Why I don’t feel guilty about not cooking

I’m a busy working mom. Want to know my little secret? I don’t think I have to be awesome at everything.

Why I don’t feel guilty about not cooking

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?

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

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    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

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    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

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    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

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    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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