Can you cook larger amounts on the weekend to use for the week? I.e., I'll cook a chicken and a larger amount of mashed potatoes, then reheat this on a weeknight, just adding a vegetable. Or doing no-boil lasagna, which is pretty simple, especially if you use good jarred sauce. You can make it up on a Sunday and have leftovers 1 or 2 nights. I will also sometimes rely on the prepared dinners you can get--Jennie O's Turkey slices w/gravy are ok, so is Tyson's chicken marsala--and add mashed potato leftovers and a veggie. Make a double quantity of soup or stew, stovetop or in the crockpot, then serve leftovers one night.
If your kids are picky, you can also do simple quick things like mac n cheese in-the-box and chicken nuggets. My dd will get by on a PB&J sandwich if she doesn't like what we are having--since she eats a big meal at lunch that's ok with me.
Also, be sure to pack any lunch bags the night before, it really helps.
Your 5 year old and 2 year old might be able to help as well--such as in setting the table, putting toys away.
As far as the laundry goes, I am now trying to do a load every night or every other night so it doesn't build up. Even if it sometimes sits in the basket, that's better than having your weekends filled with laundry.
It is easier to build strong children than to repair b.roken men.
"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." -- Benjamin Franklin