Oh, How Family Dinner Time Has Changed!

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I’m so busy I rarely have time to cook for my kids… When I call my kids for dinner, they run to the car.

Hometown Buffet

My kids love going to Hometown Buffet where the only thing standing between me and the food is a sneeze guard. What’s really odd is that the restaurant weighs the kids in order to determine the price of their meal. The more the kid weighs, the more you pay. (Oh my goodness, you mean I have to pay extra for my chunky child?) As my car pulls up to the restaurant I appealingly instruct my kids: “I know it’s freezing outside but I promise you can put your clothes back on after the weigh in.” I’d make sure my kids were practically naked before stepping on the public scale in the restaurant.

Skimping, Just A Little

Now with the unfortunate effects of the economy, I’ve decided eating out is just too costly. Our four food groups consist of canned, microwavable, frozen and McDonalds. I love anything that advertises “Just Add Water”. I know I can make it another day when I hear those three sweet words “KIDS EAT FREE”. My heart starts beating whenever I join a new restaurant birthday club and get free dessert! We celebrate often. My birthday is every Tuesday!

I’ve recently discovered EZ Mac-n-Cheese. You just pop it in the microwave and Voila! (By the way: As a nation, when did we determine that making regular Mac-n-Cheese is just too difficult so we oughta create an even easier version? Is boiling water really that strenuous or time consuming?) Anyway, I’m a big fan!

Packing My Own Food

I’ve started packing my own food whenever we travel or attend any functions. My kids are usually a little embarrassed because most families are buying food and snacks and I’m in the corner whipping out crackers, jelly and condiment packets (that I’ve swiped from KFC) out of a plastic recycled grocery bag. My kids always complain “Mom, why do we always have to bring packed food? That makes us look poor!” I’ve recently started bringing my own wine when I’m out with girls (I know, clever). Those small 6-ounce individual wine bottles are great! (Side Note: Buy the plastic bottles so they don’t break in your purse, and they’re reusable.)

Starving Student

It could be worse. When I was a very starving student, I worked in an office that had an “Honor Box” in the office kitchen. This is where we could take a snack, but we had to leave fifty cents to pay for the item taken. Oh, Okay! (When I finally left that job, I’m sure I owed over $2,000 for granola bars and Twizzlers.)

Happy Mom and Family

Honestly, I’m a happier mother and enjoy cooking at home for my kids. The silver lining is that as a family, we cook together, we eat together… I still do all the dishes (Well, not everything can be perfect!)

About the Author

Affectionately nicknamed the “Dysfunctional Housewife” by her comedy group, the popular “Funniest Housewives of Orange County”- Julie is the author of “Momalogue, A Journey through a Single Mother’s Hood”. Her jokes have been featured in Good Housekeeping and in numerous comedy books including: Comedy Thesaurus, She’s So Funny, Mom This Jokes For You, and Loves Funny That Way. Kidd has performed on numerous television shows, including: ABC’s The View, Life Moments, Iyanla, What’s Up OC, Inside this Edition and Next Big Star. Julie’s advice: Don’t take yourself too seriously… To be a wonderful parent is powerful, but to do it with a sense of humor is magical! For more info and performance dates visit www.THEFUNNYMOM.com

Visit Julie Kidd’s Website

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