Working Moms Against Cooking Guilt

Working Moms Who Don’t Cook

Working Moms Against Cooking Guilt

I admit it. I don’t like to cook. At all. It’s partly discretionary time. As in I don’t have a lot of it. Since ‘free’ time is rare, I prefer not to spend those few precious minutes cooking. After working a full day. But honestly, I just don’t enjoy cooking. So, most often, this working mom doesn’t cook.

 

The Definition of Cooking

WorkingMomsWhoPrepareMeals

Let me clarify my definition of cook. We eat a lot of sandwiches at the Gibson house. I don’t consider putting bologna in between two pieces of bread cooking. I call that preparing a meal. So, I prepare a lot of meals that are quick, fairly nutritious, and easy.

 

Sample Working Mom’s Weeknight Meal

If you love to cook, don’t judge my typical during-the-work-week meal for my family:

  • Deli turkey with provolone on wheat
  • Organic, baked onion rings (I understand organic doesn’t make it healthy), macaroni and cheese, or some side we all agree on
  • Broccoli or some type of vegetable
  • Apple slices or a banana (or other type of fruit)

This meal gets the job done. My family is fed and proper food USDA-recommended food groups are consumed. Sometimes I go wild and fix grilled cheeses. Oftentimes, honestly, we get take out. But, all in all, I fulfill a need and no one starves in the Gibson house.

 

Working Mom Wisdom

WorkingMomWisdom

I’m about to share wisdom with other working moms that has taken me several years to learn:

I don’t have to be awesome at everything.

Awesome at my career, yes. Awesome at being a mom, yes. Etc. But awesome at cooking? No. I just don’t care about accolades for cooking.

 

Working Mom Gene

WorkingCareerMom

I truly believe mothers, especially working moms, have a unique gene causing us to feel immense guilt that we are not Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is a fictional character. A fashion-forward, kick-ass character, but still, not real. We are real women. And real women can do a lot of stuff, as in queens of multitasking. But just because we can do a lot of stuff doesn’t mean we should do a lot of stuff.

Logistically, I can work a full day, pick up my kids from preschool, start laundry, watch them, AND cook a gourmet meal before my husband gets home. But I shouldn’t. As my oldest would say, it’s just not a ‘smart choice’.

I shouldn’t spread myself so thin and miss out on quality time with my kids. Or write, which I love, and sharpen my saw so I feel rejuvenated to take care of the rest of the family. While it would feel great if my husband bragged to everyone how perfectly clean the house was and how delicious all my meals were, I can live without that kind of praise.

Instead, I’d rather be a rock star professional who gets promoted so my kids can show off their cool career mom at career day at school. I’d rather be the mom who can teach my children real-world leadership skills so I can help prepare them for their future professional lives. Concepts they just won’t learn in school, at least not the way I would want or have experienced myself.

 

Erase Your Working Mom Guilt

 EraseWorkingMomGuilt

The point is, it’s OK if you hate to cook or just don’t have time to make all the fancy dishes on Pinterest. Join the Working Mom’s Guilt Free Club where you can leave the burdens of perfection at the door. Fix your family Chef Boyardee. The lasagna has no preservatives, and it’s really tasty. Get a $10 pizza from Pizza Hut. Maybe not every night, but every now and then it’s OK. Keep the cooking simple, unless you just love to cook. I choose not to cook often because I don’t like to cook and prefer to spend that time with my family. Do what’s right for you and your family.

But, what I really want to know … am I the only working mom who doesn’t like to cook?

38 thoughts on “Working Moms Who Don’t Cook

  1. I don’t cook either! And this is the first time I’ve read something that says it’s ok. Thanks for this!

    1. Christie Gibson says:

      Mom2C, you bet! Glad I’m not alone.

    2. Do you struggle with cooking? Are you the type of mom who is so busy working that you have no time to get in the kitchen and slay a dinner? Is your husband coming home from the military any day now and all you want to do is cook him a nice meal? Are you the type of person/family that has your local pizza or Chinese restaurant on speed dial and are a complete fast food junkie? Maybe you want to re-propose to your wife after the first proposal was a flop and you can use a little help in creating the perfect dinner for two!
      Let Gordon Ramsey come over and show you how to get down and dirty in your kitchen. I am casting segments for the F Word – Gordon Ramsey’s new show where we need people that just struggle around the idea of cooking. This will be fun! Please PM me if you fit the bill 🙂 or email me at byatad@gmail.com

    3. Sherri Hufstedler says:

      Hi! My name is Sherri I saw your post on this website and I might have a solution to not being able to cook but still having quality meals. I would love your opinion and insight to this issue. Please contact me, I won’t take up more than 10 minutes of your time.

      Can’t wait to hear from you!

      Thanks,
      Sherri

    4. I hate to cook all the mess afterwards you spend hours cooking it and its ate in 30mins.

  2. My meals are the same 6-7 boring, easy, not really nutritionally amazing meals. Tater tot casserole, Mac and cheese with fish sticks. Thank you for helping to erase the “I have to be Wonder Woman” guilt on the topic of cooking!!

    1. Christie Gibson says:

      Angela, tater tot casserole sounds good!

      1. Preheat oven to 350
        Brown 1 lb of beef with a chopped onion (or my little cheat, just use onion powder 😉
        Mix browned beef together in a 9×13 pan with:
        1 can mushroom soup
        1 can cheddar cheese soup
        1 slightly thawed block of frozen broccoli (put it in the microwave in a bowl covered with a paper plate for 4 minutes and it’s perfect!)
        Salt and pepper to taste
        Cover with frozen tater tots
        Bake 30-45 minutes or until bubbly
        Eat!! 🙂

    2. Sherri Hufstedler says:

      Hi! My name is Sherri I saw your post on this website and I might have a solution to not being able to cook but still having quality meals. I would love your opinion and insight to this issue. Please contact me, I won’t take up more than 10 minutes of your time.

      Can’t wait to hear from you!

      Thanks,
      Sherri

  3. Kristi Blust says:

    Veggie soup and sandwiches are staples in our house. I was all about cooking until I became a mom. It’s kind of difficult to prepare a proper meal with a toddler affixed to your leg screaming “See, SEE!” 🙂

    1. Christie Gibson says:

      Amen, Kristi!

  4. Karli Anderson says:

    I may not cook, but I am awesome at heating up and assembly!

    1. Christie Gibson says:

      High 5 on that, Karli!

  5. I don’t like to cook either, but I’m exceptionally lucky because my husband does. So we get gourmet meals and all I have to do is clean up.

    1. Christie Gibson says:

      That’s a sweet deal I’d definitely love, and it’s great you guys are dividing tasks and working as a team.

  6. I absolutely love this! I hate to cook also. I don’t enjoy it and I don’t want to spend my very little discretionary time doing it! We also make simple means at home and we use Let’s Dish meals a lot which are pre-prepared meals that we pop in the oven or cook quickly on the stove top. My hubby cooks more than I do on the weekend. During the week it depends on whose turn it is to pick up the kids. Thanks so much for this. I always feel guilty for not cooking nice meals!

  7. Sandy Smith says:

    thanks for the article. I HATE to cook. My hubby gives it his best shot, but he has about 4 meals in his repertoire. But the kids are healthy and happy. enjoy the sandwiches! 🙂

    1. Do you struggle with cooking? Are you the type of mom who is so busy working that you have no time to get in the kitchen and slay a dinner? Is your husband coming home from the military any day now and all you want to do is cook him a nice meal? Are you the type of person/family that has your local pizza or Chinese restaurant on speed dial and are a complete fast food junkie? Maybe you want to re-propose to your wife after the first proposal was a flop and you can use a little help in creating the perfect dinner for two!
      Let Gordon Ramsey come over and show you how to get down and dirty in your kitchen. I am casting segments for the F Word – Gordon Ramsey’s new show where we need people that just struggle around the idea of cooking. This will be fun! Please PM me if you fit the bill 🙂 or email me at byatad@gmail.com

  8. I really needed to read this, thank you! I really don’t enjoy cooking. It doesn’t come naturally to me & something that takes “30 minutes” takes me about 2 hours & it’s not worth it. For two weeks I was successful at prepping a couple meals for the whole week.. but it’s mainly food for me, that my toddler won’t eat. I’m constantly worried that he’s either not eating enough, or not getting the right nutrients. It’s flippin difficult when they won’t eat for you or only want a smoothie & graham crackers. Somehow his grandma gets him to eat eggs & oatmeal in the morning (I HAVE NO IDEA HOW!?) I think kids just like to be difficult with mommy. 🙁

    You’ve helped me feel a little better & for that I thank you! I’m definitely following from now on. 🙂

  9. Stephanie Tsales says:

    I’m totally a working mom who doesn’t cook. For her birthday last year we bought our daughter a play kitchen. The only two things she really plays with are the microwave and the phone – the rest of it probably confuses her since she’s never really seen our kitchen get used.

  10. I would like to be a good cook, and to have more time TO cook. But alas, I am not and I don’t. So frozen pizzas, hot dogs and sandwiches are frequently on the menu at our house.

    Great first post, Christie!

  11. I hate it. I would hate it less if the rest of the family would make dinner suggestions.

  12. This is sad. Ladies, get yourselves organized. Get a system of recipes and feed your families. Instead of giving your best to everyone else, put your families first.

    1. Christie Gibson says:

      Hi, Mrs. SC,

      I’d say working moms are pretty organized. We have to be or we wouldn’t be able to get kids to school on time and get ourselves to work on time. I don’t like to cook, so even if I didn’t work, I wouldn’t be whipping up fancy recipes. Just like my husband doesn’t like to mow the yard, so we have someone do that for us. To each her own. My family is first, or else I wouldn’t be working. I work to contribute to my family, and to be a better mom. At work I learn leadership skills and one day my daughter will model that. I don’t want her to go to school for years just to stay at home and do nothing with her education. What a waste! I want her to feel like she can change the world. And to do that, she’s probably going to have to incorporate some easy recipes. Unless she wants to be a chef, which I’ll support 100%. Thanks for your comments, and if you have any recipes that would be great for working moms, feel free to share those here.

  13. The bottom line here is guilt, respect, happiness NOT “to cook or not to cook”. I remember the day when when I considered Hamburger helper to be a meal. Things have changed. I do LOVE to cook. I’d rather be in the kitchen than anywhere else. I also completely respect those who don’t like to cook or even hate it. I find it odd how it is usually the moms in charge of this not the dads! Just because it is so important how we fuel our kids bodies, this actually will determine a lot of their development, health, minds, and future abilities, it is my belief that when throwing together quick meals, they should be healthy ones. It takes a few minutes to throw lettuce, cukes, tomatoes, chick peas, beets in a bowl for salad. A lot of things can get thrown in the oven, cubed veggies with garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, seasoned nicely they will cook themselves and taste great. Line cooking pans with tin foil to aid in clean up. Chicken fillets with some garlic, tomatoe, bell pepper, & onion stir fried are done in 20 mins. Brown rice and other grains can cook themselves while you hug on your little people. I am a mother and grandmother of 1 dozen combined. Yes I work, no I don’t have a hubby to help. I’d be glad to provide anyone with fast, healthy, easy recipes.

  14. I know this post is old but my goodness did it make me feel so much better. I have a 6 year old daughter, I work and of course have a household to run. I feel at times so inadequate because I don’t cook as much. I try to feed my family healthy but it’s that nagging feeling that I could have made time to cook a meal for my family.

  15. The fact that I ended up on this post, shows that I too have been feeling very guilty about not cooking for my family – I’m a married mom of 2 little girls aged 4 and almost 1 (Aug 3). I work full time, after dropping them off, picking them up from day care, bathing them at night and spending a little time with them before bedtime. I’ve been feeling especially guilty about the youngest one as I don’t even know what to make for her. She shared a peanut butter sandwich with her sister the other night, I now know she’s allergic to peanuts. But most nights, it’s processed food (Purity) which she seems to love…and for my oldest, sandwiches, noodles, and on some nights take outs. I too actually do not like cooking at all! My younger siblings are like master chefs, but me, I just don’t have an interest in the kitchen. I believe I’m a good mom, a good wife, brilliant at my job, a good provider (my husband is currently unemployed), and after taking care of everyone, cooking is the last thing on my mind but I make sure they don’t go to be hungry. Thank you for this post, the pressure to be “super mom/woman” is real, but we are also human.

    1. Umeda Islamova says:

      How about outsourcing the cooking to the husband who is staying home? Send him easy recipes from pinterest and ask him to ‘please try.’ Just an idea.

  16. I know this is an old thread but glad I found it. I’m 30 weeks with my second girl and have an 18 month old. I work full time night shifts. Its not a choice for me to work bc my husband makes much less then I do. Plus I’m darn proud of my career as a nurse. Feeling a little guilty about serving prepared food some nights but then I realized, my mom stayed at home and spent most of her time cooking us great meals and cleaning. I appreciate it but I wish she had spent that time playing with us. Haters gonna hate but keep up the good work working mommas. Your kids won’t remember or care what they eat for dinner. They eat boogers and dirt. Mrssc did you send this message from the 60s? Lol.

  17. I am an empty nester. i had to postpone my career to raise my now grown up daughter and then take care of my elderly mother . Now I should be free…have a great but type “A” job and I am tired at the end of the day. My husband works as well. However I am coming under increasing pressure and mocked because I do not WANT to cook. My time should be mine now that my child is a grown up. My mother in law lives with use and judges me when I do cook…I do not eat meat and get mocked for that as well. I am having the career at 60 i should have had years ago and feel it is my time. But my mother in law has my husband and daughter brainwashed against me because I am not Susie Homemaker bit I sure l ow how to make the money! My daughter called her father today to help her make spaghetti sauce from scratch like I didn’t exist ! I am very angry! Isn’t this a free country ????

  18. I honestly was just reading this squalling my eyes out because I have felt like the worst wife/mom ever! All I want to do is come home and love on my baby and spend time with my husband after 10-12 hour days. Also, I don’t want to spend time on the weekends meal prepping. I just don’t enjoy it. Thank you so much for writing this!! You are awesome!

  19. I am glad I am not the only one who feel guilty that who don’t like to cook. I don’t like spending hours prepping on weekends when I could spend time to enjoy the outdoor with the family. Sometimes I do have to plan busy nights so I won’t panic when 6 o’clock strikes. But it is a journey for me to organize get most meals on the table. I guess baby steps is the key, only doing 2 meals a week is better than none at all. Just like I used to compare myself to crafty moms, I did what I could for my kids by exploring online and spend time with her, I don’t need to be a sewer to share a crafty moment with my kids. I think balance is the key. If everyone in your family get the nutrients and fibers they need, it really doesn’t matter who made it.

  20. Hey, I was brought up by a single working mom who hated cooking but she did spend a lot of time with us. I was fed kfc and mcd all my childhood and teenage years. Now Im adult and I have a college degree. Im still jobless and I HATE cooking as well. Im suffering from eating disorders and have terrible health. No, ladies. It is not exciting as it sounds to be. When your children grow up, they will hate you. It is better not to have children if you cannot feed them like you are supposed to do. You cannot ruin someone’s life for your career. Choose one. Career or family. Thats it.

  21. AMEN Sheen! These poor children. They didnt ask to be brought into this world. Children deserve nutritious meals. Deli meat is just awful. Boxed things are awful and ruin your GI tract. I have a lot of friends that were raised by mothers who didnt cook and they really suffer with taking care of themselves. I think cooking should be a habit whether we like it or not. It doesnt have to be anything fancy. These mothers who feel guilty really should feel that way. They are demonstrating to their kids that nutrition doesnt matter and cooking is a chore. Smh!!!

  22. I hate it and there’s so much guilt that comes with not doing it. Glad I am not alone.

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