We’re having that for dinner?: A Guest Post by Alicia

Next up in the “Brandy is laid up on pain killers” week, we have Alicia from Life with Ladies. You know Alicia…the sneaky one that flew from Canada to meet me. Yup. Well she tackles a household of 3 beautiful little girls and a husband who just loves sending me photos of sloths like a jackass. She decided to rant about trying to feed these people daily and I think we all feel this way some days. Don’t you?


“We’re having that for dinner?”

No. I’m merely an over-glorified waitress here to amuse you by fully preparing, cooking, assembling and presenting this nutritious bounty of food FOR YOU TO SCOFF AT.

::throws plate::

Dramatics aside, the Dinner Dance is one of my most hated parental chores. I swear I start thinking about tomorrow’s dinner before I’ve put the last forkful of my current dinner in my mouth. “Maybe I should take out that chicken? Is Ryan going to be home for dinner or late? Oh but maybe we should have a veggie meal…no, that’ll be Wednesday. Oh but by Wednesday there’ll already be so many leftovers…will the girls even eat that red sauce?…” and on and on and on it goes.

Life with Ladies

The “What To Eat” question plagues not only working parents, but I’m sure SAHMs are probably cleaning up lunch plates thinking there isn’t an icicle’s chance in hell they can get their beauties to willingly eat two prepared meals that day. And it ain’t for lack of trying! No, we parents will chop and shave and pick and display any and all food items to their culinary limits in order to make them simply appear more appetizing. We’re trying to hit every food group, fill that plate with a rainbow of delicious, nutritious sustenance.

One time? I fashioned a fairly impressive beach scene out of a cheese string, some grapes, and crackers. I even went so far as to float a kielbasa boat out to a blueberry sea. How proud I was of my creation! “I don’t like these colour grapes” was the response. I wanted to flip the table. Instead I calmly repeated “please finish what is on your plate” a few thousand times, willing myself to unclench my teeth.

Walking in the door every night from work leads me exactly two places in my house. A quick stop at the front door to fling my purse and coat in the general direction of the coat racks, then down the hall to the kitchen. Where I’m camped out for the next two hours. I wrangle this kid’s permission slip while chopping that pepper. My eyes quickly scan the cupboard for where-did-I-put-that-cous-cous-again and I’m reminding at least two out of three children to please for the love, use your inside voices! The way schedules work out in my house, it’s me doing this alone with three kids at least 90% of the time. So I get to not only dream up a dinner plan that inevitably pleases only 75% of my “guests”, but I get to execute said plan while effectively being distracted by 17 mini-crises and probably stepping over a dog…or a kid pretending to be a dog beside my actual dog, and also somewhere in there find a minute to actually talk to my kids.

It’s always this rush to get dinner on the table before 6:00pm. Who invented this rush? Well…I did. If dinner is on the table by 6:00, we’re maybe done eating by 7:00. Then it’s homework and baths and catching up and winding down for an hour and now we’re pushing that 8:30 bedtime.

Oh hell yes, the Family Dinner is important to us. So important, in fact, that I will continuously subject myself to the torture of thinking about it, preparing it, cooking it, serving it, and reminding everyone that yes they have to eat it…night after night after night. Except when it’s pizza night because oh hell, I give up! Feeding people is dumb. It takes up so much of a parent’s energy- mentally and physically…but mostly mentally cause that shit will break you.

 

Did you miss day one in hobo eviction week? Check out why Brandee is a toddler mom through in through.

10 Comments

  1. OMG yes! It seems like a simple task really…decide what is for dinner…shouldn’t be that hard right? Wrong! Working or at home if you are the one being tasked with planning every gat damn meal it is mentally draining. I just get tired of it. Then to have all of your hard work pushed to the middle of the table noses turned up…blood boiling mad. It is pretty easy to please my husband with a meal but with 5 littles around the table there is rarely a meal that I can please all of them at the same time. I have my keep my life in order calender plastered to the fridge with the weeks meals planned out but I still run in to situations like this week. I don’t think Logan has eaten dinner once this week, just can’t please him. So tonight I will be changing up the schedule to his go to favorite fish and hopefully I can get him to eat! Good luck ladies!!

    • Oh we’ve virtually (read: actually) given up entirely on Maelle ever eating a dinner again. Like, ever. Homegirl will chat along happy as a clam…as she slams her fork around her plate and smooshes her cheese into 17 places on the table. It’s infuriating. And if only once in awhile they tried it and said “you know what Mom, no that’s not for me” then I’d feel a thousand times better. But every night? Every night you SUDDENLY hate chicken? Oh really? CHEESE is offensive to you?? Bullshit!
      I have tried meal planning and it never ever works. It’s like I’m too bull-headed to stick to the schedule THAT I MADE!

  2. Oh my goodness, this sounds horrible. I plan and make half of the dinner for my husband and I and even that is draining. Ugh.

    Although one thing I did recently was look at all the recipes for the week – on Sunday – and do ALL the prep for them. Then I put them all in Tupper in the fridge with fancy labels, I mean painter’s tape labels, and then prep for the rest of the week (rush home from work, drop everything, hug my husband etc) was SO MUCH EASIER. Le sigh. How did our grandparents do it?

    • I think this all the time, Sarah: how on earth did my grandmother work a full day, come home to 5 kids and feed them all with wholesome fresh foods? Seems an impossible task.
      I will admit, when I can get my act together and get even one meal ahead of myself on a weekend? I feel a million pounds lighter. Yesterday? My husband cooked three meals while in front of the stove. I KNOW. So now we’re two meals up this week…well one now, cause I hella slacked off today and we ate one:)

  3. I have to do 90% of all the things too because of our schedules. If I don’t make some sort of dinner decree that morning, we’re screwed. And it never helps when the boy wants to “help” me cook, and by that I mean complain about everything I set out on the counter. I try to be a good meal planner and grocery budget-er but some nights the pizza order app on my phone is my bestie. Yes, the rush we create is a monster of our own making but it’s important to us too!

    • I feel this struggle, Carole. I totally do.
      I know/hope that one day all of this insistence on sticking to the rules will be worth it. One day they’ll just know that when Dad comes home, we get together & eat at the table. No questions, it’s just a thing. But man…training them to get to that place feels like a gat damn marathon! And I? Am not a runner!

  4. I feel your pain, oh yes. One of my favorite blogs Joys Hope, talks a lot about how it’s a winning meal if only one of her kids crying about it. As the boys have gotten older though, I do enjoy the meal once we sit down and chat. Before and after? Stab me in the eye with a fork.

    • Oh I must read this blog, Laura. Annika complained for 25 minutes about the brussels sprouts on her plate yesterday. 25 minutes of torture and anger. Finally she tried one out of spite and LOVED it! I swear in that one second she smiled, the entire 25minutes of struggle felt like a breeze!
      See, I wonder how much is age. Bella, in the last probably 6months, has gotten incredibly more tolerable about dinner. Maybe it IS just training…oy.

  5. I’ve been trying to keep a really good balance of “labor intensive” dinners and easy peasy dinners. Not every night has to be gourmet. We’ve been doing more sandwiches (BLTs, fried egg, etc), quesadillas, english muffin pizzas, breakfast for dinner and then at least one slow cooker meal and one more involved meal ( homemade mac n cheese, casserole or something)

    And I think at least 5 out of 7 nights I hear that Miss Sassy Pants doesn’t like something but it honestly doesn’t affect me much. I ask her to take at least a bite but she doesn’t get anything else so its her loss if she doesn’t eat. She typically gets to pick the veggie so there’s a good chance she’ll eat that at least!

    • I’ve been trying to practice this approach more (I still need work!) about “if you don’t eat it’s not my problem”. It’s tough though, right? Like the guilt of “but she’ll wake up hungry” or “some kids don’t even get the option of eating a dinner”…oh the guilt. It’s dumb. They’re 7, 5 & almost 3. They’re aware of what they’re doing. And can accept consequences.
      Do you just have the one girl, Sarah? I want to do more choices in my house, cause I feel like that would definitely ease some of the rebellion…but it’s the how I make it fair for everyone…hmm…something to ponder…

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published