We mothers spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Along with everything else on our plates we are often the ones responsible for feeding our families.
For the meal planning.
The grocery shopping.
The worrying that everyone is eating a well-balanced and healthy diet.
It’s a lot. And sometimes overwhelming, especially as a mother who cares deeply for the well-being of her family. But there are ways to minimize the overwhelm and maximize the serenity of the kitchen.
Start by decluttering. Pare down your dishes and cooking ware to just the essentials. If you haven’t used an appliance or tool in the last six months, give it away or store it somewhere other than the kitchen. When your counters are clear and ready for the next thing, so is your mind.
2. Create a Routine
Routines are as important for mothers as they are for children. They keep us grounded and help us make time for what really matters in life. When it comes to your kitchen, it’s important to have routines for cooking and cleaning. Some of these may be daily routines like running the dishwasher and wiping down the counters or weekly routines like grocery shopping and bulk cooking on the weekends. Find what works best for your family’s rhythm and stick to it.
At least for as long as those routines work for you. Life seems to change as fast as kids grow. When your routine becomes a chore instead of a comfort, change it. Find a new routine for this new phase of life and keep moving forward.
And don’t forget to include a self-care routine for yourself. Whether that’s a quiet morning coffee before the kids get up or a fancy chocolate all to yourself in the afternoon, enjoy a few moments just for you throughout the day.
3. Add Beauty
Just like a mother, a kitchen may be the workhorse of a home but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t spend time making it beautiful. Just as we feel better when we’ve done our hair and dressed for the day, kitchens feel better too when we take a little extra care. Hang some elegant artwork on the walls, splurge for a glass soap dispenser, and make room for a plant or fresh-cut flowers.
New hand towels and kitchen mats also go a long way to freshen up the space.
Beauty is inspiring. When we spend our time in beautiful places we can’t help but feel more serene.
4. Cook Restorative Food
Cook food that makes you feel good. There are healthy foods that nourish your body like lean proteins and vegetables, but there are also soulful foods like your grandmother’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. Cook and share both with your family.
Just the act of cooking itself, with its repetitive movements and sensory immersion, can be likened to a form of meditation. And successfully preparing a meal, especially for others to enjoy, produces a profound sense of accomplishment.
Cooking is as good for the body as it is for the soul and mind. Even if your confidence in the kitchen is low right now, take heart that everyone can learn to cook well with a little practice.
5. Be Mindful About Boundaries
Children love cooking. They love touching and smelling and tasting. Food is fun! While it’s important to encourage children’s natural love of cooking, it’s also important to be mindful of your time and energy. Gladly welcome your children to help with food preparation when you feel able but take no guilt in telling them “I’m sorry, not tonight.”
As with most things, safety is a top priority when cooking. Be clear about not running in the kitchen or touching hot or sharp things. Request that children not leave toys in the kitchen, especially on the floor.
Secure, consistent boundaries help ensure everyone’s well-being.
Kitchens are busy places. They’re the most frequently visited room in a house and have long been considered the heart of a home. But that doesn’t mean they have to be stressful places. Cultivating serenity in your kitchen goes a long way to creating a happy home for you and your family. Follow these steps and behold the magic a serene kitchen has to offer.