Freezer meals may seem to be a strange thing to be passionate about, but I am. They have made such a difference in my life by removing the stress of deciding what to make for supper everyday, saving time and actually ensuring that we sit down to eat as a family.
Let me paint a picture for you. I was a young mom to two boys ages 5 and 3. We had just decided to become foster parents and within months, we had 5 kids ages 5 and under in our home. A 5 year old, two 3 year olds, an 8 month old and a 4 month old. I look back and still have no idea how I managed.
Back then, we only had one vehicle and often my husband needed to take it to work with him so I would walk to the store with the kids pushing a stroller and wearing a baby in a Snugli or a backpack carrier. I couldn’t fit many groceries in the stroller so I either had to go often or wait until the evening to take the van.
I was coping well with all the diapers and lack of sleep and toys everywhere, but I was having a hard time keeping up with the laundry, cooking and grocery shopping. I started to feel like I was drowning.
I had the phone number for a pizza delivery place on a magnet on the fridge and I was using it so often that the edges started to peel. There was a pasta place in town that my husband would stop and pick up supper from more and more often. And popcorn was starting to be considered a food group.
We were sitting down as a family less and less to eat supper together. I was plagued with mom guilt for the lack of nutrition my kids were getting.
I had good intentions. I would buy healthy food only to have it go mouldy in the crisper. I would make meal plans but by the end of the day, I was too tired to make the meals or I would forget what I had been planning to make with what I bought. I was feeling discouraged and quite frankly, felt like I was failing my family when it came to dinners.
Have you ever felt like that? Has your produce ever gone mouldy in the fridge waiting to be used? Have you felt like you were dropping the ball when it came to trying to juggle everything?
There was a point when two sweet brothers that we had been fostering returned to their birth mom and we were deciding whether or not to open our home to more children needing families. I felt like I had enough patience and enough love to foster more children, but I didn’t feel like I could keep up the house and the feeding if we took on more kids. I was conflicted and looking for solutions.
When I discovered freezer meals, it literally changed my life. It allowed me to continue to be a foster parent and take in more children. It allowed me to feel like I was succeeding at feeding my family healthy food. It allowed me to free up more time for other tasks that I didn’t love like laundry as well as things I did love like playing with my kids and reading.
Over the years, I found ways to become more and more efficient at making freezer meals which made feeding my family even less stressful. I’m excited to be able to share some of those tips with you.
We are no longer foster parents. We went on to adopt three of our foster children and then adopted two children from Ethiopia as well as still raising our original boys so we have our hands and hearts full, but for 8 years, we fostered 17 children (not all at the same time!). I like to think that we were able to make a difference through that. So when I say that I’m passionate about freezer meals, now you have some insight into why.
How freezer meals make me a better mom:
Patience – Without the stress of having to decide what to make each day and without the guilt of feeling like I’m doing an inadequate job of feeding my family, I have more patience with my kids. I think another reason that I have more patience is because I can devote more attention to the kids during that critical time of day just before supper when kids seem to be the grouchiest. I’ve either got a freezer meal in the crock pot or all there is to do is reheat it in the oven or on the stovetop.
Time – Simply put, I have more time with my kids and more energy to give them. I have more time to enjoy them and to play with them but I also have time to do some of the other things I love doing like reading or spending time with friends so that I can be a better mom to my kids because my battery gets charged.
Freedom – Freezer meals often give me the freedom to say yes. If we get a last minute invitation or if the kids want to stop and play at the park on the way home, I can say yes because I don’t have to rush home to make dinner. It also allows me freedom to say yes to certain things because it saves so much money.
Sanity – Having less stress means less overall anxiety which is something that I struggle with at times.
Confidence – Having adopted children who have come from backgrounds where they weren’t always able to be fed makes it even more important to meet their basic needs well. In fact, meeting their nutritional needs is critical. Well-fed kids are also more reasonable kids. Knowing that my freezer is stocked full of breakfasts, lunches and dinners give me more confidence that I am going to be able to effectively meet my kids’ needs.
You can have the same time, freedom, sanity, confidence, and patience too!
Over the years when people have heard about the way that I feed my family, they have confided that they would love to do the same but just don’t know where to start so I created Freezer Meals 101.
Freezer Meals 101 is a video course to teach you how to fill your freezer quickly and effectively with food your family will love.