It’s not that my husband is an idiot…it’s that I think I know everything.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that post “Dads are Men, not Idiots,” and where our family falls on the spectrum of dad being treated like a babysitter who requires notebooks full of lists if mom leaves for a weekend to an equal partnership where both parents are proficient in all aspects of homemaking.
It’s not all that hard to figure out.
I know that although there’s no way he could do my daughter’s hair, my husband could cook and feed the children if I was gone for a few days.
However – I still prepare food in advance and leave lists when I do depart the premises for more than a few hours.
But it’s not his fault.
I’m just controlling and have high standards for what we eat, and I run my kitchen a bit like a walled fortress where only the table-setting and dish-doing jobs lie outside the moat.
But you should also know that I took ten minutes attempting to turn on a cartoon for our 3-year-old recently and utterly failed, so I have some purposeful ignorance preventing my end of “equal partnership.”
Reflecting on whether I treat my husband like an idiot or not, plus an email from a single dad reader that I’ve held onto for (literally) 2 1/2 years, plus Father’s Day coming up all tumbled together to create this post, which is sponsored by Massage for Couples (you’ll see why later).
Should Dads Learn to Cook?
In my husband’s case, rather like I am with the new fancy TV remote and systems, he chooses not to dive deeply into cooking.
It’s not his passion, and he has someone who loves him who is happy to cook three square meals a day for him.
Perhaps, though, fathers should learn a few cooking skills so they can share the daily load with their own specialty.
For example, my husband kicks my butt at making cheesy scrambled eggs that the kids love (and knows how to add veggies for the adult version too).
The single dad reader who wrote to me tends toward the Vitamix to nourish his kiddos.
And my own brother knows his way around a kitchen too, from homemade jam to veggie sautees.
Even if a guy has a wife who loves to cook and doesn’t mind him staying out of the kitchen, there still might be a few reasons for all dads – single or married – to get in the kitchen and cook real food for their families.
5 Reasons Dads are Motivated to Cook Well
1. An Excuse to Play with Cool Loud Tools
Straight from my single dad reader who likes his Vitamix for smoothies and more, one reason it’s fun for guys to do more than frozen pizzas might be the power tools in the kitchen.
Food processors are decent, hand blenders, maybe – but of course a high-powered blender is the most fun.
We use ours all the time for smoothies (although I admit my husband lets me be the expert), and that single-ingredient banana (and other frozen fruit) ice cream is another good one.
2. To Impress the Ladies
It’s never a bad idea for a husband to give his wife a break from the chores that usually fall to her (just as I see it as a gift to my spouse when I take out the garbage or clean a bathroom, both typically “his” jobs right now).
Giving gifts to each other is an important part of being married, and if a wife’s love language is acts of service (meaning that she feels very loved when someone does something for her with their time), it’s vitally important.
And for single dads, it’s a good card to play when getting to know single moms, according to my reader.
3. Upping the Disposable Income for Bacon
When I was little, we always went out to eat on Friday nights and ordered pizza on Sundays, my dad’s way of giving my mom, who stayed at home, a break in the kitchen.
That’s all I could think of when I read my single dad reader’s suggestion here, which of course cracked me up. Making your own food from scratch is almost always less expensive than eating out or convenience foods, so if you can avoid those situations, ta da! More bacon.
‘Cause bacon is pricey these days.
4. Keeping Control Over Kids’ Diet and Behavior/Quality Time Together
I love that I have guy readers.
There’s only 2-4% of them out there, but that totally makes my day.
Because it means that they understand the importance of real food and the role cooking your own meals plays in all of life – not only your budget (bacon!), but even family time around the table, and the kids’ overall health and behavior.
If both parents (or a single dad) can cook well, there’s less temptation to order out or get cheap convenience food, and therefore kids are eating with fewer compromises.
Whether kids help out in the kitchen or not, it’s likely that with a homemade meal, the family is gathering around the table together. They might talk about the food, they might talk about their day…but being together for meals is incredibly important.
5. So Mom has Energy to Trade Massages After the Kids go to Bed
With four kids including a 7-month-old baby, my husband and I don’t get out much.
But we DO take one night a week to put work and to-do lists away and make sure we spend time together.
The last two months or so, I’ve been making slow cooker meals or soups that can stay warm a long time – we put the kids to bed an hour early and have an “adult dinner,” just the two of us.
We pour two glasses of wine.
We skip doing dishes.
And we just enjoy each other’s company.
We’ve been using the MELT: Massage for Couples videos since February and – thanks to baby being a terrible sleeper – we’ve hardly scratched the surface of what they offer, although we’ve had some truly great in-home date nights already.
It goes better if mom isn’t exhausted, hence the tip for dad to make dinner if possible.
We highly recommend it!
The $147 value video series is normally $99 but is 20% off through 6/21/15. The gift for him will definitely turn out to be a win-win, especially if he decides the best way to use it is to cook you dinner first.
That’s $26 per date night if you do one massage series per night for 3 times…but only $6.50 each if you can manage one date night a month. It’s not like getting and giving a great massage gets old…that’s why we haven’t gotten past the basic course even though we’ve done it 3-4 times!
As my single dad reader said about learning to cook, for him: “It’s a power and performance play.”
Kind of like trading massages, I suppose.
I heard from another reader who bought the MELT course earlier this year:
My husband and I purchased the MELT bundle and we were very pleased. My husband has tried throughout our marriage to give me a massage, and I’ve never actually enjoyed it. We didn’t get very far in the video series, and he already improved immensely! I can’t wait for our next “massage date night” so we can get even further!
If you’re looking for the perfect Father’s Day present, especially one that won’t create clutter, this is definitely it.
You can even print massage IOUs and printable Hide-n-Seek cards to have a little fun with the surprise. Get those here.
The instructor in the video, Denis Merkas, has 15 years massage experience and has given massages to all sorts of famous rich people – but he quit that gig to work at home with his lovely wife Emma, because he says, “Couples need these massages more than celebrities.”
The videos are totally clean and in small chunks so you can learn to massage your spouse no matter how fast your baby wakes up or how short your time is before someone is too tired to keep their eyes open. (See more about how much we enjoyed these courses and what we’d been doing totally wrong for 15 years in no. 3 right HERE.)
So ladies…what are you getting hubby for Father’s Day?
The winners of last week’s Squooshi giveaway are:
- Leah Romin
- Bethany Brown
- Rachel Brummel
Congrats, ladies! Email your snail mail address to katy at kitchenstewardship.com and watch for a fun box!