Dreading meal time

By Danielle Scroggins | Published Wednesday, October 4, 2017

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My kids eat all the time. I knew this day was coming. Many mothers warned me of teenager appetites, especially the boy teenagers, but now that it’s here, wow. Just wow.

All they do is eat. My 14-year-old will literally ask what is for dinner as he is taking massive bites of his lunch. Should I tell them I haven’t even thought about dinner?

Because here is my confession as a mom: I am the world’s worst cook. I hate everything about it. I hate the planning. I hate the list making. I hate the shopping. I hate the chopping. I hate the assembling. Honestly, by the time it’s all cooked and ready, I even hate the eating. Worst of all, I hate the cleanup. If you read everything I just wrote, you will understand that I literally hate everything associated with cooking, yet, as a mother, I’m supposed to prepare and provide meals and food for my family daily – and not just once a day, but sometimes three times a day. It’s exhausting.

I do plan for leftovers and “on your own night” once a week, but still, the expectation to feed my family is always there. I’m actually jealous of moms who enjoy cooking because I have to read a recipe, make a list, and then follow that recipe in every detail. It is exhausting. Have I mentioned that? (Cue exhausted face.)

And my kids now eat more than ever. There are very rarely leftovers. There is barely ever enough food in the house period!

But I have two things that are saving my behind. One – the Cozi App. I downloaded this app on the recommendation of a friend who is much more organized than me. Once you create a log in and share the app with your family, you have one platform to list all family needs. So, I have created a Walmart List, a Christmas list (per family member), a wish list, a to do list. I mean, I am great at listing what needs to happen. My downfall is actually making it happen.

But this app has actually helped. Each of my family members has the log in, and they have been instructed to use the app accordingly. I asked my family to meet me at my default. In every sense of the Jerry McGuire phrase, “help me help you.” Out of deodorant? Put it on Cozi. Want oatmeal creme pies in your lunch? Put it on Cozi. Need HDMI cables for some electronic situation I could care less about? Put it on Cozi. I will happily oblige my family’s needs, but communication is key. Somehow, as my tweens have turned into teens, our family communication has degraded, and I’m desperately trying to find a way to keep us all afloat.

Put it on Cozi. Seriously. I can survive on oatmeal and cheese. Anything else? Put it on Cozi.

The second thing keeping me sane at the moment is Walmart Pick-Up. I tried it for the first time last week, and I might finally understand the saying “better than sliced bread.” I picked out my groceries online, submitted my payment, drove to Haslet and picked up my groceries without ever going into Walmart. (Please refer to the third thing that makes it so hard for me to feed my family: shopping.) I did have to drive a little further than normal, but I promise I was home faster even with that drive. Also, I didn’t have to endure the over-burdened grocery cart and the sigh from the Walmart checker as I went through the line. It was life-changing. I may never enter Walmart again. Also, according to my husband, it might actually save me money because I won’t spontaneously throw something in the cart to “make the experience better somehow.”

You know you relate.

I’m serious.

I hope I’m not the only one out here having a difficult time feeding her family. I’m looking for someone to say, “Yes! I hate cooking, too!” These are the things we endure as mothers. Things we hate. But, we love our kids. We love our family. We work so hard to make sure our home life is content. Honestly, I’m not even looking for happy. I’m looking for “I’m glad to be here. I feel safe when I’m home.” I want my home to be a sanctuary. I know that includes food. I’m working my booty off to make sure there is at least something here to nibble on at all times. Kids, take note. Husband, pat me on the back. I’m doing the best I can. I know I have other talents. Cooking isn’t one of them. When I figure out those other talents, I’m sure you will read all about them.

Danielle Scroggins is a Decatur resident, Decatur High school graduate and mother of three. She writes a monthly column, Life is Kid Stuff, for the Messenger.

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