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Dining out has its benefits

Sometimes dining out on a busy day has

Sometimes dining out on a busy day has its benefits. Credit: iStock

My guilty secret is that I take my son out to eat a lot. Probably about once a week.

It’s mostly on a day during the workweek when the thought of even putting a pot of water to boil on the stove makes me want to weep.

Being a single mom means having to do it all myself, but it also means I get to call the shots. So, if I don’t want to cook, we go out.

I love to cook, and my 10-year-old is a great eater. He loves his nightly salad and will ask for broccoli at home and in restaurants. He rarely will order chicken nuggets and loves a good Bolognese sauce.

For a child who never ate in a restaurant until he was 7 (he was adopted then), he is now a seasoned diner. The places we go on a regular basis know him by name, and often bring his salad without even asking. No takeout or fast food for us. We choose places we can sit and enjoy the experience, and where the food is nutritious, although I do allow him a root beer since we don't keep soda at home.

On weekends, I cook up a storm, usually enough to last a few more days into the week. But somewhere around Thursday or Friday, my food and energy run out.

Sometimes I feel that dining out is a waste of money, but other times I find it gives the two of us time outside the house where there are no TV shows to watch and chores to do, a place to just sit and talk. Some of our best mom-and-son conversations happen over a restaurant table.

I sometimes have to remind myself to give the perfect suburban mom illusion a break, and just pay the check.

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