Suzanne Mulholland: You can save time on the mundane to make time for family and fun
Gone are the days when our grandmothers would make their daily visits to the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker and make the same dishes on repeat – we are now expected to run a busy household, and all that that entails, whilst also holding down a job, a host of other responsibilities and produce something for the dinner table each night that would make Delia jealous!
Increasingly, women, in particular, are also being told that they need to take more time out for themselves in order to reduce stress, retain a sense of personal identity, restore balance and have enough energy left for the more enjoyable things in life.
I know that many would certainly not consider multiple visits to the supermarket and nightly battles with the oven an enjoyable experience. That’s why I started The Batch Lady back in 2017. The majority of families in Scotland have two working parents and with a multitude of hobbies and sports being enjoyed by our wee cherubs, often crammed into midweek evenings, families are increasingly time poor.
With a fair few responsibilities of my own, over the years I’ve become addicted to saving time. I love to analyse situations and look at how much time can be saved and I revel in the knowledge that I’ve been efficient and productive and also found the time to spend with my family.
I know I am far from alone. Saving time doing tasks that have to be done, the mundane things in life, but that aren’t on the enjoyable list, can hugely benefit people’s lives. Time is rarely buyable, and so for me, it’s like gold if I can glean any back. The more I can cheat time, the more satisfied I feel and ultimately (the real goal), the more time I can spend enjoying life.
My methods are not purely about the actual time saved but also about the headspace that people save by planning ahead. Many working people spend too much time thinking, worrying and searching for inspiration when it comes to cooking an evening meal, wondering what they have in the house and trying to think what on earth they are going to cook!
All this pressure can add to the daily stresses of life. When we end up not being organised and grabbing supper from the corner shop at the last minute, we spend more money and generally eat less healthily, thus compounding the stress effect.
My end goal is therefore about reducing hassle, giving people some valuable time back, unburdening their mental load, helping to save them money and, let’s never forget, giving them healthy and wholesome recipe ideas that the whole family will enjoy.
I love new technology and now most of my business is based around video content which I share on social media. I am constantly amazed at how new online businesses and ideas can grow and reach a worldwide audience.
I have also always been passionate about how impactful being mindful about how you do tasks can be. When I did my first demonstration in my kitchen back in 2017, two ladies said to me ’this is life changing’ and that is what has spurred me on to create more content and help more people to simplify their lives. As people continue to follow the concept and message me their ideas it gives me a huge amount of passion to keep going and create what people are asking for.
I’d love to see a home cooking revolution in Scotland (and beyond!) where meal preparation is made easier for everyone. For years we have all been buying weekly shops, often in a hurry, with little time to think what meals we may get out of it. We have then spent each evening trying to make a wholesome meal from said weekly shop while also tending to homework, walking dogs, bath time and more.
I’d love to see this change and help show a new up-to-date way of easy planning and cooking, so that all this previous effort and stress could instead be put into a simple one hour on a weekend, allowing six prepped meals, no food waste and minimal time spent cooking, yet with maximum advantages of healthy eating and free headspace for the family.
Follow me on social media if you think I can help simplify your life! Or come and watch me in Scotland’s Live Cookery Theatre at The Royal Highland Show in June.
Suzanne Mulholland – aka ‘The Batch Lady’