If you are a mother and working, you would be struggling day in and day out to find that elusive work-life balance. With too little time on your hands to too much to be done, it can sometimes be a nerve wrecking experience. Whether you work out of choice or out of necessity, there will be some days when you will begin to question your choices. For women juggling with these double roles, there can never be enough hours in a day to finish chores in hand. In this write up, we have tried to put together some lifesaving hacks in one place, hoping that some of them will work for you and save you from going insane.
Cooking Hacks For The Working Mom
Plan the menu in advance Good things tend to come to those who are organised, and that is a fair truth. Chalk out what you are going to cook when well in advance for a week, involve your kids and spouse, go shopping the same day and take a breather. Now you do not have to brainstorm every evening finding something to cook for dinner, and then rush to the supermarket because you forgot that key ingredient on today’s menu is already out
Shop online The world is shrinking, and everything is available at a click. A lot of moms recommend shopping for grocery online, it saves time, money, you can do it from the comfort of your home, and there are no long billing queues. Sounds good. Most online grocery shops offer preferred time of delivery as well, so no hassles there!
Stock items Buy items that you often use a little in excess, especially when your find them on sale. Noodles, pastas, eggs etc. can be stocked up well and will not get expired soon either. Purees, sauces, ginger garlic pastes etc. can also be stocked. Not only will you save money on this, but will also find your favorite things handy when you are in a fix
Put that freezer to use Apart from storing ice and ice-cream, your good, old freezer can be put to some good use finally. Make some sandwiches and freeze them, boil some veggies and freeze them, pan fry fish and chicken and freeze them. Freeze vegetable stock. Makes putting together a meal much easier
Chop Chop Chop Chopped vegetables means half your cooking job is done. Chop all veggies together and refrigerate them in zip-lock pouches or airtight containers. Use as per requirement, and you will find life pretty easier. You just take out the chopped veggies and everything would be ready to cook
Prep the night before whatever you are cooking for tomorrow, make sure you do all the preparation the night before. The chopping, the ingredients and anything else that you may need to pack a decent lunch. If you are packing a salad, make sure everything, even the dressing is already ready
Brown onions Most dishes requires onions to be browned in oil. You can save 15 minutes of your daily cooking time by keeping a large batch of browned onions in the refrigerator and using it as and when needed. Make sure the box your refrigerate them is an airtight one
Bake on Sundays Get along with your kids and bake a week’s worth of snacks and some desert on Sunday. Baked snacks are healthy and can be packed both for your kids’ lunch and after school snacks. Older kids may just love to assist you on the go, and you get to spend some quality time together
Use food processors Food processors and mixers make life easy, especially if you are into Indian cooking. A food processor can be used to knead soft dough and chop veggies. Shakes and smoothies can be made in minutes. There is a lot of chopping that can also be done quickly. Make use of these
Soak You can soak beans like rajma and chole and refrigerate them for later use. Whip up a quick salad with these or save time when you have to cook a meal using beans
Use slow cookers The best bet with slow cookers is that you can get healthy food without remembering that you are cooking something. You can prep your meal the night before or in the morning when you leave for work, and when you come back, some deliciously cooked food would be awaiting you
Keep recipes handy Grab all your favorite recipes and keep the printouts handy. If you are into using mobiles and tablets, you can opt for bookmarking recipes and use them as and when the need arises. You can even save copies on your computer, by saving paper
Take turns You and your spouse can take turns on cooking, so that you can enjoy a day or two off. That will give you some breather and will also let your spouse show off his culinary skills
A word of advice? Never strive for perfection in anything and everything. Let things be messy at times, whip up a sucker meal sometimes, and let the kids complain every once in a while. You are not a superwoman, and do not try to be one. You are awesome, the way you are.