If you tried to identify the most stressful portions of my days, you could not a very consistent pattern (is that not redundant?). Breakfast isn’t bad with only a few options – oatmeal, granola, toast, cereal, maybe pancakes. Lunchtime makes me a little crazy because I have hungry kids and nothing ready. Dinner causes building stress throughout the day, culminating – depending on what I’ve figured out – at the 4 o’clock hour if I have nothing planned or started.
Apparently, my primary stressors seem to be mealtimes. WHY???? I could give you a thousand reasons – I am still learning this vegan cooking thing, I take great pride in what I prepare and hate failure, nobody will like it if I stray from “normal”, we are missing ingredients to this perfect dish want to make, I didn’t start early enough for the easy meal, I’m too tired/hungry (especially these days) to focus. You get the idea, the list could go on and on.
So, now that I’ve figured out what is bringing the greatest volume of stress into my life (maybe not the most difficult), what can I do about it? Obviously, plan. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! Right, easy enough to say, but much harder to do. I have this problem, and I’ll tell you about it, and I don’t want to use it as an excuse, but mostly, I’m still trying to figure out how to overcome it.
I’m moody and I’m picky. There, I’ve said it. I don’t like making plans because what if I don’t WANT that on that day. What if I want something else? What if I want to go out instead, or my kids don’t want PB&J that day but want a quesadilla and that change throws a wrench in the whole plan so I decide to chuck the baby out with the bathwater? What if I’m not in the mood for soup? Or what if leftovers have so taken over the fridge that it feels remarkably irresponsible to make something else for dinner even though I really, really, really don’t want to eat that spaghetti again?
Perhaps the most annoying thing about this pregnancy is that I am not craving any one thing. I am craving less sugar, which is tough when it comes to “on-the-run” vegan foods since fruit is ultimately portable and peanut butter and jelly is the easiest meal on the planet. Not only am I not craving anything, I’m not really hungry in the normal sense, I just get cranky when I haven’t had enough to eat, and then all I want to do is go to sleep which isn’t really conducive to that whole “motherhood” bit.
So, I just need to do it, and I’m not entirely sure how. I suppose I’ll have to create my own world of menu planning, since there don’t seem to be many “family friendly, budget friendly, pregnancy friendly, quick prep vegan menu plans” out there that are suited to the tastes of my family. Can I start next week? I think the weekly reviews will help, and we’re starting to have the “accessories” to vegan cooking – fake eggs, nutritional yeast, tofu in all its myriad forms, beans, beans, and more beans, and I’m pretty quick at the almond milk. But, if anyone wants to help out and contribute their ideas, please, PLEASE! I need them. We need more lunch plans and easy dinner options that are just spelled out for me. While I acknowledge I’m a bright individual, I do better sometimes when someone just tells me what to do. I guess that someone is going to have to be me.