How to Survive Dinner in 5 Easy Steps


Look. I know this might be hard to believe. But this is what dinner success looks like. And you, too, could achieve this level of culinary greatness. In just five easy steps, you can survive dinner on those days when you “just can’t even.”

5 Easy Steps

Step 1: Admit defeat. You’re still in your PJs and the house is a wreck. Mama said there’d be days like this and mama was right. And it feels like those days mama warned us about come more often than not.

Step 2: Carefully place that stained kitchen towel directly over the nutritional content of the nugget shaped meat product. We can have cheap or we can have organic. We can’t have both. This week, cheap wins. So go ahead and hide that label. You’ll feel better. Trust me on this one.

Step 3: Hand-select five pieces of the not-quite-organic (but cheap—so go ahead and celebrate that budget victory) and microwave alongside the mac ‘n cheese leftover from the last time 6 pm arrived and you just couldn’t even.

Step 4: Pop open that bottle of Merlot you picked up from Walgreens while you were there buying boogie wipes and Benadryl. Because nothing classes up microwaved meat product like the $4 bottle of wine from the drug store.

Step 5: Eat your feelings, alone in the kitchen, standing over the sink full of dishes that—let’s just get real here—will definitely be ignored for (at least) one night more.

Whether you’re thriving or surviving, I’ll leave you all with this: May your coffee be hot, may your wine be cold, and may the sun rise before your toddlers.

Hang in there, mamas. We can do this.

Congratulations, mama. You just survived dinner.

Was it Instagram-worthy? Not so much. But your kids were fed and and loved and sometimes just filling their bellies is a huge win.

Listen, mamas. We all have those days and nights when we’re not exactly proud of our current level of motherhood achievement. And it’s so easy to believe we have failed in all the ways. When dinner looks like this and the house is falling apart around us and we can’t remember when we last washed our hair, it’s almost guaranteed we will struggle to see anything but all the ways we believe we’ve fallen short.

But, friends? As cliché as it might sound, there really are seasons of motherhood. We have seasons when we thrive and we have seasons when we survive. Sometimes barely. I have many moments (so many moments) when I’m downright embarrassed by the rookie mistakes I still tend to make even now, a decade into this crazy ride. Especially when I start to compare my Survive Moments to the Thrive Moments of others.

Whichever season we might be in, let’s try our best to avoid comparing our moments. When we’re thriving, let’s be gentle with mamas who might be counting down the minutes, just hoping to make it to bedtime and a tiny bit of Netflix to reset our frazzled systems, praying for a few hours of sleep. We’ve all been there. We have.

And when we’re in that season of survival and we’re just happy to make it through the day, let’s be gentle with ourselves. Pull out the cheap, frozen nuggets. Let’s hug our babies and celebrate making it through another day. We will have another chance to do better tomorrow. Yes. Tomorrow, there will be meal planning and shopping for vegetables. Tonight is for laughing around the table and telling stories, rocking babies and singing lullabies.

Whether you’re thriving or surviving, I’ll leave you all with this: May your coffee be hot, may your wine be cold, and may the sun rise before your toddlers.

Hang in there, mamas. We can do this.

Contributing Sister Site and Author

About {Ashley}

Ashley, a Tallahassee, Florida native, has fallen in love with the Atlanta area since moving to Cherokee County in 2015. She’s a sleep-deprived, over-caffeinated former teacher turned reluctantly-homeschooling stay-at- home mom who loves the mountains and college football. (Go, Seminoles!) She’s been married for 13 years to a pediatric intensive care nurse who goes about saving the world while she struggles to keep up with the laundry. She is trying to adult responsibly but feels like she’s mostly flying by the seat of her pants when it comes to raising Caleb (10), Grace (7) and Abby (1). Before moving to Atlanta, Ashley was a MOPS coordinator and she is passionate about connecting mamas and building community. She’s slowly learning how to drive in Atlanta traffic and is running on coffee, 90’s music, and a whole lot of Jesus. She blogs about life, faith, and the ups and downs of motherhood HERE.

Ashley is a contributor for Atlanta Area Moms Blog, one of our Sister Sites.


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