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Making Dinner When You Don’t Like Making Dinner
We were on a retreat with our church. We had been married just about six weeks when an older woman came up to me and asked if I was getting tired of my regular recipes already. I didn’t know what to say. Regular recipes? We just make dinner to eat. Some nights were fancier than others. Sometimes I cooked, sometimes my husband did. We didn’t put a ton of thought into our cooking back then.
Some women get married knowing how to cook a lot of good and delicious meals. I did not. I could make tacos and steak. I figured out how to make chicken and a few other dishes. I don’t like cooking. Not really. I wish I did. I see people getting really excited about doing so but I just can’t get on board. Baking? Yes! But cooking is a different story. However, my family has to eat.
I have learned over the years to not overstress things. I have a few meals I know my family will mostly eat and I make those on a regular basis. Every once in a while, I will change things up.
So what should you do if you don’t like to cook but you have to? Here are some ideas:
- It’s okay to not like to cook. It’s really okay that you don’t like to cook. I come from a line of women that didn’t like to cook. It’s just the way it is. Now I know I could change. I watched Julie and Julia once and had a taste of what loving to cook would be like. I could end up being the Grandma that cooks, who knows? But for now, not a huge fan. Especially with my busy WAHM schedule.
- Don’t be afraid to try new meals. I have to tell myself this. I have a few cookbooks that have some amazing recipes in them. When I do take the time to make these meals, I enjoy myself…sometimes. This can depend on my mood. As much as my basic meal plan works for me and my family, sometimes adding something new can be a good thing. I also just tried Blue Apron which I will blog about later this week.
- Make things easy for yourself. This is how I have dealt with having to cook. I have a few meals I love to make. My most basic and yet most customizable meal is my chicken, rice and veggie meal. I can choose how to make my chicken, use different spices, vary the veggies and change up the rice. I also know that tacos will always be a big hit, even with my picky eater son. So we also have them often. I am not going to worry that we have the same meal two weeks in a row. That’s how we do dinner in this house.
- Have easy nights. We have easy dinner nights around here. We might do pizza or have leftovers or sandwiches and cereal. Something easy that doesn’t involve a lot of cooking. This makes life a little easier for me and allows me to cook better meals most other nights. These easy nights are best when we have somewhere to go at night after dinner.
- Crockpot love. Using a crockpot is a must for a WAHM or anyone with a busy schedule. You can start dinner during the day with minimal effort and your meal is ready around 5 or 6pm when you plan to eat. I would love to get a nice crockpot cookbook but for now, I just get creative or I do a Google search for “easy crockpot meals.” I have also been hearing more about the Instant Pot which I think is going to go on my Christmas list. From what I have seen that can save you time and help you create yummy meals for your family.
What about you? Do you love to cook or do you have to force yourself to do so each night? How do you make meals work in your home?
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The Night Before Kindergarten
He started school a few weeks ago and I wrote this post the night before…he has had a really good couple of weeks and loves school 🙂
His backpack is ready, his clothes are picked out. I walk up to his room and watched as he slept. My “baby.” My youngest boy. He starts kindergarten tomorrow. How could this be? He is the baby of this trio of boys and now he too will be spending his days in elementary school.
On this night before kindergarten, all I can think about is how our family is starting the next phase of our lives. We are closing a very big and important chapter. One that we will never open again. We are saying goodbye to the preschool years once and for all. From now on, if my little guy is home, his brothers are too since they all go to the same school. From now on, I won’t have a little buddy to run to the store with, to take on a playdate in the middle of the day, to spend those extra moments with just him.
Because of the ages of my boys, I have always had this precious alone time with all three of them. When my oldest started preschool, I was home with my middle son. When he started preschool, I was home with the baby. But all that time is over now. Now, our house is in full school mode. All the boys will have homework, they will all have reading logs, they will all have school books, backpacks, and paperwork about fundraisers and school events.
As I watch my sleeping 5-year-old I am reminded of when he was born. He was so much younger than my other two. I felt like I was starting over having a four-year gap. I had to remember how to do the baby stuff all over again. I knew that someday they would all be at school. I knew that the day would come. But now that day is really here. The day they will all be school aged children and my emotions are all over the place.
As I stood there watching this little kindergarten boy sleep, I am reminded of all the days our family has been through. The baby days. The toddler days. The preschool days. The days when it seemed like each one rolled into another. The days filled with changing diapers and baby food. Of pushing my stroller babies and meeting up with friends at 10am on a Monday morning. The days that are behind us now and will just be a part of our memories.
As I look ahead, I see my boys growing older and older. I only have about 7 years left before my oldest will leave our home. 7 years is not very much time. We have lived in our current city almost as long. And yet, when I look back on all the years, as quickly as time has gone, those years have been filled with so much childhood. So many moments with my boys as they tried to figure out the world around them.
But tomorrow, this “baby” child of mine is going to get on the bus with his big brother. He is going to turn around and wave and give me a smile. He is going to be a little nervous I know, but I also know he will do great. And I am going to watch that bus pull away and I know I am going to cry. I am going to walk back to my silent house and remember all those years we had together and look forward the ones to come. I know we might be starting a new chapter, but this one is just as good and everything is going to be okay.
Is your youngest child going off to kindergarten this year too?
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