Confession: I Haven't Cooked Much Lately

 Confession: We've been eating out a lot lately. (At places far less nice than this.)

Confession: We've been eating out a lot lately. (At places far less nice than this.)

Look, here's the deal. I enjoy cooking. I love having my son next to me when I do. I believe it's (generally) healthier to cook than eat out. It's also (generally) less expensive to cook at home than to eat out.

But I'm going to level with you: Lately, I just haven't had the energy for cooking. My workdays have been long. My son was sick a couple of days. I've had several evenings where it's just my son and me for dinner — and it's really hard to get motivated to cook for just the two of us on a busy work night.

So, yeah, I've taken a bit of a break from the kitchen just to catch my breath. For us, that has meant a lot of Rubio's (half the staff knows my name and order) and Chipotle. Chicken and rice are our staples, after all. In addition to relieving me of the pressure of figuring out what we're having, going to the store and cooking the meals ... perhaps my favorite benefit — especially when I'm swamped in other facets of my life — is less time spent cleaning up and doing dishes. When I have limited time with my family, I don't want to spend it stressed out over shopping and cleaning.

As a working mom (and if you're a parent, you're working full-time no matter what), I know that sometimes it just makes sense to do takeout. I'm going to try to gear up again because I really do miss my creative outlet. But this is just my way of saying: Parents, I get it. We can do only so much. If you're too stressed out with work and life at the moment to make cooking enjoyable for yourself and your kiddo, cut yourself some slack. The kitchen (and your kiddo) will be waiting.