This Morning I woke up at 6:15, and I was already running late. I leapt out of bed only to crash to the floor because 3 year old Lilly dropped her blanket when she climbed in between Mark and I sometime in the night and I got tangled up in it. Teeth, hair, clothes, no time to shower because the baby is awake. Feed & change Sadie and repack the diaper bag. Wake up 6 year old Chloe and that is never as easy as it seems. Breakfast, then teeth, hair and clothes for both girls and we’re ready to roll. Ok, not so much, Chloe insists on changing clothes because she’s not into yellow today…AND her ponytail isn’t high enough. Meanwhile Lilly has lost her stuffed monkey Georgie, Sadie isn’t happy that she’s still in the walker and Chloe has lost her shoes. I don’t care what they say, being President of the United States isn’t the most stressful job, it’s not even close. I’d rather argue with Congress than a 6 year old about hair styles, at least with Congress I’d have a fighting chance of winning. Wardrobe change, happy hair, shoes and Georgie found, but we still have an unhappy Sadie being transferred into a car seat. Then I drop off Chloe at school and the other girls at Day Care and race to work. And that is just my morning! But I still consider it important that we cook dinner every night for many reasons, but here are the biggies.
An Apple A Day Just Isn’t Going To Do It All
The health of my family is important to me and when we cook at home I know exactly what it’s in the meals that are being served. They are provided with fresh fruits, veggies, minerals and vitamins that they need. I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely pleased with the meals that are provided at the schools here. They still contract out to a company that provides frozen meals bought from who knows where. At the upper school levels fast food places like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut have kiosks in the cafeterias for goodness sakes. The preservatives alone are enough to make me flinch….therefore I cook.
Frugal Isn’t Just A Word
Let’s be honest. Having 5 people at home, we just can’t afford to eat out very often. Cooking is so much cheaper! Stocking up on sales, growing some of my own food, mixing my own seasonings, making my sauces and things from scratch saves me tons! We live on a budget…..therefore I cook.
Teaching By Example
It always amazes me when I talk to someone who wasn’t taught to cook. I can’t imagine going through life without that basic survival skill. Cooking is a chance to pass on your knowledge to your children, it gives them a sense of accomplishment when they are allowed to help you prepare meals. But you teach your children so much more that extends past cooking. They will actually recognize a whole bell pepper and appreciate the taste difference between herbed roasted chicken and McNuggets and prefer the roasted chicken. You’re teaching them to eat healthy from the get go. You’re teaching them to apply math and science skills in a real world setting. And I’ve always loved the quote, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime”. I want my children to crave and know how to steam broccoli……therefore I cook.
It’s All About Networking
One of my favorite family traditions comes from cooking….we eat together. Meal times are where my children learn table manners and the responsibility of setting the table, then clearing it. We catch up with each other and the children are allowed to join the discussions and start their own topics. Nothing pleases me more than spending time with my family over a beautiful meal. No Tv, no cell phones, just us sitting around a table networking with each other. I want my children to learn basic manners, how to communicate, contribute to the running of the household by having age appropriate chores and focusing on us as a family instead of another episode of Princess Sophia…..therefore I cook.
Being Happy Isn’t Selfish
This is where I tell you the other reasons we cook at home. I get a great sense of pride by providing my family with a home cooked meal. It brings me joy to chop the crap out of a onion after a frustrating day. I like talking with my family while we prepare our meals. I like to experiment and yes, I’m the type of Chicka who will totally take a picture of my new stuffed bell pepper recipe ( made with chicken, black beans, rice and fajita mix!). Is it selfish to insist that we do something that I enjoy doing? I don’t think so. And I know that I’m lucky that I enjoy doing it and don’t consider it a chore. I want my children to remember that above all else going on in our lives, that at least once a day we came together as a family and shared love, laughter and an awesome meatloaf that we made and ate together. I’m building memories….therefore I cook!