I used to cook fantastic dinners. Complete, balanced and without sounding cocky, impressive.

Back when I was a mother of one, working full-time in a fast-paced, demanding PR agency, I came home almost every day and made delicious, thought out meals.

I don’t know how the hell I pulled it off.

Since then, a lot has changed. I got divorced. Remarried. Added another child to my brood. Quit the corporate thing and hatched my own business. And I’m lucky if I get a REAL dinner on the table twice a week. You’d think I would have so much more time to make Instagram-worthy meals since I work from home. But the reality is, being home with children all day can be an absolute shitshow.

I get frazzled easily when dinner time rolls around. I find myself in a recipe rut. I have an appreciative but picky husband. Two kids who won’t eat the same thing. And what used to seem like major culinary chops has evolved into a woman who burns chicken nuggets and forgets to defrost something meant to be part of the dinner, but realizes it way too late.

The hour leading up to dinner is also my toddler’s witching hour. So she is usually pulling at my clothes while I’m trying to cook and more times than not, I end up holding her and cooking with one hand.

By the time my husband gets home, I often feel like I’m minutes away from rocking in the corner, and of course the cranky toddler gains a cheerful second wind as if she wasn’t just trying to aggressively climb back into the womb. My husband just looks at me and smiles because he knows I’m having a WTF moment.

We sit down to eat together but it’s hardly reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting. My older daughter inevitability finds something wrong with her meal, the toddler is throwing hers to the dog sitting under her high chair. And my husband thanks me (genuinely) for making dinner, but I can tell he’s underwhelmed.

Dinner time makes me feel defeated. I’m tired and overwhelmed and cranky. I’m over it. But I’m the mom, so I have to hold it together. And I do. So many of us do.

So, shout out to all you out there who feel the dinner time struggle. I feel you. ❤️