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I Quit Cooking Dinner!

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I’m over cooking dinner.

Thinking about it. Planning it. Buying it. (Spending all that money.) Bringing it home. Cooking it. Serving it. Hoping it actually gets eaten. The post-dinner clean up.

All of it. The whole process. I’m over it.

I’m sick of worrying and wondering is there something I should be doing different. Can I do better?  Should I be spending less? Am I buying the right kinds of foods? Is everyone going to be happy and actually eat it?

I’m frustrated with trying to feed a family with different tastes and preferences and being met with some downright rude responses all round when I serve up something to the whole family that isn’t to someone’s personal taste.

The hardest thing is dinner happens at the worst time of day. Everyone is tired, they’re grumpy, they’re less reasonable and more sensitive. There’s really nothing good about dinner time. The idea of everyone sitting down and enjoying the same meal, at the same time, engaging in pleasant and polite conversation, saying “Thank you for cooking this wonderful dinner for us.” is a bit of a fantasy. (One that I’ve clung to for far too long, but I really do need to let it go!)

Even our littlest who eats absolutely everything is learning to say “I don’t like that” – EVEN THOUGH SHE DOES. She’s parroting her brother. She’s watching her father push away his meal and open the fridge and go hunting for snacks instead of the meal I’ve just cooked, with the food that I planned and paid for.

And just to make things even more super fun, when I get out a pad and paper and I start to plan the week’s menu I ask my family for input – what do they want for dinner? And our littlest draws a lollipop on my shopping list (Very cute). Our oldest suggests “Chicken nuggets and chips.” (We’ll see) And my partner very diplomatically says “Whatever you want.” – Wrong answer.

If it was whatever I want everyone would leave the table in a huff every night (except our littlest, she really will eat anything. She’s a champ!)

I don’t want to have to cook multiple meals so everyone is happy! I don’t want to only ever cook the very limited selection of meals that everyone will eat! I don’t want to have the argument, the drama, the complaining! I don’t want to keep having good food – and the good money it cost – go to waste! I just don’t want to do it any more!

So the only solution is – I quit!

(Oh wait. I can’t quit. I still have to at least try to feed my kids. Damnit!)

What do you do when everyone doesn’t like/eat the same foods? 

About Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.

She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.

She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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9 comments

  1. Leia Barrett

    EVERY NIGHT here too!!

    Thankfully hubby will try everything once. And isnt very picky but miss 3 eats like a sparrow.

  2. I hate dinner time! My daughter easters earlier so I do make 2 dinners every night. Hate hate hate it.

  3. I hate dinner time! My daughter easters earlier so I do make 2 dinners every night. Hate hate hate it.

  4. I used to be a foodie. Cooking fabulous creative meals. Now I am just a jaded mum who stares blankly at the meal planning board. My kids are pretty good eaters too. They just won’t eat the same food 2 nights in a row, will randomly (dis)like food on any given day, and will rarely eat something served up in a new way. And whoever said that kids will eat if they are hungry enough, has not met my 2 kids.

  5. I used to be a foodie. Cooking fabulous creative meals. Now I am just a jaded mum who stares blankly at the meal planning board. My kids are pretty good eaters too. They just won’t eat the same food 2 nights in a row, will randomly (dis)like food on any given day, and will rarely eat something served up in a new way. And whoever said that kids will eat if they are hungry enough, has not met my 2 kids.

  6. Oh I feel ya! I used to cook 3 meals a night but a few months ago said “f#@k that, this is what’s for dinner, you don’t have to eat it but you’re not getting anything else!”

    I make sure I serve a ‘safe’ food like rice, pasta, or bread on the side, and let my 3 yo serve herself. It’s a work in progress and we still have to odd meltdown at dinnertime but at least I’m only cooking one meal each night!!

  7. Oh I feel ya! I used to cook 3 meals a night but a few months ago said “f#@k that, this is what’s for dinner, you don’t have to eat it but you’re not getting anything else!”

    I make sure I serve a ‘safe’ food like rice, pasta, or bread on the side, and let my 3 yo serve herself. It’s a work in progress and we still have to odd meltdown at dinnertime but at least I’m only cooking one meal each night!!

  8. You’re a better woman than I. In your situation, the Mr would be cooking if he’s the fusspot! :d

  9. You’re a better woman than I. In your situation, the Mr would be cooking if he’s the fusspot! :d