If you asked me a year ago what we were having for dinner, I would have told you takeout. We are a family of four, and I didn’t learn to cook until about seven months ago. My husband worked nights for six years, and he was the only cook in the house. We only ate at home together once a week, when he cooked. Family mealtime was not important, and consuming healthy food was not a priority. It wasn’t until I was talking to coworker that I realized the benefits of family mealtime. She and others would offer me easy recipes, but I kept putting it off because the thought of cooking intimidated me. I didn’t know the basics of cooking, like what kind of pan to use to make certain meals, how to cut vegetables or prepare meat. This isn’t something I could admit to even my closest coworkers because I was embarrassed. But the more I learned about the benefits of family mealtime, the more I wanted to learn how to cook just so we could all sit together. I also felt ashamed because I wasn’t able to teach my daughters how to cook.
My husband got offered a daytime position earlier this year. That was my cue to finally learn to cook. A close family friend offered to teach me. She said the first thing to learn is how to shop for groceries. She took me grocery shopping and we went back to her house. She had me take pictures of the ingredients along with the cookware and utensils to use. She even taught me how to cut potatoes. I didn’t know cooking could be so fun. I began looking up my own recipes on Pinterest. I bought the pots and pans I needed, and learned to cut potatoes with the correct knife, not the steak knife I always used to cut vegetables in the past. I got more comfortable in my kitchen, and it boosted my confidence in being a mom.
So now, if you ask me what my family is having for dinner, I can tell you my menu for the entire week. If you ask my kids what we’re having for dinner, they will answer, “Whatever mama puts on the table.” My family of four sits down to eat six nights a week. And, now I feel like an amazing mom. Not only because I make their dinner, but because I know my kids are benefitting from a lot more than just the food.