Thursday, November 5, 2009

I do make dinner, but my kids won't eat it

I was thinking about writing this post and was then further inspired by mosey along and anymommy (adapted title).

It is hard to be a mom. I don't mean that in a whiny way, because it is fun and beautiful too. But it is hard to come to grips with the fact that there is very little "me time." That is exacerbated, of course, if you want to do anything besides being a mom.. and by anything, I mean anything. If you want to work, study, blog.. anything. There is guilt. There is lots of guilt. Men don't have it--no matter how many hours a week they work--I don't know why.

There is pressure. You see all the cool things other moms do: crafts, cooking lessons, trips, home-made costumes, cool clothes--things you don't do, can't do, won't do, but feel bad about. Are my children missing out on something?

You see moms juggle multiple kids and you feel bad about complaining about two. There is always something that gives... always. It is often alone time or date night, but there is always something you just can't get to... Dinner, cleaning, laundry, playdates. Anymommy bravely posted that she doesn't make dinner. She has four kids, I don't think I could get out of bed with four kids, much less make dinner.

I do make dinner... usually. I am not bragging...There are lots of things that I don't do, like crafts (the word "paint" brings terror to my soul) and like unnecessarily leaving the house with the kids... it's just not fun. I'll go to the park or my neighbor's house, but that is about it.

But I do make dinner--that makes up for at least something, right? There are nights, of course, where we do mac-n-cheese and chicken nuggets or quesadillas or canned soup. But I try to cook home-made meals as much as possible. I like to cook, so I am trying to come to terms with the routine aspect of it, which isn't all that fun. (I miss the days when I didn't have to feed other little mouths and I could just have popcorn if I felt like it).

I am slightly obsessed with making sure my kids have enough veggies and fiber, so I make legumes, A LOT! And when I make dishes, I make enough to last a couple of days. We try to mix it up a little in the middle, but in busy weeks, it means 2-3, sometimes 4 days of the same meal. My kids can handle about 2.

Last weekend, I made lentils, with lots of carrots, celery, peppers, and a little turkey sausage. It is not gourmet, but it is healthy. G wasn't even particularly happy on day one. Nico obliged. We ate other things for a few days and then had lentils again... they put up a little more resistance. Then we had lentils a 3rd day.

On the 3rd day, G outright refused to touch them. She went to bed early with no dinner (she was over-tired and needed a reminder that she has to eat what she is served--but I felt bad anyway). Nico took one look at his bowl and made this scowl-howl face of dread and started to cry big crocodile tears of self-pity.

I felt like such a bad mom... so the next day I made them mac-n-cheese from a box and chicken nuggets.


mosey along said...

Looks like we've all been mulling the same ideas this week. (Great minds think alike...)

As a preschooler, I apparently ate nothing but cheese and peanut butter and honey sandwiches. For two years. This may be myth, but it's my mother's story and she's sticking to it. When she expressed concern to the doctor he said "is she growing? is she healthy and energetic? then don't worry about it".

So I don't for my own little picky eater. I try to cook a well-balanced meal two to three times a week and if the other nights are leftovers or mac'n'cheese from a box or a takeout burrito, I refuse to stress about it. (even if the mac'n'cheese ends up being lunch the next day and dinner the following night too...)

lydia said...

hahaha adorable. i bet you got big smiles on that last one. They'll come around their 20s, probably

Lucie said...

Aww, you're such a good mom!

Abby said...

I just taught the term crocodile tears to my students but they didn't quite get it. Maybe I'll use your example because it's perfect! By the way, those lentils sound delicious, but I probably wouldn't have been thrilled at your kids' ages either. I remember being really psyched as a kid when Mom gave in and let us have mac and cheese or tomato soup with grilled cheese.

Also, I have a cousin who still (at the age of 20) eats only peanut butter sandwiches. Not peanut butter and jelly, just peanut butter. He has survived and is mostly normal.

Sara said...

I love popcorn for dinner. Jeez that reminds me of how much I miss it. I remember I would never eat what my parents ate because I was just too picky. I still am... hahah. Somethings never change.

anymommy said...

Love it. It's so true too, on the few occasions where I have busted out the cookbooks, my kids are horrified. EW! All the stuff is mixed together. The HORROR.

I think it's fabulous that you like to cook though. I wish I had that gene.

Amanda said...

sometimes I'm glad with my stepdaughter she was automatically at 6 six when my "motheresque" duties began. Now she's 10 and it's even easier. I like taking her shopping, now!

Kudos to you, I can't imagine double the fun, with younger ones nonetheless.