As a working mom, the few hours between walking in the door and getting the kids into bed can by the most hectic. Followed closely by the morning routine where we usually only have an hour to get everyone up, fed, dressed, packed and out the door – winter and summer! But there’s something about having to make something to eat, after a long day, that sometimes feels so overwhelming.
How much time do you have in your day to prepare dinner? For me it’s about 30 minutes. That’s not a lot of time, including cooking and prep work. I have been known to “cheat” at dinner time. In fact, it happens at least once a week.
My go-to cheat dinner for my girls is popcorn. At least once a week the girls will have a bag of popcorn between them. Often milk, carrot sticks and cucumber slices are the side dishes to this quick dinner. Occasionally we’ll throw in applesauce, or pepperoni off the leftover pizza I’m eating. We try to fit in a few food groups!
I contacted my email list to see who else out there might have some dinner confessions to share.
I got a few great replies. Most of my “working mom” blogger friends had something to share with me!
Lexie from Mommy: Home Manager: When I have time over the weekend to meal plan, that definitely works best! I don’t normally get around to it though, so during the week I try to think about dinner a day or so before. A lot of the time I end up digging through our fridge when I get home and pulling out whatever is easy. One night we had NOTHING, so I made pasta with frozen spinach and dried parmesan cheese out of the packets that come with pizza delivery. I don’t know how long they had been in our pantry, but I definitely couldn’t remember the last time we ordered pizza.
Julie from Fab Working Mom Life: TV dinners! Lean Cuisine has been my long-time friend, especially when my husband was away. It’s not like the Toddler eats anyway. I survive off frozen dinners and my toddler off cereal bars.
Brenda from Brenda Love Sharing: I don’t have any confessions for you. We are on a heart healthy diet, so every night I make sure we have a healthy dinner. (I wanted to add this to show that everyone isn’t like me – some people make dinners a priority, and that’s amazing! I am envious of Brenda’s ethic here!!)
I also put a shout out on Twitter.
Twitter is my best network for connecting with as many people as possible. I was surprised by the dinner confessions I got there!
Jessica Goodwin, author: When all else fails, cereal.
Robin from The Mama Playbook: Does ice cream and peanut butter count?!
Kid + Kin: We like to throw something in the crockpot. This crockpot Indian chicken is a fav – Click here for the recipe. (I love the idea of crockpot cooking, but I’m nowhere near organized enough to get something ready while rushing my kids through the morning routine. Plus we are out of the house for at least 8 hours during the workday so everything overcooks!)
Gail from Frugal Family Adventures: Frozen pizza
Academic Mom Life: My 2yo is all about protein bars and protein shakes. If she’s not feeling dinner that is what she asks for.
Britney from The ‘Not So’ Basic Single Mom: My daughter loves Campbell’s soup, but hates the chicken so I have to scoop out all the chicken.
All of these are also fun, and funny, dinner confessions!
My Facebook page also got me some great suggestions – from people I actually know!
Keltie, my artist friend, shared this: A bowl of cereal is a meal no matter what time of day it is! (I would totally agree with this one!)
My niece Tiffany left me this comment on my post: Peanut butter and jam or if I have a tiny bit of energy remaining it’s hamburger helper!
And then my mom left a super-practical idea: A quick meal for us is a package of Sidekicks with a can of tuna and a couple of handfuls of peas thrown in. I don’t know if the kids would like it but you might.
I love connecting with my readers. I’m so happy so know there are other folks out there who sometimes parent (or don’t parent) the way I do. Plus great ideas and inspiration can come from these shout out posts of mine.
If you are interested in joining my email list for future opportunities to be included in a post, please sign up! I routinely send out an email once a week. It’s an update of what happened on the blog that week. When I’m looking for input for posts like these I will send out another, separate, email. And occasionally I come across neat opportunities, or I share fun life-news items with my email list as well. But what I never do is spam you – I promise!
Do you have a dinner confession to share?
Please share with me in the comments! (Bonus points if you have a wild and crazy dinner your kids love, but may not be the most healthy or conventional dinner-style meal!) I look forward to reading your ideas.