I Want to Cook Dinner
By the time my husband gets home from work, I have worked a full day at my full-time work-from-home job while also taking care of my 11-month-old and five-year-old.
By 5pm every day it looks like a tornado ripped through the house and I am overstimulated to the point that I have, on occasion, stuck my face under ice cold water in the kitchen sink for a quick refresh.
So naturally when my husband gets home from work, he is ready to jump right in and start cooking dinner. When this started becoming routine, I couldn’t figure out why I felt so stressed instead of grateful.
And that’s when I realized it’s because I want to be the one cooking.
I want to be the one with glorious, sacred, mostly-nonexistent alone time. I want to have three pans going at once with a chopping board of fresh herbs and veggies strewn about on the countertop. I want to flit about the kitchen with the freedom of someone that doesn’t have children hanging off of her body.
My husband just had a 30-minute commute home in which he probably got to listen to any music he wanted to, or sit in the silence if he wanted to, and I realized that I wanted that. I wanted a 30-minute commute of time in which no one needed me. Even if I was doing a “chore” like cooking, just as my husband was doing a “chore” of driving through traffic, it is still time to yourself in a way that would be life giving for me as a work-from-home mom.
And so I explained this to my husband, and ever since, we have started a new routine.
Cooking dinner is my 30 minute commute.
I need him to be all hands on deck with the kids when he gets home so that I too can step away and then come in with fresh energy for the evening.
It is so important to find that activity or time to be able to regulate your emotions when you’ve reached your limit. I know it isn’t available for every mom, or it isn’t available every day.
But finding solutions to being completely overstimulated can be creative and unexpected. From the outside looking in, cooking dinner may sound like an added responsibility. (Hence why my husband assumed that role initially.)
But for me, it isn’t stressful. It’s exactly what I need.
For others, it may be a quick walk around the block (even in cold temps!) before dinner, kids packed up and with you if need be. Or a steaming hot shower after the kids have gone to bed.
Whatever it is–it doesn’t have to make sense to others. But you do need, and deserve, time to unwind from a full day of mom-ing. You do need, and deserve, time to recover from some of the best but also depleting days of your life.
What great insight! I never thought about it that way, but it really is about the time of not being needed, not so much about the task! A little time of silence and not being needed by anyone often goes so much further than any pampering or indulgence.