Tomatoes in pot

Mushrooms & Chicken Legs…or the Great Dinner Battle

“What’s for dinner” is the worst thing a kid can ask. Ever. Moms all over the world hate that question.

But what they hate even more is answering it.

“Mushrooms in mushroom sauce over chicken legs with broccoli on top,” I say.

“Nuh uh! What’s REALLY for dinner?”

My favorite way to answer is with all of their least favorite foods mushed into one grotesque sounding meal. Because I’m cool like that. It’s basically the right of every mother to answer as ambiguously as possible, mostly because SOMEONE will object.

And when you have 9 kiddos…it’s a good night if ONLY 1 kid objects.

One of the biggest hurdles of step-parenting is getting on the same page with things like dinner rules.

Some of our humans eating food

I had admittedly become lax in my insistence of children eating everything on their plate as a single mom. It’s one more battle I was usually too tired to fight.

My husband? Well, he was able to stick with a lot of their favorites because he didn’t have to feed them as many nights of the week. (I TOTALLY get it.)

See where this is going?

We both grew up in households where we were expected to eat and there were no short-order cooks. I’ve never catered to my children’s preferences and always been more of a “eat what I serve you or go hungry” kind of a mom.

But when you are a one man band…it’s just harder.

Over the last year and a half, we have teamed up and our kids are now pretty good eaters. They even hold their silverware correctly sometimes. (Not the big ones. It’s too late for them. Sorry future significant others.)

And we do serve dishes not everyone likes. And we have some poky eaters. And we have to do parent things like sending kids to bed early, set timers, being persistent…

You know, mean parenting things.

But it’s better.

“Stacey, what’s for dinner?”

“Scrambled eggs with mushrooms.” Blank look of terror.



“You’re kidding…right?” Look of skepticism.

“Definitely not kidding. But we might also be having my famous tuna casserole.”


It’s possible he cried the first time I served that dish. Ah, kids.

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