So I signed up to have a kid and even that, really, did I have any idea what I was signing up for? Of course not. No one does. But I am doing it. I will put in a lot of time to help my kid learn how to be a good person. BUT, I am not yet eight months into the process and already I am getting mind-numbing e-mails with headlines like, “Easy, Last Minute Meals!” and “10 Super Quick Dinners for Moms.”
And look, I get it, these e-mails are trying to be helpful. But these articles are always accompanied by a woman with potholders on both her hands pulling a casserole dish out of an oven while smiling. And I am tired of her. I am tired of the quick meal ideas and I’m tired of getting Facebook sidebar ads for laundry detergents when only two short years ago I was getting ads for eyelashes I could put on my car headlights.
And look, I’m not saying I want the car eyelash advertisements. Because I don’t. Not every day anyway. But I don’t want the ten simple meals e-mails. Not yet. Let me be a person for a little bit longer before you drown me in an avalanche of Kohls coupons and Tide Stain sticks. It’s not that I don’t like being a mother, it’s just that I’m not ready to put on the potholders just yet.
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Exhausted after taking care of a child all day? Realizing that it’s 6PM and not only have you not started making dinner, you haven’t even thought about what you planned on making? Worry no more! Thanks to this e-mail service you inadvertently signed up for while looking for child development information, we’re sending you a list of the 10 fastest, easiest dinners to keep your life simple and hassle-free!
Why slave over a hot stove for hours when you can have any of these dishes ready in thirty minutes or fewer, GUARANTEED. So get out your pen and paper and get ready to jot down these:
10 Amazing Last Minute Meal Ideas!
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Your kids haven’t tasted true simplicity until they’ve tasted nothing. Hit them with this specialty a day after you’ve gone out of your way to make “something” and they’ve refused to eat it. Nothing can be prepared in literally seconds.
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2. Grilled Cheese With No Cheese in It
This was a particular favorite of my notoriously scatter-brained mother who, true story, made it for us twice.
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3. Put a Bunch of Stuff in a Crock Pot and Leave the House for a While
Do not add brussel sprouts to whatever you are cooking in a crock pot because no matter how aromatic and wonderful the rest of the ingredients are, you will come home to a house that smells like a giant yeast infection. I am telling you this from experience.
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4. Ramen Noodles Made While Crying
Worried there wasn’t enough sodium in regular Ramen noodles? Try a batch made and seasoned with a waterfall of tears! I discovered this dish totally by accident but after four evenings of making it inadvertently, it’s become a nighttime staple. To those people who’ve asked, “But what if you run out of things to cry about?” Hahahahahahaha, that’s hilarious, how could that possibly happen??
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5. Brownies Made in a Cupcake Tin with Double Stuffed Oreos and Peanut Butter Inside Them
Really strict mothers are going to say something like, “Tsk tsk, this isn’t dinner,” and we will just have to agree to disagree on that one.
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6. Broiled Fish With No Side Dishes Because You Lack Foresight
When your kids start asking, “Is there anything to eat besides just the plain, broiled fish?” yell, “MAKE A DECISION. DO YOU WANT TO LOOK LIKE MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY OR NOT?”
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7. A Bag of Pretzels and Then Pass Out on a Sofa Somewhere
If this worked for three years in college for me, it should work just fine for my kids.
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8. Just Have a Bunch of Cut Up Vegetables and Cheese in your Refrigerator at All Times and Just Pretend You Are Constantly Eating Crudite Platters at Somebody’s Low Budget Cocktail Party
So this is what I actually actually do about six nights a week and it works great. Not that I don’t occasionally do #’s 5, 6 and 7, but most evenings I just leave the fridge filled with vegetables that I bought and cheese and pickles and olives and whatnot and we just eat those. It works really well because:
1. Vegetables are healthy and that way we eat a lot of vegetables
2. Cheese is great and after eating a bunch of vegetables it is easy to rationalize eating a lot of cheese.
3. I am VERY BUSY using Twitter and watching BBC documentaries about wild animals and do not have time to coordinate a meal that will take 3 hours to make and 4 minutes to consume because really, life is too short. And the last time I attempted making dinner I came home to a house that smelled like a vaginal yeast infection because unlike you guys who were warned, I had to learn that crock pot/brussell sprouts lesson the hard way.
Also, if eating vegetables and dip gets overwhelmingly boring and repetitive, you could try arranging them in the shape of a cat skeleton.
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9. Just Get Takeout Again
Stop judging me.
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10. Leftovers From the Other Night When You Made Nothing
I think I made it clear that I’m not perfect. And I’ll never be perfect. And maybe it’s been a good thing that I’ve never even come close to being perfect, because if I had come close at some point I might’ve said, “Perfection is an achievable goal!” and tried hard to be as perfect as possible. But luckily that was never a problem I had.
And while I’d love to blabber on and on about nothing for a few more minutes, I apologize but these crudite platters aren’t going to make themselves.