I usually make dinner for the family at least 4-5 nights a week - and not just dinner but a variety of food paired with a veggie, starch, protein you get the picture. I know that I may not meet the new food plate division and hell I know I would have toppled the pyramid that used to show what your daily diet should look like but I do try.
This is not easy -- one kid does not like meat that much, in particular pork (for ethical reasons since he wrote a paper in 1st grade - there is so much snark am holding back at the thought that a 1st grader had to research and write a paper - and found out pigs are quite intelligent, so he won't eat them since you should not eat things with that much intelligence -- wonder how he will react to learning about Idi Amin?). He also only eats the burger that I make and even that with what can be at best called reflective technique - small bite, chew and reflect on the meaning of life, small bite it takes a while. He loves his carbs though - so will eat pasta with butter and fresh shaved parmesan every night if allowed or with pesto he will also eat potato leek soup, mashed potatoes, carrots, broccoli, string beans, cherry tomatoes and cumbers and all that with only a touch of olive oil and sea salt - at least some veggies get there - and chicken roasted or parmesan. He will eat tacos that I make as well as hot dogs, all beef but with seasoning from butcher is preferred, grilled cheese. Basically that is what I have to work around and use in the rotation. Oh yeah he also likes lobster with drawn butter (this is so not in the rotation except in summer where we could buy it).
The other kids loves bacon and steak and all of the above too - he will taste things we are eating but he will not touch a tomato unless it is in sauce or ketchup. So between them there are times when they have 2 separate dinners - this could just mean home made pizzas where one has a white pizza and the other one with pepperoni.
Add to the mix a husband who believes that you need a pause in between meal and leftover version for the most part and is obsessive compulsive about a vegetable at every meal.
Yayyy me .. lucky I like to cook. I do this pretty seamlessly even after a long day of work - there is also snack and lunch planning which I do but am too tired to tell you that whole 6 am every day story.
However, there are days - like days where I have to be at work before 8 am, and said snack/lunch still has to happen prior to my leaving, and get home closer to 7 pm then to 6 when this dance just makes me want to run away from home. I love my children really -- but the thought of getting home after a long day and having to discuss this or do it just makes me tired before I walk through the door. So on those days it is breakfast for dinner - breakout the frozen waffles or croissants and big glass of milk. So on those days the look of disappointment I get from the husband is only not worth a discussion because I can check off the box that the kids while not nutritionally balanced for that night are pretty happy about this. They see it as a treat -- woo hoo. I recently read that Dutch children survey to be among the happiest in the world and their breakfast often is white bread with butter and chocolate sprinkles. Maybe we need less judgement and more sprinkles as moms.
In the high pressure of motherhood - tiger mothers/lean in mothers/french mothers who are always chic to be more and more to our children we sometimes just need to shrug and remember that kids will be ok with the occasional breakfast for dinner. It may not be my finest mothering but it still comes with listening to their day, helping with homework and hey I didn't run away. It is not that my job interferes it is that life is not perfect and maybe that is the good thing to teach our kids too.