Finger Food all the way.
It’s true. For a time, our Wednesday evening menu consisted of finger foods. If you could eat it without silverware, it was finger food. That’s because getting to the church on time was important, and because we ate together as a family. It’s also because Dave didn’t get in from work until one hour before it was time to leave. Supper, dishes, showers, and out-the -door had to happen in those sixty minutes. [And yes, of course there were times I fed the kids earlier especially if I thought Dave would be running late.]
In the busiest times of our lives,when we had five kids under 8 and later six kids under ten, I decided I’d rather get to church unstressed than finagle with a kid on his kitchen-helper-task or be lost in a pile of dishes while water from the shower ran onto the bathroom floor. I’m good at multi-tasking, but I can’t be in the kitchen and the bathroom at the same time. Dave was great with helping and often corralled some kids with him into the bathroom.
Sure, sometimes we got showers done before supper, but most times the goal was homework first. It seemed I kept spinning my wheels. So I did what Dave taught me to do: figure out the problem and find a solution.
I realized the supper crunch could be made easier if I focused on ease and nutrition and forgot about decor and a full-course meal. Soup and sandwiches might work for some, but by the time I cleaned up the cracker crumbs on the floor, I felt I needed to take another shower myself.
Finger food solution
So I skipped the fancies and came up with a plan. Some days I even threw a tablecloth on the table so I could remove it at the end of the meal for a presto-clean table. I usually shook it out and used it the following week for the same purpose. I do not like to come home to a dirty kitchen.
Clean up time was reduced to minutes when I implemented finger foods with paper plates. I was free to help corral the other kids into the bathroom or get the toddler dressed.
Prepared sandwiches (ham slider sandwiches, ham and cheese, pork barbecue, hot dogs or pigs in a blanket, Sloppy Jo sandwiches, are a few examples). Finger jello, vegetable sticks with or without dip, Ants on a Log, deviled eggs, and chips or french fries are a few suggestions that will give you a balanced meal.
As our kids got older and the baby needed less supervision, the need wasn’t as great. But for that period of my life, it saved my sanity and perspiration. Your stressful time might be Sunday lunch or another day of the week. I think, if you are a mom of littles, this plan can save your sanity, too.