A Month of Dinners: Menu Plan for October {and Some Honesty about Motherhood}

In an attempt to make my life a little easier, I'm planning all of our dinners for October at once.

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I usually love reading, especially online articles and blog posts, because it keeps me informed about and connected to what's going on outside the walls of our house. Now that the majority of my time is spent inside our house taking care of an infant, that connection often feels like a breath of fresh air.

But, lately, I've been getting more and more annoyed by the things I'm reading, specifically the things related to motherhood and/or parenthood. The judgment. The cattiness. The inability of certain people to express their opinions without taking deliberate shots at one another.

(And don't get me started about the people who only want to tell you that "it gets worse" as you have more kids.)

It disheartens me that this has become the norm. I've actually scrapped entire drafts of blog posts about my personal experiences as a new mom -- both positive and negative -- because I was afraid of the type of response they'd get.

I've become more guarded in what I share because I'm finding that adjusting to life with a baby and navigating the ups-and-downs of parenthood is hard enough without also having to dodge the judgment, the cattiness, and the inability of certain people to express their opinions without taking deliberate shots.

But, enough is enough. I'm done hiding behind my fears.

It's time to get real with you.

Caroline is six months old now, almost seven. And this has been the hardest month thus far. When she's fussy, she's really fussy. When she cries, she wails, reaching pitches and volumes I didn't know existed.

Of course, it's not all bad.

There are definite I-love-you-so-much-my-heart-could-burst moments. But they're being eclipsed by the I-don't-know-what-you-want-or-how-to-make-you-stop-crying moments, and the latter has caused me to do one or more of the following within the past week:

  • lock myself in my bathroom to give myself space and time to take deep, cleansing breaths
  • cry while she's nursing (not because I'm in pain but because I'm emotionally spent)
  • lose my temper with others because I don't know where else to direct my frustration
  • ignore my to-do list completely in favor of a nap because I'm too exhausted to do anything else but sleep
  • eat unhealthy snacks because they make me feel better in the short-term
  • doubt my abilities as a mother

It's not pretty. I don't like feeling this way or keeping all of this ugliness inside.

Talking about it helps.

Maybe my experiences and feelings and coping mechanisms will feel familiar to you, either because you went through something similar with your child or because you're going through something similar right now.

Either way, I want you all to know something, parents and non-parents alike...

It's okay to talk about the ugliness here. I'll listen to what you have to say with an empathetic ear and will be as supportive as possible.

If you've made it this far, then thank you for listening.

Menu Plan for October

Week 1: October 1 - 3

ThursdayHerb-Crusted Pork Cutlets (from PureWow) with Shoestring French Fries and Mixed Green Salad
Friday: Dinner Out
Saturday: Leftovers / Take-Out

Week 2: October 4 - 10

Sunday: Oktoberfest
Monday: Pasta with Cauliflower (from Claire's Corner Copia Cookbook)
Tuesday - Saturday: Traveling

Week 3: October 11 - 17

Sunday: Traveling
Monday: Healthier Eggplant Parmesan
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef (from Creme De La Crumb) with Brown Rice
Wednesday: Stephen's Choice
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza with Italian Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, and Caramelized Onions
Saturday: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Week 4: October 18 - 24

Sunday: Grilled Chicken Breasts with Corn Brulee (from Lehigh Valley Style) and Wilted Spinach with Garlic and Olive Oil
Monday: Veggie Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (from Skinnytaste)
Tuesday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Kansas City-Style BBQ Sauce (from Food Network)
Wednesday: Stephen's Choice
Thursday: Brussels Sprouts Carbonara (from Skinnytaste)
Friday: Pizza with Roasted Eggplant, Grape Tomatoes, Garlic, and Spinach
Saturday: Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans

Week 5: October 25 - 31

Sunday: Broccoli Chicken Alfredo Skillet (from Lollipopsicle)
Monday: Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce (from FoodieCrush)
Tuesday: Ground Beef Tacos with Homemade Taco Seasoning
Wednesday: Stephen's Choice
Thursday: PF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps (from Damn Delicious)
Friday: Pizza with Broccoli and Caramelized Onions
Saturday: Leftovers / Take-Out

Do you plan your meals? What's on your Menu Plan for this week/month? Let me know in the comments!


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