IKEA and Me: A Love Story

by Samantha on November 4, 2011

**DISCLAIMER** This is NOT a sponsored post, I have had no dealings with IKEA and I am not being paid or compensated in any way to talk about my love of the Swedish furniture maker.

My boys play “IKEA” at daycare. What? You don’t know what this is? Let me explain.


Sadly, my two-year-olds push a plastic play cart around in their daycare class and tell their friends and teachers “I go IKEA! I go IKEA!” BUSTED!


You see, I am a lazy sod (and I guess my husband is too) because I regularly take my kids to IKEA for dinner. It’s actually become a joke beyond our family, with friends and relatives regularly making comments such as:


” I was gonna call you but I figured you were with the kids at IKEA.”

“You’re eating at home tonight? Why? Was IKEA was closed for dinner?”

It’s gotten to the point that I’ve basically chronicled my kids growing up over the past couple of years through images of them in the dining room at IKEA. Pathetic but true.

IKEA for dinner
February, 2011 – Copyright Multiple Mayhem Mamma

The Swedish Meatballs with fries are the gourmet meal of choice for the boys. My daughter loves either the mac and cheese or the chicken and fries special. My husband and I either get the chicken and fries or the fish and chips. See? We’ve got it down to a fine science. Vegetables are not in the mix, by choice. We’re renegades.


Anyway, meatballs aside, there is a reason for this regular jaunt to this Swedish Mecca of sorts. It’s not the food. No, I can’t say that the meals there are gourmet, let’s face it. We’re talking pretty basic stuff, folks. No, the reason behind the regular foray to IKEA is twofold: Exhaustion and laziness.

Kids in IKEA cafeteria
March 2011 – Copyright Multiple Mayhem Mamma

Day’s end means the following: tired and hungry kids and stressed out parents. There’s that constant question of “what are we having for dinner?” that needs to be answered. Frankly, I really don’t know. I rarely know. It’s a fine science, figuring out what to make that the kids will eat that’s quick, easy and nutritious. It’s hard. I’m impatient and yes, I’m lazy. Sometimes I can’t be bothered and I really don’t care if the correct complement of nutrients, vegetables-in-relation-to-carbohydrates and related items are in sync on my kids’ plates. Yes, it’s easier to defer responsibility to the kindly Swedes and make a beeline for the nearest IKEA. And when my husband and I realized that the twins loved the meatballs and would eat everything on their plate, it was a no-brainer.

Kids at IKEA having Swedish meatballs
July 2011 Copyright Multiple Mayhem Mamma

The family-friendly aspect of the store makes it an easy destination as well. Kids are loved there and you don’t worry if your children have the requisite meltdown as much as you would in another restaurant of a perhaps more distinguished caliber. And so we find ourselves more frequently than we should at the familiar cafeteria at our friendly neighborhood IKEA. 

Twins in shopping cart at IKEA
August 2011 Copyright Multiple Mayhem Mamma

Parents will do anything to get a break as evidenced by not only my family’s jaunts to this location but by the many restaurants that are increasingly seeing moms, dads and kids in tow, looking for a break at dinnertime. The pressures of daily life come to a head sometimes and they just want a break. You know, a little oasis in their world of craziness. Not having to deal with dinner is the break that they’re looking for.

Kids at IKEA
September 2011 Copyright Multiple Mayhem Mamma
Kids at IKEA
September 2011 Copyright 2011 Multiple Mayhem Mamma

So there’s my dirty little secret. I don’t cook a balanced meal daily. I let my kids eat Swedish Meatballs at IKEA on a regular basis. I’m not the perfect mom. So be it. 


Are you lazy when it comes to food as well? How often do you eat out with the kids? Where do you go? Do you feel guilty?

VIDEO: How to Dine Out With Children


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