Most of the time when I am writing I will think of a topic and then a Bible verse or two will come to me that goes along with the topic. The other day I was reading in Psalms and some verses made me think of a topic.
The verses are Psalm 59:14-15, please forgive me as I change a couple of the words: “They return when it is time for Mom to make dinner, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the kitchen. They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied.” As I’m sure every mom reading this can relate, these verses made me think of my children, especially the younger ones.
My children have an uncanny ability to come into my kitchen at exactly 4:00 in the afternoon, right as I am about to begin making dinner and start looking for something to eat. (They just had a snack at 3:00.) We then go into our food routine, “I’m hungry!” I tell them I’m making dinner. “What’s for dinner?” I say, “Food.” This gets me an eye-roll from the older kids. My 2 year old all of a sudden remembers that she is a Mama’s girl and insists that I hold her, but also that I continue to cook her “num-nums.” Mind you she is over thirty pounds now. In the midst of this the 4 and 6 year olds are whining at me and getting in my way. Can anyone relate?!?
I don’t know what it is about this time of day, but it is just plain hard. Every mom I have talked to about this subject agrees. It would be nice if at 4:00 our kitchens could transform into caves that we could retreat into and then emerge victoriously from at dinner time with a beautiful, healthy meal. The reality is that my kitchen is wide open into the living room, and my children would probably devour each other while I was in my kitchen-cave anyway.
There are a few things I have found that help. Like I mentioned, I do try to make sure the kids get a snack in the afternoon, that helps a little. I LOVE my crockpot. Those are the best days, when I have managed to get a crockpot meal going in the morning. Another thing I have found is that my younger ones especially like to “help” with cooking dinner. They love to run, get an onion from the pantry and peel it for me. They also like to get other pantry items. My older girls are able to retrieve things out of the freezers in the garage. (Being such a large family we have 2 freezers in the garage.)
To be honest, the hardest thing to change about this difficult time of day is my own attitude. I feel out of patience, a little tired, and cranky. I find myself wishing we could skip dinner altogether. However, when we do finally all make it to the table it is a good time. Yes, dinner can be loud and a little overwhelming, but we are all together in the same place and I know that won’t last forever. Just like some day 4:00 will roll around and I will probably wish a few kids were back in my kitchen for me to trip over.
Psalm 59:14-15 “They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied.”
The encouragement for us comes in at verse 16 of Psalm 59: “For you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.”