Recipes for Busy Moms

not-the-momma
Pet Peeves
January 29, 2013 at 5:22 PM

I know this is a little off topic but I didn't know where else to post this.  

Every night for the past million years ( it seems) I've been cooking dinner for the family.  I finish work at 5:30, so I start dinner or sometimes I do crock pot dinners so its just a matter of pulling things together so we can sit down to eat between 6:00 and 6:30.  DH finishes work at 6:00 so I like to get it on the table as soon after that as possible.  Since I work full time I've found it helpful to plan meals for the week.  I usually move the meats to the fridge to thaw so it will be ready when I need it.  Anyway I'm getting off on a tangent.  I have two step kids, one age 15 and the other age 11.  This year ( school year), the 15 year old will get home at 3:30ish, get on the phone or computer and somewhere before dinnertime ( aslate as 5:30) he will go into the kitchen and start making a meal for himself.  Usually soup, grilled cheese, eggs, etc., but I'm usually not aware of it until I go into the kitchen to get dinner ready.  I wouldn't mind so much but when dinner is served he acts surprised and says he just ate and isn't hungry.  Now I've been making dinner every night for the past 5+ years so you can't possibly just forget this can you?

 Anyway it gets me pissed off because of two major reasons.  First, when he cooks for himself he makes a mess and doesn't clean it up so if he's going to make his own meals he needs to clean up after himself.  The other thing is, sometimes he uses ingredients I've set aside for the family meals.  I must admit I'm a bit of a control freak but how can I manage the families meals when others are using up ingredients I purchased especially for my menu?  If anyone else has a similar issue with a teen, please help!

Replies

  • frndlyfn
    January 29, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Could you get him more involved with the family meal?  Perhaps have him start it when it is a more involved meal or set aside certain foods for him as snack items.  These are the ages where they should be able to be more independant and contribute more to the household tasks.

  • Kimberly954
    Kim
    January 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    I would have him start cooking the family meal. I would also explain to him that certain things are set aside for meals. Maybe make a section of the fridge with lunch meat and cheese for him to make his own sandwich.

  • SweetLuci
    January 29, 2013 at 8:08 PM

     What about having a quiet talk with your DH about the situation, then get his support for a family meeting-at dinner. Explain that since the 15 has been cooking, and you're so proud he's doing this, that it's made you realize how mature he is, and since you want to spend more time with him, the two of you have decided that he's now old enough to be responsible for starting dinner. Your DH should take the lead in this conversation, since their his kids. You plan your meals, so leave the menu on the refrigerator,  and the chores you want him to do. The 11 year old can also help with this. (My 12 year old can make simple meals-so it's not out of line. Also set up snack time and what he's allowed to  have as a snack.  Tell him to look at the menu and make sure he doesn't eat anything that's planned for dinner. Tell him he has to have everything cleaned up before you get home. And make sure he realizes that he will be required to be here at dinner. Have them help with menu planning. Maybe have each boy choose one meal a week, There's no reason why they shouldn't be helping with this. And he shouldn't be eating by himself and not joining the family at the table. Make sure you praise his efforts, even if they aren't up to your standards.

  • babynurse244
    January 29, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    My SK's would do stuff like this, but they were doing it on purpose to try to make me leave. I'd put stuff in the fridge for dinner or cook or chop part of it ahead of time, and ask SS not to eat it because it was for dinner, and he'd say "what are you going to do if I do?" And I'd say "please don't, I'm telling you I made it for something" and he'd say "so you can make some more". SD would say she wasn't hungry and then when we were eating, she'd go into the kitchen, make something for herself, make a mess and leave it as well as damage as much of the kitchen equipment as possible. Then they told all the relatives how 'stressful' it was to live with us.

    Are they doing this on purpose or are they not aware of it?

  • KamsOne
    by KamsOne
    Jen
    January 30, 2013 at 8:29 AM

     Great advice!  Especially the part about having DH talk to the kids.  It can get pretty tricky with step kids.

    Quoting SweetLuci:

     What about having a quiet talk with your DH about the situation, then get his support for a family meeting-at dinner. Explain that since the 15 has been cooking, and you're so proud he's doing this, that it's made you realize how mature he is, and since you want to spend more time with him, the two of you have decided that he's now old enough to be responsible for starting dinner. Your DH should take the lead in this conversation, since their his kids. You plan your meals, so leave the menu on the refrigerator,  and the chores you want him to do. The 11 year old can also help with this. (My 12 year old can make simple meals-so it's not out of line. Also set up snack time and what he's allowed to  have as a snack.  Tell him to look at the menu and make sure he doesn't eat anything that's planned for dinner. Tell him he has to have everything cleaned up before you get home. And make sure he realizes that he will be required to be here at dinner. Have them help with menu planning. Maybe have each boy choose one meal a week, There's no reason why they shouldn't be helping with this. And he shouldn't be eating by himself and not joining the family at the table. Make sure you praise his efforts, even if they aren't up to your standards.

     

  • KamsOne
    by KamsOne
    Jen
    January 30, 2013 at 8:30 AM

     Aww, that's awful!  It's hard to imagine what goes through kids' heads when they behave like this.  Sorry you had to go through that.

    Quoting babynurse244:

    My SK's would do stuff like this, but they were doing it on purpose to try to make me leave. I'd put stuff in the fridge for dinner or cook or chop part of it ahead of time, and ask SS not to eat it because it was for dinner, and he'd say "what are you going to do if I do?" And I'd say "please don't, I'm telling you I made it for something" and he'd say "so you can make some more". SD would say she wasn't hungry and then when we were eating, she'd go into the kitchen, make something for herself, make a mess and leave it as well as damage as much of the kitchen equipment as possible. Then they told all the relatives how 'stressful' it was to live with us.

    Are they doing this on purpose or are they not aware of it?

     

  • not-the-momma
    January 30, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    I think he's just trying to show that he's grown-up, independent and can make his own rules.  He does similar stuff to his Dad and says he's not a kid anymore and should be able to do what he wants when he wants.

  • epoh
    by epoh
    February 1, 2013 at 2:38 PM
    That's excellent advice.

    Quoting SweetLuci:

     What about having a quiet talk with your DH about the situation, then get his support for a family meeting-at dinner. Explain that since the 15 has been cooking, and you're so proud he's doing this, that it's made you realize how mature he is, and since you want to spend more time with him, the two of you have decided that he's now old enough to be responsible for starting dinner. Your DH should take the lead in this conversation, since their his kids. You plan your meals, so leave the menu on the refrigerator,  and the chores you want him to do. The 11 year old can also help with this. (My 12 year old can make simple meals-so it's not out of line. Also set up snack time and what he's allowed to  have as a snack.  Tell him to look at the menu and make sure he doesn't eat anything that's planned for dinner. Tell him he has to have everything cleaned up before you get home. And make sure he realizes that he will be required to be here at dinner. Have them help with menu planning. Maybe have each boy choose one meal a week, There's no reason why they shouldn't be helping with this. And he shouldn't be eating by himself and not joining the family at the table. Make sure you praise his efforts, even if they aren't up to your standards.

  • delanna6two
    February 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Hope things work out

Recipes for Busy Moms