Evenings are always super busy. Most week nights, my three kids and I don’t hit the front door until 6 p.m. Then, it’s immediately on to getting supper ready. When I first went back to work full time, I really broke myself from trying to make homemade dinners like we were all used to. I figured out pretty quickly those kinds of meals were unreasonable on a week day.
So, my solution was to either cook ahead of time on the weekend or settle for jars of spaghetti sauce and bagged stir-fry during the week. I ask each kid to pick two meals they want me to cook or have ready during the week. Then, that child and I will either cook them together on Sunday, or prep everything so we can have it on hand and ready to make. Most of the time this means the kids sit on the counter and talk or read a story to me and occasionally measure ingredients or read instructions. And sometimes, spaghetti sauce from a jar is just right. I can have supper ready in 20 minutes and we can all sit at the table and visit.
We talk about work, school, why we substitute black beans for brown beans in our Dorito casserole or whole grain spaghetti for enriched white pasta, why the dog is weird, and all things electric (my son has a fascination with electricity). Our phones, TV, and other screens are put down or turned off, and we are present in the moment. I learn a lot about my kids during these dinners, but mostly that they are really fun people with whom I enjoy spending time.