We're not really doing an official April Habit but instead it will be a month of learning new routines. We're expecting the first week or two postpartum to be challenging or we're at least expecting very little time, very little energy and very little patience. I have a feeling I will be focusing on feeding the baby and recovering and... that's it.
Our doula and a couple of other resources have a list of household responsibilities that someone will need to take care of those first few weeks home from the hospital. They recommend discussing this all in advance to help prevent disagreements, resentment, or stuff slipping through the cracks. Agreed! Normally I do most of our household chores but Greg has been taking on more with this pregnancy and we have a pretty good idea where each of our strengths lie. I'm also expecting to be able to do very little. We've planned it all out, including lining up some help and we feel pretty good about it. Feeding us is one of the most important tasks. (Well, maybe after staying on top of bills.)
Reflections on my March Habit: Postpartum Meal Planning:
My goal for March was to have a few easy meal plans with shopping lists ready to go, a few casseroles ready to freeze and a meal service or two tested out with accounts ready for our orders. I have succeeded and then some! We have set up, planned and prepared four ways to get meals on the table so it's one major thing we don't have to think about for a while.
1. Freezer Meals: For the last few weeks, we've been making extra servings of dinners and a few breakfasts. I then wrap them up, label them including cooking instructions, and stick them in the freezer. Our freezer is now FULL of single serving (well 2 servings) meals that mostly just need to be popped in the oven. We have 15 of them! (On top of the planning and a little more cooking involved, the other big step was to first clean out our freezer. I spent the first week planning to use up anything I didn't want stocked in April. Greg had a list of things to eat including a few tartlets :D.) These meals are mostly comfort food, items like homemade marinara and bone broth, stuffed shells, taco fillings, GF blueberry muffins... things that freeze and reheat well.
2. Meal Train!: Greg and our friends M&A are setting up a Meal Train to have a meal or large snack delivered by a friend once a day! We're grateful to be getting fresh food and excited to have the support from our friends. These meals will be fresher and more of a surprise for us.
3. Takeout: Caviar, Sprig, Munchery: We also spent a few days this month signing up for and trying out some meal delivery services. As ex-New-Yorkers, this task was kind of depressing. When we first moved back here, the only places that would deliver were a Thai place and a pizza place... not even the good one. The options are getting better but it's still not one of the best ways for us to get food. We can only blame our hill so much. Anyway, we have accounts with Caviar, Spring and Munchery and plan on using them regularly to supplement the above. These meals will be easy, hot and like restaurant food.
4. Basic Meal Plan w/ Grocery List Ready To Go: My last task this month (working on it today!) is to write up a light meal plan for the first week along with an easy grocery list of fresh ingredients from Good Eggs. I'll have all the staples on hand already. We're expecting to eat four smaller meals a day so that leaves one meal a day we'll need to prepare. Greg thinks he'll be able to assemble an easy breakfast (yogurt and fruit) or lunch (sandwiches) once a day. As soon as we get home from the hospital, we'll have options penciled in and a grocery delivery list ready to order!
Sometimes when I think about it, this all seems a little silly: to put so much effort into planning for a time that will be full of unknowns. It feels right though. I'm reading The Road to Character right now and I reread Eisenhower's quote: "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." I know we'll be grateful for this work and for the support. <3
+ This may or may not be my last post for a while. If Peanut takes a little longer, I'm going to try to share our nursery next week. If not, I'll do that and get back to posting when our baby-led hiatus ends. xo