How to Get Past the Mid-Deployment Cooking Slump

Are you sick of feeding other humans or maybe just sick of feeding yourself?

Are the tiny humans you’re feeding are super picky?  Are you sick of your recipes?

It can be challenging to just cook for one or two when you’re used to cooking for more.

You might be sick of leftovers…or sick of eating out.

This task of feeding everyone every day can be a little daunting especially during deployment.

I’ve caught myself thinking in those moments “They need to eat again?”  It feels like I spend all day feeding people between planning, snack time, meal time, grocery shopping, cleaning it up.

If you’re needing some inspiration in this department then read on.

1. Understand Why You’re Overwhelmed

This gets to be hard.  You get to be sick of it. Give yourself some credit.

Cooking can be hard beyond the obvious reasons.  We often associate meal time (especially dinner time) as family time and connection time.  This is often the time of day your husband gets home from work.  Meal time can be a subtle reminder that:

…he’s not here…he’s not here…he’s not here…

Dinner time also comes at the end of the day…when the two hardest things are still left to do: dinner time and bed time.  In that moment when you’re tired and you’re feeling overwhelmed.  When solo parenting is kicking your butt and you’re tired.  It’s that end of the day moment when you need a break but it’s not time yet. It’s worth acknowledgin.  It makes a lot of sense why that’s daunting.

2. Let Yourself Off the Hook

Practice saying “Everyone is eating toast for dinner tonight beacause I’m not cooking.”

Let yourself off the hook on nights when you need that.  Lovingly lower your expectations and do what you’ve got to do,  Understand why it’s hard and just let it be hard.  It’s all going to be fine.  There are just going to be nights like this.

3. When You’re Ready, Change Your Mindset

Let’s find some thoughts that bring you some inspiration.  That get you excited to get back in the kitchen. Remember that it’s worth your time to adjust your mindset because then you get to feel better. 

For whatever reason this task is currently assigned to you.  It’s like dishes…it just keeps coming back up.  Start by realizing what you are thinking about cooking.  One of your main thoughts might currently be something like “I’d give anything to not have to make dinner tonight.” It’s ok that you’re thinking that, but it’s no wonder we don’t feel thrilled to get in the kitchen and whip up some culinary genius.

It’s time to intentionally shift your thinking by brainstorming the positive and exciting things that are true for you when it comes to cooking and kitchen tasks.  Spend time reminding yourself what you like about being in the kitchen, spend time thinking about why this is important, why it’s worth your time.  For example, I love the way food smells and it’s one of my favorite parts of cooking.  I also love washing dishes with nice warm soapy water when it’s cold outside.  I love that when I take the time to cook dinner, I get to eat it again as leftovers for lunch tomorrow instead of a cold sandwich or something like that.

It can also be very beneficial to remember why it’s fun and be intentional and contientious about making it fun.  Listen to music, find a meal planning technique that works well with your family and your personality.  Use your resources…ask for help…get grocery delivery…etc.  Problem solve the parts of cooking that drive your crazy.

Empower yourself to be the best one to be in charge of this task.  Spend time honoring your strengths in this area.  Whatever you focus on will grow, so focus on the positive and it will feel like the bigger part in this whole equation.