Choices and Decision Making


By Guest Blogger Kelly Duffy

“When you go through life, so sure of where you’re headin’, and you wind up lost, it’s the best thing that could have happened”

-Brad Paisley, “Find Your Self”

You may find this odd, but I wasn’t really a Brad Paisley fan until this morning. I found myself returning from the two hour marathon that is the morning drop off ritual (the two older to one school, the little guy to pre-school) and listening to the closing credits for Pixar’s’ “Cars”. Despite the fact that I’ve seen this movie close to a thousand times the song I quoted previously really jumped out at me. As a matter of fact the lesson of the entire film hit me powerfully right between the eyes. Who among us hasn’t veered off course because of detour signs somewhere in life?

One of the things I miss the most in life (besides a firm backside and my natural hair color) is the crystal clear vision I had of what I wanted for myself in the future. I was rock steady, unshakable in my convictions.  It was almost as if it was predetermined and nothing could get in the way. There was no self doubt, I was positively fearless. I can picture that young gal with her Pollyannish bravado just waiting to jump out into the world with her equally enthusiastic friends. “Here we go!” they all shout, knowing that with hard work and determination they would all arrive at their destination.

Cut to twenty years later and take a look at how many of us stuck to the original plan. Some of us are close, several are right on the mark, and most of us aimed high but didn’t hit the target. Let me preface this by letting you know that most of the women I spoke to were very honest about what they really wanted deep in their hearts. Even if that wish were as kooky as wanting to be a fairy princess, I let them run with it. How far away from the prize did we find ourselves? Let’s see.

I landed so far away from what I originally imagined that it could be said that I’m residing in a completely different universe. The plan I deviated from was not a realistic blue print by which to live a life.  When I was four, I desperately wanted to be a “drawer.” No, not the place you fold and place your socks, but someone who draws for a living. My mother was a frustrated artist (far more naturally talented than I’ll ever be) who chose motherhood and housewife duties over pursuing any kind of dreams she may have had.  When it came time to test my meddle, I gathered my best stuff, compiled a decent portfolio and prepared to submit it to the list of art schools my teachers had given me. Aghast, my parents discouraged this avenue and begged me to reconsider a four year liberal arts university. It was an easy choice given my expertise at quitting and the powerful influence of an overbearing mom and dad.  I still draw, but not with the passion I used to have. However I’ve gained some things I never imagined would be mine, a funny creative husband, a charming but sometimes challenging old house, three delightful (sometimes) kids, and two dogs and a guinea pig that screams. I feel happy, satisfied on most days and thankful that I have a life this full.

My friend, let’s call her Vicky, lived in a number of big cites after graduating from her very high falutin’ university. It was assumed she would go on and take the world of academia by storm, but she was presented with a whole host of issues that don’t usually plague the big brains. She was pregnant by her less than worthy boyfriend of two months.  Shocked we wondered how someone this smart, who was due to go to law school right after getting her master’s degree could have let this happen? I remember saying, “wow, if this can happen to her, then there really is no hope for the rest of us shmucks.” Last week I got a hold of her and posed the same question. Were there any regrets? Was she happy with what she had made of her life? The most surprising response came out of her mouth. “I wouldn’t have changed a thing, this is how it was meant to be and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Wow.

My other friend, who we’ll call Barb, has had her future in her apparel since the first day of high school. It was going to be fashion or nothing at all. She made all the right career moves and was even able to dance around a high profile layoff and turn it around into an advantage. She never had time for a serious relationship and instead went through a series of men as quickly as she changed outfits. Later on, however she turned around and realized she was sneaking up on forty and there was no one to share all this blinding greatness with. In a year she managed to get herself fired again (sort of on purpose), dive headfirst into a relationship with a great guy, spend time enjoying herself and finally get married.  I asked her about regrets and she took a moment to think back over her life and finally said “I’m sorry we never got to start that girl band in high school”. Hmmm, okay.

So with all this hoopla over the unhappiness rates for women, I wonder to myself how many gals are satisfied with what life has handed them so far. How many obstacles and what appeared to be insurmountable road blocks have you pole vaulted right over to get and keep what you want? Life doesn’t always turn out the way you thought it would, but sometimes having poor aim isn’t such a bad thing.

Kelly Duffy

http://dufmanno.wordpress.com

Readers, tell us, did you stray from your path in life? Are you happy with how things are going? What did you learn?

So, our brains constantly torture us to the tune of ; I should be spending more time with my kids, cooking healthier meals, calling friends more regularly, returning emails, working harder, going to the gym more often, being nicer to people, coming home earlier from the office, baking more, eating better… Oh the Guilt! Oh the Guilt!

Actually, guilt does serve its purpose on occasion. It sometimes guides us when things go wrong in our lives, when we’re not working hard enough, or when we’ve done something wrong, for example. But us ladies truly take guilt to a whole new level. I would even go so far as to call it our disease.  We suffer from guilt about so many things. Instead of recognizing all the wonderful things we do for those around us, we let the things we CAN’T do completely overtake our mind. This is a sad thing ladies. Sad. But I will tell you, I suffer from this disease as well! And it’s chronic.

I sold my business three years ago to be home with my kids, because I was feeling so guilty leaving them all the time. Now, I feel guilty if I can’t be at all the carpool pickups for my little son. Or I feel guilty if I want to take time alone. I feel guilty if I miss a dinner with the kids due to a school meeting. I feel guilty if I go to the 7:30am kick boxing class. I feel guilty ALL THE TIME. And I don’t know why. After all, I think I’m a pretty good mom, daughter, and wife. I just can’t turn off that guilt switch.

So what is the solution? Many experts say we truly need to put ourselves and our needs first. To take that “Me time.” Haven’t we all heard “The first Love, Self love.” or “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” and “Happiness comes from within. First please yourself, and then you’ll be pleasing to others?”

Well that shit is darn easier said than done!!!

There is such a fine line between pleasing and nurturing ourselves, and being selfish. That’s at least where I and so many of you struggle. If I treat myself to an afternoon alone, am I a bad mother? If I leave the office too early, am I bad employee? If I leave my marriage without trying, did I give up too soon?The list is endless.

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So, what do you do? Guilt can be very paralyzing and destructive. And the thing with guilt, is no one punishes you but yourself! Every woman deserves to be happy, and live their life to its maximum potential.

  • First, accept that you are human, and that you are always acting the best you can, at any given moment. Accept that humans fail and err, and all you can do is your best. Guilt keeps you stuck in the past, and doesn’t let you move forward. Let it go.  You’ll do better the next time.
  • This leads up to; if you made a mistake, learn your lesson and move forward. Learn to be resilient. It’s a process.
  • The “should-haves” cause tremendous guilt. Placing unrealistic expectations on yourself serves you no purpose other than to stress you out. This leads us back to learning to say no a little more, and saying it guilt free.
  • Don’t get sucked in when someone is trying to give you a guilt trip. For example, “Really don’t come if you don’t want to… Isn’t that too expensive for you?… You put your child in daycare after 3 months?… Shouldn’t you be home with your kids now?” Don’t even answer the question or you are being sucked in.
  • Remind yourself of ALL THE GOOD THINGS YOU OFFER TO THIS WORLD. Calm those negative and guilty thoughts. Seriously, the power of positive thinking is an incredible thing. You’re worth it. We’re all worth it. We all deserve a little “me time,” and deserve it guilt free.
  • And finally, stop asking yourselves, “What will the world think of me if I…” Stop caring what others think… you’ll see how much guilt dissipates once you stop caring about how the world views you. I know people who have mastered this art. They don’t give a sh*t what anyone thinks of them! And I tell you, they’re happy! Now, I’m not saying not to care or be accountable to your family and friends, but stop that need for external approval.

And stop living your lives the way OTHERS want or expect you to. And stop feeling guilty that you’re not perfect; my friends, neither are they!! Live your life according to your own values and beliefs. We are on this earth for a short time. Make is great.  Make it count.

xoxEDxox

Any of you have your own tips for calming the guilt in your brains? Share with our readers…

Friends! I love my friends. Growing up as an only child was quite lonely. I had always wanted an older sibling, preferably an older brother. A brother to come home to who would beat me up, someone to try smoking with, and teach me the ropes in life. Well, no such sibling ever came before nor after me, so I made due with the next best thing… friends. Older friends, younger friends. I had my core group, but never stuck eclusively to them. I always had friends in many circles. Friends for “a reason and a season.” And it continued over the years. My high school friends, my college friends, my carpool friends, my golf friends, my work friends, friends through my children, my old friends, my new friends. I love them all. They all hold a very special place in my heart.

When thinking of the old ones, there’s nothing quite like your old friends. Your friends you have that history with… that connection with.Your best friend since elementary school. Your neighbour you grew up with that you still keep in touch with. You just have that bond, that deep history together.

 

Yet, as you’ve grown, you’ve made new friends along the way. And while you may have a past with old friends, new ones come into your life based on where you’re at right now.

For example, I have my core group of friends from years ago that I still speak to very regularly. I love them, I have a history and bond with them. Fortunately, I still feel just as close with them today as before.

But, I also have a new group of friends. Some older than me. Women of all different groups. And I love these women. I had dinner last night with a very new friend, and it felt like I was having dinner with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. We sat down at 7:45 and didn’t get up until 11:30PM. We talked the night away over a yummy dinner and a bottle of wine. The connection was immediate, and we are just “on the same page.”

Some of you have written in about friends you have “outgrown.” By outgrow, you have said that both of you have changed and perhaps grown apart and you find yourselves in bouts of silence during conversations. Perhaps your priorities have shifted, and had you met this person today, there would have been no friendship at all. And while this is sad, this is life. We grow, we move, we transition, we change. Not everyone we grew up with still share that same compatibility. And I think we have to say, “that is okay.”

So, the “fence” issue here is, do you keep a friendship going with someone you share very little in common with just for history’s sake, or do you let the friendship fizzle? I think this is difficult to answer. We’re all busy women in our lives at this stage, be it working, single, married, divorced… whatever. Frienships should nurture us, not weigh us down. So I encourage you to let go of all friends that are toxic, that weigh you down.

Keep the good, throw away the bad. Friendships shouldn’t be about new or old, they should be about quality. I wish you a long and happy life with your bestest of friends! I wish you joy and tears for many more years.

New Friends and Old Friends
by Joseph Parry


Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
New-made friendships, like new wine,
Age will mellow and refine.
Friendships that have stood the test –
Time and change – are surely best;
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray,
Friendship never knows decay.
For ‘mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends, alas! may die,
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast –
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
 

What is your take on new and old friends? Do you have those you keep around that you should have thrown away long ago? Share some stories with our readers.

xoxEDxox

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When Elizabeth Edwards married John Edwards in 1977, she had but one request for her husband… that he be faithful to her. This was paramount to Elizabeth from day one. Unfortunately, we all know the outcome. I can only imagine her struggle living life on the fence with whether to stay or leave once she learned of his infidelities. She has recently documented some of those feelings in a new book, “Resilience.”

Let’s be honest, those people buying her memoirs, are probably looking for all the juicy details of her husband’s affair with videographer Rielle Hunter.  After all, former presidential candidate John Edwards  did not at all  seem the cheating type. He, the bright and charismatic possible future president. She, the devoted wife of 30 years who stood by her husband’s side during his entire campaign. Three beautiful children. The picture perfect family man.

But in fact, tragedy struck their family way before John’s betrayal. In 1996, their son Wade died in a car accident. And then years later, her breast cancer diagnosis, which is now in the terminal stage.

To give you a little background on the story, on December 28, 2006, two days after John announced he was running for president in 2008, he told Elizabeth he had broken the vow he made to her on their wedding day almost 30 years ago…. he had been unfaithful. Just imagine Elizabeth at this moment. First losing a child. Then being diagnosed with breast cancer. Then learning her husband had been unfaithful. One event after the next. Talk about finding strength you thought you never had. In fact, “Resilience” couldn’t be a more perfect title for her memoirs.

She describes the feelings that engulfed her body when she first learned of her husband’s affair, “After I cried and screamed, I went to the bathroom and threw up.”

And finally, as if all this wasn’t hurtful and humiliating enough, recently, DNA tests are supposed to show that John Edwards did in fact father a child with Rielle Hunter. After denying it.

So the big “fence” question, one that Hillary Clinton and Governor Eliot Spitzer’s wife faced, is why stay in the marriage? Personally, I feel they stayed for many reasons. But, I can only imagine the incredible pull in two directions. To stay with a man who had shared his bed with another woman time and time again,  or leave, and lose your power and status that has come as result of being this couple.  Plus, it is a very different thing when one can grieve privately, or when the whole world is watching and judging your every move.

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From left, Emma Claire, Elizabeth, Jack, John and Cate Edwards

This all leads me up to one big question: Would you stay with a spouse that cheated on you? Let me tell you, depending on who you ask, you would get a multitude of answers. For me, I have to say, it depends. That’s personal, so no judgement here ladies. I feel that if my husband went on a business trip and had a “slip up” one night, I would be more inclined to work it out, than if he had been having an ongoing love affair with a woman, and had been deliberately lying to me over and over again. This would kill me. This would kill my spirit. But, if it was one night, and he came to me right away, I think I would try and work it out. I don’t know for sure, and thankfully, AT LEAST TO MY KNOWLEDGE, I have not been faced with this dilemma.

So, while there is no right or wrong answer to leaving after a spouse cheats, every situation is different and needs to be assessed on a case by case basis. Experts say a major deciding factor is obviously your partner’s actions. Do you think it’s going to happen again? Is your partner truly sorry and feels remorse for what they’ve done? Have they offered to seek counseling to help them understand why they strayed in the first place? Trust is a major issue. How can Elizabeth Edwards ever trust again?

I will go more in-depth on infidelity and cheating in the future. For now, this was something to get you ladies thinking and talking. And I truly think,  no one can sit in judgement of someone else’s life unless they have walked in those shoes. Really. So, we cannot judge Elizabeth Edwards. She is dying, and maybe she compartmentalized this affair to help her get through her final days as a family unit. Maybe she wants to die in peace, not fighting. Irrespective of her decision, I feel tremendous sadness and compassion for this woman. She must sit on that fence every day wondering if she has made the right decision for herself and her happiness. That can’t be a comfortable place to sit.

What are you feelings?

xoxEDxox

See what other women are saying about my post on Blogher!

http://www.blogher.com/elizabeth-edwards-woman-fence

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Ladies, I just had to address the subject of in laws for all my girlfriends in Montreal. The stories, the laughs, the tears, it’s all very… well… amusing. I can’t tell you how many of my friends love to vent about their in laws!

It sort of goes something like this… “My mother in law is planning my whole life, and I want to tell her to back off… My father in law gave my child a hamburger when I clearly told him we’re VEGETARIANS… My mother in law is suffocating me…” And the stories go on and on.

So, do you tell them how you REALLY feel, or do you suck it up to avoid an argument?  It’s time to get off the fence and speak your ground, ladies! Sucking it up will only poison yourself and lead to resentment towards your husbands or boyfriends. There are ways to get your message across without playing mean, or hurting feelings.

 

Remember, your goal must be peace in the home. Peace between you and your mate. Letting the “in laws from hell” cause friction in your marriage isn’t worth it. You’re going to have to find the nice and politically correct way of telling your mother in law, that you just gave birth, your boobs are leaking milk everywhere, your moods are swinging around like a pendulum, and her coming every day, all day, HAS TO STOP!

 A few things you need to establish immediately:

  • You need to be teammates with your husband. United. He needs to make it clear that when his parents hurt you, offend you, or dismiss you, they are also hurting him. They DEFINITELY love him more than you, so if they see he’s upset, they’ll get the hint!
  • Be kind. For all you know, your mother in law has been neglected or cheated on. She’s a human being too with feelings and trying to see her with frailties will make her seem less aggressive. Tell her how you feel about the annoying stuff she’s doing, but tell her nicely. Be honest, and be kind in how you tell her. But definitely tell her, otherwise, she’ll just keep doing the same bothersome things over and over.
  • Treat your in laws as if you would a customer. Note…this is for the truly bad kind. I definitely don’t suggest this if you have great in laws, like me! Hee hee, it’s true! But seriously, if you treat them like you would a pesky customer, with respect, and let them have their say, things will go a lot smoother. Trust me.
  • It never hurts to vent. If your husband is tired of hearing about his parents, find a chat room or a girlfriend to vent to. We are often a great sounding board to bounce ideas off of.
  • And finally, laugh it off. It puts things into perspective. It’s only one aspect in your life, and sometimes, it’s actually quite funny!

And remember, they’re here to stay. You might as well make the best of them. And if they insult your cooking or tell you they doesn’t like the way you’re bringing up their grandchild, I say, give ’em big smile. Remember, you hold the power. They’ll only control you if you let them. Grab a hold of your power, women!

How have you dealt with your in laws? Any tips you can share with our readers? Let me finish by saying you don’t need to sign in with a name or email address… it can be an anonymous post. This way, the IL will never find out!

xoxEDxox

PS – I would like to conclude today’s entry by saying how utterly disgusted I am with the news coming out of Mackenzie Phillip’s 10-year affair with her father, musician John Phillips. I could vomit.

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Good Morning, m’Ladies. I started writing a book a few years ago. I just found it on my computer today and thought I would share the first page with you. The issues are pertinent today, and it’s what some of you have been stuck on the fence about. I owned a good business at the time, but was deciding if I should sell it or not. Obviously you know the outcome, but here is page 1.

Just so you know, I had two titles.

“If you Can’t Take the Heat, Get out of the Kitchen”

Trading it all in for Sanity

or

Knowing when to pull the plug on your career

MY DECISION ON WHETHER TO STAY IN OR GET OUT

And while my life was just too busy at the time to complete it, I thought I’d share.

Page 1:

“So, you’ve finished years of schooling, graduated with top honors, you’re making a nice salary, you have a few beautiful kids, and things couldn’t be better… right? WRONG. You are overworked, overstressed, and are lacking some serious alone time.The “fine balance theory” of women being able to juggle a career, a home, a husband, and happiness is a very ancient concept. However, the issues arising for young working women today couldn’t be more modern.  It is virtually impossible to have a one-income household today. If you want to be able to give your children what your baby-booming parents gave you… private school, camps, cars and comforts, you’d better be working. So, going to work becomes less of a luxury and more of a necessity. And I don’t mean to afford that bigger house or that fancy car… I mean diapers, formula, nursery, groceries… everyday living expenses.

So, here comes the dilemma. Unless you are a trust fund baby, or your husband is earning big dough, you are faced with what many women are faced with today….the exhaustion and stress that result from trying to achieve that fine balance. But, for some women, that struggle for balance is just too much to bear. In my case, that was just the case. It’s the cost / benefit concept for many women– by working you can afford the nicer things, but your body cannot afford the stress. So, you waver, do I give it all up, or do I hang on and hope things get better? Do I give up time with my children to be able to give them the good life, or do I settle for less knowing it brings sanity?

This book is for those female business owners or high powered career women wondering if it’s all worth it. I have documented the feelings and emotions I have been going through over the past while deciding whether or not to stay in or get out. I am hoping it might help other women realize they are not alone. Actually, when I started the book, the end was undetermined. Do I keep something going that has given me passion, self-confidence, and independence, or do I throw in the towel?….”  END OF PAGE 1.

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And so, for all you women wondering whether or not to throw in the towel on your careers, or even to quit the current job you’re in, it’s a process. Here are some deciding factors which I hope will guide you in the right direction:

1) Your job is making you sick. It’s not worth it to get physically or mentally ill over a job. If you are, you have to put your well-being first.

2) You are being marginalized at the office. Your boss has taken away responsibilities, and you are being treated like an invisible woman. You are no longer invited to meetings, and suddenly find yourself on the “outs.” If this is the case, speak to your boss first, but you may have to catch the hint and take a hike. Your work should be a place where you can grow and flourish. Not a place where your wings are being clipped.

3) You’ve outgrown your job. You may have started as a junior, but have gained all the expertise in your field, maybe more than your job requires now. You are feeling under stimulated and bored. A trip to the water machine for a quick chat is more stimulating than the work at hand. You know it’s time, baby! Be courageous. It takes a true woman to move out of a job that has caused you complacency.

4) You receive a better offer somewhere else. If you have been stuck at the same job, for the same pay for a very long time, and what seems like a great offer is blown your way, CONSIDER IT. But beware, the grass often looks greener on the other side of the fence. And only you know if that salary increase means taking on more responsiblity, which you might not be ready for right now. But, if your skills are being underappreciated where you are, it may be worth an interview.

5) Work is interfering with home life. If you are being forced to travel weeks on end. Night meetings until 10PM. Your daily lunch hour is as long as a pee break. It may be your time. Naturally, if you are single, and this feels ok, then go for it. Reach for the stars. Save up as much as you can before you settle in matrimony bliss, if that’s your long term goal. But if you’re a mom, and you’re not waking up with your kids, or tucking them in at night, it may be time to re-evaluate your priorities. Just a thought.

So, whether you’re a career woman thinking of “throwing in the towel,” as I did, or just want to change jobs, always think it through. It’s a major decision either way. Whatever you decide, I wish you happiness, peace and success in your next endeavor. And remember, a winner is always a winner. Even if it’s covered in an apron and whole wheat flour!

xoxEDxox

If there is one daily question in our house that is sure to get me aggravated, it’s “What’s for dinner?” This is because dinnertime has been, and continues to be a thing of frustration for me. Just the sound of the question drives me bananas.  Trying to accommodate the nutritional needs and eating preferences of 4 different people. So, dinnertime in our house kinda goes something like this. Kids eat 5:30PM. Parents eat anywhere from 6:30 to 7:30PM, (while the kids eat their fruits so at least we’re sitting as a family).

Truth is, we no longer eat dinner as a family unit since my big son started grade 1 this month. I find it just too difficult. The boys start whining about dinner around 5pm, “I’m starving, I can’t wait for daddy to come home”. My husband gets home from the office anywhere between 6:30 – 7:30PM, so waiting for him since my big son started grade 1, no longer happens (grade 1 finishes at 4, and I understand his need for a nice meal soon after homework is done). This saddens me greatly, but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I really believe, “Why would I give them a snack at 5:30, when they’re hungry for dinner at that time?” I have never been a big believer in giving snacks at mealtimes, or snacks to stall meals. I like to feed them when they’re hungry. I have been known to make whole wheat and organic cheese Kraft Dinner at 10am, grilled cheese at 10:30am, hamburgers at 3:55pm. I feed on demand. I know this makes me sound like a parent being dominated by a tiny person, but when you have a son who barely eats, I like to strike while it’s hot. So, I always sit with the boys at 5:30PM and they eat, and I watch and pray. And then I sit down for my own meal at 7 with my husband.

Now, this is how the real dinner dilemma goes for me.  A meal for 3 (myself, my husband, my 2-year old), and another meal for 1 (my grade 1 boy). ALL THE TIME. I try and cook healthy, and I pride myself on preparing nice fresh and healthy meals. There’s always a soup or salad to start, followed by a protein, carb and vegetable. Just  like Mary Poppins, thank you very much! That’s the case of course, for the group of 3.  The 4th meal, for my big son, barely contains a vegetable (he only eats corn on the cob and celery), and it’s always a WHITE LOOKING MEAL (or orange… Kraft Dinner, grilled cheese, plain noodles… you see where I’m going with this?). We can get a little spaghetti and meatsauce or hamburger in once in a while, but not with a veggie, and he takes 2 bites. Now, I’M NOT EVEN A GOOD COOK, NOT DO I EVEN ENJOY IT, so this shit stresses me out when I go to the grocery store. What am I making for the threesome, what am I making  for the big kid? Top that off with the fact that my husband eats like a bird. I have really  no one to cook for, other than myself and my two year old who, god bless him, has my appetite, but I don’t think my metabolism!!! So, unless I plan on continuing to make myself crazy, or turn everyone into a pizza, I’m gonna have to find a solution. I’m truly tired of making two meals, but I’m not ready yet to send my thin older son to bed without dinner. My friends say “Offer Johnny, (we’ll call my 6 year old) what the rest of the family is eating, and if he doesn’t like it, tough!” Ladies, I just ain’t there yet. Maybe I baby him, but I’m just not gonna do it.

So, if this insanity sounds familiar, at least be happy you’re not alone. Misery loves company!

Oh ya, and every time my “Johnny” asks for fish sticks, I just cringe. He was brought up on all organic and home cooked vegetables. I fed him like a prince. And now he only asks for the white foods. My little one, feed him acetone, and he takes it all in, every last drop, and with a smile might I add. Gotta love kids. Born to the same parents, same gene pool, completely different creatures.

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So, here are some useful tips to solving the dinner dilemma and believe me ladies, I’m trying desperately to incorporate them into my own house. Again, like my BBF Oprah says, I’m just “a work in progress.”

  • Plan ahead. I don’t do this often enough but I should. Don’t just whip something up at the last minute. I’m not saying don’t cook quick and healthy meals. I mean have the ingredients in your house, BEFOREHAND, so when it’s time to start dinner, you have what you need. If you work, make a big order on the weekends and freeze. Pull out your daily chicken or meats the morning you leave for work, and have your veggies and rice and potatoes already in the fridge or pantry from your weekend shopping. Try getting to the fruit store at least twice during the week, so there are lots of healthy choices for snacks and side dishes.
  • Foods that kids like can often be made healthy. Make your own whole wheat dough, get some organic tomato sauce, some organic cheese, throw some veggies on top, with a side salad, and you have yourself a delicious and healthy meal for the whole family. Try to compromise. Have your hubby eat pizza one night, and the kids eat steak or salmon another night. Explain to your husband that even though they want a big plate of pasta and meatsauce, or steak,  some nights they have to eat a simple BBQ chicken, cuz that’s what the kids like. Plus you don’t want to turn in to me, and start making a millions meals for everyone. Start that early, my friends!
  • Make extra, and get your family used to eating left-overs. Again, not something my husband likes… AT ALL but it’s something he’s getting used to. Some chicken breasts on the BBQ one night can serve as a great chicken salad the next night. Just a thought.
  • Have your family members suggest what they like. Why wrack your brain? Supply and demand. If they can suggest something healthy and good for the whole family, why not give in? And if budget permits, an occasional splurge on chinese food take out or whatever the family loves to order in could be fun.
  • Try out a few different recipes and see what works. Even a horrible cook like me can whip up some great and easy with recipes online, or from friends. Open yourself up a good bottle of wine, play some tunes, and try and have fun with it. Don’t make mealtime something so serious. Try new recipes. Maybe someone in your family will like it, and hey, that’s one more step in the right direction.
  • And finally, if they don’t like it, THEY CAN MAKE IT THEMSELVES! We aren’t martyrs. We are human beings with feelings, and  I say, if they all don’t like what we’re whippin up, let ’em whip it up themselves.

Ladies, I would love to know how it works in your families, and how you’re surviving mealtimes! Please share your comments below to help us all get off the fence with the dinner dilemma!

xoxEDxox

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