Some ideas for easy meals & simple ways to increase calm at home

My middle child has been sick since Monday night.  When a child gets sick, it’s heartwrenching, right?  It hurts to see them feel so down and out of it.  She’s been waking up at odd hours in the middle of the night with a cough so I’ve been lugging myself out of bed and calming her down, getting the humidifier on again, reading, etc.. and then when the baby wakes up my husband and I switch and I take care of the baby while he reads to her until she calms down and so forth.

Needless to say, it’s rough on everyone when someone is sick, because inevitably it affects everyone sleep-wise.

So as a mom of three I drop everything, right? No…not quite.  There are some simple musts to make sure I have the energy needed to get through it without crashing:

  • I still do my workouts
  • I still eat well
  • I still will try to keep up with laundry and dishes

As far as everything else goes, though I cut myself some slack so that I can be energized enough to help.

Caretaking can get overwhelming sometimes.  Sometimes I’ll want to cut corners…not eat breakfast for example (I’ll admit that often breakfast is late). So, for instance today I had no time to prep food and I pulled a chicken corn chowder I had frozen out of the freezer to have for a meal. IMG_6883(1)

I’ve done other simple meal ideas like a cauli-rice bok choy tofu stir fry tha literally took 5 minutes to make (again using prepared frozen cauli-rice from the freezer).

The purpose it serves is two-fold:

1.It keeps me from getting hangry (hypoglycemia)

2. It keeps me going far longer than if I just grabbed a rice cake or simple carbohydrate

That second reason is super important with active parenting.  It’s so much easier to take care of others when you’ve taken care of yourself.  It makes you give better care to those you love (that’s my take on it anyway!).

So when one child is sick or needs to rest, what can you do to help make a calming environment (actually this can be applied to ANY time children need calming down)?

In our home we use these 5 things:

  • Mood music (think spa/yoga/classical), candles, or a rock salt lamp
  • Cozy home environment (add more pillows and blankets)
  • Time outside (for healthy children)
  • Read-alouds with parents (it doesn’t just have to be bedtime)
  • A quiet place for solo play (it can be Legos, or blocks, little people, or even drawing)

While some people might use essential oils or recommend doing Kon-mari on your home space (Although, those things over time with habits are good for a calm environment), if you need something quick and easy kids will readily jump on the read-alouds and independent play for a simple calm-down routine.  Oh, and you might start the read aloud with a few belly breaths (that triggers the body’s natural relaxation response).

I totally did not plan this post for what is being celebrated today – how about that?!Happy National Stress Awareness Day!

Gluten-free, Vegan Recipe

Cauli-Rice Bok Choy Tofu Stir Fry

Ingredients (1 serve):

  • 1 Cup riced-cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup sweet peas
  • 1/4 cup sweet corn
  • bunch bok choy
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 oz tofu
  • 2 T- 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos

Add carrots to skillet with 1/4 cup water, while cooking on medium heat, add cubed tofu and corn.  Cook, stirring occassionaly 3-4 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and continue to cook over low-medium heat stirring occasionally until bok choy is ready, about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!



IMG_6902 (Edited)