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Chicken Nuggets and Mac n Cheese

Chicken nuggets and mac n cheese are on the menu at my house way too often. I started getting really frustrated with my kids recently, because it seems like all they ever want is chicken nuggets and mac n cheese. I make a beautiful dinner for my family, and immediately they start requesting chicken nuggets and mac n cheese.

Like seriously, I was like, “fine, if that’s what you want, then fine.” I was defeated and upset.

So, there I was making yet another pot of mac n cheese, and heating up the oven for yet another batch of chicken nuggets. All the while, my three older kids were running around, laughing and playing, while their baby brother crawled after them.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…

In a few short years, I won’t be here stirring a pot of mac n cheese, listening to my children’s laughter. I won’t be waiting for the oven to preheat so I can place a bunch of frozen chicken nuggets on a tray.

Instead, I’ll be eating a nice meal with my husband while my four beautiful children that once insisted they climb all over me while the second I sat down, are off with their friends making their own memories.

Naturally, I was not misty eyed as I came to terms with making yet another batch of chicken nuggets and mac n cheese. Then, I started thinking of all those little things that may seem like a nuisance now, but the meaning they hold is worth so much more.

I can’t even tell you the last time I slept all through the night. Nearly every night I end up having to rock a baby to sleep, or chase away monsters, or clean up after a bed-wetting accident.

The list goes on and on…

The amount laundry I do with four kids is astronomical. I should just start my own laundry service.

Our schedule is beyond hectic, we are constantly running here and there. Gymnastics, basketball, therapy, school trips, you name it. Then of course there is the constant mess that accompanies life with kids.

I’m talking marker and crayon on anyone and anything. Sticky juice messes everywhere, glitter messes, mud brought in from dirty shoes, and toys scattered all over the floor.

It goes on and on

As I’m now adding the cheese to the mac n cheese, and taking the chicken nuggets out of the oven, my almost 3 year old brings me the same book that I have already read her probably a million times today.

At the same time, my older 2 are yelling for mommy, and the baby is starting to cry.

There is never enough time.

There is never enough time when you are a mom to young kids. I’ll be on the toilet and signing permission slips at the same time. We learn to make dinner, hold the baby, and help with math homework all at the same time.

We learn to accept that there is limited time now for ourselves. We accept that these babies need us now more than anything.


But what does it all mean?

What does all the chicken nuggets, messy floors, late nights mean? Well, it means that you will never be needed the way that you are needed right now.

It means that with each passing day, those beautiful babies are growing up, and we have to face facts. Sure ,one day I won’t have baskets of laundry to do. I won’t have sticky messes to clean, or late nights begging for just a little bit of sleep.

Instead I’ll have a quiet house, just me and my husband. No more little feet running all around. No more sounds of peek-a-boo. No more “MOMMY, MOOOOOOMM!” No more chicken nuggets and mac n cheese.

That right there, is the most terrifying realization that I have ever had.

All those times that I have thought or said, “I can’t wait…”

Well, I take it all back, because I can wait and I want to wait for as long as possible. I’m not ready to give this all up yet, and throw it in the closet. I’m not ready to start that next stage, because I am not ready for any of them to grow up.

When that time comes, I’ll except it, but saying goodbye to this stage that we are in right now, is something that is going to have to wait.


Because, I have more random dance parties to attend.

Because, I have more 3 am cuddles to give.

Because, I have more sticky, glittery messes to make and clean up with them.

Because, I have more tiny socks, princess dresses and dinosaur tails to wash.

Because, I have more gymnastic nights, basketball games and school trips to attend.

Because, I have more re-reading and re-watching to do with them.

Because, I have more permission slips to sign while sitting on the toilet.

Because, I have more chicken nuggets and mac n cheese to make.

I have so much more to give to them, and we have so many more memories to make. So that quiet, clean house, is going to have to wait a bit longer, because I am just not ready for it.

It’s funny how all of this occurred on such a stressful night of chicken nuggets and mac n cheese, but I couldn’t be happier, because it made me realize just how lucky I am in this moment. I have never been as loved as I am right now, serving mac n cheese and chicken nuggets and baby puffs to 4 smiling faces.

They will never again need me the way that they need me right now, and honestly, I need them just as much.

So moms, make that box of mac n cheese. Heat up those frozen nuggets in the oven, because one day there won’t be any little ones to give them to, and all you will be left with is the memories of chicken nuggets and mac n cheese!



  • Rach

    I used to be so uptight about processed foods, treats, and junk food. I centered my identity around it way too much. After almost 16 years of being a mom I’ve learned more balance. I don’t believe in creating weird restrictions around food. It’s unhealthy. Sometimes there are more important things to do than cook the perfect meal ♡

  • Margaret

    I love this! My kids are crazy about mac n cheese too. I make it weekly. Sometimes I dream about the day when my house will no longer be a mess, with toys strewn all over the floor, but I know when that day comes, I will miss days like today, as the mother of young children. Your post is a wonderful reminder.

  • Stephanie

    I know this struggle all too well! Only our fall back is either hot dogs or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! I realize the days are numbered, especially with my oldest in kindergarten so full-time school and needing me less and less. But some nights, I really wish they would just eat the dinner I made.

  • Geeky Daddy

    I totally get this! I only have one child ( 2-year-old boy) who loves chicken nuggets and I don’t mind. The quicker we get meals ready, the more time we have to play with our cars and trucks!

  • Mommy Dearest

    This was like walking down memory lane. Please don’t think Mac & Cheese and Chicken nuggets will ever be a memory. If you are like me-and as my daughter you have plenty of me in you (sorry about that)-sooner than you ever think possible you will be making it for your grandchildren. I am happy and proud that you have the ability to take a chaotic moment and see the beauty and significance of it. That is not always easy. I have been a mother for almost 29 years and an empty nester for 5 months. You were the first to leave and I was not ready-didn’t think I would ever be ready. When my last baby boy moved out last July, I was ready. Someday you also will have an empty nest. Embrace it knowing that you as a parent raised self sufficient adults. For now cherish those babies as I cherished you and your brothers. Last bit of advice —buy stock in macaroni and chicken! Love you BabyGirl!

  • David Elliott

    It is kind of funny how difficult at times it seems to be needed all the time. But ultimately when our children don’t need us anymore, we do miss that more than we can possibly imagine.

  • Elizabeth O

    My kids loved Macn Cheese when they were younger and couldn’t get enough of Annie’s organic white cheese mix. They no longer eat it but remember the joy of having it.

  • Jennifer Morrison

    I love the saying the Days are Long but the years are short. It goes so very quickly. And yes, once no one wants Chicken Nuggets or the book read it means more time for yourself. But it also means that the young kid memories are done for a while. Luckily, grandkids come next.

  • Flossie McCowald

    Oh, SO well put, mama!!! I totally agree with you, 100%, on everything except the fact that I am STILL grateful mine are all beyond the diaper stage. Saying goodbye to that stage is one milestone I have NEVER wanted to turn back the clock on!!!

  • Henrietta

    Besides being a fan of chicken nuggets, I love how you remind us that “There is never enough time” But my is it a fulfilling time to nurture our babies. They grow up so fast so the limited self-time is OK.

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