328: Planning Ahead for a Less Stressful December // Allison Schaaf


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I have a big calendar that hangs in my kitchen that shows several months at a time so I can do overview planning and scheduling, and it cracks me up that at the top of this season’s calendar spread, it literally says “Busiest Time Ever.” That is what the calendar makers labeled October-December rather than including the month names.


If you’re feeling a bit that way as well, today’s episode is for you. Today I am interviewing Allison Schaff, who is a mom of two, an entrepreneur, a non-profit founder, and an animal lover–as evidenced by her 3 cats, 4 goats, lots of chickens and a few bee hives. So she has a very full life, and she has so many tips to share on managing it all.


Allison is the founder of PrepDish, a company that has sponsored 3 in 30 this year, and I reached out to her to invite her to come on the show because I admire the way she balances work and motherhood, and I admire the way she supports female-run businesses by sponsoring their podcasts. I told Allison before we started recording this conversation that I remember hearing PrepDish advertised on a few of my favorite small independent podcasts before I ever started 3 in 30…I mean, she has been supporting small podcasts for over eight years. That is incredible! 


So I want you to know, that this is NOT a sponsored conversation. Allsion didn’t reach out to me asking to come on the show as part of her sponsorship–I reached out to her inviting her to come on the show because I think she has so much wisdom to offer moms and I wanted to prominently feature her work as we head into the busy month of December. 



3 Takeaways  to help you have a Less Stressful December:

  1. Plan ahead for your traditions. Take some quiet time now to think through the next few weeks and prioritize the traditions that actually mean most to you and your children. Have a family meeting and brain dump everything that you could do this month, and then narrow down together what you actually want to do. What is everyone’s top priority? Put it on the calendar and plan for it to happen earlier in the season than right at the last minute, so it can truly feel fun instead of obligatory and stressful. 
  2. Plan ahead for your regular family dinners. With all of the holiday parties and events going on, it’s easy to let family meals slide, but it can be more important than ever to have some regularity in the schedule and plan for simple but nourishing meals so you’re not always resorting to takeout or pizza. PrepDish can help you to do some batch preparing to frontload your week, and then you have everything ready to throw together a healthy meal quickly because sauces are made, meats are marinated, and veggies are chopped. It really is a brilliant system!
  3. Plan ahead for any big meals. This will vary depending on what holidays you’re celebrating this season, but if you want certain meals to be special, or if you are hosting guests, it might help to think through Allison’s three categories: 1) Things you can make ahead and freeze, 2) Things you can make a few days in advance, and 3) Things you need to make day of. Spreading it out this way might make the cooking process enjoyable for you instead of stressful (just turn on some holiday tunes and enjoy an afternoon cooking in the kitchen), and it will make the events themselves more enjoyable for you so you aren’t scrambling, exhausted, and resentful that no one is helping you!


>>>Are these tips from Allison helpful? Are there other things you do to help you have a less stressful December?  Tell us in the comments below.


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