{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How in the world do you ladies manage to make dinner every day? By the time i leave the office, do pickup at daycare and come home it’s 6 pm and my babies go to sleep 7-7:30. Like how?? I feel like such a bad mother I don’t cook and we basically live off takeout 🥺😣", "post_id": "60f72a25326656001b84958b", "reply_count": 79, "vote_count": 16, "bowl_id": "5a0c9a1f61b01a001937c406", "bowl_name": "Working Moms" }

How in the world do you ladies manage to make dinner every day? By the time i leave the office, do pickup at daycare and come home it’s 6 pm and my babies go to sleep 7-7:30. Like how?? I feel like such a bad mother I don’t cook and we basically live off takeout 🥺😣

likeupliftinghelpful
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Hey mama. The best thing you can do is extend yourself some grace. We can’t do 100% of the things 100% of the time. Yes, food is fuel, but if you’re depleting your tank trying to fill it, it’s just stress you don’t need. That said - Sunday meal prep can give you a few nights of “home cooking”. Grill a skirt steak and chicken breasts, cut them up and store. Dice veggies and grab a container of salad greens. Now you can do a quick stir fry and throw in your protein at the end to warm, or throw them on a salad. Crock pots are awesome combined with prep. Throw everything you need into a zip lock bag, dump in the crockpot before you leave, and dinner is basically ready when you get home. My kids are adults but we still meal prep even though we’re just cooking for the two of us. It makes the end of the work day much more relaxing for both of us.

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I'm a single mom, so I have no one to split the dinner work with. I make a routine and I rarely veer from it, so even my kids can easily help me figure out what to do for dinners. We have baseball every Monday...so every Monday is McDonald's or Chick-Fil-A. Tuesdays are something easy (can be done in under 30 minutes with only 1 or 2 pots/pans) because again, baseball or I just want to spend a majority of my night doing something with my kids...breakfast for dinner, quesadillas, soup and sandwiches, spaghetti, etc or leftovers. Weekends with me: Fridays are pizza night. Usually we order out, but sometimes we'll make pizza or stromboli. Saturdays we're usually out, a free for all, or I'll do something in the air fryer that requires very little work because baseball. Sundays I'll make a good Sunday dinner that usually has leftovers for lunches or Tuesday dinner.

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My husband cooks from 5:30-6 while I take my son for an after daycare scooter walk. Why is everything falling on you mama?

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Same! I grab him from daycare because I’m closer… hubby gets dinner started for us all. Otherwise we’d al be eating at 8/9pm lol

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Organize and prep a bunch of meals on the weekend. Order in a couple nights. And don’t stress if you can’t do it all. No one will die of you have eggs or cereal for dinner one night.

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We called this “topsy turvy” night and it’s still a hit 😂

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Don’t beat yourself up. My kids have eaten so much takeout (and, gasp! McDonalds) in their lives. They’re a little older now and bedtime is closer to 9 so it’s gotten much easier. When they were little most of our “home cooked dinners” were chicken nuggets in the air fryer with frozen broccoli or easy stuff from Trader Joe’s. For now, do what you have to for your sanity.

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Hello fresh. Takes me about 25 min to make. I receive the box on Friday’s and usually pre cut up the veggies for the next week to save some time there. I hate meal planning and grocery shopping so this works for me 😊. I have a 2 almost 3 year old. She isn’t too picky but some nights she doesn’t like the dinner - she has milk those nights 🤷🏼‍♀️

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We do this too! It’s relatively inexpensive and we have been happy with the selections. Our one year old can’t eat some of the spicy options, so we have “I can’t even” freezer backups just in case. Frozen broccoli, peas, chicken fingers, tater tots… and fridge staples like single serve avocado mash. 9/10 times he will just have a bit of our food though.

Start small. Aim to “cook” 2 weeknights per week, if that’s important to you. Monday night can be leftovers from something you made over the weekend and the other night can be a crockpot dish. Your kids will not remember how long you spent cooking or how fancy the recipe.

likeuplifting

You know what, you just can’t do it all. You just can’t. So yeah I have done takeout and drive thru but sometimes I cook. I realize I hate to cook and I hate to clean the dishes too. I’m exhausted afterwards. If my husband is working his week on shift he is gone for 13 hrs! Like some one else said as they get older bedtime is more like 9 so it does get easier. Take shortcuts if you have to, get meals out of the freezer section or mostly prepped. Do what you have to do to survive but don’t run yourself into the ground.

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Split dinner duty with your spouse. When we are both working, we each are allocated 3 days to manage dinner and at least 1 night a week is take out. Prep or plan out a list of meals you want to eat and prep them in the morning (crock pot, air fryer, instant pot, etc.) or over the weekend. Also, simple dinners are best, for example we eat salads a few nights a week, omelets, grill a meat and a veggie, I’ll make homemade pizza dough and freeze and then make a pizza on Fridays, etc.

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Very similar to us. Our son is now older, so since he was about 12 he was in charge one day of the week. So basically we do 2 days each, one day our son, and weekends are leftovers or going out if not enough. Usually we have enough leftovers though. A lot of crockpot or instant pot, but with only 2 days to think about, it's so much easier to plan!

Soup and grilled cheese, cereal and milk, pizza, bacon and eggs and fruit, take out, hot dogs and chips, baked potatoes and chili. We all eat well for breakfast and lunch, so I don’t sweat a “meat and 3” (and I’m in the south so it would be plus biscuits or rolls and homemade iced tea.) Nope. Glad I didn’t marry a traditional man who Expects me to fly in and fry in after a long day at the office. Tonight I made my son a box of Kraft Mac and cheese and I had some. The end. Husband ate out after work.

likesmart

You sound like my mom cooking soulmate!

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Freeze meals! I cook double over the weekend or whenever i get the chance and then freeze it

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My kids ate kid dinner early. Easy stuff like sandwiches. My husband and I ate together later after bedtime. Usually freshly. We only switched to family dinner when our youngest was 4.

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Having everything pre chopped and knowing what your going to cook helped me a ton! Figuring out what to make, checking for ingredients, adds time.

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My trick is to grill all year round - dinner takes me 20-30 min that way. Marinate your meat ahead of time. Make a side veggie either stove top or in a grill basket. Pretty healthy, tastes good, less mess in the house.

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Don’t beat yourself up over it! When it was just my little one and me, we’d have lunchables, sandwiches, or microwave/air fryer chicken and veggies. It helps to prep a few larger meals on the weekends to have leftovers for the week. Good luck, and you’re doing great, momma!

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Lol I don’t

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Me either! I don’t have the strength for that after a day at work

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Crock pots and hello fresh. In fact right now, I'm actually trying to put together quick recipes for the mommas! I'll circle back!

likeuplifting

Very very simple meals. Most nights are roasted veggies and a protein (chicken in the oven, sauté some shrimp, turkey burgers, tacos etc). I cut the veggies ahead of time and have them on the roasting pans ready to go in the oven whenever my husband or I walk in the door. We have 3 kids now and it only gets harder with sports and activities, but it also gets more expensive to eat out so we prioritize making food at home. I also know a friend with a nanny to help with dinner prep and other baby duties so that the mom’s time is quality time with husband/kids.

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we order Blue Apron for 2 nights a week and my husband makes them. he has clear instructions and it's no fuss. that's his contribution for me having to figure out literally everything else. 🙄

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Don't feel bad at all. If you DO enjoy cooking, then perhaps make time on the weekend to cook. Otherwise, don't beat yourself up. I like to cook, but my kids are picky eaters and so I choose not to cook at all since it's so time consuming and nobody eats it anyway. Choose what you enjoy doing and do it with them. That makes you a great mother. It doesn't have to be home-made meals.

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Husband, meal prep on Sunday, and a slow cooker 😏

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