When I became a mother just over 9 years ago, I set out a few ground rules for myself and my kids.
One was that my children would know how to fall asleep on their own. I didn’t want to get into a pattern of having to lie down in bed with them or rock them until they fell asleep. I was very lucky in that they were all good “fall-asleepers”.
Another ground rule was that I would be comfortable leaving them with babysitters. I wanted to be sure that we’d be able to go out for dinner once in awhile and not use the excuse that the kids wouldn’t stay with a babysitter.
Another one was that I was not going to become a short order cook.
I was going to prepare one meal and everyone in the family was going to eat it. And if they didn’t want it – they wouldn’t eat. Pretty simple. Right?
Well then why do I feel like this is more representative of my life:
I have become the short order cook that I said I would never be.
I am very often making 2-3 different meals for dinner. It probably started when Cuyler went gluten and casein free. Or maybe that just became my excuse…
I tried hard to make all meals as compatible with his diet as possible. We would all eat his pasta, or I would make a stir fry that everyone could eat. And it worked. For a while. But over time Cuyler’s sensory issues got worse. He got pickier. And I mean PICKIER. So then I would make him something different that I knew he would eat and made something else for Cam, Sean and I.
When Eva came, meals were harder to make with a baby strapped to my chest or hanging off my boob. I tried really hard to get back into a proper dinner time routine when she got older and realized that I was now sometimes making 3 meals. Something for Cam, Sean and myself, something for Eva (although often I pureed whatever we ate), and something for Cuyler.
It’s so frustrating because making gluten and dairy free meals has become so much easier than it was 5 years ago. The food is actually really good. And super healthy.
I am so sick and tired of making a nice meal for my family and all the kids turn their nose up at it. Admittedly, I’ll whip together something else for them just so we can all sit together and eat. I think that’s important together time.
I am thinking about going back to the basics of it. Make a meal and if they don’t want it – they don’t eat. But they will have to join us at the table. Think it’ll work?
And please tell me I’m not the only one struggling with this?