The yin and yang of meal planning.

This morning I had the luxury of dropping Charlotte off at school and having a day free. This must be what those mums feel like!

Normally I run home, hop in the car and pelt it to work but I have another couple of days off so thought I would use them wisely by meal planning and doing a mindful big shop, rather than a ‘throw it all in, I probably, maybe need another pineapple for my compost heap anyway’ type way. 

Ok, so let’s get this straight, as I’ve said before I don’t start diets at New Years because life is too crazy for that, but, planning my meals may just make my life easier and anything that does that I need to give a go. So off I trotted, with my new ‘Lean in 15‘ cookbook I got for Christmas, a fresh shiny notebook and pen to…wait for it…McDonalds for a coffee and a cheeky breakfast whilst planning. 

My balanced breakfast.

Yes, I looked like the biggest hypocrite ever staring at Joe Wicks‘ beautiful, ripped body and all the lean meat and veg whilst scoffing a deep fried hash brown but I believe life is all about balance and this, was indeed the yin and yang of culinary goodness. 

And d’ya know what, I did it. I planned my main meals, bought most of the food from Aldi for a lot less that my usual food shop was and I even cooked my own healthy chicken tikka masala this evening. Made my own paste and everything and Charlotte bloody ate it! Yes, she picked out two bits of red onion that hadn’t been whizzed properly but my daughter ate a meal I cooked! Pigs are currently flying around my house! 

It didn’t come from the freezer, it had flavour and maybe even some vitamins and nutrients and the recipe was naturally gluten free so I didn’t have to work out what substitutes would work! That is a massive win in my book! 

If you haven’t seen the series of Lean in 15 books yet, I would thoroughly recommend them. Not only is Joe Wicks easy on the eye but the meals are delicious and usually take hardly any time to prep and cook. Perfect for busy parents and not as pretentious as Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. The portions are massive though which is ideal when cooking for one and a half like me. You can choose to ignore the exercise section at the back if you wish, but don’t tell him I told you that! 

Tomorrow night Smoky Joe burgers with sweet potato wedges…can’t go wrong there can I?!

What are your tried and tested recipes for getting good food in your children? Let me know in the comments! 

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Emotion overload.

I can entirely see why some single mums decide to stay single now. The emotions and time needed for the whole dating game and the emotions and time needed to be a mum are more emotions and time than one woman has!

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Being a mum, single or not, working or not, is tiring. It is draining, it is also the most joy you can possibly have, seeing your child grow, develop and learn. It takes all your energy to keep going when your child is poorly at 4am and then get up for work, school, nursery or daily chores but you do it because you’re their mum. They can test your patience to limits you never knew you had and it takes restraint, lots of restraint. As a single mum it can also be lonely.

But in order to do the dating thing, in the hope that one day you won’t be sitting in the evenings watching yet another rerun of How I Met Your Mother or the Big Bang Theory with only the dog to keep you company, you need to muster up some energy to act like a normal, interesting individual with whom someone may want to spend time with. If you do get far enough to meet someone and they don’t take one look at the bags under your eyes and run for the hills, you then have to find the time to see them (even harder if they have kids too), still look alive and well put together and not fall asleep whilst watching a film or yawn despite the interesting conversation over dinner. If you get as far as sleeping together this brings on a whole other load of time consuming exercises as hairy legs might just kill the mood a bit and you deserve to feel sexy and wanted so you want to make the effort.

All that time adds up to more than is available for any sane woman who intends to sleep at some point. The ups of the first few dates and then the downs if they decide it’s not working or even worse just stop texting you. It’s all just too much to handle when trying to do all the mum things as well. So I have decided that maybe the dating thing needs to go on hold for a bit. The internet dating apps have been deleted and the email alerts have been stopped. It is a nice confidence boost to get a notification that someone likes the look of you, but I don’t need my life and self worth being decided by complete strangers on a dating app. I need to make sure I have that myself and I have enough time to commit fully to the best relationships I have. The one with my daughter and the one with myself.

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