Friday, April 15, 2011

Dinnertime Dilemma

"Mama, what are we having for dinner tonight?". Not a particularly complicated question. Nor an unreasonable one. Though as those words were uttered from my 3 year old's mouth this morning, sitting in his car seat on the way to preschool, it was enough to make me cringe behind the steering wheel. Lately... and this week in particular... I have been struggling with a case of the dinnertime dilemma. 

It is not uncommon for the evening to be considered as the toughest period in a Mama's day. I hear it ALL the time. When I'm in the thick of those witching hours (because they are hours), I do try to remember that I'm not alone. There is a whole world of Mama's out there, going through the same ritual as I am. Day in, day out. I guess what has bothered me so much about my dinnertime dilemma this week is how unenthusiastic I am to even think about cooking. Dread may not be the appropriate word, though it would come close to describing how I feel at the thought of tackling a meal plan, preparation and execution. Ergh!

There are a number of factors I believe are contributing to my recent dilemma. 
Firstly, Felix is on the go. He is no longer a stationary baby, content to be plonked down in the one spot for hours on end. Now, as dinnertime rolls around, I have a 3 year old and a confidently mobile boddler (still a baby, not quite a toddler). So, boddler and 3 year old now wrestle, squeal and argue... often all in the one motion.
Secondly, my organisation and timing towards the evening meal leaves alot to be desired. I am easily distracted, become flustered very quickly and quite often leave the preparation to the last minute. Therein finding myself in a flurry of kid's dinner/my dinner/Scott's dinner/washing up/tidying up/bath time chaos.  
And probably most significantly, Scott's arrival time. Between 6.45 and 8pm. With no set time, from day to day. The best he can do is update me once he leaves the office. This single factor impacts on the other factors more than I care to realise. However, there is not a great deal I can do. He is working hard and strives to get home as quickly as possible. It is important I remember this.

I'm hoping the dinnertime rut I'm in will pass or at least ease up, very soon. I don't enjoy feeling this way about preparing meals for my family. I don't like feeling guilty for not wanting to put more effort into the food I make. I need to get my cooking mojo back, in a BIG way. Thankfully I was able to answer Angus' question this morning, with a spirited reply, "It's pizza tonight!"... and there will be plenty of leftovers for tomorrow night too! At this point in time, I look forward to our Take Away Friday's more than ever. 


  1. I hear you Mama! I seem to go through stages where I'm in the cooking grove and cook fabulous meals and then stages when it's such hard work and drives me nuts! Those hours after 5 are always a bit of a nightmare with little ones. I find my elder two are good now - but the littles (3 today) still suffers the arsenic hour blues!

  2. For me it's 'end of term' itis. It's a particularly nasty bug that makes me lose any will to cook dinner. Thankfully the holidays are here and I am hoping the will to cook and be creative will be restored.I love fridays too!

  3. Two words J - Slow Cooker. Whack it all in, in the morning and you don't have to do anything else except serve it up at dinner time, it even has a 'warm' function to keep it warm til Scott gets home and it's easy to puree and blend up if felix needs it.


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