I LOVE my children, I really do. I just wish I didn’t have to feed them so often.
It’s not that I don’t want them to be nourished.
My desire is that they be fed wholesome, home-cooked meals, bursting with goodness and flavoured with love. If only someone else could do it.
I know, not very motherly, is it? We’re not all bloody Julie from MasterChef.
Some of us find the endless cycle of food preparation so very tiring.
Personally I used to be a one-trick pony when it came to getting the kiddies to willingly ingest healthy food, my one trick being to hide vast quantities of grated vegetables in bolognaise sauce.
Then I discovered I could pass off chopped spinach as “green cheese” (the Firstborn knows the truth but he also knows he won’t see high school if he talks). Unfortunately, even a two-trick pony still has the rest of the week to consider.
Yet, just when I was ready to say no to the endless dinner preparations, they go and release a report into “Family Dinners” (I think it was MotherGuilt headquarters or perhaps it was Columbia University. Either way).
It suggests children are more likely to have substance abuse problems if they don’t regularly sit down to proper family meals.
Oh, dear. Is this because the “other” families just let their kids drive-thru for burgers on the way home from the crack house?
What about the suggestion that the “family dinner” kids get better grades at school? Couldn’t I just give mine a toasted sandwich and help them with their homework?
Never mind the alarming headline from CU that reads “Teens Likelier To Be Able To Get Marijuana, Within An Hour, When Family Dinners Infrequent”.
Goodness me. I guess by next year the Firstborn will be straight on the phone to his dealer if I stop dishing up at dinnertime. Yes it’s all very alarming.
Fortunately, there was one glimmer of hope in there for me. It also stated it didn’t really matter what was on the plates, that it was the quality family time that was important.
Phew. As long as sibling bickering and protracted vegetable negotiations constitute quality family time, then I guess we’re safe for now.
Tanya is a weekly columnist for The Bulletin.