.
Problem: Albert is tired of cooking every day. I don’t like to cook unless I have a plan (I get easily stressed when it comes to food.)
Solution: Plan a bunch of meals in advance.
I created a Saturday lunch and dinner menu between now and September! I like variety so I basically went through all my magazine recipe clippings and put them down so that all the recipes are planned out for the next half year. Then I put a sticky on my calendar to write down the shopping list every week so that Albert knows what to shop for so I have the ingredients to make the meals for the weekend.
This means that now we have a plan in place. Albert will still oversee cooking during the weeknights, and I will cook on Saturday (giving him a break) and most likely we will have enough leftovers for Sunday.
One cool thing is that this is all kept on Google Docs and shared with everyone in the family so that at any point the kids or Albert or I can check the document to see what’s on the docket to eat. I made different tabs for the different menus so they are in one document.
So all in all we are feeling way more positive about things because the overload factor is being reduced!