Dinner time is frustrating sometimes for me as with most moms! It's frustrating because I put all this effort into planning, shopping and preparing yummy, healthy and diverse meals only to have my children, and sometimes husband, give me looks of disgust over what I made....last night was creamed spinach and the night before broiled brussel sprouts.
I know, this is not a 3rd world problem. We have food on the table and my kids do eat more veggies than most; but it's a frustration nonetheless and I hope others can relate and commiserate with me! :) So let me vent.
I'm a good cook...and I love cooking! But more importantly, I love the memories that family dinners bring...or will bring! LOL! The house smells of food, everyone's at the table talking about their day, and the whole time I can rest assured that my kids are eating something nutritious that will help them grow strong and think smart! It's a proud moment...until they burst my fantasy bubble and start fussing about what I've served them!
Listen, I'm not Bree Van de Kamp from Desperate Housewives! We're not "dressing" for dinner and I'm not slaving over Beef Wellington.
But I'm also not the chicken nuggets, french fries, hot dogs, easy mac kind of a cook either...not that a few of those night haven't saved my butt before...but I'm a moderate. I don't do all organic, but I do try to do whole foods and little to none processed foods...so most is from scratch. I'm not extreme, I'm just trying to be a good mom and wife by feeding my family healthy, delicious and diverse foods.
The gal at http://horriblehousewife.com/ posted this and I love it! Despite my love for cooking, there are still these nights!
I don't make dinners that typically take over 30 min. of my time. I try to plan for 60 minutes so I can relax through it, make all the food, set the table, make the drink, and do that 15 min. clean up scramble before the hubby gets home, ect.
But when they start complaining about what I put on their plate, I want to have a freakin' temper tantrum and say to them all "You try doing it! Try NOT making the same freakin' meals over and over again. Try staying on a budget. Try keeping it all healthy. Try making something everyone will like."
But it wouldn't matter because they would gladly take that challenge and eliminate the diversity and healthy! LOL! This is what those little rug rats would like me to make every single week:
Monday - Spaghetti & meatballs, lettuce/tomato/cucumber/olive salad
Tuesday - Tacos
Wedn - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans
Thurs - Chicken wings, mac & cheese, green beans
Fri - Pizza & raw carrots
Sat - Chicken, rice, corn on the cobb
Sun - Ramen noodles, scrambled eggs & raw celery
They would do that routine every week and be fine with it. I can't. I like diversity. And I like healthy. I want a different veggie, side and protein each night of the week for a month...not chicken, noodles and green beans every freakin' night. That may be extreme on my part? Although I do try to take these meals and make them as healthy as possible....they still get boring. For example I'll make spaghetti sauce, turkey meatballs, whole wheat noodles, spinach salad, water. It's fine, but I don't want to eat it every week. As you can guess, I'm not much of a left overs girl either. Ok, maybe I am a little extreme? ;)
So, the rule is that I cook what I think is healthy, delicious, varied and most liked by all and you can eat it or not eat it. I am doing the best I can. Even though my feelings get hurt if they don't like the recipe that I came up with, I can pull up my big girl panties and know that I'm not giving in. I'm not going to be a short order cook...I just can't with 4 kids!
And who knows, maybe all those psychologist are right in that "children have to try something around 7 times before they start to like it." If they are, then I'm golden. If they aren't, well it's still better than having to deal with raging tantrums every night at the dinner table or having to cook 6 different meals each night.
And if I gave in and cooked 6 different meals each night, what happens when we go to someone's home for dinner? What if they don't like anything? How rude! I'm happy to say that we haven't had that problem yet because this is our house rule:
One might say that I don't cook what I don't like...so is that fair to them? Well, I do try new things all the time. And it is fair. It's fair simply because it's impossible for me to afford & have the time to cook what 6 people want each night. Did I mention my husband is lactose-free and gluten-free! Yeah, that makes it tricky too. But someone has to decide. And even though my decision sometimes causes me to be frustrated that they don't like what I made, it is truly worth it to me to expand their pallet and heal their bodies with healthy food.
BTW, I came up with a prayer to remind my kids to be thankful! Listen, if God gets a thank you, why can't mama and papa get one too? :) And if you're a parent bringing home the bacon and cooking it up, just give yourself 2 thanks in that prayer...you deserve it!
For those of you who are short order cooks for your family, good for you! I'm not saying that my way is the best way...but it's just the best way for me.
I'm just trying to survive each day so that I'm aware enough to notice the magical moments. So don't ruin the magical dinner moment by complaining! Dang it!
Just putting this in words helped me realize how grateful I am that I don't have to cook 6 different meals each night. I'll take the complaints with stride now...and continue to work on teaching my kids to be grateful! :) Thanks for letting me vent and process!
*In my kids defense, they do eat a lot of veggies compared to most kids I know. Every since they started taking Juice Plus last year (which is 27 fruits and veggies dehydrated down to a gummie) their pallets have expanded. It is true that your body will crave what you put in it. And since taking Juice Plus, even I have doubled the veggies I like. To find out more about Juice Plus, go here: Holly's Juice Plus Page