I’m a busy working mom. Want to know my little secret? I don’t think I have to be awesome at everything.
I admit it. I don’t like to cook. At all. It’s partly discretionary time. As in I don’t have a lot of it. Since ‘free’ time is rare, I prefer not to spend those few precious minutes cooking. After working a full day. But honestly, I just don’t enjoy cooking. So, most often, this working mom doesn’t cook.
The Definition of Cooking
Let me clarify my definition of cook. We eat a lot of sandwiches at the Gibson house. I don’t consider putting bologna in between two pieces of bread cooking. I call that preparing a meal. So, I prepare a lot of meals that are quick, fairly nutritious, and easy.
Sample Working Mom’s Weeknight Meal
If you love to cook, don’t judge my typical during-the-work-week meal for my family:
- Deli turkey with provolone on wheat
- Organic, baked onion rings (I understand organic doesn’t make it healthy), macaroni and cheese, or some side we all agree on
- Broccoli or some type of vegetable
- Apple slices or a banana (or other type of fruit)
This meal gets the job done. My family is fed and proper food USDA-recommended food groups are consumed. Sometimes I go wild and fix grilled cheeses. Oftentimes, honestly, we get take out. But, all in all, I fulfill a need and no one starves in the Gibson house.
Working Mom Wisdom
I’m about to share wisdom with other working moms that has taken me several years to learn:
I don’t have to be awesome at everything.
Awesome at my career, yes. Awesome at being a mom, yes. Etc. But awesome at cooking? No. I just don’t care about accolades for cooking.
Working Mom Gene
I truly believe mothers, especially working moms, have a unique gene causing us to feel immense guilt that we are not Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is a fictional character. A fashion-forward, kick-ass character, but still, not real. We are real women. And real women can do a lot of stuff, as in queens of multitasking. But just because we can do a lot of stuff doesn’t mean we should do a lot of stuff.
Logistically, I can work a full day, pick up my kids from preschool, start laundry, watch them, AND cook a gourmet meal before my husband gets home. But I shouldn’t. As my oldest would say, it’s just not a ‘smart choice.
I shouldn’t spread myself so thin and miss out on quality time with my kids. Or write, which I love, and sharpen my saw so I feel rejuvenated to take care of the rest of the family. While it would feel great if my husband bragged to everyone how perfectly clean the house was and how delicious all my meals were, I can live without that kind of praise.
Instead, I’d rather be a rock star professional who gets promoted so my kids can show off their cool career mom at career day at school. I’d rather be the mom who can teach my children real-world leadership skills so I can help prepare them for their future professional lives. Concepts they just won’t learn in school, at least not the way I would want or have experienced myself.
Erase Your Working Mom Guilt
The point is, it’s OK if you hate to cook or just don’t have time to make all the fancy dishes on Pinterest. Join the Working Mom’s Guilt Free Club where you can leave the burdens of perfection at the door. Fix your family Chef Boyardee. The lasagna has no preservatives, and it’s really tasty. Get a $10 pizza from Pizza Hut. Maybe not every night, but every now and then it’s OK. Keep the cooking simple, unless you just love to cook. I choose not to cook often because I don’t like to cook and prefer to spend that time with my family. Do what’s right for you and your family.
But, what I really want to know … am I the only working mom who doesn’t like to cook?