I don’t like cooking. I find it stressful and time-consuming and difficult to plan. I am not creative and I’m no good at healthy.
My wife on the other hand finds it relaxing and inspiring. I enjoy eating her food. The only reasons she doesn’t cook everyday are that we’d spend all our money on ingredients and I would eat so much I’d actually pop. (She chronically over-caters and does tend to have a penchant for the finer delights of butter and sugar..) I regularly feel guilty about depriving her of the fun of creating fantastic meals but then I remember that work and research have to happen to and realistically no one has hours to make food everyday.
Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of B. He might not be as creative as W in the kitchen but he is willing and able to put together a meal from whatever scraps I hand out according to the budget (I am ruthless 5 days out of 7 so that W can have free reign for at least one weekend meal).
It works well not only splitting the food budget (and therefore allowing us to take advantage of some of the more bulk buy options) but also splitting the cooking Mon-Fri. Once a week W cooks for all three of us, once a week B takes that responsibility and the night of the week that I work we indulge in ready meals. That leaves 2 days where we go our separate ways (and I eat with whichever partner I am spending the evening with). It allows for quirks of individual tastes (W hates mushrooms, B can’t stand parsnips – I think they are both weird), everyone gets at least 2 nights off where they have no responsibility for preparing food and we can save money and work on being healthy together.
Don’t get me wrong its not all sunshine and jollity; it takes flexibility and lots of consultation just to put together a meal plan (so imagine for a moment the sensitivity required for other time management…). I get it wrong, pretty much every week because something will go off, or I’ll forget part of the packed lunches or a particular meeting or reason for celebrating, or I’ll forget that someone hates x or misjudge the amount of leftovers et cetera et cetera but you know what I think we are getting better…
Dividing the week up and compromising on the needs and desires of 3 adults is not everyone’s cup of tea but I enjoy having the support network that means no one has all the pressure and that everyone has a chance for their own space as well as always having an extra shoulder to cry on when those nearest are overloaded. What do couples do when 1 is ill in bed and the other hasn’t slept for 3 days and food needs to get from the shops to the table? How do more couples not collapse under the pressure of depression and chronic illness? I am thankful for my loves and my life.