Surrender: It’s What’s For Dinner

Here is a break-down of a weekday in my life:

6:00am-7:45am: Herd cats (aka get everyone ready)
7:45am-8:30am: Commute, with short break to bid C. and the Great Guy I Married good-bye as they head to daycare.
8:30am-5:00pm: Work…and, um, Tweet.  On company time.  Shhh.  Don’t tell anyone.
5:00pm-6:30pm: Daycare pick-up and commute
6:30pm-8:00pm: C.’s dinner, Daddy’s arrival home, tv time, bath time, bed time.
8:05pm: Look blankly at the Great Guy I Married and say “What did you want for dinner? Is pasta with sauce from a jar ok?”

I used to cook.  I like cooking.  My husband used to cook.  He likes cooking. But that was in the long ago before time when we lived within 10 minutes of our workplaces and metro didn’t suck our will to live every day, leaving us spent and unable to summon the energy to cook life-sustaining foods.

And don’t even ask what I “cook” for C. each night.  Time constraints and toddler pickiness are more than I can handle and the boy eats hot dogs.  Lots and lots of hot dogs. With untouched vegetables on the side because I know I have to put something green on his plate or lose my mom privileges..

Yeah, I know people say “Cook on the weekends!  Make enough for the whole week!” and I say “You have a lame idea of fun on the weekends.” I don’t want to spend hours in front of the stove on my days off.  There are playgrounds and museums and friends all out there for us to visit. There are flowers to plant and tricycles to ride.  I don’t want to miss all of that because I’m stuck in the kitchen. Life is too short to spend Saturday making casseroles.  But life is also too short to spend eating pasta with jarred sauce every night. Even if the sauce is Newman’s Own Sockerooni Sauce.  I could eat that stuff with a spoon.  Yum-my.

Then I noticed something: my refrigerator has a freezer.  And my grocery store has a freezer section.  Coincidence?  I think not!

No, I think the powers that be out in grocery-land understand me better than any boyfriend I had in my 20s.  They know I want a yummy dinner every night while I watch House Hunters on HGTV.  They know that frozen pizza a gateway meal.  They know that a day comes in the life of a commuting mom when her grocery bags will be devoid of any fresh ingredients and will instead burst with frozen spanikopita, ready-made mushroom tortellini with asparagus, and heat-n-serve chicken breasts that go great with baked potatoes. They know that I will pay for them to fix my dinner.

And I will refuse to feel guilty about it.


Yeah, maybe there was a time when cooking for my man was a point of pride.  And maybe there were attempts to make my own babyfood for my precious boy (who spit out homemade baby food but sucked down the jarred kind.  Foreshadowing?  Perhaps.).  But that it not today.  Today it is Friday and I am tired and all I want is a hot meal with minimal effort. And since Jamie Oliver is not conducting a mini-food revolution in my kitchen, I’m having dinner cooked for me by the fine folks at Trader Joe’s.

And surrender never tasted so good.

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8 comments for “Surrender: It’s What’s For Dinner

  1. April 2, 2010 at 5:51 am

    I used to love to cook! Then the kids came along, and chicken nuggets became the dinner of choice. Fortunately my kids are getting to an age where they really enjoy cooking and they are also pretty open minded about trying new things. It only took 9 years – ha ha!

  2. April 2, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I LOVE to cook. But I end up hating it because most nights find me in the kitchen with the kids mewling for peanut butter sandwiches and the baby screeching 'ME UP! ME UP!' and how is that fun? It sucks. I still try, though. Because I am food obsessed. I have issues.

    You should NOT feel bad about your dinner surrender. NO! Embrace it!

    I think you are awesome and amazing for writing this kick ass blog and working full time and managing your family and your bad self. Plus, you promote the hell outta this blog and how do you even do that?

    xo, Lydia

  3. KLZ
    April 2, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Maybe Jamie Olliver will come cook for all of us snce he's so damn smart.

    That or I have to start working home 24/7.

  4. April 2, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Yeah. I love to cook. Or I used to… pre-J. Now my cooking is all about jars. In fact my mom went to the grocery store with me when she was in town and she was all judgy about how I didn’t pick up a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. I just kept my mouth shut but what I wanted to say was “FROZEN LASTS LONGER AND I DON’T KNOW WHEN I’LL GET AROUND TO THIS SO PLEASE BACK OFF MY BUMPER BEFORE I RUN YOU OVER IN REVERSE GAH!”

    Or something like that.

  5. April 2, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I used to LOVE to cook. I loved it. I loved new recipes, trying new flavors, etc.

    Now? Nate cooks 90% of the time. For him. & I either eat Nutrisystem or a protein shake. It’s BAD.

    I keep telling myself that we’ll get back on track when Harry’s eating table food. Or when I get to stay home. Or if we can live closer than an hour to our offices. BUT WHO AM I KIDDING?!?

  6. April 7, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Yep! I used to love to cook. Hell, I even liked going to the grocery store and deciding what we would have for dinner. Now? Not so much. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Unless I wanted to start dinner when the baby goes to sleep at 8:00 and, um, I don’t. So our dinners are often Hamburger Helper or the frozen meals and more often than not it’s the husband cooking them. I keep saying that I’ll try the cooking on weekends things, but it’s been 6 months and I haven’t yet, so, I don’t really see that happening.

    PS. Sorry I’m chiming in with my $.02 so late!

  7. April 25, 2010 at 4:23 am

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