To ask how to feed everyone?

(366 Posts)
SleepingStandingUp Tue 20-Apr-21 18:19:14

So I had twins Dec 2019, and have a nearly 6 yo. DH went off Pat leave mod Jan and then covid hot so he was WFH since March 2020. Looking to go back to the office after May Day.

I don't know how to get three kids fed and washed, DHs dinner (and in theory mine) cooked and all ready for bed at 7.

And I know it's pathetic. I don't even have a job so there's no excuse but I can't seem to make it work even with the help of DH being WFH.

We get in from school at 4. DH in at 6. By then it's too late for the kids to eat as they're starting to get tired.

So I need to feed the 3 kids between 4-6 whilst providing supervision because the twins climb everything, house is as safety proof as possible unless it were literally bare. And they fight over every toy. And no they're not obedient enough to stop when I tell them because I'm useless.

Then I get the mat and high chairs out, put them in and they immediately try to climb out whilst I get food / get them to eat / get them to not drop it all on the food. At least one of them will barely eat and scream to be free. Then go for his big brothers food.

Meanwhile I need to have DHs dinner pretty much ready to go for 6 and ideally mine. But I can't get back in the kitchen because I need to supervise dinner, wash them and dress them.

DH, once he's eaten, takes eldest up to bed at 7 and will obv help with anything downstairs beforehand if there's time.

But it just doesn't work. I'm currently waiting for dinner to cook for us, the twins barely ate and screamed a lot, eldest had his on the sofa so he's safe from the babies and I've cried.

I know it's not hard. O know people do it and work full time and with more kids but I feel like someone's going to fall out a chair and get hurt and they're not going to eat properly and they just scream because they're unhappy and hate m3

OP’s posts: |
FizzyPink Tue 20-Apr-21 18:21:12

Why does your DH need to eat when he gets home at 6? That’s ridiculous. Surely you both eat together at 8 once all the kids are in bed?

OppsUpsSide Tue 20-Apr-21 18:23:09

What sort of food are you wanting to have? Do you meal plan? Can you batch cook at the weekend?
The children are between 4-6, is that right? Do they sit in normal chairs at a table?

GreenTeaBlackCoffeeAndRedWine Tue 20-Apr-21 18:23:40

You and your DH could eat once the kids are in bed.

I don't have kids but this is what my parents always did. We were fed, bath and bed by 7 and then they cooked and ate their own dinner.

OppsUpsSide Tue 20-Apr-21 18:23:46

Sorry misread, so the twins are 2, that makes more sense!

gobbynorthernbird Tue 20-Apr-21 18:23:51

Agree with PP, your DH can wait until the kids are in bed before he has his dinner. He could even cook sometimes.

Babysharkdododont Tue 20-Apr-21 18:23:51

Prepare their dinner in advance, do finger foods. Let them eat on a mat on the floor, high chairs aren't essential. Even better have a picnic in the garden if you have one.

Yes for you and DH can be as easy or as hard as you make it.

Can you make a big something (pasta bake / cottage pie / curry etc) and feed the dc a portion and you and DH have what's left?

katy1213 Tue 20-Apr-21 18:24:03

Why do you need his dinner on the table as soon as he walks in the door? It's not the 1950s. He can eat at 8 - or 9 - or whenever it's ready - or better still, cook it himself.

Cosmos45 Tue 20-Apr-21 18:25:01

Gosh, that does sound like a complete nightmare. My first thoughts are can you make your and DH's dinner later when the children have gone to bed? Can you get more organised with what you are going to eat so it is not a big process every evening. I am thinking of batch type cooking where you can freeze stuff, take it out in the morning and just heat it up in the evening. Spaghetti bolognese (freeze the ragu and just add the pasta) or frozen cottage pie, that type of thing?

OppsUpsSide Tue 20-Apr-21 18:25:19

Can the DC have their main meal at lunch (so, cooked school lunch) so their evening meal can be lighter?

BeetyAxe Tue 20-Apr-21 18:25:27

Feed them a big lunch and serve porridge and toast for dinner for the twins at 4.30/5pm and then make something easy for 6pm for the six year old and parents. Get a slow cooker and just use it every day-meat, flavouring, rice, done. Stop being so hard on yourself, twins and another one is difficult! Your new motto needs to be “everyone fed, nobody dead”. You can worry about the variety of food they’re eating when they get older.

BeetyAxe Tue 20-Apr-21 18:25:48

Oh and put Peppa on for the twins while you three eat.

TheChosenTwo Tue 20-Apr-21 18:25:54

While the littlest ones are so little still I’d feed them earlier and feed the adults later on during the week. We did this, ate together at weekends but during the week fed the dc.

rainyskylight Tue 20-Apr-21 18:27:50

DH is working from home and you need his dinner ASAP ready for 6pm! That’s crazy. He can wait until after bedtime. He’s not even coming home hungry after a long commute, he’s just moving from one room to another.

Tiredforfive45 Tue 20-Apr-21 18:27:59

I have twins and an older one too. It is so hard at that age because they need watching like a hawk all the time (and wind each other up!)

We just ate later when they were that little. It wasn’t ideal as I was starving and don’t love eating late, cleaning up and then showering, prepping for work etc.

Sorry, I can’t offer more advice. Stick with it for now, this stage won’t last long! My twins are 3 now and we can all eat nicely together.

UserTwice Tue 20-Apr-21 18:29:00

Cook the main meal at lunch time and give it to the twins then and reheat for you and DH in the evening. DH takes the twins up to bath/bed as soon as he gets in, and eats later.

School age child has school dinner so you can get away with snacky tea: sandwiches, finger food, beans on toast etc.

user1493413286 Tue 20-Apr-21 18:31:40

I would either cook one meal that DH heats up when he comes in or cook once the kids are in bed; we tried doing what you’re describing and the only way it worked was for me to make the kids meal and supervise kids while DH came in and cooked at 6 but then we were eating quickly while kids were grabbing at us/whining while feeling rushed and that’s not how I like to eat my dinner. I think what you’re describing is very hard to do and not enjoyable.
Prep what you can for your dinner before bedtime if you can but if not then don’t worry and cook simple meals.
Sometimes I cook meals earlier in the day or do the prep when it’s calmer or I use nap times

Dancingdolphins Tue 20-Apr-21 18:32:30

I make things in the day that can be reheated at night - and eat when the kids are in bed at 8.

Unanananana Tue 20-Apr-21 18:33:52

Agree with PP, you and DH eat after the DC are in bed. Does he insist on his dinner being on the table at 6pm a la 1950s or is that a target you have set yourself?

Have your older child have hot school meals and prepare an easy hot meal for the twins at lunchtime. Let them eat in front of the tv, whatever it takes. Then you can do a lighter/cold/finger food tea for the DC in the evening.

Your schedule sounds harder than it needs to be, especially with two toddlers.

Ailurusfulgens Tue 20-Apr-21 18:34:38

If they watch TV put it on. Feed twins easy foods. Bath twins after lunch or skip bath time altogether and just wipe them down with a flannel. Prep next days dinner once everyone in bed.

DownRightAmazing Tue 20-Apr-21 18:34:41

First off it does sound hard so you have my sympathy. I think you have to accept that what you are doing now just doesn't work and decide to make a significant change. This depends on your preference but I would suggest either a (which I would do) or b (which I think is more common):

A) substantial snack for DS when you get in from school, small sandwich maybe? Then he can eat with you and DH at 6pm. Twins 'eat' at the table with you too - you and DH each 'man' one twin during the meal - but don't worry about how much they eat at that age. Give them plenty of lunch and a snack mid afternoon. In order for this to work you need to either bulk cook (at the weekend?) or prepare food in advance - maybe when the twins nap? Or maybe the night before after the kids are in bed? DH can take turns!

B) you and DH eat at 8pm. Give the kids a simple tea - sandwich, soup, something-on-toast at 4pm or when it suits. Give the twins a substantial and healthy lunch. Get DS to have school lunches. At 7pm one of you does bedtime, the other does dinner.

The advantage of A is that you all eat together, you share the load of kids mealtimes, in theory kids eat better that way, modelling healthy mealtimes.

The advantage of B is that you can relax and enjoy your own meal - not to be sniffed at.

Pepperminttea16 Tue 20-Apr-21 18:34:44

I agree with pp about your DH dinner. 6pm is very early for adults to have dinner. You could have it at half 7 once the kids are in bed and sorted.

As for what you do, you need to make the slow cooker your friend. Your 6yo and possible twins depending on what it is can have a portion and you can leave it on warm for when you and DH are ready. If what you have made is not suitable for the twins, they can have picky foods

Whoateallthechocolate Tue 20-Apr-21 18:34:44

A slow cooker and put something on at nap time?
Ready meals?
Most of the time, DH & I just eat about 8.30/9.00 as there is just too much going on until then

mynameiscalypso Tue 20-Apr-21 18:34:53

DH gets dinner at whatever time suits me - I'm cooking so he has to live with it. I also totally embrace picnic food for tea post-nursery. If it's outside, it's like a proper treat for DS (when really it just saves me having to clean).

SleepingStandingUp Tue 20-Apr-21 18:36:06


Why does your DH need to eat when he gets home at 6? That’s ridiculous. Surely you both eat together at 8 once all the kids are in bed?

Because then I'm trying to cook dinner whilst getting the twins ready for bed. They won't always go down before 8

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in