Why I Don’t Cook Turkey on Thanksgiving

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This is a story about why I don't cook turkey on Thanksgiving. It's okay to be efficient and go against the norm, its what being a working mom is all about.

I’ve been trying to avoid hosting Thanksgiving this year like the damn plague. So when we were all gathered for Halloween and my mom looked at me and said, “Are we coming to your house for Thanksgiving?” why didn’t I just say no?! Why! Everyone knows, I don’t cook turkey on Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of the rites of passages for a new mom, it seems. For 28 years, I enjoyed going elsewhere to eat delicious turkey and mashed potatoes. Now that I’m in the busiest season of my life, suddenly it is my problem and I really don’t like it. Cooking is not exactly one of my top skills. Despite the fact that I do manage to feed my family, it’s just not something I enjoy.

Why I don’t cook turkey on Thanksgiving

We moved into our house in February 2013, my daughter was 3 months old and I had just gone back to work from my (short) maternity leave. By the time Thanksgiving came around that year, I was maxed out. But being the overachiever that I am, of course I took on Thanksgiving dinner for my entire family.

As I started to plan, I immediately ran into a hiccup and it was not my lack of cooking skills (that’s what Pinterest is for, duh!). We had to spend the afternoon of Thanksgiving with my in-laws, so how on earth was I going to have a full meal ready by 4pm at my house? I made an executive decision. There would be no turkey.

Let me tell you, this was not a hit with my family. They still talk about the Thanksgiving that I made crock pot roast beef instead of turkey. People, it was really good roast beef, what the heck?

I’m going to break this down for you. I am not a superwoman. I really didn’t have time to prep and make a traditional Thanksgiving meal so I did the best I could. I still made a meal with many sides, geesh!

It made me chuckle when I read my fellow working mom, Christie’s, post the other day about Thanksgiving Tips for Working Moms. Her first tip: Buy a turkey!

My response to Christie’s 6 tips

1. Order a Thanksgiving meal.

I’d love to! I’m clearly failing at this working mom thing since I didn’t think of this before and then pass it off as my own. Genius Christie, simply genius!

2. Avoid Black Friday retail.

Who are you? I don’t think we can be friends anymore. Black Friday is a national holiday. Hell hath no fury like a working mom who doesn’t get her one shopping day in a year! (Editor’s note: There’s always Cyber Monday for those who prefer to avoid Black Friday madness.)

3. Get a gallon of lemonade from Chick-fil-A.

The nearest Chick-fil-A is exactly 1 hour and 37 minutes from my house. No, Google didn’t tell me that, I’ve timed it myself. Three times. Rub it in some more, why don’t you!

4. Paper plates.

I feel you on this one.

5. Put up your Christmas tree.

I’m Type-A and need to be in control, so this is basically like a mini-therapy session. Christmas tree on Thanksgiving it is this year!

6. Watch movies and relax.

Said the lady who didn’t cook :)!

Now I bet I didn’t help cure your overwhelmed self with any helpful tips today. You have two choices, add lots of wine to your Thanksgiving shopping list or follow Christie’s advice, she’s got this one figured out like a #GIRLBOSS!

This is a story about why I don't cook turkey on Thanksgiving. It's okay to be efficient and go against the norm, its what being a working mom is all about.

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Monica Froese

Monica is a working mom who lives in Buffalo, NY, and has one daughter who was born in 2012. She has a fantastic husband, Rob, who has encouraged and supported her through the tough transition into working mommy-hood. Her passion is to empower other women who choose to work after having kids and to bring attention to the antiquated policies that plague working mothers in the United States. In April 2015, she traveled to the White House to provide feedback on how current policies impact working moms in a small roundtable with President Obama’s senior advisor. Monica has worked at a Fortune 100 tech company since she was 20 years old. She started while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in legal studies with the intention of going to law school. She ultimately decided to achieve her MBA and is currently a Marketing Manager supporting vertical markets. She enjoys taking time off to have mommy-and-me days with her daughter and spending quiet nights watching late night TV with her husband to unwind from a long day. Monica’s personal blog is Redefining Mom.

9 Comments

  1. I don’t cook Thanksgiving either, LOL. But the best part is my mom hates it too! We are already talking about what delicious sides we should order with the precooked turkey from our local grocery store.

  2. Monica, I’m cracking up. Love this post, and I’m truly sorry there is no Chick-Fil-A closer to you ’cause that lemonade is the absolute best. I live in the south where we have multiple locations. Sorry! One way to solve not having to cook dinner for the entire family is moving far, far away …

    • Christie you know Chick-Fil-A is totally worth moving!

  3. Clearly, Monica, you don’t like to cook and you enjoy treating your family like leftovers. I’ll say a prayer for you while I’m feeding my family an organic, free-range turkey that I shot myself with a bow and arrow, then stuffed with my superior love.

    • Sara, I think you win the comments section today.

    • Sounds like a ton of fun! I will try to accomplish this in my spare time 🙂 lol thanks for the love Sara!

  4. If you want turkey, turn it into a project for those who aren’t cooking anything else. (I’d call it a man project, but it could just as easily be a Gen-Y-Fun-Aunt Project.) We do deep fried and/or smoker turkey every year which my Dad and Husband handle as if it were a scientific experiment or shuttle launch. It’s something they look forward to, keeps the oven open and gets us delicious turkey!

  5. My mom didn’t make Turkey for this Thanksgiving, and it was gay as fuck. Seriously, way to shit on a cherished tradition and one of the best parts of the holiday. Goddamn, if you didn’t work your pointless career, you could actually do your real job, which is be a MOM, which is the most honorable thing you could possibly do in the universe. Quit fucking around and get back in the kitchen, goddamn.

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