A View from the Other Side – Day 1

A few weeks ago, I asked my wife if I could give her a break in the kitchen for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Cara responded rather enthusiastically. I’m not sure if she had thought about the possibility that I might burn every meal, but we agreed to do it. I spent some time planning a menu and grocery list, and Cara helped me simplify a bit. She also offered to be my sous chef if needed (yes, please!). I’ve cooked a couple times before, but I am the level before rookie (if there is one). The following are some thoughts from my view from the other side.

Food

Today, I made an adventurous trip to Trader Joe’s after a breakfast of cereal and bagels – everyone had their pick. I managed to get everything I needed without going over the weekly budget that Cara and I work from. However, I cannot take any pride in this seeing as Cara already had many of the necessary things in the cupboards or freezer. She always seems to have something somewhere to cook up a meal. I would fail at this miserably.

When I returned, we had pita pockets with hummus, kalamata olives, spinach, red peppers, and cucumbers with some cantaloupe. After this, the girls went down for their nap while Cara and I had a few moments to ourselves. Everyone in the family seems to be sick with myself as the exception, so “moments to ourselves” was really just that with the up and down of the girls as they struggled with breathing or needed some assistance.

For dinner, Cara talked me through a meal of sweet and sour chicken with carrots and red peppers, rice, and green beans with garlic. I had a recipe from the web, but it didn’t look as if it would turn out too well. Of course, Cara is a walking recipe book! Our girls were so excited about an afternoon with mom making jewelry and playing “makeover” that they all dressed in fancy dresses and set the table for a fancy dinner. After we all finished, a piece of Christmas chocolate and a Strawberry Shortcake movie ended the night.

Reflections

While I “know” what Cara does at home, I often overlook what her efforts really mean to our family. I spent a large part of the day thinking about, shopping for, preparing, and cleaning up after meals. My time in the kitchen provided an opportunity for Cara to spend more time with the girls. Translated back to a “usual” day, Cara’s time in the kitchen allows me to come home the hero to my girls as I’m able to sit down and play. My girls love to play games, wrestle and tickle when I play with them. Today, though, they were “all girl”! They made and wore pretty things and saw and heard their mother’s support and encouragement along the way.

Now, Cara is also involved in things at our church, taking care of neighbors, having friends over, homeschooling our girls…actually, I shouldn’t even attempt to continue. The point is, she’s busy. This week is actually a slow one for the family, so I chose rather well. With how I see Cara and my girls together today, I realize that I need to be very intentional about providing some mommy-daughter time when I’m at home. It’s too easy for men who have a homemaking wife to think that their wife and kids have had quality time together. They’ve certainly had time, but the quality is harder to come by without support. I know that there are also many times when it is helpful (and even necessary) to take the kids out to give my wife some space. The important thing will be to communicate as a couple to find the balance needed for any given day.

I’m so grateful to God for a wife who is committed to actually making a home. What she does allows me to do what I do, and what I do can and should more intentionally allow her to do what she does even better. I’m praying that God will continue to reveal ways in which I can show greater love to my wife and children as I continue through this week.

It’s actually pretty easy to set aside a week to show love and gratitude. The real challenge comes in developing a daily attitude and intent to truly love and be involved in the life of every member of my family.

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  1. […] Comments « A View from the Other Side – Day 1 […]

  2. […] is Day 3 of “trading places” with my wife during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. The following are some […]

  3. […] moved into the second half of my week in the kitchen. The following are some notes on my view from the other […]

  4. […] notes on my view from the other side continue […]

  5. […] was the final day of my “week in charge” of the food.  The following are some notes on my view from the other side from today and […]

  6. […] A View from the Other Side – Day 1 […]



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