Monday, September 10, 2012

How Does He Do It?

I have been a stay-at-home mom for almost 8 years.  At this point, pretty much unemployable in my old profession, which is okay because I don't ever want to go back to my old profession.  I think I was pretty good at my old career, pretty resourceful, faked it, and learned a lot on the job.  Once my boss walked in and said "I need you to set up and manage our stock purchase program." and I was all, "Okay, sure, no problem." and then I went on the fledgling internet and looked up what a stock purchase plan was.  I figured it out, and it all worked fine, and I pulled that rabbit out of my hat a bunch of times over the years I worked at that place.

I've been doing this stay-at-home mom thing for longer than I had that last job, and there are things I still haven't figured out.  I have made it up as I've gone along, but there are some big chunks I've overlooked.  Maybe its all this mothering that's been distracting, or the blogging, or the facebooking, or the sitting on my ass in front of the TV.  Anyway, one thing I have never been able to learn is how to plan dinner, make dinner, eat dinner, clean up after dinner, and, above all, go grocery shopping.

My family is not starving, and we usually have eggs and milk in the fridge, and the animals all have their respective gluten-free foods, but these weeks that I've been laid up have really pointed out to me that I suck at this whole food thing.

Rob has taken over this part lately, and the man is a master.  We have food in the house!  I go to make some lunch, and there's food in the fridge that I actually want to eat!  And then I eat it!  And its good!  And then in the evening he comes home, and bangs around in the kitchen and comes out with dinner!  Good dinner!  Balanced meals even!  Vegetables!  Last night, he made cheeseburgers with tater tots and steamed broccoli (he's always looking out for my colon) and the night before he made sausages with sauteéd Brussels sprouts and bacon, and a salad. Monday night we had leftover curry that he made over the weekend, and Tuesday we had pulled pork sandwiches. Then he turns around and cleans the kitchen, and then we even have dessert!  Its a revelation!

Trader Joes has been very helpful.  He went there last weekend and stocked up, and everything looks so appetizing and easy, and he was just inspired.  We have snacks and fruit and beverages, everything normal families have in their pantries and refrigerators all the time.

I don't know why I can't do this.  I know I do not like to start cooking at 5:30 in the evening (or 6:30 like Rob does, even worse) and when I go to the grocery store I only stock up on enough things for other people's lunches for the week (never my own) and maybe what we'll have for dinner that very night.  My repertoire is pretty limited, I guess.  Rob says I can't find the middle ground between making a grand recipe requiring special cuts of meat, and having cereal for dinner.  He's right.

My favorite dinner preparation is to be inspired by a recipe I see, or the weather, or the time of year (November is chicken-pot-pie month in our house) and then go to the store, get what I need for that recipe, and spend the morning listening to music and preparing it.  Then it sits on the stove all day, melding away, and by dinner time it is delicious and wonderful, and everyone oohs and ahs.  That's what I like.  Trouble is, it ends up meaning a lot of frozen dinners and take out in between flashes of inspiration and rainy weather.

I have to work on this.  I don't really want to work on this.  I really don't like peeling myself off the couch at 5:30 and cooking.  Maybe I don't have to work on this.  Maybe I can just continue to do it my way, and hand the rest over to Rob.  He's so good at it.  He makes it look so easy.  He doesn't seem to mind it, either.  Its only been a week, though.  Eventually, he will get sick of coming home to his wife and child in a heap on the couch watching cooking shows saying, "What's for dinner?" right?

Yes, probably.  And I can't blame him.  But for right now I don't really have a choice, so I'm just going to continue licking my chops and praising him.  Tonight he has softball, so its sandwich night.  But I just got invited to a friend's house for dinner.  My friends are taking pity on me, or maybe on Rob. Its hard to tell.

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