I’m pleased to welcome Kate from Maternity Glow to the blog. She’s sharing the truth–the funny, realistic truth–about what dinner looks like at her house. Enjoy her post and let us know in the comments if you can relate!
My dinner table is a thing of beauty.
The fine China is out, the table is set, and a vase of freshly picked flowers sits in the middle of it all.
Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!
In fact, I always have a healthy meal cooked from scratch ready by 5:00 p.m. every evening. Everyone eats everything on their plate and politely remarks about how delicious everything was.
If you’re already laughing, I don’t blame you. Just writing this myself makes me chuckle.
Maybe this happens in my wildest dreams, but it certainly doesn’t happen at my dinner table.
Here is a realistic rough outline of my dinner time routine…
I walk in the door at 5:00 p.m. with a bag of fresh produce or other odds and ends that I needed to pick up at the store.
Happy to greet my dogs, husband, daughter and son, my one year-old boy is happier to greet me. He proceeds to hang on me. The entire time. I can’t even tell you how many shirts he’s stretched out.
So, chopping veggies, washing produce, arranging raw meat in a skillet and sipping a much needed drink of red wine is virtually impossible.
Throw in some tantrums because I’m unable to pick him up, a three year-old daughter who’s coloring on the walls, and a husband who disappears into the family room, and you’ve got a pretty clear picture of my first half hour of attempting to make dinner.
Starved (because tantrums really stir up an appetite), I strap my son into his highchair. I offer him a handful of cereal, berries, or crackers and he eats them as if he’s never seen food before.
I don’t even bother setting the table once the food is ready since I’m usually running all over the kitchen, tending to everyone’s needs.
When I was a little girl, I’d dream about the day when I’d have my own family.
We’d sit around the dinner table laughing and talking about our days. Meals would always be balanced, piping hot, and delicious. And, everyone would pitch in when the meal was over to clean up.
“Time to eat!” I usually yell.
My husband serves himself, and I serve my son who begins violently shaking his head no when he sees me put anything but a chicken nugget or grilled cheese sandwich on a plate in front of him. And on this night, my daughter has decided she’d like to eat on the floor.
I then roll my eyes (like clockwork), attempt to serve myself a portion and sit down, but nope!
My son tosses his plate on the floor, and my pugs devour his meal. So, I’m back up, and chicken nuggets it is!
Once everyone eats, I manage to quickly reheat my plate and I literally run into the bathroom with it so I can have exactly two minutes to eat.
The microwave made my food taste soggy and let’s face it, I really don’t enjoy the dinner I’ve made.
Come to think of it, I never enjoy mealtime anymore. But, I do enjoy my shrinking waist line.
On a more serious note, it’s things like this that remind me that ideals are nice, but nothing is ever perfect.
And, it has taught me how integral my role as mommy is at home. The whole place would fall apart without me!
It’s annoying, but it’s also nice to know.
My dinnertime may be hectic, and my family may be crazy, but they are all mine and I would never trade the tantrums, fussiness, or utter chaos for anything else in the world.
I just have to keep telling myself…it will get better!
Kate Trout is the blogger behind Maternity Glow, A New Mom’s Guide to Figuring it All Out. She’s a coffee addict, wine drinker, and cheese lover. Oh, and she’s also Mom to the two cutest little kids.