Monday, August 4, 2008

I Think I Might Be A McFailure As A Mother!

Are mothers that rely on and/or embrace fast food to feed their families - lesser mothers?


And ... Yes - I sometimes feel like I am not a good mother because of it.

But ... I am 16 years into this BAD habit and don't imagine I am going to drastically change anything now.

I wish I was a good cook.

I wish I liked to cook.

I wish I had the talent for setting menus, shopping and stocking the pantry and fridge with fresh produce and meats and pastas, in order to throw together a delicious home cooked meal, regularly - but I don't!

I believe that children DO associate love with a mother's ability/desire to produce and offer great home cooked meals for their family.

I DO believe that good food - and, the time and effort that goes into the preparation of the feast instills positive and cherished memories into the minds of children.

I DO believe that a home cooked meal has FAR MORE POTENTIAL to offer more nutritional value to a child's diet - not to mention the quality and taste.

I'm just not good at it.

And ... I hate it! The cooking - the coming up with menus - the preparation process - UGH!

I am grateful for the fast food - packaged food - frozen food - alternatives .... as my children might otherwise have NOTHING to eat but ... apples and grapes.

On one hand, I think I've grown lazy and on another, I KNOW that I just gave up - gave in - to fast food!

This is JUST how I do things - what about you? Are you a McDonald's mom or are you On The Flipside and avoid fast food and prepare lots of yummy meals from scratch?

Give me your most honest opinion - whether you agree with me or have a FLIPSIDE view. But, please make sure you follow the comment rules and be nice to me and other commenter's. And please go over to my sidebar and participate in the poll question on this topic.

Results of poll - "Do You Often Rely On Fast Food To Feed Your Family?" 25 took poll. 12(48%) said YES. 13(52%) said NO.


Brittany said... already know my answer on this one, Kellan! I am not a fast food mama. We eat out every so often, but if I had to choose I would certainly cook the meal. It's not that I think ff is of the devil, because it sure tastes yummy, but because I LOVE all of the stuff you dislike about the preparation, stocking, coming up with meals, etc. I just love it!

So, since you hate it...wanna loan me that Emerilware?? tee hee! ;)

dani said...

dear kellan,
i am a mcmama, too... however, i am a very good cook!!! and i love to do it. i cook for john but not katherine...
katherine never liked food, REALLY!!! when she stopped eating baby food, she started eating french fries~~~ and that was ALL she would eat, literally. her pediatrician had me start her on boost (because she liked chocolate milk, too).
many in my family mentioned that if she were theirs she'd eat. several took her for the day, night, or weekend. all brought her home having failed in their mission, ha!!!
about the time she turned 10, she added chicken nuggets, buffalo wings, and cheese pizza to her diet. she sticks basically to those items much to my chagrin:S
but the doctor says she's healthy. i don't know what we would have done without mcdonalds???

Jacey said...

I'm not a mother, but I do enjoy cooking. Who knows whether or not that'll change once I have kids... but working as a nanny, I enjoy the cooking aspect of it. i like finding creative ways of hiding veges in food.... it probably amuses me that my mother did this to me.
Though, having said that... my mum used to get us fast food at least once a week til i was 16 or so... and then stopped suddenly. I'm not sure why... though, I imagine it wasn't an easy decision since it meant she had to come up with another meal a week.

Personally, I know that because I love cooking, it must be easier. My mother has never really enjoyed it, so it's become a chore.

As far as people who's kids refuse to eat anything else, or a variety of foods... from experience, I strongly believe that if you offer no other choice than the healthy food that the rest of the family is eating, eventually they'll eat it. Don't give in.

Adrian said...

I wish you had a few more choices on your poll. It's not really a yes or no question for me. We probably do fast food a couple of times a week, so it isn't really a LOT, but it's more than I would like. The rest of the time it's quick stuff like frozen pizzas, Hamburger Helper, or scrambled eggs & toast, so it might have been more helpful to ask how many times a week we actually sit down and make a "real" cooked meal. For me that would be maybe once or twice a week. So, it's kind of even between fast food (I keep writing FAT food - frueidian slip - huh!) and good meals.

Denise Wheeler said...

Ahh, fast food. I have a love/hate relationship with it. We eat fast food a few times a month. I try to make completely home cooked meals the rest of the time. I love planning my menu, making my grocery list, cutting and sorting my coupons, shopping and eventually cooking the meals. I love it. I just do. I am a self taught cook. I grew up on Mac and Cheese and Hamburger Helper. I didn't eat either for at least the first 10 years I was out of my mother's house. I do resort to those foods on occassion though. I keep them on hand for emergencies, like being sick or something coming up that I don't have the time needed to actually cook a real meal. Absolutely nothing wrong with those who don't/can't cook meals from scratch.

Amanda said...

I rely on frozen and pre-prepared food that you can buy in the supermarket. I wish that i could prepare fresh meals for the kids everyday, but i find myself making all types of excuses why i don't. Like i don't have enough time etc...
We only have fast food like a McDonalds once every few weeks though.

Nancy said...

When my kids were small, they never had fast food, but once I lost control to assemble them at the dinner table nightly ... it became Micky D's, pizza, and subs!

Sally said...

Very few fast food places when my daughter was young, but I was lucky that my own mother loved to cook. Being a single mom, we were at her house a lot.

I sure wouldn't beat myself up, Kellan, for relying on fast food places. I doubt it's any more harmful than the frozen microwave chicken pot pies, etc.

Brenda said...

I rely more on fast foods now that I'm raising our grandson than I did when raising my children. I hate fast foods but the key word is "fast"!

Kel said...

Oh I'm both. I think I balance McMommahood with McMammaCook quite well. There are certain things I like to cook and enjoy teaching/cooking with my daughter and then there are days when all the work that goes into it is just too much. Someone definitely knew what they were doing when they invented the drive-thru and chef boyardee! :)

Have a wonderful day!

Dawn said...

My daughter ate a lot of fast food when she was little and I was teaching special ed., exhausted all the time. Now that I'm a stay at home mom we don't ever eat fast food but the reason for that isn't because I'm not tempted...I'm just scared that one delicious bite will send us all back to unhealthy eating habits! I don't think any less of people who eat a lot of fast food though. ;)

Sandra Carvalho said...

LOL!Good post!
I like to cook but time to time my kids like to go out and have their McDonald's share!

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Kellan, especially when my kids were little, we would go to a fast food restaurant at least a couple times a week, usually for lunch. My husband and I referred to the money spent in this way as my "burger bucks." If we were out it was just too hard to come back home, get everybody out of the car, make lunch and then go finish whatever had to be done. Plus, the Happy Meals were so much fun and the PLAYLANDS. In Michigan when the snow is up to their knees we HAD to get them somewhere to run where they wouldn't get frost bitten. I thought putting those things in McDonalds was a brilliant marketing idea.
I'm not real organized about planning dinners either. We usually have a home cooked dinners but at least once a week we'll have pizza and at least once or twice a week my husband will make dinner. That helps a lot.
I did use "Saving Dinners" for a while. Have you heard of that? It's an online menu planning thing. They give you the recipes and the shopping lists. That worked pretty well.
You know, we moms just have to be happy with doing our best. Some things we're good at. some things we're not. Don't you think?

Anonymous said...

We consider fast food a "treat"
I cook EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT of the week. It does get a bit overwhelming since I am the one who gets the kids up & out the door, go to work a fullday, get the kids on my way home, then start my real job: "MOM".
Every once in a while if Joe is working that night, we will stop at McD's or BK and get fast food. In my defense, I *do* get them apple dippers instead of french fries. I don't see anything wrong with fast food in moderation.

Courtney said...

We don't eat out regularly, but that is only because I was raised on home cooked meals all the time. I feel bad that we eat out as often as we do. I wish I could do what you do and not feel guilty, but I do feel guilty, therefore I cook even though I hate to and I really don't have time!

Ellyn said...

We rarely eat out at our house. I wouldn't call our family health nuts but we do eat a pretty healthy diet. I don't like the way FF makes me feel, sluggish and tired. So I try to avoid it.
Also, for us, cost is an issue. I am a SAHM and we have to save money where we can. One of the best places to save a buck is eating at home. When we do splurge and go out, it is to a nice restaurant.
Lastly, the reason we don't eat FF much is because it never tastes at good as is looks in the pictures. I have been disappointed more times than I can count.

THopgood said...

I also gave up. For several reasons.

1)I hate to cook because I just can't seem to please everyone. I have 2 very picky eaters and so became frustrated after slaving over our dinner to end up throwing 1/2 of it away because 1/2 the family didn't like it.

2) Our schedules are very difficult. Gymnastics, swimming, and dance classes make it difficult to sit everyone at the table together. We're always on the go and so most of the time a quick stop for fast food is just easier. I have gotten a little better with making healthier choices in the fast food department. We substitute apples for frenchfries. Or we go to Subway or Mr Pita. I know a home cooked meal would be better for them but it's either this or we give up extracurriculars...and we're not willing to do take the bad with the good.

tammy said...

I'm much better at not eating out, now that I have time to cook. I hate the "thinking of what to serve" part, but as long as I have the time, I like to cook most of the time. I especially love to bake - homemade bread, cakes, cookies - love it! So we may eat out once a week.

mom2tot said...

I think this is not a black and white question, I do pizza every week and the ocassional nuggets, but then it's all home made, but quesadillas, bean and pasta are a lot in our menu, not elaborate home meals, so nothing in excess...

Marmarbug said...

Well I love to cook. But there are times here and there that McDonalds is my BFF!
SO I feel that if you are feeding the child thats all that matters.

Debbie said...

McDonald's and I hate it. I swear it's made a difference in the way my grown son feels...when I do cook, he gets all silly and picking at me and just loves it. Oh well, I raised a good youngin, but I know he'd love me more if I cooked. Sigh.....

Joanna said...

If I had the money it would be eating out every day.
I'm with you that I hate coming up with menus and the what to cook and heaven help me if people come over cuz that's just more to come up with.

I am a good cook and I do have home cooked meals but if I had a choice I would be snarfing on something someone else made!

Maggie - Mom of Six said...

We fall into ruts depending on our schedules. At one point the kids knew that we could get dollar burgers at mcdonalds and 50 cent drinks at the gas station on mondays; 1/2 price burgers at sonic on tuesday; $6 pizza on Wednesday; dollar burgers again on thursday..... I am one who likes to cook but when we get to the point that the kids are planning their meals around the deals, i come to a screeching halt and start cooking again. The funny thing is....the kids don't really miss the fast food although I miss the convenience. So, I am right now working on my casserole menu so that I can have things already in the freezer when school starts and our schedules get absolutely crazy!

Queen of My Domain said...

I cant say I'm a fast food mama since we have a rule of only eating out once a week as family. Most the time we actually pick a sit down restaurant. But we do have weeks where we eat out more than we normally like to because of all the activities going on.

I try to prepare meals at home but the kids won't always eat what I make and then they just have to wait until the next meal and hope for better. Then again there are some nights when it's so crazy that I'll tell Hubs that forget cooking lets just feed them cereal and put them to bed.

So I don't know where that puts me in your flipside question...of in la la land in my own world I guess.

Kami said...

We are both, I try really hard to have healthy homemade meals most of the time but we also go out to eat at least once a week.

I really like to cook though :-)

common mom said...

Hubby is the cook in our house. And he's gone 16 days of every month. Which leaves me to cook for the kids . . . I'm not terrible at it, I just don't really like to do it. Mostly, I don't like to figure out what to make and then make sure we have the ingredients. Hubby is great at making enough yummy stuff so we have leftovers for a couple days while he's gone.

Last fall I found myself defaulting to pizza, eating out, etc. way too often. Then I found this awesome site . . . This wonderful lady created a book that has calendars and menus and shopping lists for meals for 4 days each week for an entire year! She's a daycare provider, so it meets the nutritional requirements as well. It's totally worth the $20. I'd take her list shopping on Sunday and have enough meals for the week. Not all of them are great, some recipes were pretty nasty actually, but 95% of them are excellent! And they're all easy . . . and there's even one crock pot meal each week.

So ya . . . I was a fast food junkie, until I got this book and the magnetic weekly grocery list to put on my fridge.

I dare you to try it ;-)

Journey of Truth said...

I mix it up. Eating out is a treat, really, but we do it at least once a month. However, at home, we eat sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, fresh fruit . .. . some prepackaged garbage and frozen rubbish (it all tastes pretty good and we're not dead yet - or grotesquely fat) . . . It's the love in the "cooking" that counts, whether it's by planning, stirring, and slaving for hours; standing by the microwave for a few minutues, or having a laugh at the drive-thru.

Cindy said...

My kids are grown now but if I had it to do over, I'd never have driven them through the McDonalds.
Our town is small and we didn't have one for the longest time, but once we did, they'd beg to go every time I was in the shopping complex. My youngest would call me at work at four o'clock every day and beg for me to bring McD's home. I always cooked dinner when they were growing.

Leah said...

We end up eating McD's just about anytime we end up at the mall. Before I had all three kids, I would just pack a lunch for us to eat once we got hungry to save on having to buy fast food (the mall doesn't open until 10am and my kids generally need/want lunch around 11am). However, after my third child was born, it was such work getting out of the house in the first place, taking the time to pack food and drinks as well turned into too much of a chore and I gave up. Connor's old enough now (2) that it would be an easy enough thing to go back to packing up food for lunch, but it's an easy habit to just buy happy meals and call it good. Lucky for me, we only hit up the mall once or twice a month and that's about the only time we do fast food, so I don't worry overly much

Jason said...

In the big scheme of things, I think that being a fast food parent isn't that big of a deal. I do think nutrition is essential, so as long as you're keeping it balanced, you're good!

rthling said...

I am a fabulous cook. I love to make yummy things that people will talk about for years to come. I like to go down in the history of every group gathering with food that I brought the BEST (whatever) they had ever tasted. I have won awards for my cooking.
But all that said, I still zip through the drive through every now and then. It is so easy and fast. There is no clean up involved, save a trip to the garbage can. But with the rising cost of gas and groceries, it is harder and harder these days to have a few bucks to spare for eating out. So we consider it a luxury rather than common event.

One Scrappy Chicklet said...

I love to cook but I hate to clean the kitchen.
I stand accused of being a MickyDmom but in my defense it is mostly during Baseball and Football season. There is really no time to get from work to home, pick up the kids and then get to the field.

yertle said...

Interesting timing for this. Just last week I decided to work on home cooking and moving away from fast food for our health. I have had to focus on my #1 excuse for everything -- I don't have time for ___. I have slowly been translating it to I choose not to make time for _________.

So here are the steps I have been working on.

Last Wed was Step 1: decide on some things we all would like to eat.

Yesterday was Step 2: go shopping and buy the items needed for those things.

Yesterday and today were Step 3: make some of the things.

The good news is that my fridge is stocked with home made yummy food and it wasn't too bad. Now I can take what I need.

The real question is what happens when the supplies run out. Can I do this last step on a regular basis? Step 4: Repeat steps 1 through 3.

Betsy said...

We eat out far too often. Both me and my husband work full time, and its hard enough to clean the house let alone the extra time to prepare meals and do the cleanup after... I know we need to start though, the cost (and calories) are catching up with us.

Anna said...

I do both...I love to cook but sometimes...only a chicken nugget will do! ;-)

bichonpawz said...

I do not like to cook, or prepare menus, or anything that has to do with entertaining. Never Have, Never Will. The key word here is "FAST" food. Not necessarily McDonalds, but something fast or frozen or prepared AT the store! You are NOT a McFailure, Kellan!!! You crack me up!!!

Sheri said...

I think that there is a balance to be found. For instance, last night while we were out shopping (New boyfriend, his 2 boys, and me) and the kids were FAMISHED, 7:30 and still 45 minutes from my house, we stopped and got a nugget meal for them to split. Then, we got home and I made taco salad for everyone. All fast food, all the time? Not so good. Evil and awful? Far from it!

Janet said...

I hate to cook. I hate to grocery shop. I hate trying to come up with what to eat. The Mountain Man does most of the cooking for dinner and on weekends. Coming up with lunches for the kids - the world's pickiest eaters - is my daily nightmare. We go out about once a week, sometimes less, but these are kids that don't really even like french fries, so the fast food isn't hurting them anyway. They eat the apples instead of French fries at McDonald's.

Jaina said...

I go in spurts, though it's all for myself. I like to imagine that I'll be great at the dinner thing when I'm older and have kids. Only I don't like touching raw meat...which can cause problems. It's like, serious phobia. I won't do it. I love my George's how I make chicken and such. Frozen. Don't have to touch it raw. Luckily the bf LOVES to cook and has no problem with raw meat. I prefer baking and pasta. Hey, it works, right? We could have killer dinner parties.
But I like fast food too...though I tend to go with the healthier fast food'll only catch me at McDonald's for ice cream...and okay, sometimes breakfast. (it's SO good for breakfast!)

Denise said...

Since you asked, I will admit that I am a McDonald's Mom, or McMama (as one of your readers called herself - love it!). I have never been a cook. I don't enjoy it and I don't do it well. I feel that it takes way too long to prepare a meal that takes all of 5 minutes to consume. I LOVE the mothers/wives that cook all the time and have these wonderful meals around the table, but I'm just not one of them. I think Brandon knows I love him more than life itself, even if I don't prepare him a nice meal every night. By the by, I am baking a Stouffer's Chicken and Rice dish for tonight. Does that count as cooking? :)
See you later,

Helen E.M. Wright said...

I think it's a customs thing. Where we are from eating out is a special occasion. Fast food or not!

I do enjoy cooking and most everything I make is from scratch. We eat out once every two weeks for supper and maybe once every two weeks for lunch. I even make lunches for my husband to take to work.

We couldn't get over the amount of pre-packaged food there was when we first moved here!

Do I think that mothers are any less better for the fast!

I just know that we TRY not to do it! Especially after reading Fastfood Nation. The only fastfood place we have been to since reading it is Chick-fil-A!

We just can't stop the Chick!!

The Boyds Family said...

NOPE! No home cooked meals from scratch from this pathetic mother. But the father is an excellent cook!! He can throw a meal together from nothing and it looks like his eldest daughter has this talent too.

We don't go to the fast food places too often b/c they get too expensive, but I have no qualms with buying something easy to fix and then letting HER - the eleven year old - fix it. :)