How to Love Cooking
6 Tips for Homemaking Motivation
Being a homemaker comes with a lot of joy and job satisfaction, but it’s still a job, and cooking used to be one of my biggest hassles. I found the whole process of meal planning, grocery shopping, and preparing meals to be stressful and overwhelming.
This was a pretty big problem for me because my calling in life was to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. I loved other parts of homemaking like cleaning, organizing, and taking care of our baby, but cooking was more of a chore for me than vacuuming and laundry.
Maybe it was because I grew up in a household where both parents worked, and there were few home cooked meals, but I didn’t know where to start when it came to feeding my family.
Thankfully, however, I now love cooking. In my household, we have one meal out a week, and the rest I make from scratch. I adore providing food for my family.
Here’s my advice on how to love cooking:
1. Get a Proper Knife
If you are going to be cooking nearly every meal for your family, you have to properly equip your kitchen. When my husband and I first moved into our new place, I skimped on stocking the kitchen and purchased cheap tools that barely lasted a year.
I’ve had to do some upgrading and what made the biggest difference was a high-quality knife. You only need one knife for 99% of your work in the kitchen, so get a good one! Professional knives run $80 to $100, but I went middle range with this one.
It has changed my life. Meal prep goes so much faster, and I don’t weep every time I cut onions. A good knife is a miracle.
I also recommend getting a garlic press, meat thermometer, and anti-fatigue mat. Don’t underestimate great gear for motivating you in the kitchen.
2. Talk with Your Family
How important is good food in your home? What constitutes good food? Talk to your husband about your family priorities and negotiate what is most important to you. Every family is different and has different needs.
Ideally, the house is spotless, and we have gourmet meals every night, but the reality is we only have so many resources. Would you rather the house be a little messier, but you have a very fancy dinner, or would you prefer the house be more organized and dinner is far simpler?
Get curious about your family’s preferences, and cook accordingly. What is your husband’s favorite meal? Do you want to add more protein to your diet? Is someone in the family trying to lose weight? Having these conversations with my husband motivated me to up my game in the kitchen.
3. Commit to Reasonable Goals
Creating new habits starts with small changes over time. My goal at first was just to make every meal at home (with the exception of one take-out a week). With the commitment to this goal, I had to get creative.
Thankfully my husband was supportive and knew, at first, this meant some nights we had very simple meals. It was a challenge, but over time it got easier and more fun.
I started meal planning every week, searching out new recipes, and stocking up our pantry. Through doing this consistently, I established a routine. My husband has Fridays off so Thursdays are our last day of the work week, so my grocery and meal prep day naturally falls on a Thursday.
(As a homemaker, prepping for the weekend is important to me, so I’m not missing out on quality time with my family.)
With commitment comes creativity. Commit to loving cooking.
4. Embrace Balance
Don’t try to make a new recipe every night. I tried this, and it was exhausting. You’re looking for something sustainable, which involves creating a repertoire of go-to dishes that your family loves and you know well, but that doesn’t happen overnight.
I’ve found the key to being a domestic goddess in the kitchen is balance. Try out a new recipe every week, but in-between your experiments make something simple.
5. Love Your Mistakes
This is easier said than done, but mistakes are not the end of the world. A dish got burned? Did you forget a key ingredient that makes your whole dish inedible? It happens. Take a deep breath and give yourself grace.
Making mistakes is a part of learning something new. Stories of culinary mishaps can be hilarious dinner conversation. It helps to have a supportive partner who will laugh with you and love how hard you are trying.
6. Use Your Resources
Lastly, remember that we live in a day-and-age of incredible convenience and information.
I order my groceries online and pick them up at the store every week without even getting out of the car. I tried out this service when I was in my third trimester because I would get so winded at the store, but I loved it so much I’ve continued to use it. I avoided taking advantage of the service for a long time because I had a perception that it was “cheating.” It’s not. Do what you need to do.
Also, you have a freezer; use it. When you make a meal, double it and put half in the freezer for next week.
And, finally, you probably know this already, but you can learn anything on YouTube these days. YouTube videos have been invaluable on my journey to love cooking.