Tuesday, February 12, 2013

For The Love Of My Marriage

Oh, unspoken expectations.

So since I'm home with our little boy (I'm sloooowly returning to work), there's been this shift that's occurred in my marriage. Prior to the birth of our son we both worked full-time jobs. Now, Mr. Fix-It works a traditional schedule and I'm transitioning toward part-time-odd-hours-but-primarily-a-SAHM. And for the record, staying home and raising children is MORE than a full-time job. For real. I mean, sure, my "boss" took a 4 hour nap yesterday. But I also haven't slept on my own schedule since...August? Literally at any given moment I'm on call.

I digress...

So, when we both worked outside the home "equally" meal planning (or lack thereof) and housework were joint efforts - 50/50. Now that I'm home, groceries, cleaning, laundry, etc are all mine. I'm not complaining, per se, just observing. It's an unspoken expectation I've placed on myself. (And the hubs doesn't seem too upset.)

The real point of this post is about meal planning, though. I don't care about dinner. Weird? Maybe. By the end of the day, I would be happy to eat a bowl of cereal, some strawberries, and a few bites of cottage cheese. In fact, that's what I ate most nights when I was doing the single girl studio apartment scene. (I was also at my thinnest then. Just saying.) I really have little interest in cooking a whole meal that disappears in 10 minutes. And then clean up. Ugh.

Mr. Fix-It, on the other hand, is pretty rigid about his meals. I think the idea of skipping a meal gives him the shakes. Cereal for dinner? You may as well offer him cardboard. So, pre-baby, on the average night, at about 6:30 we would both blankly look at each other and wonder what to make for dinner. Mr. Fix-It would be annoyed that I didn't care, and I'd be annoyed that "fend for ourselves" wasn't considered a desirable option. It was a frequent source of tension.

Lately I've started doing this crazy thing. I meal plan. On Sunday I decide what we're eating for dinner each night. I make a list of ingredients we need. We grocery shop. I either get dinner started in the late afternoon, or Mr. Fix-It and I cook together once baby-man is asleep.

So, dare I say it? It's actually enjoyable. I no longer feel like a domestic failure and Mr. Fix-It is thrilled that we eat like a normal couple/family. Score one for marital bliss.


  1. Way to go! Dinner is a complicated thing at my home too. I'm pretty happy with the fend for yourself option but lately I've felt in a dinner rut. Thanks for giving me some hope!

  2. Since becoming unemployed from a fulltime job and beginning part time freelancing from home, I've gotten way into meal planning our dinners. This way I can also keep track of what I made when, so I don't repeat too often. I look like an amazing wife, which helps deflect my failings in other areas if domestic maintenance (laundry/taking out the trash... No comment!)

  3. I'm with you on meal planning and having not wanted to cook much since baby arrived (we didn't want to cook much before either :)). I use plantoeat.com for meal planning and it's awesome (and affordable)! You can import recipes into it, plan them on a calendar and then the best part it that it automatically creates a shopping list for you that you can access on your phone. It's saved me a lot of time, especially with being a mom now (I used it before too).

  4. I love meal planning and one thing to make it even easier is do theme nights if you are getting stuck! I often make it so at least one night a week is soup too which will work for lunches later!

  5. oh girl, I need to introduce you to emeals. Saved my marriage (not kidding, as we had that same source of tension prior to ). It designs meal plans around the size of your family, and where you grocery shop, as it makes meals around what is on sale. It sends you the meal plan, how to prepare it, and includes a shopping list with prices. $5/month, THAT'S IT.

  6. We're pretty much in the fend for yourself zone. I wish we could get our act together and meal plan. When we actually do cook we enjoy it, but it's rare. Once I'm home from work I'm too lazy to think about what to cook let alone actually cook somehting. I need some of your bliss and meal planning skills. :)

  7. Meal planning is the only way we eat around here. We shift the nights around now and again, but it helps me a ton especially now that my extra time is severely lacking. It has also made a huge difference in our grocery spending!

  8. First of all, before I comment on your post let me just say you're an excellent writer. I don't know if you make any money at writing from home but there are lots of options - reply back if you're interested in any. (isn't that just like a man? - always thinking about how to make money). Anyway ...

    My wife and I raised 4 kids and believe me my respect for motherhood went through the roof when I saw how my wife cared for our kids. The level of commitment it takes is nothing short of amazing. (she had all 4 at home btw, with no medication ... I think I almost needed meds watching)

    Up all hours of the night, perpetual cleaning up after them, carrying one on the hip while fixing meals, etc. It's something to behold. And yes, I contributed, but nowhere near what she probably would have liked. Something I've always tried to make up for since. In my younger years ALL I cared about was making money, so my thinking was "I'll do my work, you do yours". I know, wrong. Why in the world I'm telling on myself like this I have no idea.

    Anyway, great article. I love your humor and I couldn't agree with you more about slaving for hours for a meal that's gone "in 10 minutes". That kind of slammed the brakes on any interest I had in cooking. Not that it's effected the eating part though. :-)

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