The Dreaded Dinner

Recently I saw a meme on Facebook with a tired woman hiding her face in a chair with the caption, ‘Why do they want dinner every single night?’

OK, that’s awesome. I’m not the only one who thinks this. If there’s a meme there must be a consensus.

That was my reaction. 

Making dinner, especially right after both my children were born, was one of the most dreaded times of the day. Babies are always fussy in the evening, and even older children are needy then too. Dinner involves some prep work, and well, most importantly some thought.

When your mind is set in dashboard mode, toggling between diaper changes, feeding times, preschool drop offs, and simply keeping your children alive – it’s really almost impossible to find a quiet moment in the day to, oh you know sip  some tea while scrolling through Pinterest and picking out that perfect meal. And then, ‘Oh I’m just going to hop on over to the grocery store and peruse the aisles and look for all those fancy spices to add to my perfect meal and I may aswell throw on a cute apron and iron my husband’s socks after dinner too.’

Not only is this highly unrealistic, it’s not typically something most women really want to devote all their time to. I know for me, when I have a quiet moment I just want to watch Gilmore Girls or surf Instagram.

Often in my household, I push off thoughts of dinner until the very last moment, then I take out whatever meat I think will thaw fast enough and open the fridge and see what I can scramble together. I try to use what we have and avoid going to the grocery store at all costs.

Meanwhile I can’t help but picture the piles of dishes, the kids fighting in the background, grabbing at my legs while I’m at the stove and the baby crying louder than the timer’s beeping.

And I cringe.

I think of my daughter’s recent phase of throwing the food down to our dog.

I think of the battles and bribery we will have with our son to eat his veggies. I refuse to make him his own special meals.

It all really sounds like such a drag and super negative. But it doesn’t really have to be that way, and I can offer some tips for fellow dinner haters like me.

Make Dinner Time Easier

  • On Sunday I take a few moments to think about what we might have during the week.
  • I just make a small list of meal ideas. Don’t over think it. If it changes who cares?
  • When it comes to dinners after a baby is born, premade meals are the best. Ask a family member to help make some. Take the offers of lasagnas from your mom. Order out.
  • I’m not afraid to send the hubby out to pick up what we need from the grocery store. Don’t take the kids if you don’t have to. He usually comes back with some goodies too, like some chips which I never complain about.
  • I don’t try and pretend I’m an amazing cook. I just don’t care or feel guilty any more if we eat a lot of the same stuff. When the kids are older and out of the house, I will be a better cook, sure. In the time being, stick to familiar meals you know are tasty and have made many times, and ones the kids will enjoy too.
  • Ask for help with someone to watch the kids during dinner too, if it’s available. Or even help after doing the dishes.

I think with all this said, I can finally scratch dinner time off my most dreaded list.

And hopefully you can too.

FamilySarah Cosman