LIFE LESSONS Mom finds an app for stress
I knew this day was coming. Other mothers had warned me. But now that it’s here, wow. Just wow.
Teenagers, especially boy teenagers, all they do is eat. My 15-year-old will ask what I am preparing for dinner even as he eats his lunch. Should I be embarrassed that I don’t know, that I haven’t even thought about it yet?
How do I admit to my family that I hate everything about cooking?
I hate the planning. I hate the list making. I hate the shopping. I hate the chopping. I hate the assembling. Honestly, by the time it’s all cooked and ready, I even hate the eating. Worst of all, I hate the cleanup.
Yet, as a mother, I’m still expected to prepare and provide meals and food for my family daily — and not just once a day, but sometimes three times a day. In addition, I’m supposed to prepare snack foods for friends, extra meals for drop-in guests, and happy hour appetizers on the fly. It. Is. exhausting.
I do plan for leftovers and “on your own night” once a week, but still, the expectation to feed my family constantly weighs on me. And, it weighs heavily.
READ MORE: Words have power, use them wisely
I’m jealous of moms who enjoy cooking. I wish I loved cookbooks. I imagine feeling excited about recipes. I fantasize about pulling together a meal out of “whatever” is in my cabinet because I’m just that good at meal preparation. However, for me, feeding my family is intentional, organized, planned, and energy draining.
Plus, as I say, my kids eat more than ever. Leftovers don’t exist. In fact, there is barely ever enough food in the house, period.
Technology can help moms like me stay sane.
I downloaded the Cozi app on the recommendation of a much more organized friend. Once you log in, you can share it with the family and get them to help. It builds shopping lists, to-do lists, wish lists, etc., putting them all in a single platform. I created a Walmart List, a Christmas list, a wish list and a to-do list.
Not to brag, but I am great at listing what needs to happen. My downfall is actually making it happen.
This app has changed my life as mom, and I’m not exaggerating. I speak this truth from each one of my bones. Each of my family members has the log in, and each has been instructed to use the app accordingly. Out of deodorant? Put it on Cozi. Want oatmeal creme pies in your lunch? Put it on Cozi. Need HDMI cables for some electronic situation I could care less about? Put it on Cozi. I will happily oblige my family needs, but communication is paramount. Somehow, as my tweens have turned into teens, our family communication degraded, and I’m desperately trying to find a way to keep us all afloat.
Put it on Cozi. Seriously. I can survive on oatmeal and cheese. Anything else? Put it on Cozi.
I hope I’m not the only one out here having a difficult time feeding their family. I’m looking for someone to say, “Yes! I hate cooking, too!” These are the things we endure as mothers. Things we hate. Of course, we love our kids. We love our family. We work hard to make sure our home life is content.
Honestly, I’m not even looking for happy. I’m looking for, “I’m glad to be here. I feel safe when I’m home.” I want my home to be a sanctuary. I know that includes food. I’m working every day to make sure there is at least something here to nibble at all times. Kids, take note. Husband, pat me on the back. I’m doing the best I can. I know I have other talents. Cooking isn’t one of them. When I figure out those other talents, I’m sure you will read about them.
For now, put it on Cozi, and meet me in the grocery pickup line (another godsend of the tech age for harried moms). Healthy is my word this year, and because of Cozi and online grocery ordering, my emotional health is on a steady incline.
Cue a popular pop tune and photo montage. We might be in the middle of a romantic comedy — family edition.
Danielle Scroggins is a writer based in North Texas.