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Newsletter: May 2024

Welcome to May Madness

“I just took a look at the calendar for the next month and a half, and I think I’m getting a one-way plane ticket out of here so I don’t have to deal with any of it.”

That was part of a recent conversation I had with a friend, as we tried to find a time to get together. Obviously I was joking, but the reality is that like most parents, I find the end of the school year to be one of the most hectic times of year. Even as I type this, I’m getting texts from my oldest child about new commitments to add to the schedule. “I put it on the calendar, Mom,” he says breezily. Um, thanks?

Of course, the end-of-year scheduling crunch has major implications for family dinners, as well. One of the first things I always do when I sit down to plan meals for the four of us is to pull up my calendar and try to plot menu ideas against the different types of commitments we have each night. Make-ahead or crockpot meals for really busy nights; one-pot or sheet pan dinners for the weeknights when I’ll have time to cook, but just barely; boards and bowls for the nights we’ll be eating at different times; something that will make great leftovers or provide the building blocks for future meal prep if we’ve got time to spend in the kitchen over the weekend.

At this time of year, even that system can feel inadequate, but every year I take a deep breath and try to remind myself that it does work, at least mostly. And speaking of making dinners work during May Madness, our latest episode of The Family Dinner Project Podcast is dedicated to exactly that topic. We’re talking about scheduling (and overscheduling), keeping hold of your sanity, and how to actually make sure everyone gets fed when there’s no free space on the calendar.

Of course, there are lots of wonderful things about May Madness, too – one of the reasons the calendar ends up so overloaded is because of the many opportunities to celebrate. So if you’re honoring a mother or mother figure this month, celebrating a graduation, or cheering for some end-of-year milestones with your family, check out some of these resources to make the most of your special moments:

Here’s to a month full of memory-making and excitement, in spite of the potential for a very busy schedule!


In the mood for a celebratory family breakfast or brunch this month? Explore our breakfast recipes!

Breakfast Recipes


Whether you’re together for a gathering, or rushing in different directions and in need of some virtual connection, a caption contest is the perfect activity for busy families!

Photo Caption Contest


If May Madness is stressing you out, take a minute to talk about it with these conversation starters.