Monday 20 April 2020

Quarantine Diaries: Food and Mealtimes

One of the things that I am finding myself challenged by at the moment is mealtimes. The first few days of school closures and working from home, I thought I was being silly, but as the days went on, I reflected that I had gone from cooking dinner, to organising three meals a day for everyone while trying to work.

The little ones woke up just as I got settled into work, so I needed to sort out breakfast. Then lunchtime started just as I had back to back meetings from 12 to 2pm or sometimes even 4pm. I was quick to learn to cook the night before for lunch and also let my employers knew I needed a break midday to pray and make sure my family was fed.

I was offline at 4pm and prepping for the evening’s meal, trying to work out what I could make with what was in the house, as I could no longer go out to buy whatever I want whenever I needed. I thought I was being a bit disorganised, until I quickly realised, I wasn’t the only one asking what on earth to feed the family three times a day when school lunches and takeaway weren’t an option anymore.

I have been trying to meal plan, be flexible, plan ahead for what I need when grocery shopping, and encourage the kids to eat what is provided and be understanding we can’t get everything we want on demand at the moment.  I’m just starting to get used to the routines for meals and stopped stressing about it. I’ve also finally got immune to my teenagers moaning about what I have cooked and what they actually wanted, which has also made me happier.

For the latest updates and more cooking and food stories please do follow me on my Instagram account where I am a little more active these days, especially on my Insta-stories. 

1 comment:

  1. Asalamu alaikum sister, great to have you back to regular posting!

    I've been hearing this sentiment a lot, especially from our fellow muslim sisters. I think we expect too much from ourselves; we can provide simple, healthy meals in these difficult times and kindly ask the rest of the family to do their part in this.

    As a working mother myself I understand the struggle. However, this is also a great opportunity to encourage independence from our children. Within our household we try to foster this by expecting them to help around and have certain chores. This started before corona already but you're never to late to start! My circumstances are a bit different because I live in the Netherlands and there are no school lunches. My children are six and four, and I am expecting number three in summer incha Allah (another reason why I'm expecting them to help out). They are used to prepping their breakfast (just simple options they can fix themselves) and cleaning up after themselves. And they fill their lunch boxes the night before after dinner and put them in the fridge during regular school days. As I am working fulltime from home we have restarted this routine and it really works. At night I cook simple meals and they help with setting the table and clean-up. They know that if we work together and everyone chips in, it will be done fast and we can play a game before bedtime. Incha Allah this will continue to some degree when they become teens, but I know that things can change a lot when they enter that stage!