5 Tips for Less Stress and More Peace in Your Kitchen
As a wife and mom who desires to feed my family nourishing meals made with whole-food ingredients and avoid processed foods, I find myself spending a good amount of time in the kitchen each day.
Right now, I have a 3 year old who wants to "help" me do everything and a 1 1/2 year old who wants to do everything her big sister is doing. Needless to say, my time in the kitchen is not as "efficient" as I would like. However, I've come up with a few things that have helped me reduce my stress and be more productive in the kitchen.
I've only been married 4 years, so I am by no means a seasoned home maker, but I hope you will find one of my ideas helpful!
Please share your own kitchen tips in the comments below or via email.
1- Start with a heart of gratitude.
One night my husband was working late and I was eating supper alone with our two daughters. The 2 year old was being high maintenance and asking for one thing after another and the 6 month old was begging for food like a hungry baby bird perched in her high chair. Between feeding the two of them, I was trying to monitor some of the food still cooking on the stove and grab a couple bites myself.
As I got up from the table for the 20th time, I began to grumble to myself that I couldn't even enjoy a decent meal.
Then I realized that everything that was causing me to feel stressed was actually a blessing. It's a blessing that my husband has a job. It's a blessing that I have two babies that love to eat. Even the dirty dishes are a blessing because it means we have food to eat!
I continue to remember that perspective as I've felt stretched thin during meals and am trying to choose gratitude instead of an attitude!
I need to remind myself that many things that make me feel "stressed" are actually blessings.
2- Start preparing dinner early.
I find that I have so much more peace and less stress if I start making dinner earlier instead of waiting till the last hour.
Let's be honest- that recipe called "30 Minute Chicken" is actually going to take at least an hour.
Starting supper early gives me some extra breathing room to have my kids "help" me or respond to their needs if they are playing.
Also by starting early, soups and casseroles can be cooked low and slow to fully develop the flavors. When I crank up the heat and try to cook things quickly, I'm only inviting disaster and it usually ends with a smoky kitchen!
3- Listen to music or a podcast.
Playing pleasant music or an encouraging and inspiring speaker gives my mind something to focus on. Rather than inwardly complaining about the burden of work, I can be encouraged in my role as a homemaker, get fresh ideas for my house, or worship God with gratefulness through music.
4- Clean up as you go.
I have been learning the habit of putting the measuring cups, mixing bowls, and other utensils directly in the dishwasher as soon as I am done using them - not setting them on the counter, not setting them in the sink, but instead putting them straight in the dishwasher. It's so much more enjoyable to eat dinner in a clean kitchen and not have a mountain of dishes casting a shadow over family time in the evening. Plus, a clean kitchen with the smell of yummy food cooking is a welcoming environment for your husband to come home to!
6- Diffuse essential oil or light a candle.
There's nothing like watching the peaceful flicker of a beeswax candle while enjoying dinner or breathing the aromatherapy of essential oils to make you feel calm and collected.