Tuesday, January 15, 2013

letting go of the kitchen

When we first got married, I felt (self-induced) pressure to cook dinner each night. I always thought I liked to cook and was looking forward to having someone to cook for. It just so happened, the man I married also loves to cook and is actually a better cook than me.

I put a lot of thought into planning our meals, feeling a sense of responsibility. I often got home around the same time as my husband and would go right to work on preparing dinner. Multiple pots would be on the stove and he'd walk in and try to help, removing one (usually the one I didn't think was ready) and putting its contents in a serving bowl.

Couldn't he see that I was cooking? Didn't he know I had it under control?

Cooking proved to be a source of contention during our first year of marriage. We both wanted to cook. I wanted to because I thought it was my duty as the wife. He wanted to because he found it an outlet for creativity.

recipe

I'm not here to argue duty vs. creativity, but something had to give. As much as I'd heard it, I learned firsthand every couple is different and we had to find what works for our marriage. We had many conversations about cooking and who should do it. We tried to do it together, but found we were getting in each other's way, rather than doing it together.

Eventually, I let go. I could see he was energized by cooking, whereas I felt drained. It was clearly a more life-giving experience for him.

I had to ask myself what life-giving experiences there were for me to pursue. Not all chores are life-giving, but some are. Having clean clothes neatly folded and put away energizes me, so I do the laundry.

Have you had to let go of something you thought you loved? 

4 comments:

  1. ha! that sounds like mark and i in the kitchen, he's constantly turning things down when i don't think they should be, it's horrible, haha! we share the cooking because as much as i think i should, i realize that i don't always like it and he's more than happy to make something sometimes. i like to say that after 9 years we've finally come to a happy medium :)

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  2. I'm glad you guys were able to work it out, and now you can both enjoy mealtime. I do the cooking, though my husband will occasionally pop in to do a meal now and then. For the most part I enjoy it, though. We have more of an issue with cleaning, but it's been hard to keep up with since our house has been under construction for the past 3 years. It's one of those things I need to get a better balance with.

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  3. i'm sorta' a control freak - i think i can do things better or "the right way" - so it's hard for me to have my beau do things - we "fight" over 'doing' it - but cooking for sure - i do that -- but i did give up some of the more 'manly' chores

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  4. that is so awesome. cooking/doing recipes is life giving for me-- but the husband does cook once or twice a week to help me out.

    buuuut i remember when we first got married, i tried to pay the bills, because my mom paid the bills in my family.

    it was terrible. I am bad at math, bad at numbers and finances and ugh. now evan does it.

    he also does laundry but we both hate it... so he just does it because he's great like that :)

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