Getting kids ready in the morning, getting yourself ready, making breakfast, travelling to work, battling through traffic, being on your A-game at the office, rushing home from work, making dinner, feeding the family, getting them to bed, packing lunches.
.
Rinse and repeat.
.
Just writing this is exhausting!  And I didn’t even include all the little things like laundry, paying bills, doctor’s appointments and dodging life’s curve balls.
.
Going back to work after babies is a major transition for mamas…or any parent for that matter.
.
But there are three things you can do to make the transition a little a lot easier.
.
.

#1 – Cheat at mealtimes

.

Meal Delivery Toronto
.
Of course, homemade meals are best.
.
But there are times when it’s no longer fun to be in the kitchen, especially after a long day at work.  Meal planning and grocery shopping each week, on top of making meals from scratch every night, is time consuming.
.
So it’s totally ok (I give you permission!) to let someone else meal plan and even make your dinner for you.
.
Even though I love experimenting with my own recipes, I found myself gravitating to the same ol’ dishes that were easy.  That’s never good when you’re also trying to expand your picky eaters palate.  And we even relied on takeout more often – it was healthier takeout in 90% of the cases, but takeout nonetheless.
.
Then a friend told me about a meal delivery service she was using and loving. So I decided to give myself a break from the meal planning and prep too.  Then parents were asking what tricks and tips I had for simplifying mealtimes. That’s when I started reviewing the meal delivery options out there.
.
Here are a few Meal Delivery Kits I’ve tested lately and summarized through the lens of a busy mom of 3 kids (and a nutritionist).  Whether you want meals done for you, or just want to be inspired, there’s something for you.
.
Which services have you tried?  Let me know below! 
.
And if you spend more of your time worrying about what (or if) your child will eat, this is for you.  As a parent with a former extreme picky eater I know how much their eating consumes us. But it gets so much better when we have the right mealtime strategies in place.
.

#2 – Go on a date…alone.

.

.
My children and family are my priority.  And I know they are yours too.
.
Of course 99% of your energy likely goes to your little ones: feeding them, comforting them, getting them to sleep, begging them to eat their veggies, and teaching them how to grow up to be good people.
.
But as I learned, we can’t possibly take care of our kids if we aren’t taking care of ourselves. 
.
Life is so busy and it gets busier going back at work!  Now as a mom of 3, I’m starting to realize that it is so important to find some quiet time for ourselves as parents. Especially if you think you don’t have the time.
.
As someone once asked me, you often think about getting quality time with you husband.  But when was the last time you had quality time alone? 
.
My answer: NEVER!  
.
I go to the gym daily, and I work alone for the most part.  But that doesn’t count..
I needed to book a ‘real date’ in the calendar and get out of the darn house.  Because there’s no such thing as quiet time at home. The most alone time I get is in the bathroom or shower with kids banging on the door, or a baby crying in the background.  Hardly relaxing!
.
So after you get into the swing of things getting back to work, book a date with yourself. No friends, no family, and the hardest part for me…no phone.  I desperately wanted to use the quiet time to call friends, respond to emails, or send text messages.  But I forced myself to to just sit at the restaurant and take it in.
.
.
I put on a skirt, straightened my hair, and wore some makeup (because who goes on a date in their Lulu Lemons, right?)
I chewed my food slowly (didn’t have to shove it in my mouth to rush home for the kids)
I savoured every bite (didn’t have to worry about whether my girls were eating or behaving beside me, because they weren’t there).
I even sat at the bar and ordered myself a drink.
.
(But I forgot to take the two-week old polish off my nails.  Oops!)
.
It was the most therapeutic thing I have done for myself lately. Time to reflect, refresh, and just be in the moment.
.
And as I continue to have my little dates, I always come back feeling like a better wife and parent.  So it’s a win-win-win for everyone in the family.  My husband now pushes me out the door!
.
Here are some ideas for you: 
  • Go for a solo dinner (and sit at the bar)
  • Go for brunch (my favourite meal of the day)
  • Go for a coffee (or wine!)
  • Go on a retreat (who says it just has to be an hour, take the weekend and get truly refreshed)
  • Go for a walk (ideally among trees and no honking horns to help clear your head)
  • Read a book
  • Get a massage
  • Sit on a park bench and walk the world go by
  • Get some ice cream (yes even nutritionists have ice cream sometimes)!
  • Most importantly, sleep (did you know that the benefits of a 20 minute nap equate to an hour of sleep at night?)
.

#3 – Eat PFF

.

Hype Food Co
.
After I had my first daughter, I went back to my corporate career and the days were a blur.  The hardest part was coming home and finding the energy to be a good mom.  When I didn’t have enough energy, dinners got lazy, less healthy, and the cycle began.  I wasn’t eating well, therefore I wasn’t feeling so hot either.
.
Gosh, it’s hard to parent and be patient through those tantrums when you just want to lie down.
.
Because energy is everything.
.
Every cell in our body has it’s own little factory.  In order to produce energy, we need to fuel those little factories.  And one way we do that is with food.
.
With great food and the right food.
.
Eating healthy seems to be getting so complicated lately. But all you need are the basics in place with the three things you need on your plate at every meal and snack.  When you do have these three things you won’t have to deal with the 3pm office cravings, or the energy crash that needs to be remedied with caffeine.
.
When you eat these three things you’ll come home with the energy to play, cook, and even calmly respond to cranky kids.
.
I call these three things PFF for short. 
  • Protein (quality meats, like grass-fed beef, free range chicken, eggs, fish, seafood, legumes, etc)
  • Fat (quality fats from sustainably sourced fish, seafood, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut milk, olive oil, etc)
  • Fiber (mostly veggies, some fruit, and grains optional)
Try to aim for veggies on at least half of your plate.  The fiber will fill you up and keep you satiated longer (along with the fat and protein).  For example, last night we had grass-fed sausage, swiss chard, sweet potato stir-fry with a side chopped salad (cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, peppers).  Loads of veggies, coupled with fats and protein.
.
That’s what’s in our lunch today too.  Speaking of which…
.
A bonus tip for you: pack lunches immediately after dinner (while putting the food away).  This way you don’t have to worry about it during the morning rush.  Just grab that lunch box as you run out the door.
.
Opting for quick breakfasts like these for you and your family are also incredibly helpful during the work week.
.
What are your strategies for getting your through the back-to-work transition?  Share below!