A friend of mine asked how I handle dinner with three kids, specifically three boys. I thought I would write about it.
Having three boys is wonderful but it comes with some stressful moments. One of those moments is dinner time. Rob works during the dinner hour 5 nights a week. Trust me, the thoughts of having fast food or something I can easily throw into the microwave were tempting but they certainly were not the healthiest choice for my family. So here is the process that worked for me (remember every family is different).
Step one is I sat down and figured out what the boys like and recipes I could introduce to the boys with hopes they would like them. I used Pinterest as my inspiration as well as family recipes.
Step two is to keep things SIMPLE. It is very possible to cook a quick, easy, and HEALTHY meal. I am up to 15 meals that I interchange every month.
Step three is make a PLAN. Meal plan! I bought a cheap calendar from Dollar Tree and filled in our dinner menu for every night. Depending on circumstances (going out of town, special occasion) I always stick to what I have planned. This is very important. Stick with your plan! Grocery shopping is a lot easier because you have your meals planned and you can make your list accordingly.
Step four begins the cooking process. With three boys, there will always be someone who will need my attention. I make sure I take care of all their needs before starting dinner. I will let Logan and Landon watch a movie while I cook and Liam will play contently. If Liam is not happy I will have him sit in the high chair and watch me cook (he is in his separation anxiety stage). I have accepted that sometimes there will be some crying or a temper tantrum being thrown as I cook. One way I try to reduce that is I will let Logan and Landon help me (get a pot out for me or put an ingredient in the pot).
Step five is do what is necessary. This is more for after dinner. If the boys need me I will wait and clean the kitchen once they are happy.
The most important step is eat together. Even though Rob is not home during dinner, we still eat together. I think eating together has helped our dinner time go a lot smoother.
It was and still is a learning process about the dinner hour. I had to find out what keeps them happy and out of trouble while my attention is on something else. I stressed it in one of the steps but will stress again. Have a plan and stick to it.
Oh dear friend, there are times when I want to surrender at dinner time and not cook. I push through those temptations because I know it is better for my family if I cook and it gives me a chance to learn how to help my family function.
I don't know if this helped any of my readers and like I said, every family is different, so you have to find what works for you. This is how I manage three boys and dinner.