Let’s face it, women today have a lot to juggle!
It’s easy for us to become overwhelmed by the responsibilities of raising our family, thriving in the workplace, serving our churches and communities, building strong friendships and marriages, AND planning and preparing healthy meals throughout the week.
First things first, try and get out of the mindset that you, and you alone, need to do it all. We’re not superwomen… nor should we have to pretend to be!
Don’t take on the responsibility of tackling every task in the kitchen on your own. Instead, follow these three steps to get your family to help in the kitchen more often and turn meal planning, grocery shopping, meal prep and cooking into a bonding experience.
1. Don’t fear rejection.
Okay, here’s the deal. If you feel alone and overwhelmed in the kitchen, STOP! We are here to help you. We know it’s hard to reach out to family, ask for HELP and be rejected. In fact, just the possibility of rejection is enough to keep us from asking for almost anything, from anyone.
Unfortunately, any time you’re achieving big things (whether it involves your family, work or just life), you need to push past your comfort zone. This means, at some point, you’re going to encounter resistance.
I (Pam) can honestly say that when I asked my family for help with meal prepping years ago, they weren’t exactly jumping for joy at my suggestion. Let’s face it, asking two pre-teen kids to do anything they don’t want to do can be a little intimidating. Now, years later, my daughter Kalie and I are running this site together and some of her fondest memories from childhood include the hours she spent by my side in the kitchen learning how to cook and bake... all because I refused to let the fear of rejection hold me back!
Here’s the thing, if you don’t try, you’ll never get the help you deserve. Plus, your family will be missing out on the opportunity to build memories that may just mold them into better people. But, if your family says no, that’s okay. Which leads us to step two…
2. Don’t force it… nurture it.
THIS IS IMPORTANT! If your family is hesitant or pushes back when you mention helping, don’t force them, guilt them or scare them into it… nurture the request.
Nothing makes us (men, women, kids, you name it) want to do the opposite of what we’re being told to do more than when we’re forced to do it. Scare tactics and guilt trips don’t work, especially not long term. That being said, don’t give up at the first sign of resistance either. Put a positive spin on things by reminding and encouraging them to fulfill their responsibilities.
Let your family know you want to create an environment of health in your home; it’s important to you and you need everyone on board to make it happen. You’re there for them and now you’d like them to be there for you too. By sharing how important it is to you and not forcing your family into it, you’re much more likely to have a positive response.
3. Make it fun for everyone involved.
If you want your family to create a positive association with helping in the kitchen rather than dreading the weekly challenge, make the process enjoyable. You know your family best, so use your intuition, coupled with these few tips, to get the party started and you’ll have a kitchen full of eager bodies that can’t wait to help!
- Meal planning: Challenge everyone to choose a few of their favorite healthy meals and then come up with a menu together. When you aren’t forcing your family to eat healthy, they’ll tend to embrace it more. A great place to look for some inspiration is on our FULLforLife Pinterest page. We have TONS of healthy recipes to choose from. Just hand your phone over and let each family member choose a meal!
- Shopping: Create a shopping list and, if possible, make grocery shopping a family affair. Who can find a brand of peanut butter that’s made with only peanuts and salt? GO!
- Meal prep: Make meal prep quality time together by chopping, slicing and portioning out meals for the week as a group. Jam out to some music your spouse loves, talk about something your kids are interested in, make it a positive experience for everyone!
- Cooking and cleaning up: Include everyone at mealtime by rotating who will set the table, prepare and serve the meal, and clean up. This way, no one gets bored with the same old task. While you’re cooking and cleaning up, encouragement is a MUST. When you’re teaching your family new skills, they need lots of extra encouragement. As you know, the kitchen can be extremely intimidating. This is where minimal nitpicking and LOTS of positive reinforcement comes into play. Whether it’s your children or your spouse, they need all the encouragement and affirmation you can give.
So, if you’re weary from the warfare and feel the pressure to be superwoman, DON’T! By following these three simple steps to get your family to help in the kitchen, you’ll ease up some of your own anxiety AND you’ll give your family a daily opportunity to build memories that will last for years to come. Start by making your mission a reality today!
Let's tackle the kitchen together,
Pam and Kalie
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