If the thought of making dinner tonight has you saying, "Again?" well, then you're in good company. Making dinner and packing lunches on a daily basis is enough to put me into the mental ward for moms. I dream of the day when someone else will cook for me, but since I'm divorced and poor, I don't think I will be hiring a personal chef anytime soon. So what's a mom to do when she's had enough of the Crock-Pot, Pinterest meal-pinning, and chop-chopping of veggies? Try these five ways to get out of making dinner tonight, and if one tactic doesn't work, get super desperate, and try the next!
Say this mantra: I WILL get out of cooking dinner tonight. Namaste.
Don't You Want That Kale Recipe We All Loved?
If the thought of boiling potatoes makes you want to boil your brain, use this remedy for a surefire way to get someone else to cook dinner — or pay for it! Conjure up the last healthy recipe you made in some insane effort to mimic Gwyneth Paltrow's raw diet that your whole family hated, and then casually "recipe-drop" that you're going to make that tried-and-true fave again!
"Honey, I'm feeling like turning over a new leaf with my cooking. Why don't I make that lovely kale dish we all loved (ahem, hated) again? In fact, maybe I will do a kale-themed recipe all week!"
Watch as your significant other makes a light laugh, and then later on midday, ask him to whip something up, or order out. I guarantee results.
One Summer, my neighbors took turns having everyone over at his or her house for dinner. The person in charge would cook for everyone else, including the kids. Since I a) can't cook and b) put my kid to bed way earlier than my neighbors typically did their kids, I didn't participate in the cooking, although they graciously invited me to join quite a few times. Gotta hate the skinny person squeezing in to steal some eats. Anyway, if you're friendly with your neighbors, try doing a weekly neighborhood dinner, and take turns on cooking duty. This means that not only will you NOT have to make dinner tonight, but possibly once a week for quite a few weeks in a row! Not too shabby. Of course, when the neighbors come to you, you can't pull that "kale trick."
Let the Kids Man the Kitchen
If your child is younger than 3, this isn't going to work, but if you've got one or two able-bodied kids, put your progeny to work! You'll have to supervise, and you may end up eating PB&J for dinner, but who cares? You ate and even better — you didn't cook! Kids love to help, at least before they hit puberty, and here will be a great way to squeeze in some teachable moments like how to measure dry or wet ingredients (math and life lesson!), which foods belong to what groups (health lesson), and how to set a table (Manners 101). I highly recommend trying this once a week just to get your kids in the habit of doing chores and creating some "fun" around food.
Bad Side Effect: your kitchen will be messier. Let it go though. Cleaning a few extra dishes is worth not making dinner.
Designate Pizza Night
Take one night a week and say, "I will not cook dinner tonight" — and make it a pizza, sub, Chinese, or whatever you prefer night. It's good to schedule a break, and then budget weekly for that meal you're delivering in or ordering out. There's nothing wrong with saying, "I'm too tired to do this today," as long as you don't let your kids parent themselves or forgot to feed them all the time. You need a break now and then.
Desperate Time, Desperate Measures
If your partner doesn't know a squash from a strawberry and your kids would be more apt to blow up your kitchen rather than prepare you a substantial bowl of cereal, you may have to resort to desperate measures. When all else fails, offer sex or, at the very least, flirt.
"I am feeling really tired right now. Do you think you could pick up Chinese? Maybe then I'll be ready later to show you my new panties I got from Victoria's Secret, honey."
If that doesn't get you wonton soup at your dinner table, then I promptly give up and suggest you make it rich somehow.
And if you're totally disgusted at this suggestion, just remember: sex is good for you, and having more sex in 2015 might bring you more of those dinners you're looking for. Wink.
Other Helpful Hints
In order to avoid jumping ship as a working mommy, I prep my meals over the weekend. And while fresh produce is better for you than bagged, I pick my battles and buy steamed veggies and score easy-to-make Crock-Pot recipes to use, so that way, I don't have to cook each night (most of the time), because things are prepared ahead of time. I also tend to make a few things at once: Crock-Pot chicken, steaming veggies in the microwave, heating up turkey sausage, and boiling pasta on the stove top in order to get more stuff done at once. Of course, this means I have to pay attention, or I could create a huge disaster.
All in a Meal
At the end of the day, if you're feeling overwhelmed with stuff on your "to-do" list and think making a meal is something your partner can take on, ask! Don't be a doormat, and silently take on every chore and item. It takes a strong woman to say she needs help.