Dinner Madness

Originally published September 5, 2007

Another day of work.  No huge emergencies, but as usual everything ran longer than predicted.  I had an interesting database error at one client.  I sat on hold with tech support for 40 minutes to find it was mistake in the install and database path…one which had worked for a year, but today decided it wouldn’t.  Easy fix, just frustratingly long to find the problem. 

Getting out the door this morning was a breeze.  I don’t know why, but everyone got up, ate, dressed, stayed mostly calm while I got dressed, and we were at the babysitters at 9:00.  Almost a record!  

Coming home was the usual wreck, though.  I don’t know if it’s everyone missing me or being tired or being wound up or grumpy about a schedule change or all of the above.  But MAN it’s ugly when we get home.  DD1 checked out a movie at the library, and she asked me three times from the car to the front door (a whole 20 feet) if she could watch it when we got inside.  Each time I said no just a little louder.  Finally, I threatened to take it back to the library unwatched if she said anything about it again.  Then, DD3 decided DD2 was her target of annoyance tonight.  Let’s just say that DD2 can dish it out, but she can’t take it.  She got sent to her room three times to calm down from crying.  

Dinner, that wonderful meal you have to throw together minutes upon walking in the door.  I usually do a crockpot meal on days I work, but I didn’t have one planned for today (maybe that’s how we got out the door 15 minutes early).  So, I opened a can of beans and pulled out some frozen cornbread for me and Brad.  Rachel Ray, eat your heart out.  The girls got pizza rolls, though I managed to convince them that they had to eat the beans, too.  

It’s kind of a sick joke to knowingly fix something they hate and tell them they have to eat it.  I knew I would fix them something different, if for no other reason than there wasn’t enough beans for all of us.  I just want them to trust me to take care of them.  That means that sometimes they get food they don’t love but is either good for them, or it’s all we have to eat.  At least they get fed!  I point that out all the time.  Other times they get a treat and get pizza or corndogs.  Not healthy, but something they eat when all else fails. 

I think the area of dinners is the working mom’s downfall.  It’s not hard to plan meals.  I do it all the time, but if for any reason I miss a week, it can take me three weeks to get back on track.  That’s three weeks of budget-busting convenience food (a.k.a. high fat, high sodium, low nutrients).  I’m just so grateful that I don’t work every day.  I imagine my day describes every day for most working moms.  I don’t work to provide my family bad meals and evenings filled with arguing and whining.  I clearly see that I’m paying a price with my kids to work, even 2 days a week. 

I am blessed, though.  I get to enjoy my kids the other 5 days of the week.  We spend lots of quality time and quantity time.  I take them to dance class, not their grandmother.  I fix good meals and bake homemade bread.  Most of my evenings are still a little stressful, but when I’m home all day they’re rarely all out war.  We hang out together.  We read together.  I’m starting to take an early morning walk with my 7 yod.  That’s our time.  

I pray in years to come that they will fondly remember the good times, then have the “oh, yeah, and she worked” add-on.  I don’t want it to be the other way around.

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