by Megan Gillette
I don’t know why I thought that having three kids wouldn’t change much in our lives. We always wanted three and hoped for a girl. “Be careful what you wish for” is a proverb I may have ignored. I never considered the reality of changing the family that I had taken six years in building. I always kept my eye on the prize and decided to not let the paralysis of analysis get in my way.
Having three has changed things, a lot. The article about mothers who have three children being the most stressed-out seems certainly relevant. I do try to maintain the standard I set for my family with just two boys while keeping up with my fulltime jobs as a Graphic Designer and Real Estate Broker, as well as other various part-time endeavors and interests.
So far, I’m getting the hang of things, finally, after six months of finding a new normal. For me, being a successful parent is being an effective manager. Between three school and care schedules, there are still appointments, meetings, playdates, family time, individual time with each child, exercise for all, as well as the all-important date-night with my husband. As it turns out, my managerial style relies heavily on delegating and outsourcing.
As I’ve written in previous articles, how I eat and how I feed my family is of paramount importance. The leisurely dinners I seemed to have time to cook before, are relegated to an abbreviated salmon-on-the-grill on Sunday nights. A few other nights I cobble together meals I have planned and shopped for during the weekend. The Common Ground Food Co-op gets us through many a I-have-no-idea-what’s-for-dinner nights with quiche, burritos or whatever else sounds good, as most of it does. It is now our go-to for Pizza on Fridays since its ovens have been up and running.
A necessary splurge has been incorporating Piato’s Organic Food Nanny into our dinners mid-week. Every Tuesday, we leave the dishes from last week in a cooler on our front porch. Sometime mid-afternoon, it feels like everything magically refills with two dinners worth of wonderful, fresh, home-cooked food!
There is a meat or vegetarian option. The ingredients are locally-sourced from such favorites as Common Ground, Moore Family Farms, Triple S Farms, Blue Moon Farms and Family Health Food Store. The comforting dinners satiate a Midwestern pallet while they are always tasty, balanced, and interesting, in that they are things that it rarely occurs to me to make. Tonight’s meal of: Tomato Orzo Soup, Rotini Pasta Salad, BLT wraps, and Fresh Fruit Salad was refreshing, satisfying, and enjoyed by the tall and the small. Tomorrow night’s dinner of Stuffed Calzones with Mixed Greens and Torta di Mele (Italian Apple Cake) promises to taste completely different and be a crowd-pleaser as well.
Piato Café provides this private, community-supported eating club. The cost is significant, although not more than a dinner out for the family that likely includes sub-par ingredients. Being able to sit down to this quality of meal with my family, at home, and feeling like I’ve contributed by heating things up, setting the table, and not stressing out over cooking and feeding everyone on time, is priceless. As we enjoy the dinner together, I’m able to enjoy this time, enjoy my family, and feel like the precious few hours in the day are being well spent, and my family, well-fed.
Megan Gillette is a mother of two active little boys, and, most recently, a baby princess — FIT kids (Foodies in Training). In her “spare time” she is a senior graphic and web designer at Wolfram, a real-estate broker with TeamKay at Keller Williams, and manages the family holding company. Megan is in constant pursuit of perfect food, exciting dining experiences, and farm-to-fork meals with her husband and personal sous chef, Kurt.