Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Moms who can no longer cook, clean, etc.

I now understand stay-at-home moms who don't cook, don't clean, who buy prepared foods, who hire a cleaning service.

Cooking for children (who don't eat what I make) and cleaning a house (that gets destroyed as I clean) has left me totally unmotivated to do either.

Mind you, I still do both. I'm too cheap not to. I just get no joy out of making a meal or taking care of my house. Fortunately, my husband loves to cook, so he does the big, planned meals and new recipes. I do the "we-have-to-eat-something" meals. Besides, 3 out of 5 weeknights one of the kids has some sport or meeting that prevents sitting down to a real meal anyway.

I still do most of the cleaning, but I refuse to do it on "my time." (i.e. the few hours a day the kids are at school and I'm trying to do "work" work.) I clean as I go and on weekends, which is when I can rope the family into helping. I'd give the house a B- for clean. Oddly, my home was much cleaner when I worked full-time, in part because the house wasn't occupied as much, in part because back then cleaning was a nice break from work.

I know stay-at-home moms who actually plan and make a nice sit-down dinner every day, and who have dustless, clutterless homes. I'm impressed.

In my past life (pre-kids), I used to grumble about stay-at-home mothers who couldn't get their domestic act together. "It's their job to clean and cook and make sure their kids aren't wearing dirty shirts," I believed. "They must be lazy or incompetent if they can't do something so simple." I had a stay-at-home neighbor back then who hired a cleaning service. I thought she was being a spoiled diva; she explained that having her family go to school and work while she stayed home and cleaned their messes undermined what was left of her self-esteem.

Well, don't "spit in the air." It comes back to hit you in the face. Now I get it!

Photo caption: This is one of my daughters, when she had a curtains-and-toilet-paper-as-fashion-accessory fetish. It's hard to keep a house tidy when a child is obsessed with toilet paper—and another one loves Legos, and the third believes her imaginary entourage is picking up after her ...


Anonymous said...

I hear you exactly. I hate cooking. I used to like it. I feel like I'm making five different dinners every night not counting also having to feed the pets. People say, if the kids don't eat what you make, they just don't get to eat. Yes, but then why am I wasting my time making food no one will eat. Including the husband who says, "I went out for a big lunch. I'm not hungry." Imagine getting to go out and actually eat a big lunch! I used to do that. Glad to know I'm not the only mom who doesn't enjoy feeding her kids. (I do feed them! Don't call social services ;)

fille suisse said...

Love the picture of your daughter. My 4 and 2 year olds build forts all day--they stay entertained, but the living room is always a disaster!

fille suisse said...

PS. I cook because I like to eat a decent dinner (can only do grilled cheese so many nights in a row). I consider it a success if two out of four like it. Last night I made a chicken satay stir fry and surprise, three out of four actually liked it (though the inital response was underwhelming!)

Melissa said...

I wish my kids would eat grilled cheese. Yum. Chicken satay.

Mamaof3hills said...

I know exactly what you are talking about..because it totally explains my life now! I have an 8 yr old and alomost 5 yr old twins that keep me busy all the time! We have the kids set up on set days for picking out what to eat on those days and everyone has to eat has worked out so far..but my daughter picks mac-n-cheese w/ hot dogs So I automatically start making that at times..but it is getting old! On the days that are "my days" they have to eat everything, or go to bed! That's the only option..and usually they pick the first All-n-all, I love staying home with my kids, but the twins will be starting school soon and fortunally I will be looking for a part time job to keep me busy thruout the day..I will miss them, but I think I can do this and get back to getting the house clean and cooking meals..hehe
Thanks ;)

Melissa said...

What a great idea. Have each child be in charge of picking a meal. At least one child will eat it. Good luck with getting a part-time job. It's hard to find a job that'll let you put kids on the bus and then pick 'em up, and accommodate sick days, and half days, and no school days. I believe that, on average, I had one home from school at least a day every week or two this past year.

Anonymous said...

It is a relief to hear someone say it - all of the above. I am a teacher and I love my family but I hate to cook. It takes a lot of preparation - planning, shopping, cooking, only to have one person eat it. I have two teenagers and a husband and inside I feel guilty about not cooking. There is plenty of prepare yourself food in the house and my husband cooks big meals on weekends, but I always feel like it's something I should do but can't find the motivation to do. Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one.


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