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Just Because I Stopped Doing This One Thing Doesn't Mean I'm a #Momfail

Photograph by Twenty20

You scroll your phone like I do, right?

You see the headlines, “8 Easy Dinners Your Kids Will Love” and “Meal Prepping 101”, you see Susie Homemaker’s picture perfect Monday night dinner complete with pressed linen napkins, and, I know you have 14 Pinterest boards just like I do organizing all the very best breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

Because meal planning makes sense. And you should totally do it!

Unless … you shouldn’t.

Maybe meal planning isn’t for you. Maybe meal planning doesn’t fit the flow of your week or the needs of your family. Maybe meal planning isn’t a key to success.

There are so many mix-and-match formulas for being a “successful mom” and top of the list is usually thinking ahead and strategically planning three meals a day for the family (plus snacks, because we can’t forget those!) Plan ahead and everything will be easier, they say. Make your Instant Pot do all the work! Think about freezer meals and give batch cooking a try. Use a special spreadsheet every Sunday night and weekday dinners will be a breeze.

But, I’m totally over it.

I just can’t anymore. I can’t be on top of laundry, prep for my daughter’s birthday party, help with homework, and keep the bathrooms somewhat clean. I can’t find time to exercise while simultaneously poring over cookbooks or assessing what ingredients are in the pantry. Something has to give. And, for me, in this season of life, it’s meal planning.

It’s Sunday night and I literally have ZERO clue what I’ll be packing in my kid’s lunches tomorrow. I don’t know if there are enough eggs for breakfast—if there aren’t, we’ll have smaller portions and add a side of yogurt or string cheese and call it good because creativity and problem solving are in my skill set. I’m not sure if my husband will cook tomorrow night or if I will and there is a 100 percent chance that something won’t be thawed in time at some point this week and I’ll call my husband and ask him to bring home curry and fresh rolls.

No matter what might make you feel like you've earned a spot in the “unsuccessful mom” camp, trust me when I say you're doing just fine.

No mom can be good at all the things. And I'm OK with that—you should be too.

What are you not good at?

Is it managing clutter? Arriving on time? Do you know the last time you changed the sheets in your bed? Or, are you saying goodbye meal planning like me?

No matter what might make you feel like you've earned a spot in the “unsuccessful mom” camp, trust me when I say you're doing just fine.

Online, we tend to present our very best. Rarely do you see a photo of dirty laundry or children eating PB&J on paper plates. There is nothing wrong with filling our squares with the beautiful things in life but, don’t for one minute think that you’re not a successful mom because you’re not making gourmet meals, being a super sports team mom, sticking to the family budget and keeping a spotless house.

No one can juggle everything. That’s just too many balls.

The moment you see five balls expertly tossed in the air, imagine what you can’t see. Imagine the balls on the ground. The things that don’t deserve accolades. The things that have been forgotten. The things that make us feel “unsuccessful”.

For me, the meal planning ball is rolling somewhere at my feet as I head out to pick up pizza because our favorite place has a drive-thru and it makes space for me to do other things—things that make me feel 10 times more successful than knowing how to turn a rotisserie chicken into five different meals throughout the coming week.

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