posted in Parenting
I have a confession to make: My kids eat dinner in the car most nights. And no, I never thought I’d be one of those moms. But as my girls get bigger, and start wanting to take part in more activities, this is becoming our weeknight reality.
The thing is, the kids are starving, as if they’ve never eaten before, right after school around 4:00. I’ve tried holding them over with a snack until after swim team practice, or chorus, or Girl Scouts. But this doesn’t cut it. I mean, they literally turn into evil trolls if I don’t feed them a decent meal by around 4:30 or so.
My nightly meal prep begins early, before I pick them up from school.
Some nights I pick up Panera or something like that, but most nights, I try to make them a dinner at home to bring on the go, both to save money and so they aren’t eating junk.
One of their favorite dinners is a chicken and cheese wrap, so that’s what I made last night.
I try to bring the kids a hot meal to eat between school and their activities. Mom of the year, I know. I’ll wrap up a sandwich in foil about 20 minutes before I leave the house for our marathon evening. Then I’ll pack up some yogurt smoothies, and maybe another snack, and I’m on my way!
My latest trick is to toss everything into a plastic bag, so that once the kids are done eating, I can throw out all their garbage. Otherwise, our kitchen table on wheels starts to look like it should be condemned. And smells like it, too. Don’t even ask me about the time a chunk of chicken got stuck underneath my daughter’s car seat, and we didn’t find it for days.
You know what? I used to feel guilty for feeding my kids dinner in the car. I’d much rather have them eat at home instead of in transit. But given their full schedule of activities, this way is much more realistic. If we tried to stop home to eat, we’d be even more rushed and I don’t think that’s ideal either.
The crazy thing is, that my kids don’t even do as much as many of their peers. I try to limit them to two extracurriculars each. I’ve definitely said “no” to some of the things they want to do, because I value downtime, and think it’s super important for them to have time at home to play and just be kids. Never mind homework!
Given how insane our nights are now, while my kids are still relatively young, I will admit I’m scared for when they get older, and the demands on them get even more intense. I’m also wondering how the heck my mom pulled off making our schedules work when we were kids! I did everything, from chorus, to color guard, and drama club, and even held two after-school jobs.
Sigh. I mean, help!
How do you make your weeknight dinners work if you are as busy as me?