Eating Leftovers

Read about being a mother of 12 as our resident 'Supermom' shares her wise parenting advice.



Leftovers, again???

"Ahhhh, Mom…leftovers, again???"

And thus the battle starts. You know…the battle to get them to eat the food no one wanted to eat the first time around, or, sometimes, the food that was good the first time, but you made too much and they are sick to death of this same meal appearing on their plates. Lots of my friends stick to the theory of: that's all there is. If they don't like it, tough. If they're hungry, they'll eat. And that's that.

Sticking to my guns

This doesn't work for me. My children are stubborn. It's not their fault. You see, I'm stubborn. I gave them their character, so it's my fault. Therefore I compensate by giving in to them on a variety of issues. Or at least that's my excuse for not sticking to my guns. Viewed in this light, it's possible I'm not as stubborn as I thought. Maybe I'm not stubborn at all.

The fact is that if I serve leftovers, my kids will refuse to eat until other food appears on the horizon, or, rather, on their dinner plates. They will grouse at me from time to time about how much their stomachs hurt from emptiness. They will tell me just how cruel I am to them, and I will feel more and more uncomfortable as the day winds down to its natural conclusion. It is night, and they still haven't eaten. No, I'm not making this up.

Putting my foot down

In truth, I think that what some people might label as spoiled, bratty behavior is not unwarranted. I'm a foodie, and my kids have very sensitive palates. Baloney, I can hear you saying, just put your foot down and that's that. They won't hold out forever.

But, you see, I can't bear for them to go hungry, or to feel responsible for providing a meal they'd rather forego. This is more about me, than about them. It's about how I see myself reflected in the eyes of my family.

I know that if I felt confident that I was doing my best for my family, they would be more gracious about accepting my efforts on days when I can't provide a fresh cooked meal. So, today, I'm turning over a new leaf. I will be staring at my image in the mirror and telling myself, "You are an awesome housewife."

I will serve leftovers. I will be firm. They will not starve.

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