The Home Cook Enabler

A photo of a cup of coffee.Image via WikipediaCreating more cooks in the home is the answer to the reduction of personal stress.  No one person should be responsible for the cooking and cleaning (unless you’re single, of course). I created a fallacy.  I am doing all the cooking and cleaning in the kitchen.  While I enjoy it, I am slowly but surely feeling empty.  The spark is dwindling.  It wasn’t until my daughter’s state swim meet this past weekend that I realized the problem.

For an entire weekend, my daughter and I drove one and one half  hours away from our home to the meet to arrive there before 6:45 a.m. On the first day of the meet, we did not arrive home until 10:30 p.m. We went back and forth from our home to the meet three days in a row.   It was on the last day that I was running late (I woke up at 4:30 a.m. instead of 3:30 a.m.).  We needed to leave our house by 5:00 a.m.  I quickly got dressed, made myself a skim latte and drove to our destination.  It was about 7:55 a.m. when I received a call from my husband.  He was angry that there was no coffee.  I couldn’t believe it!  He kept asking “where is the coffee” and “how much should I put in the coffee maker?”  It was at that point that I realized I was an enabler.

I created a group of folks in my house, who I love, to expect food on the table when they wake up and when they return from school and work.  I spent so much time trying to defuse the question, “What’s for dinner?” that I created a different kind of mess. A husband, in particular,  and children who do not know where things  are in the kitchen (pots, pans, and food items) and how to use them.  This is not a healthy family!

My husband should know how to make coffee and to prepare food for others instead of just for himself.  My children should be more engaged in making meals and cleaning the kitchen after everything is done.

I make the excuse that it is okay for me to cook most of the time because I do not have work a 9 to 5 job; I shouldn’t  elicit the help of others because they are all too busy is what I often say. There should not be any excuses to have members of the family not knowing how things operate and where things are located in case food has to be made.  This will change.

I know that I will be cooking most of the time but the difference will be that I will have more help.  I no longer want to feel like I can’t take a break from cooking or leave the house without feeling guilty that something wasn’t made for them.  I want to continue to enjoy cooking.  This will only happen if there are more home cooks in my family.