No matter where your skills rate on the cooking scale, making dinner for a family is a struggle. You can be an expert at making soufflés and other challenging dishes, but be totally cut down to size by a child who won't eat a thing you serve.
No matter how hard the chore is to face, as parents we're obligated to put our best foot forward and live the dinner-time struggle day in and day out. Kids have to eat, after all. (Or at least, they have to pick at their food.)
Here are 16 of the worst dinner-time struggles every parent faces, because we want you to know that you are not alone.
1. Try as you might, it's impossible to get them to eat broccoli.
No matter how much butter, or cheese, you topped it with.
2. Everyone is on a different diet. One kid won't eat meat. The other won't eat gluten. No one wants vegetables. There's basically nothing left.
3. One day they love your meatloaf, and the next week it's absolutely inedible.
4. You rushed to buy groceries and get home in time to make dinner, only to find out that no one is hungry.
(Never should have bought those Doritos.)
5. In a moment of weakness you ordered pizza because you just couldn't deal, and now it's all they ask for.
It's getting really hard to not give in.
6. They are your toughest critics.
"Chicken's dry. Pasta's bland. Salad's gross." Thanks, guys.
7. You're almost always mistaken for a waitress, getting up for special requests more often than you're actually sitting down at the table.
8. You've eaten more meals made up of what was left on your child's plates than you'll ever care to admit.
9. Proper etiquette is remarkably absent, especially from those who should know better.
10. You've wondered more than once: Can I serve toast for dinner?
11. The days of cooking for fun are long behind you.
12. Eating a meal at an enjoyable pace is nothing more than a distant memory.
Better shovel it in while you have a chance, because you never know might what happen next.
13. A glass of wine before dinner looks a lot more like this now.
14.You can't make it through cooking a meal without being interrupted at least five times.
15. No matter how much work goes into a meal, your toddler just throws it on the floor. Or hides pieces under the high chair. Or both.
16. And when they do finally eat, the mere sight of them getting food from plate to mouth makes you lose your appetite.