The Master Plan

Since we are all talking about what we are feeding our families, I am wondering if anyone does a rotating meal plan. I’ve seen lots of versions on-line. Some moms use a 3 week rotating schedule, some a monthly schedule, some cook and freeze for weeks at a time with tired and true (and easy) recipes that take a lot of the guess work out of meal planning and grocery shopping.

At this stage in the game, we don’t do anything of the sort. I generally meal plan the same day or, possibly, the night before. I have the flexibility to pull something out of the freezer in the morning and if I realize I am lacking an ingredient, run to the grocery store with my 1 and 2 year old. This may happen 3 days a week. Totally doable now, but as schedules fill up these fun and educational grocery outings (we talk about what we see, etc.) will be more of a struggle.

I bring this up in the spirit of Lent. I have been thinking of ways to simplify our lives to leave more time for just being. And, since unpacking the Last Box this afternoon, I am returning from a bit of survival mode to maintenance mode. I do, however, foresee more times of slight chaos, be it from moving or new babes, or sick kids, etc.

As stay-at-home mom beginning to homeschool my kids I find less time than I’d like for planning and thinking. About 18 months ago I started to feel very overwhelmed and inadequate, perhaps not too differently from the feelings articulated by this reader of Elizabeth Foss’ Real Learning blog. I didn’t know where to begin. So many cirriculums, educational philosophies, resources (ahem, my first baby was 1 at the time). I wanted to read everything. The impossibility of this project never crossed my mind. Until I became overwhelmed. So I started to think of what I really wanted our family life to be. Peaceful, uncomplicated and, most importantly, centered around the Liturgical Year. No need to figure out math manipulatives or a high school curriculum just yet. Just focus on the seasons of the Church.

To that end, I made a plan.

Year One: Read, gather ideas, pray.

Year Two: Begin compiling ideas and sketching out an annual calendar, pray. Pay attention to Feast Days special to our domestic church.

Hopefully, the fruit of this labor in the form of monthly and daily sketches will serve to simplify our lives in the years to come, especially during those busy baby times. I don’t want this kind of planning to give me the illusion that I am in control. That is the last thing this control freak needs. Rather, I hope that it allows us to relish in the seasons of the church year by having some ideas and plans sketched out and in one location.

All this to say that, while we don’t need a weekly meal plan now, it may be a good way to simplify things around here and establish a routine for the more hectic times. Does anyone plan weekly, monthly?

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