How to manage cooking dinner after work and with 2 toddlers fighting for attention? Please help!

Jessica - posted on 12/07/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Hi Moms,

I really need help! I am a working mom and I get home from work at about 7pm. Once home, I try my best to cook dinner within half hour to 40 minutes so that I can feed the kids latest by 8pm.

However, this is almost impossible with the 2 toddlers (3yrs & 18mths) fighting for my attention. They want me to play with them and keep coming to the kitchen so that they can be with me. Worst still they fight over little things and keep asking to be taken to the toilet or ask for something to drink, eat, toy, etc. All these interrupts my cooking and the dinner get on the table very late.

At times I feed them at 8.30pm which is not good as I need them to sleep by 9.30pm. I myself eat at 9.30 or 10pm which is also very bad.

I really have no idea how to manage as the minute I get home, they just refuse to let go of me. Cooking is a struggle and then feeding is another battle.

What do I do? I dread at the thought of going home although I miss both of them very much when I'm at work.

Please give me some ideas. Will truly appreciate.

THANKS!!!

9 Comments

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Karen - posted on 12/14/2011

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many things can be chopped up and kept in the fridge for a couple of days so if you know you're going to be using carrotts/celery/broccoli/potatoes, etc, chop them up in an evening and do lots. keep them in sealed containers in the fridge (and just keep the potatoes in water). then throughout the week they're ready to use, just pull out what you need and pop it in to whatever you're cooking!

Jenni - posted on 12/14/2011

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Do you have a table in the kitchen?

I also have an 18 month old and 3 year old. I usually sit them at the table (my 18 month old in her HC) and give them an activity to do. Like colouring. And I sing or rhyme to them while doing the dishes or making a meal.

Jessica - posted on 12/13/2011

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HI All,
Thanks so much for the idea. My dinner is almost ready for tonite. But this is just one day! I will need more ideas, motivation & support to turn this into habit.

It was a struggle to get dinner ready this morning but I somehow managed. Only late to work.

However, my 3 year old said he is not going to eat what I made today so I will still have to go home and cook something else for him.

Sharon - posted on 12/08/2011

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Hiya Jessica....I don't think any of ours are vegetarian :-( My husband is a huge meat fan so most things have some sort in it sorry.

Karen - posted on 12/08/2011

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i spend most of the day sunday cooking for the week - i freeze a few that will be eaten later in the week and the ones that will be eaten on monday and tuesday i just leave in the fridge. when i get home from work i just pop it in the oven to heat and away we go :) i like to make lasagna's, meatballs (veggie balls in your case) and sauce, and casseroles to freeze as they don't go to mush by being frozen. another thing is to get a slow cooker and have it going all day and when you get home supper is ready!

Kimberly - posted on 12/08/2011

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I know how hard this can be but being prepared is key. Cut up all veggies in the am and put in pot with water in fridge the when you get home just put on stove to cut. Even if you make up some stir fries and freeze in advance, pick up cooked rice or do you own when you get home and dinner is done it under 20 mins. I'm all for frozen meals defrosted then warmed up, everyone can have something different if they really want to. Or depending on your kitchen set up have them colour or play while your doing stuff so they can still talk to you and you can see what they want to show you

Jessica - posted on 12/07/2011

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HI Sharon,

Can I please get some recipes that I can freeze too? I'm a vegetarian.

Sharon - posted on 12/07/2011

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I make alot of meals in advance, and have them frozen in adults size & kids size portions. I just defrost them in the fridge overnight, and heat them up when we get home, or if I forget I just defrost them in the microwave slowly. If it's a meal that needs some fresh vegies on the side I have them peeled and par-boiled, them when I get home I just have to cook them a little longer. If there is a night I need to cook I'll throw on an episode of yo gabba gabba or diego, last for about 20mins, only keeps his full attention about 10mins, but still, it's 10mins I get to cook in peace for.

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