OK, show of hands: how many of you dread cooking dinner?
Maybe the actual cooking isn’t the problem; maybe you loathe all the chopping and prep work, or you detest doing dishes. Maybe meal planning is the bane of your existence.
It’s true. Some of us don’t love cooking—or any of the associated tasks that go with it.
Depending on how old you are (don’t worry—I won’t ask!!) you might have seen your mother or grandmother spending all her time planning her meals, shopping for ingredients, cooking from scratch, and then cleaning up to do it all over again.
My mom can remember my grandmother making four loaves of bread a week to feed their family of six, and sometimes some of those kitchen tasks fell to my mom, the oldest girl in the family, when my grandmother went back to work.
Does that seem wonderful to you, or onerous?
Honestly, it’s not that every woman in my grandmother’s generation just loved to cook; it was a necessity. And it’s not that every woman in my mom’s generation or my generation hates cooking; we have a lot of demands on our time that make cooking from scratch more of a challenge.
Here’s an important thing to remember, though: Whether you love cooking or not, your efforts are about more than food.
The next time you find yourself falling more in the “don’t love cooking” camp, try shifting your perspective a little:
- Remember that you’re not just cooking, you’re nourishing yourself and your family, providing fuel for growing bodies.
- Meals provide great opportunities to connect; think of the food you’re preparing as the catalyst for that connection.
- Planning your meals ahead of time brings order and calm into your life and saves you from unnecessary stress.
- Cleaning up after a meal can be a chore, or a ritual that you perform to return order and banish overwhelm.
You have to figure out which perspective shift will work for you. If you don’t believe it, you’ll be rolling your eyes and cursing at me as you try to see that pile of dirty dishes as a peaceful ritual.
For example, your meal planning ritual doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. In fact, it’s important to make meal planning fit your life—I talk about that a lot in my ebook.
I do happen to enjoy cooking, but there are lots of other chores I don’t love doing. When I find myself grumping and complaining about having to sweep up a pile of dog hair—again—or thinking how much I don’t want to fold and put away a load of laundry, it helps me to remember that I am blessing my family by doing those things. I may not love doing them, but I love the results, and I love being able to take care of my family.
How do you shift your perspective to take the chore out of cooking and other tasks? Leave me a comment below!