Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I hate cooking for my family.

There.  I said it.

I try to be a good cook for them.
I try to make nice things to eat that they will like.
And you know what?   After 35 years of making the same five recipes I want to scream.

Two nights ago I asked Katie what she loved to eat.

She said chicken fingers from restaurants and mac and cheese.
She loves it in a box and at nearly every restaurant.

So when I saw a recipe for a baked macaroni and cheese I thought I would be a nice mom and make it for her.  I thought she would be thrilled to have something delicious after one of her long days.

I spent at least $15 on the ingredients.  Happily, I made John Legend's famous macaroni and cheese as seen on Martha Stewart.

(I can not eat cheddar cheese it gives me a tummy this was a labor of love just for Katie.)

It looked beautiful!

I tasted it and it was plain. 
But like I said, I'm not a good judge of these things cause I don't like mac and cheese...and my taste buds are still off from time to time.


Katie had a long day yesterday; school, softball game and choir concert.
When we got home I warmed up some of the macaroni for her.

She hated it.
Picked at it.
Will not eat another piece, I am sure.

and so....

The top three reasons I hate cooking for my family.

3. It's a waste of money
2. It makes me angry
1. It feels like a huge rejection

From now on I will joyfully buy this stuff.
Katie will be making it for herself .

And that's why I hate cooking for my family.


p.s. this is not the first time this has happened...
i've felt this rejection many many times before

the macaroni and cheese will be thrown out

if you want the recipe.
google it.


  1. sonjasunshine10:57 AM

    Bless your heart. As I read this post I thought, "This could be me writing!" I love my family to pieces and I LOVE to cook - but I HATE cooking for my family. Both my girls and my husband actually prefer cheap, fake restaurant/store food over homemade anything. And I am a very good cook! I cook for church dinners, neighbors and extended family and always get lots of compliments. Hey, I'D rather eat my own cooking. Well, if it makes you feel any better, it's not just you!

  2. Can you ship that to Indiana? I know four kids that would eat that up!! Sorry mama!

  3. I'm so sorry. I guess you could look at it another way: You can "envy" me, who has a family who adores exotic and elaborate meals that take HOURS to prepare. Every, single, night. Oy.

  4. This post expresses my entire cooking life with my family. Thank you! I love my family, but I dislike them at meal time. It is a thorn in my side.
    Frustrated Cook

  5. I am singing a rewritten version of "All of Me" in my head..."Eat all of me, Katie, ALL of me. Your mom worked so hard on this, paid mega bucks on this. Eat all of me. ALLLLLLL of me."

    Would that help her like it?

    Back to work. Obviously a little punchy today (-:


  6. YES!!! I've only been cooking for my boys for 15 years but so much YES. It's exhausting. I've done the same thing, tried to make from scratch something that they like from a box and there's just. no. point. Hugs!!!

  7. Bless you, Donna. I have unsuccessfully tried to campaign for dinner to be erased from the earth. I cannot eat another taco. I cannot even look at another plate of spaghetti or a slice of cheese pizza. I can't taste another grilled cheese or piece of lasagna. These things are forever ruined for me because they are on the short list of things my preteen will eat for dinner. I too have made homemade mac and cheese only to have it picked at and thrown away. You are not alone in rejection!! I could have written your post nearly word for word. Not that I ever want her to leave me a day before she's ready to fly, but I do sometimes dream of making really tasty recipes for my husband and I without having to prepare a separate plate of food along side it that has a taco or mac and cheese on it!

  8. Feeling your pain -- and the pain of all who commented that they struggle with dinner/cooking, too. The only thing I dislike more is grocery shopping.

    P.S. That mac-n-cheese does look beautiful.

  9. Amy J in WI11:48 AM

    Oh, Donna. I think you have struck a nerve in moms everywhere! I have had the same experience as well. Fortunately, I have a husband who will eat ANYTHING. He eats for survival, not for taste. Works for me.

  10. I add my heart felt sympathy to the above.

    I had one picky eater in my mix, and it was a tough row to hoe. Ugh.

    Now, it's so nice to be cooking just for my hubby and me. Yes, he's a vegetarian, but he adores what I make and even likes leftovers!! He's a keeper.

    My favorite mac and cheese is Jamie Oliver's recipe from "Ministry of Food" cookbook: half pasta, half cauliflower - with the cheeses. It's the bomb.

    Hang in there, Miz Boo. Bless your heart. Mean it.

    1. Anonymous12:24 PM

      Susan, that Mac and Cheese with cauliflower sounds absolutely wonderful. I just looked up the recipe and I am going to try it. Yum.

      Debbie Z.

      P.S. Donna, I too feel your pain along with so many others. I had one picky eater kid and it drove me crazy. And guess what, he is back living with us as an adult for a period of time. I still have to think about what he will eat when preparing meals because I refuse to cook two separate things. If I fix something more adventuresome for my husband and me, my son fixes himself a frozen pizza. Yuck.

    2. It's a great cookbook. And the recipe is simple: cheddar (I use the sharper English style white), parmesan, creme fr (or sour cream) and the pasta/cauliflower combo. We love it! Hope you do, too :-) and the parsley really adds a bit of zip (you don't need much) enjoy!

    3. Anonymous10:15 PM

      Susan, thanks for the white cheddar tip. And is creme fraiche better in it than sour cream? Also do you just stir it up and eat it that way or do you broil it under the broiler until browned on top like the recipe states? Can't wait to try this. Donna's Mac and Cheese is so beautifully browned. Looks delicious.

      Debbie Z.

    4. Creme fraiche is fancier sour cream ... if it's hard to find or spendy use full fat sour cream ;-) It's common here and the same price. I think a quick browning on top is nice, as long as it doesn't dry out. You're right, Donna 's looks great!! But often we just stir it up and eat it!

  11. P.S. the photo makes me hungry, just looking at it! Yummmmm.

  12. Oops. Well when you made me your layered salad I loved it Donna Boo. I think its very hard to match some foods. So you can't satisfy them with homemade Mac n cheese. They keep growing don't they? Take a week off I say. Tell everyone: The house will have fresh fruit, cheese and frozen pizzas, now Knock yourselves out. My mom used to get so sick of us asking her what's for dinner she would just say....cereal. And that was her dream. When my father treated himself to fishing and hunting trips we just scavenged and we were fine. (Until we got chunky and shhhhh she told us to take Dexatrim.) Oh my where has this post gone?

    1. I am laughing so hard. Our moms must have known one another.

    2. I'm laughing, too, and like your style, Kathy! If they don't like it they can dang well fend for themselves!

  13. Me, too. I love my kids. I really do. But when I labor over cooking something and it flops, or they don't like it for whatever reason (even a valid one) it hurts. I made gluten free mac and cheese and it was awful. I didn't properly follow a recipe. I don't know how to cook with gluten free noodles - yet. It was beyond bland. It was awful. I didn't feel good about it. It got fed to the dogs. Not that it was good for them, But they loved it.

  14. We have had some luck with emeals and I just ordered a new cookbook...but my kids are not even through elementary school yet. I think my mom (there were 5 kids at home) might have been a little burnt out too, because she let me take over more and more meals, from basic things in junior high, to experimenting (why I thought I could make fried rice when I had never had it...without a recipe??), to having a good handle on most basic recipes by the time I graduated. Maybe it's time to let Katie make some things from time to time?

  15. I feel your pain. I get tired of the same stuff all the time, or not getting to make stuff I like because I'm the only one who likes it. Oh, I've found some new stuff we both like, but I hate making it because it is so labor intensive (Marlboro Man Sandwiches and Mongolian beef being the main culprits). My kids are old enough to cook for themselves but don't want to make them either (they've seen how much work it is), so many nights dinner is just a "fend for yourself" night, which means cereal, poptarts, popcorn, or frozen pizza.... or nothing. I need a big scarlet F for failure.

  16. Anonymous3:49 PM

    What a hot button topic this is and I thought I was the only one that ever had this happen. ;-) Now that my husband is retired he has taken over cooking for us...what joy, what a blessing, I am thrilled. My mother hated to cook, but she did make a great pot roast and we had meals off of it for a week. Sending hugs to all of you that are still working in the kitchen and praying that somehow a child or hubby or friend will help you out. I have never done it, but I know folks who trade meals, the mothers cooks for two families for a couple of meals and then they trade. I have often wondered how that works out. Probably, those are families with parents and children who will eat anything. love and prayers, jep

  17. I understand about the same five recipes. My daughter loans me her cookbooks and we try new recipes from them. My new favorite is a Williams-Sonoma Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry. Yummy, but time consuming. And crock pot recipes. I love crock pot recipes.
    You know what costs me a fortune to make? Lasagna and a big salad with bread. Whoa.

    If you ever want to try mac and cheese again, email me and I'll send you our recipe. Easy peasy and tasty.

  18. That's a bummer, Donna. Truly. My boys and hubby would eat anything. Daughter was another story. But you know what? I tried not to become a short-order cook. It's sad some of these moms feel they have to prepare something their kids will eat. I prepared one meal and if they didn't like it they could scrounge up something or go hungry. It might seem harsh but just didn't think it served them best to dictate the family's diet. Now they're on their own/married so it's nice just feeding hubby and me. I'm sorry cooking is hard for you! No fun.

  19. I am an amazing mother and have the most wonderful sons...and also do not like that part! I guess we all have our talents. I don't scrapbook either and have no guilt. Loved this post!!

  20. My daughter claims mac n cheese is one of her favorite dishes but she what she really means is a stouffers microwave or Annie's from the box. It turns out, she likes it when it's loose -- I mean, quirky much? I suppose I could just file that under you like it how you like it. I like all mac n cheese, so I'm sorry I'm not there to eat your leftovers. Ree's new cookbook is all about Dinner -- sounds like the perfect topic for your readers! :)

  21. Anonymous4:38 AM

    THANK YOU! Thank you for admitting that you hate cooking for your family. I do to!! The only reason I do cook is because they would starve otherwise. :) Or live off of cereal and milk and candy. My family has rejected food before too...and one member of the family always has something to say about the temperature of everything. I'm either serving things too hot or too cold. Hahahaha.

  22. Bummer, Donna. :( I like to cook, (not love), but my work hours keep me form doing it these days accept for a couple times a week. My girls are not picky eaters, but my boys always have been. However, I am on a gluten free diet and we found out one of my girls has a milk intolerance. Those two things make it really hard to cook a decent dinner. I made a wheat free, milk free (she can have extra sharp cheddar) mac and cheese and it was expensive and didn't taste very good. :( We are getting really bored with chicken breast and brown rice! I miss making chicken potpies. We just found out that our youngest has high cholesterol, so that is a new battle we have to figure out.

  23. janice9:04 AM

    I would have given up a lot sooner than you!! Spencer has been a very picky eater but is coming around. But I'm a stricter mom, i think, so it's eat it or go hungry around here (and no cereal for dinner replacements)
    This week, because I've been so busy at work, they've had: Samurai Sam's, pizza and mac n cheese from the box. They're still alive and sassy as ever.
    And, I don't take their food preferences personally, that's about them...this whole cooking to please your family is another unattainable standard we've dumped on women as a requirement of being a good mother.
    If I was required to knit my family socks to be accepted by society as a good mother I'd be in trouble and we'd all have cold feet.

    1. Very funny Janice...and very true!

      I know I am way too codependent about the whole thing.

      I do hate to waste money tho! That's really bugs me.

    2. We're the same, Janice - you absolutely do not have to eat what I make, but you absolutely do not get anything else. Make your choice. :)

  24. Anonymous9:52 AM

    I know exactly how you feel! Think up something to make. Make a list. Go to the store and drag home the ingredients. Spend 30-60 minutes making it. All for what - to eat it in 10 minutes? Oh yes, and then clean it all up. Not enjoyable!!

    1. Anonymous11:00 AM


      Oh man, and that's if they like the food. And if your lucky you get a "thanks" in passing.

      Hubby doesn't understand why I get mad when after one bite he goes "I don't like this". Ugh, really? Because my whole goal was to spend half my day making something you didn't like!! And when I get really mad is when the food is good, he just doesn't like it for some reason (it has peas, is that a cream sauce?, tonight I wanted something different)

      90% of the time I like the process of cooking, and my family is usually pretty good eaters and things go just fine, so it doesn't bother me, but some nights....sigh.....

      Thank you all for saying it! Sometimes I really hate cooking for my family!!

    2. Anonymous6:35 PM

      I believe that prep time should equal eating time. It never is.

      I try to make something decent most nights, but I do love when I call an FFY night (FEND FOR YOURSELF!).

      Glad to know there are so many of us who don't love cooking!

      Bridget in Minnesota

  25. I feel your pain.

    I find myself asking...mostly what health plan are you on today? Bulking? Low Carb? Low fat? I have no idea what to cook any more! The grown kids like no carbs.....the littles (soccer players) still need and love spaghetti and other pasta dishes. This kid loves Greek yogurt, that one hates it. This one is lactose intolerant, that one guzzles milk. I could go on and on....

    Not only do I HATE cooking. I HATE going to the grocery store. There, I said it. :)

  26. Anonymous11:05 AM

    Miz Boo, I feel for you. When Kris and I were first married I wanted to scream because he came from a very picky eater family. But, he has come to the other side....mostly. His mom is amazed at some of the dishes he'll eat of mine.
    I cook supper about 3 times a week. I like to try new recipes, but I also look for ones that I know they'll probably eat. If they don't like it....there's peanut butter toast or cereal. Good luck. Sometimes I cook a recipe that I know they won't like, but I love food and love to cook and if I'm craving something I'm gonna make it. And I'll eat it by my dang self. : )
    I admit the whole finding a recipe, going to the store, bringing it home, unloading it, preparing, cooking, serving, cleaning thing......exhausting.
    I think the macaroni looks delicious. I love boxed mac-n-cheese the best though. I've tried making homemade only to be disappointed.
    Off to lay out some chicken for tonight's dinner. LOL
    Sarah P. from Iowa

    1. I'm making beef stew in the crock pot. Final Softball game tonight.

      I cook for myself a lot too. But then I am too tired to cook for them...

      I say...I already cooked today.

  27. I can't wait to read all of the comments! But, I would like to join you and say ME TOO!
    So, here is my dilemma: the kids will complain about everything, but mostly, out of necessity, they will eat anything. Gary is the big problem. He won't eat anything. I get so irked. I spend lots of money on ingredients. I try new things. He hates everything. Do you know what he wants me to make him? Shrimp. Shrimp that costs $30 a bag. I tell him that we can not afford that and he says, "Well, that is what I want." I do make it about once every other week, but every time I make it I feel angry. I feel like he is being so selfish.

    I try to cook in the crock pot and it usually turns out mushy. I make tacos every week and the kids love it. I make spaghetti just about every week and sometimes they love it and sometimes they hate it. I make toasted cheese and Bria complains that it is not a real dinner. Gary eats out every night that I don't make shrimp, so basically 28 nights a month. Then the kids say, "Why can't we eat out?" Ay yi yi.

    My Mom is a great cook. She always made yummy suppers. I want to be like her.

  28. That happens all to often! We have similar experiences at my house all. the. time.

  29. That happens all to often! We have similar experiences at my house all. the. time.

  30. Anonymous7:37 PM

    I can so relate to all of this. My husband is a picky eater and turns his nose up at leftovers. Only recently (after 18 years) did I find out the astonishing depth of his dislike. Honestly it is almost like a phobia. I get tired of making food, which does NOT come easily to me, then getting a 'me' reaction at best and throwing it away. He is also so sensitive to spice now that you can't have a grain of pepper in anything.. he finds EVERYTHING spicy. Finally, he's getting older and this is all getting worse, then there's my daughter. She is less picky but I still get tired of trying to prepare thoughtful lunches that have at least some nutritional value only to watch that food come back home while simultaneously she proclaims that she is starving. I'm really just done with this so much. Then I have to the grocery and try to figure out what to buy. I honestly feel like running away sometimes. We eat out a lot and about half.the time that is ok and the other half they can't agree where to.go, or its expensive, or it takes too much time on a school night. YUCK.


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