I remember this sign hanging at a friend’s house when I was growing up. Of course the mom cooked meals for her family, and me, when I was over. But I understand the feeling like you’re always cooking, and of course cleaning when your family is around.
Before kids sometimes my husband and I would just have a French baguette, wedge of brie and glass of wine for dinner. Not often, but we could if we wanted. Those days are gone if you are at home and have children. Especially now with most kids still home and distance learning.
While working at the cafe, I hear from parents all the time who are just tired of making and cleaning up food. From breakfasts to snacks to lunches and finally dinner. Especially if people are all at home but on different schedules and breaks. It can be exhausting. Here’s what I suggest…
- Give kids and yourself the freedom to cook and create for themselves. Now is the time to take advantage of them being home. If they don’t learn now, then when?
- Relax and enjoy. If you can take a few moments to teach them a task such as spreading hummus or cutting a carrot, you and your kids will both be proud. Unlike Zoom jumping jacks, these are skills they will use their whole life. If you are rushed, wait until the time is right.
- Let them decide what they make and eat. Even if that means pb&j for every lunch. It’s better to have happy kids creating food they will eat, then battling over their every meal.
- Not only can they cook, but they can clean too. Patience is a must. But who says it all has to be cleaned up perfectly? If they clean up 50%, that’s still 50% less clean up for you.
- Kids are looking for ways to be responsible and feel needed during this time. Giving them jobs that are age appropriate gives them a feeling of accomplishment and they are more willing to continue to help and learn.