There is one Mom Responsibility, however, that I will never ever embrace: Cooking. I’ve tried. I’ve really really tried. But I have finally accepted the fact that I do not, nor will I ever like cooking. In fact, one might say I actually hate cooking.
And I hate it for 6 very reasonable reasons.
1. Nothing you are expected to do 3-5 times a day, 7 days a week is pleasant. I don’t care if you’re offering up sex or chocolate- 3-5 times a day, 7 days a week makes even the sweetest love and the sweetest morsel a chore.
2. Cooking requires food. Having food requires I go to the grocery store. Going to the grocery store is never convenient. I can go during the day while the children are at school but that requires planning of epic proportions to find the time between client phone calls, work emails, doing the laundry and volunteering at school. Of course I could always go in the afternoon when the children are out of school. But the children are out of school. This means they would go with me. To the grocery store. Nothing good comes from bringing my children to the grocery store. Unless you consider saying, “No, we aren’t going to buy that” 43 times a “good” thing. I won’t even get into self- amputating my fingers so I can bring all the bags into the house in one trip or the fact that in order to put this newly acquired food away, I have to empty the refrigerator of the remains from my last trip to the grocery store.
3. “Cooking” is misleading. It fails to include “planning” and “prepping”. No matter how simple the recipe, there are always multiple steps, ingredients and tools necessary. And without fail, as soon as everything is washed, diced,chopped, salted and ready to be dropped into a perfectly heated pan… one of the children will undoubtedly need help with homework, have a question that needs to be addressed immediately, or is suddenly “not hungry”.
4. After the prepping and the cooking, comes the eating. Actual ingestion of the meal you prepared is like reading an exciting mystery. How will it end? Will everyone be pleasantly satisfied? Will there be cajoling and convincing that they will like it I’d they’d just take a bite? Will the entire meal be buried in Parmesan cheese? Or will it be a 3 Bite Night: 1-2-3 “I’m full! Can I have dessert?”
5. Clean-Up. There’s always clean-up. No amount of satisfaction for a healthy meal created or culinary accomplishment makes up for the amount of clean-up waiting for me as soon as everyone has vacated their seats and disappeared from sight. In fact, I would say the ratio of culinary satisfaction to prep time, bite- convincing and clean up is approximately 1:eleventy billion.
6. Left Overs. Considering the amount of time it took me to shop for, prep, cook, cajole and clean-up do you honestly think I want to see any part of this meal again? I didn’t think so.
I tell my kids on a regular basis, “Life isn’t fair. You may not like it, but you’re going to have to live with it so do so with a smile.” When it comes to cooking for my family, it looks like I’m going to have to eat my words.
That’s just my normal.