Most days, I think I’m the worst mother who ever lived.
Actually, I’m a kick-ass mom, but when it comes to making dinners, I’d literally rather stick a fork in my eyeball than cook dinner for my children.
Most days, I’ve been awake since the wee hours of the morning. I’ve taken a spin class, worked all day, and run some errands. Finally, I stand in the kitchen for an hour and cook a lovely meal for my darling children.
And this is what I get when we sit down to eat together:
What is this? That looks gross! I would rather eat a piece of paper than this crap! I don’t like this! Is it supposed to look like that? Why does it taste weird?
Holy sh*t! This is why I don’t want to cook for my children.
So, when it comes to dinners in my house, anxiety kicks in around 5 p.m. each and every night.
To top it off, if I find a meal that one of them likes, the other hates it and vice versa. There are some nights I am cooking three separate meals. What makes these kids think this is a damn restaurant?
The struggle is real.
When the kids go away for the weekend, I am so excited because I don’t have to cook. I won’t even cook for myself on those weekends. I will eat a bowl of cereal just to avoid cooking. I won’t even boil water for tea out of spite.
I don’t remember my mother ever having this problem when we were kids. She would make dinner and we were thankful for whatever kind of food was given to us. Well, maybe not always thankful—we were selfish little kids. Plus, we were poor, so most nights we were eating Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. I don’t even like that but I never complained—not out loud. If we decided not to eat, there were no other options given to us; we’d go to bed hungry. That was even if we were given a choice. Most of the time, we were forced to sit and eat.
I can’t imagine letting my kids go to bed hungry. Talk about bad mothering; I think that would constitute pretty close to the top of the chart.
And I don’t agree with forcing my children to eat something they don’t like. I encourage my kids to be vocal about things they want or don’t want. If we are talking about things like going to school, there is no choice. But other lighter subject matters like dinner, I allow them to have a say or their own opinion.
When I do my daily market run, I tend to walk around aimlessly, up and down the aisles, completely lost. I don’t know what to buy. To top it off, I worry about wasted money since most of what I buy will be thrown away.
I either have to wait until my kids leave for college or figure out how to change the way we are doing dinners—because this is not working for me.
I recently went online to try to grab some dinner ideas, but everything seemed so fancy and over-the-top. I tried a few. None of them worked. I felt like these ideas were more for large, holiday-type meals with all the trimmings. I wanted something quick, healthy, and good.
So, I then called in the experts, aka some of my closest friends, to get some insight. These ladies are not only amazing women, but they somehow figured out the mom thing really well, including cooking dinner without any hiccups.
Here is what they had to say when I told them I was writing an article about the struggles of making dinner and asked if they could share with me a meal they cook, a meal everyone actually sits down and eats.
>> “I have the pickiest eaters. It’s horrible. My one son will only eat pork rolls and eggs, but when we have pasta night, they all eat that and that’s the only time we don’t fight.”
>> “Takeout! But usually, tacos make everyone happy.”
>> “Girl, my house is the same. It’s exhausting. But on taco night, I can make the boys cheese quesadillas and taco bowls for my husband and me. Or if we make homemade pizza, everyone eats that.”
>> “My family loves my Crock-Pot chicken legs and also crock pot roast beef. Sometimes I tell my kids to make their own. Or I throw a bake-at-home pizza in the oven. Some days are just a struggle to get dinner on the table. It just sucks sometimes.”
Okay, so maybe I was being a little dramatic. As it turns out, we all struggle a little.
I love dinner with my family. It is our time to be together. It’s a time where there are no electronics or distractions and we talk. For the most part, it’s actually the first time we are seeing each other for the day. I leave early for work, so I’m out of the house before they wake up. So, if I’m being a little dramatic, it’s only because dinnertime is the most important time with my family.
To fix my little dinner struggles, I’ll be trying some fabulous suggestions from my friends to help me along the way. We will have family taco night, as that seems to be a favorite from the group. We will incorporate family pasta night into the mix. Crockpot meals are making a comeback. Also, make-your-own pizza night just sounds plain old fun.
I also decided to involve the kids in cooking dinner. They will help pick out dinner options for the week and we will cook together. I also assigned each child a day of the week to make dinner, which gives me a little break.
If they participate in preparing dinners, maybe they will understand the time, energy, and love put into each meal. Maybe they will understand how it feels if no one is eating the dinner they prepared. They might appreciate dinner a little more.
Don’t get me wrong, the struggles are still there, but this eliminates some of the weight.
If you’re one of those mothers who actually has the dinner thing figured out, feel free to leave your dinner suggestions in the comment section. Let’s help out other struggling moms because honestly, moms kinda do it all, and a little help goes a long way.
I know I can use all the help I can get.