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The insanity of cooking suppers for someone who had a baby
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shoshanim999




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 8:35 am
So a woman in my neighborhood had a baby almost 3 weeks ago. I was asked to make supper for her family around a week ago and of course I did. I was also careful to keep up with everybody else who was making these ridiculously outlandish multi course meals that would be fit for a king and would undoubtedly result in tons of leftovers. So around an hour ago I get a phone call asking if I can make supper again next week. Are you kidding??? First of all the who idea of making supper is to show that you are thinking of the person and to be friendly. In reality her husband can go to any of the 50 take out stores in the neighborhood and buy supper starting day one. I understand its nice to show you care and to make supper for the family, but why does everybody insist on making these suppers that I see people posting on facebook? Does anybody really need that much food? Also, 3 weeks later we are still making suppers??? Enough already!!!
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pesek zman




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 8:41 am
If you don't want to make dinner for her, (or didn't want to in the first place) then you should have said no. "I'm sorry, I have a lot in my plate right now. Maybe next time" And I don't understand why you felt to need to 'keep up' and send a multi course meal. Can't you just double whatever you were serving your family for dinner that night and send over half? I make dinners often for peope, but I keep it simple. Baked ziti, sliced veggies or a salad or corn on the cob, and zucchini bread (or my latest find: cinnamon buns in the tube in the refrigerator section that I bake and thrills everyone who gets it) I send because I found it helpful when I had a baby, not because I feel obligated. And even though you feel 3 weeks is too much, isn't it possible that there are extenuating circumstances? A complicated recovery, ppd, or a husband who works long hours and isn't home? My point is: if making dinners for new moms isn't your thing then own up to it and don't do it. And cetainly don't go crazy sending fancy food!
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notshanarishona




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 8:48 am
I agree that it's overdone and not everyone really needs it.

For example, young couples who this is their first child or people whose mother comes in to help for 2 weeks I don't really think need it.

But in certain situations it is very helpful.
There are many husbands who can barely cook in the kitchen and can't take off of work to be helping in those first few weeks, etc.


It's also a good way to help people to be part of the simcha without spending a huge amount of $.
It spreads good will and helps the new mother feel like people are happy for her
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ahuva06




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 8:49 am
....And this is where we cut off our noses to spite our face. We insist on having to outdo our neighbors and make a bigger and fancier supper than everyone else - until we simply don't want to do it anymore because it's too much!
PP momma just wants a healthy, filling supper for her and her family. She doesn't need anything remotely fancy or gourmet!!! Chicken and potatoes/lasagna etc would be perfect!!
How did we even get to this point?!
(Talking about us women as a community, not OP specifically.)
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Maya




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:05 am
My question is why these women, who have nine months to prepare for this occasion, don't cook ahead and freeze dinners to be used during the postpartum period. I'm asking a serious question. That's one thing I don't understand about this whole issue.
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morah




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:07 am
You are bringing the insanity on yourself. I've never received nor given a post-baby meal that was anything other than lasagna, ziti, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken and rice/potatoes. One friend sent me a pizza from the pizza shop. A little weird, as I could have just ordered a pizza myself, but I certainly appreciated that she thought of us. I've never seen a second course that was more than bagged salad and a small bottle of dressing. Perfectly fine and nutritious course in my book. I don't know what you think other people are doing, but just make a huge pan of ziti and a bag of salad, the person on the receiving end will be happy for another night of not cooking dinner. And if you can't make anything or don't want to participate, then don't. Say sorry, I'm busy this week.

Every now and then, we get a thread whining about the community meal thing because most people don't technically need it. Here's the thing: in communities where it's done, it's NOT solely about need. It's a social activity too, fostering good will and warm feelings. You make meals for pp women, and when it's your turn, some of them make meals for you, and it's a nice way to build community. If someone is really struggling, they will be taken care of well beyond two weeks as a chessed, but that first week (or two in places that do two weeks), everyone gets a taste of the community sharing in the simcha, even if they don't strictly need. If you don't like it, you don't have to participate. Do other stuff you find more worthwhile. But stop complaining about a system that generally works and that most people are happy with.
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amother




Azure


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:08 am
I'm with you OP. I used to live in a fairly remote community where there were no nearby restaurants or kosher stores. Making meals for each other made sense there. But now living in a place where take-out can be called in from 2 dozen plus places it's a bit silly. And it's really uncouth I think when they post those meal train things and you'll see requests sometimes for 4 adults. Parents have come to stay with them and they all need to be catered to? Nobody else can cook or order take-out?
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allthingsblue




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:09 am
notshanarishona wrote:
I agree that it's overdone and not everyone really needs it.

For example, young couples who this is their first child or people whose mother comes in to help for 2 weeks I don't really think need it.

But in certain situations it is very helpful.
There are many husbands who can barely cook in the kitchen and can't take off of work to be helping in those first few weeks, etc.


It's also a good way to help people to be part of the simcha without spending a huge amount of $.
It spreads good will and helps the new mother feel like people are happy for her


Actually, as "a young couple who this is their first child," I was incredibly overwhelmed. I didn't have a second to make myself a meal, not even cereal and milk, let alone Dh, because I was busy trying to figure out what he baby needs. Don't forget, when it's your first, everything- from changing diapers to feeding- takes much longer. And I was not in an emotional state to cook or think about shopping at all.
I am tremendously grateful to my neighbors for sending meals! It made a world of a difference in our lives!
I know this doesn't help op, but I couldn't let this sentence pass without informing you that young couples with a first child are also going through many changes, thank you very much.
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amother




Red


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:10 am
Maya wrote:
My question is why these women, who have nine months to prepare for this occasion, don't cook ahead and freeze dinners to be used during the postpartum period. I'm asking a serious question. That's one thing I don't understand about this whole issue.


Some families won't eat frozen food. Mine won't.
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Iymnok




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:11 am
I feel that it's nice to give the mother a small break. The n,shei here does 1 week of meals including one Shabbos.
Usually protein, carb and maybe a salad.
That's things like ;
Baked ziti
Schnitzel and rice or potatoes
Pizza
Meatballs and rice
Bagels and spreads/toppings
Shepherds pie
Soup and rolls
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Maya




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:12 am
amother wrote:
Some families won't eat frozen food. Mine won't.

So you'll have people putting in all that effort and cooking for you because your family is too good to eat frozen meals? Talk about entitled.
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allthingsblue




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:13 am
Maya wrote:
My question is why these women, who have nine months to prepare for this occasion, don't cook ahead and freeze dinners to be used during the postpartum period. I'm asking a serious question. That's one thing I don't understand about this whole issue.


There's no room in my freezer.
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amother




Lime


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:15 am
amother wrote:
I'm with you OP. I used to live in a fairly remote community where there were no nearby restaurants or kosher stores. Making meals for each other made sense there. But now living in a place where take-out can be called in from 2 dozen plus places it's a bit silly. And it's really uncouth I think when they post those meal train things and you'll see requests sometimes for 4 adults. Parents have come to stay with them and they all need to be catered to? Nobody else can cook or order take-out?


When my daughter had a baby, I flew in from out of the country. Obviously I couldn't bring food along. I was happy to grocery shop and prepare food, but I was also cleaning up, doing laundry etc. So it was really nice when a friend brought over food for us all.
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amother




Turquoise


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:15 am
Maya wrote:
My question is why these women, who have nine months to prepare for this occasion, don't cook ahead and freeze dinners to be used during the postpartum period. I'm asking a serious question. That's one thing I don't understand about this whole issue.


I don't get meals PP-my friends live far and I'm not that close with the neighbors. BUT I can still answer your question: with my first I froze tonz of food before the birth. It mostly went to the garbage! I guess me and family just don't like the taste of frozen food- every time I try to freeze food we end up not eating it . So I stopped freezing food in advance and rely on DH, pasta, sandwiches and take out. Hard but we manage. But that's why I don't freeze anymore.
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Maya




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:15 am
allthingsblue wrote:
There's no room in my freezer.

Do you feel that's a good enough reason to have others cook for you?

If your freezer is full it must be full of some kind of food. You could serve that or have your family eat those foods before you refill with meals.
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amother




Red


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:18 am
Maya wrote:
So you'll have people putting in all that effort and cooking for you because your family is too good to eat frozen meals? Talk about entitled.


I don't know if it is entitled so much as my kids won't eat frozen food. It is senseless to serve it to them. Believe me I wish I could double up my cooking and freeze half.
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amother




Red


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:20 am
Maya wrote:
Do you feel that's a good enough reason to have others cook for you?

If your freezer is full it must be full of some kind of food. You could serve that or have your family eat those foods before you refill with meals.


My freezer is full of raw food. I buy it in bulk. Not everyone has previously cooked food in their freezer.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:27 am
Sometimes there's a real reason that a family needs the support of suppers for an extended period of time - like if the mother has PPD or can't manage, or if the baby is premature or has medical challenges that require attention, or for some other reason. In such cases some of thesee isssues can even start during PG so the mother wouldn't necessarily have been able to stock her freezer in advance, either.

Other than that I do think 2 weeks of meals is sufficient. After that, she can start to use the meals she has prepared in advance in her freezer, when she had a day that supper just didn't happen (each of my 3 girls had "shrieking" days where they screeched all afternoon, call it colic, whatever, supper didn't happen those days!) and on better days she can cook. Or do take-out once in a while (OP, not everyone can afford supper from the take-out places on a daily basis.)

Though I will say, I was touched when a friend of mine said she's making me supper for the day I go back to work PP - at six weeks. That was nice!

That being said, forget about those gorgeous poster meals for the new Mom. I know that for myself, the best suppers were simple, filling, and nutritious. My picky kids aren't going to touch your fabulous recipe for skirt steak with chili aioli and grilled eggplant (just making that up) but the simple baked chicken, rice, and vegetables are delicious and filling.

When I make supper for a new Mom, I keep to a simple menu - a hearty vegetable soup with meat in it (a new Mom needs extra proteins), roast chicken, potatoes or rice, and vegetables or a salad. Cookies if I have extra time. I send plenty so there's leftovers for tomorrow's lunch (the mother may be breastfeeding - I know for myself I'm STARVING in the beginning nursing days).
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allthingsblue




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:28 am
Maya wrote:
Do you feel that's a good enough reason to have others cook for you?

If your freezer is full it must be full of some kind of food. You could serve that or have your family eat those foods before you refill with meals.


No, I definitely don't think that's a good enough reason, but luckily for me, even though I originally turned down my neighbors' generous offers for meals, they insisted- and I am ever grateful.
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amother




Turquoise


Post  Thu, Oct 22 2015, 9:29 am
amother wrote:
I don't know if it is entitled so much as my kids won't eat frozen food. It is senseless to serve it to them. Believe me I wish I could double up my cooking and freeze half.


I agree (I'm the amother who doesn't get meals...). My family is picky. I'm picky. I don't ask anyone for anything but I am realistic enough to not waste my time on freezing meals.
Anyway I think anyone can manage a few weeks on easy food (pasta with ketshup type of food) that the mother or father can easily make. It's still nice though to get warm meals and if people do it happily - why not?
I say OP - just stop comparing. Either say you can't do it or make a simple meal. And go off FB - it's such a fake world out there. No need and no reason to make such elaborate and fancy meals. I'm sure most families would enjoy something simple!
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