Welcome to my weekly Bad Mom Advice column where I attempt to answer all of your parenting questions as only I know how -- with zero degree in early childhood development, but with the experience of raising four kids and not having any of them in prison - yet! Plus, I back all my advice on numerous scientific research, which may or may not include me making fun of your dumb kid behind your back and drinking a bunch of wine! Welcome to Bad Mom Advice!
I am at the point where I hate cooking. I hate it. I hate thinking of what to make. I hate grocery shopping. I hate all of it. But I can't feed my family pizza and McDonald's every night. Any ideas? I am feeding 4 people, one of them is 17.
I love your hate and how much you hate and yay for your hate! Grocery shopping is the worst. It can be the most boring, thankless task ever, especially when you have to unload and put stuff away all by yourself. This is why you need to do your shopping when people are home to help you. Everyone eats, they all need to help you plan and make lists and shop and put away. You are not some magical grocery goddess.
Your 17-year-old is more than capable of reading recipes and cooking dinner on occasion. Teens need to learn how to cook so you don't unleash them into the world with only knowing how to make Ramen. Bookmark some recipe websites for your kid (I like Smittenkitchen.com and Epicurious) and let them choose a few simple recipes to try out. This recipe is genius because anyone can make it and the results are always perfect.
Try and make things in bulk when you can and freeze them, which will save you the hassle of recreating an entire meal from scratch when you just don't feel like cooking. And not every meal has to be an actual meal, plan for nights when you can just have fruit and cheese and bread and a really lovely wine to go along with it. Serve cold cereal on occasion. Use your grill when possible. Make the entire family cook meals together. Put on loud music and make everyone help with the chopping and cooking and clean-up.
It's normal to get burnt out on cooking, it happens to me quite a bit, but it sounds to me you are mainly more resentful that the other people who shove food into their food holes aren't helping you more. Sit down with them, hand them each a cookbook or the latest issue of Food and Wine, and tell them that they are each responsible for picking out meals they want to help shop for and prepare. And if they don't help, give them a loaf of bread and some processed cheese slices and go take yourself out for some nice Thai food. In the meantime, I bet our lovely readers will come up with their favorite cooking tricks and easy meal recipes so I don't have to do any work here.
My six year old was invited to a sleepover birthday party. She really wants to go but I think she is too young, what do you think?
What kind of asshole has a sleepover birthday party for a bunch of 6-year-olds? Of course she is too young. Kids shouldn't spend the night at anyone else's house until they are eight at least, unless they are a relative. What will happen is either your kid will wet herself on accident because she can't find the restroom in a strange place in the middle of the night or else she will get scared and you will end up picking her up at three a.m. or else she will barely sleep and then you will get to deal with a cranky, overtired jerk kid the next day. No thank you. Birthday parties should be during the day. Not so late where it totally screws up an entire weekend day but not so early you are bitter because you have to bring your kid somewhere and can't enjoy your coffee and the paper before you rush out of the house. And age six is way too young for a sleepover. I know lots of parents do this early because what happens is some asshole parent in your kid's class does it and then all the other asshole parents do the same thing because their kid whines about wanting the same sort of party.
I would take your kid to the party and let them stay until close to their bedtime and then make them leave. Just tell your kid you are worried about them getting head lice and that head lice crawl into their ears and eat their brains and you heard that the hostess of this party possibly has head lice. Then just hope your kid doesn't repeat this and that you don't get an angry phone call from the asshole mother who is hosting the party. And this is why we call it Bad Mom Advice!
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