Monday holidays

Update: When I woke up this morning, I regretted posting this last night at 2 AM because I sound like such a whiner.  I’m leaving it here anyway, though I have just assumed you are all judging me because I would judge me if I read this.  This post is not approved by Oprah and others who keep a daily gratitude journal.

* * *

My husband’s day off is Monday.  I also have Mondays off, unless you count the hour on Monday mornings when I log on to answer work email and then the three hour shift I work every Monday night.  I work seven nights a week, but have the daytime hours off on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  Mostly.

And today was President’s Day, a holiday, right?

But we have kids so we never have time off.  Now that our older kids are working part-time and going to school part-time (just one of them, just one class) and our middle kid attends school twenty minutes away and our youngest child is in sports and a choir and church activities . . . well, things have gone from bad to worse.  (I know it’s temporary because the older kids will be driving at some point and all that.  Still.  Right now it’s ridiculous.)

In the old days, we could just hire a babysitter and be on our way.  (Theoretically, of course, because in reality, our youngest two kids hated to be left and we rarely had a babysitter.)  Because everyone was just home, it was easier for me to leave home, to get a mental health break, away from the chatter and noise and cooking.

It’s the cooking that’s killing me.  The constant and relentless requirement to think up something to serve to the people who live in my house and need food.  I’ve been doing this for twenty-six years, being the sole provider of nourishment and I’m sick of it.  I used to not mind so much . . . back before I realized the futility and despair that would come from trying to adjust to feedback received at various times over the years:

  • No red meat because it’s hard on some (unnamed) tummies.
  • Avoid pork because it causes some unpleasant side effects in some (unnamed) people.
  • No dairy please, because of lactose intolerance.
  • Vegetables are yucky.  Except for the ones we like.   (“Wait, is rice a vegetable?  I like rice.”)
  • Salads are not a meal.
  • Nothing too spicy.
  • Nothing weird or different or with substituted ingredients.
  • No chicken cooked in the CrockPot.
  • No cornbread or biscuits or muffins.
  • No rice or pasta.
  • Mashed potatoes only, please.

And the worst?  When I cook something and then the other people in this house choose to eat a bowl of cereal or a sandwich or whatever.  It’s depressing.  I wish I were Jane Jetson and I could just order nutrition pills from my magic robot.   Who wants to waste time cooking when there are books to read?

But I wasn’t talking about cooking.  I was talking about how we don’t have a day off . . . from kids.

And today, a holiday?  Not so much.

I did get to sleep in since my husband woke up and took our son to work at 9 AM.  I did my hour of work online, then spent a rather frustrating stretch of time working with my daughter to get her school work reviewed and organized since I need to turn in samples tomorrow.  (I am also sick to death of supervising kids doing school-at-home . . . I’ve been doing this now for ten years, ever since my 6th grade twins started a virtual school.  They graduated but now my daughter is enrolled in a charter school and doing school-at-home . . . it’s trying to kill me.)

We finally finished–after my final lecture and rant about her effort in Composition–and then it was time to shop for a lacrosse stick and accessories so she can start lacrosse practice on Friday.  We returned home just in time to pick up my son to take him to work.

And when I got home, it was time to cook dinner.  I had put corned beef and cabbage in the CrockPot (a weird favorite that my family likes, though I could live without it), but I still had to clean up the kitchen and peel potatoes and roast cauliflower and slice strawberries and mash the potatoes.  By the time we had dinner, it was after 6:30 PM.

It wasn’t much of a day off.  That’s all I’m trying to say.

I wonder what we’re having for dinner tomorrow.

What are you having for dinner?

11 thoughts on “Monday holidays

  1. Dinner last night was brown rice penne with doctored up Newmans Own Sockerooni (chunks of red orange and yellow peppers and sliced mushrooms as well as some sweet italian sausage).

    Tonight is either potato soup or beef stroganoff and asparagus. . .and that’s as far as I got this week for meal planning. I keep telling my family if they do the planning I’m happy to cook but I don’t get much response unless I nag and who likes to do that. . .so I just give it a cursory thought before I go to the grocery store and hope for the best.

    P.S. Boiled dinner is a favorite around here too.


  2. I think you need to lay down the law… When you live under this roof, you eat for dinner what is served or you eat nothing at all. That rule is what keeps my sanity.


  3. i was lucky last night i had a BSF (bible study fellowship) we have a fellowship with the ladies twice a quarter. last night was the night, so we had snacky kind of food, sausage, cheese, crackers, veggies & dip…yeah very easy stuff.
    tonight tho…after a dentist appt, i will have maybe a nice soft ice cream.
    i live alone…i can do this.
    i have had my days like yours and so very thankful now i can have a nice easy meal only to please me.
    your day will come :0)


  4. This is a honest post and most of us can relate to some point in our lives. Perhaps one night a week the kids need to own dinner to provide you with some relief. By own I mean they can be responsible for the preparation of a healthy dinner. They might better appreciate the effort required by ou every night.

    Also, Oprah has it much easier than most. She has time for a book club! You are so hard on yourself you have a very hectic and demandinding time a holiday rols around make your way to the ocean with a good book and comfortable chair.

    Well, I should not be butting in…sorry. I suppose after you read someone’s blog for years you feel like you know them. I apologize if I crossed a boundary. Please take care of yourself. Diane


  5. I heard someone say once a woman spends the first 20 years trying figure out who to marry and the next 20 yrs trying to figure out what to have for dinner. We all have days like this and I was having one when i read your post. Hang in there.


  6. Why not have the kids be responsible for cooking supper two nights a week? It might change the dynamics.

    Women give me obvious answers sometimes, and they would never work, because our situation has complexities not worth explaining.
    Life is hard. Especially for middle-aged women with traditional commitments in this mobile society.


  7. It is late, but I just finished my taco so I could answer your post.

    Have tacos. Five nights a week, at least. I love them.

    Let each of your boys have a night they are responsible for dinner. AND dishes – if you cook, they do dishes. Especially do dishes.

    On the other hand, a bowl of cereal makes a good dinner, I think. Toast and scrambled eggs makes a meal. Grilled cheese and tomato soup another time. Keep it simple.

    Most of all, be kind to yourself. You are the mom. You don’t have to DO everything – it is enough that you ARE.

    Love you. Love your posts. Feel your pain.


  8. I have to tell you that sometimes it’s good to know that not everyone is going around burping rainbows so I’m happy to listen when you’re feeling overwhelmed, I sort of feel like it’s the least I can do in this very one sided exchange. . .but I also think that some of the ladies here have some good advice about getting the kids to pitch in so that they’ll appreciate what you do for them.

    P.S. Last night was potato soup. . my grace peeled the potatoes while I did the onions and garlic, dinner was ready in 20 minutes and I enjoyed the few minutes we had together in the kitchen (she was very excited about using the vegetable peeler so clearly that’s something I need to ask her to do more often ;))


  9. It’s only my husband and me for dinner. I’ve been home ALL day, ALL alone. He is picking up pizza on his way home from work.

    I just do not like to feed people. I am soooo over it.


  10. I can so relate. I started working full-time after 10 years of being home (sort of; worked part-time), and I work a lot of overtime. There is no way, NO WAY, I am going to make dinner for the teenagers and the husband when they are either home all day or get off work at 3:30. I finally just gave up. I make dinner maybe once a week now. No one likes it much, and I still feel guilty, but I simply cannot spend every waking moment working, here or at work. My kids make their own meals, and my husband (who cooked all the time before we had kids) “fends” a lot. C’est la vie!


  11. Oh do I hear you! Who came up with this three meals a day, seven days a week nonsense? I am at home full-time and my 4 all go to school outside the house (hallelujah!) but with all the hockey and the soccer and the basketball and the friends and the this and the that, meals are a huge challenge. A live-in housekeeper would be the ticket, I guess, but that is me I think!


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