Chicken parmigiana meatloaf. Today’s crock pot experiment. Not bad. Not great. It was easy and a bit fun to make. The house smelled great all day while it was cooking.
Nate ate cereal for supper. Alyssa was out with friends. Mir had a small bowl of it, deemed it tasty. I had a good meal.
I would cook more if given the opportunity. What I mean by opportunity is that I need to know that I am not cooking meals simply for myself. That doesn’t make sense and isn’t financially responsible. In my house, Nate has been allowed to dictate what he eats for so long that he turns his nose up at anything that isn’t fast food, pizza rolls, tacos or cereal. Alyssa is at college most of the time now. Mir will sometimes eat what I cook, but I can never count on her being around. Before kids, I cooked the majority of the time. We thrived both in health and finance. I miss those days. I miss real meals.
Maybe I should not expect my own family to be like the family I grew up with. Every night we ate supper together, every Sunday afternoon we had lunch together which was usually a roast or something substantial. Mom cooked, my two brothers and I helped her clean up, we always had a planned meal seven days a week. Sleep habits were taught to us and expected, even when in our late teens, when watching Johnny Carson’s opening monologue was a treat because we were usually already in bed. My brothers and I were healthy, strong, good students, well rounded. I can’t help but think that the routine we were raised with had something to do with that.
My son is a good kid. He is a very strong boy, but could be so much stronger, so much better with better habits that include real meals and healthy sleep. I want so much to help him achieve what he wants, but I have been fighting an up hill battle for a long time with him. To my detriment, I gave up years ago. Mir was not raised the same way that I was raised, does not see the benefits of a planned and regular diet or getting a good night’s sleep or a regular study time. When I tried to teach the habits I learned from my parents, they were rejected so much that I simply said ‘fine, do it your way’. That was a mistake. Now we have a fifteen year old who is over weight, failing in school, borderline ADHD (I think that is malarkey — it’s more bad sleep habits than anything else). When I was his age, I had nary an ounce of fat on my body, brought home excellent report cards and never had to be reminded to study, set track records on the high school team, and kept a part time job. I didn’t dare disrespect my parents or any other adult. Maybe it’s a different age and culture now, an age that takes the strength of parenting away. I don’t know. Now more than ever it takes two strong parents working hard together.
I know how strong my parents helped me to be by caring enough to give me routine in my life, working together to do so. That working together is why their marriage has survived so well, why they lavish praise on the other still today out of clear admiration for the other.
Working together as parents is the key. That is where I have failed. I gave up leadership, thought that compromise was being a leader. Guess I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was.
This next year needs to be different. Those meals? I think I should start looking out for myself, start planning meals for myself, set the example there. Perhaps that will bring about the change I want, start that routine. Something needs to change.