Part 2: Meal Swaps
Dinner and lunch times can be so stressful as a parent, especially if your new at it. When I had my first baby, I found potlucks and takeout lunches so helpful and take a lot off of my plate!
Arranging potlucks with neighbors and friends is a simple activity you and your spouse can do to not only get dinner on the table, but also meet parents in the same situations as you.
Building a community that you can rely on is key!
Takeout lunches were helpful and fun especially after my first baby. My girlfriends and I would take turns getting/ making lunch, put our babies down for a nap, and just sit and talk! It helped so much with my feelings of isolation I would get as a new mom and it helped strengthen my relationship with other moms.
Overall, find little tips and tricks to keep connected with your community.
Another method that I now use is meal swaps.
Meals swaps have changed my LIFE!
You can do this with any number of moms, our group has 6 moms in total. The basic principle is someone makes the dinners and drops them off to the other group member’s homes. You can do this by coming together one day and everyone cooking together and making freezer meals and crockpot meals.
If you like the idea of storing meals in the freezer and just heating them up for the family, this is a great way to do it! However, I don’t super love freezer meals because I constantly forget what meals I have in the freezer and I’m not good at planning ahead what meals our family should eat what days.
How I Meal Swap
So, if you’re like me, here’s what our meal swap group does:
Our group comes together every 3-4 months and we all bring 3-5 recipes that we like, we can mass produce, are high quality, and are family approved. These recipes are usually 1 protein and 2 sides, and then we vote on the recipes.
We decided as a group that we wanted these meals on Mondays and Wednesdays. With our group I only have to cook for everyone once every 3 weeks! It usually takes around 3-6 hours to make everything, but it means that I get meals delivered to me the rest of the month!
The only time we pause the meal swaps is on holidays and during the summer because everyone’s schedules are hectic during those times but, again, it’s totally up to your group.
At the end of the rotation we come together and go through the meals that we loved and put them back into the next rotation. We also talk about the meals that we didn’t dig so much, but we always keep it a grateful and appreciative atmosphere.