Updated: Dec 16, 2020
Some one asked me the other day "So do you meal plan?" My reply was simply "No, I don't." Then the person went on and on about how beneficial it has been for them and how I should try it sometime. Now I realize that planning is critical to most everything and I have done meal planning in the past, but it didn't work for me. I just can't get behind meal planning, because well frankly I don't like to cook and it makes the process stressful. So why would I plan out my week or month of things I don't like to do, so that every time I look at it I go dang here we go again and get stressed out. I am no domestic goddess, I believe there is so much more to life then cooking and cleaning. But the mother in me says "guess what your kids need to eat and it needs to be healthy." Then I get more depressed about the process. Then when my husband says "Hey I will cook, just get me the ingredients or grocery list and I will do it." I am secretly saying to myself great that's awesome, but that little voice inside my head says " you are a failure and you are a terrible wife and mother for not doing the shopping and cooking." So the struggle is real. The funny part is I love to eat and I like to try new foods I don't like to eat the same things over and over again, but when I try do be creative in the kitchen everyone at home is like seriously you didn't do a good job with this meal mom. Which just reinforces my attitude towards cooking. I am a working mother and an active real estate investor so my time is limited and I prioritize my time according to the things I enjoy to do, cooking is not one. I do enjoy having family dinner time, I just hate the process of preparing the dinner and I feel this is a waste of my time, but it is such an essential part of life. This hit home for me the other day when I was sitting in an investment conference listening to the speaker and they were talking about partnerships and how you need to have one that compliments your weaknesses. Now I have heard that before and in fact it has been a real theme at most of the conferences that I attend, but for some reason this time it hit home with me and I started to think about it, because I had left my husband in charge of the three kids while I was attending the conference and guess what it all worked out fine, he even went shopping and prepared dinner, no complaints. So this partnership idea isn't just about a business partner, but works with a life partnership too and if my husband is willing to do the shopping and the cooking, which I hate why am I holding on to that responsibility so tightly and feel like I am a failure of a mother and a wife if I give up that role? I think that holding on to that responsibility only makes me worse, because I am not focusing on my strengths as a mother and a wife and only focusing on the things I think people expect me to do. But then I have the mom/wife guilt that I am not doing a good job, because I don't shop and cook dinner for my family. That I am being judged because I am not acting like a mother/wife should. But what exactly does that mean? I struggle with the idea of gender roles and that there are specific things each gender is supposed to do to make a relationship work. I in fact, don't believe that to be true, yet I feel judged if I don't do the same gender specific chores that have been carved out generation after generation. After some soul searching I realized that I am not being true to myself and my beliefs. I think that everyone is equal and there is no gender specific roles to be played out and at the end of the day every person in each relationship brings something unique to the table and we have to sit down with each other and discuss those roles and play to our strengths so that we don't end up stressed out all the time. At the end of the day if I am not the right person to be shopping for and cooking the meals then I need to let my husband take the lead and shine and I can use my strength in places that benefit the whole family and not cater to what the outside world thinks of me as a mother/wife. Of course if my husband feels that he is not the right person to do the job then we need to farm that duty out to someone whom likes to shop and cook food wether that is a home chef or eating in restaurants, but I need to hold no guilt for that. I have to be confident and comfortable with myself and know that I am not a domestic goddess and that is not where my strengths are. So instead of beating myself up and doing things half assed, just to please, well lets face it my mother, then I need to ask for help and that's okay. Moral of the story play to your strengths and not your weaknesses and let people help. Realize that you can't do everything by yourself and when you try to do all these things by yourself that a lot of them are going to be half assed and certain things will suffer for it, because you simply just don't have enough time in the day to get everything done and done right. So prioritize the things you love and ask for help on the things you don't, because frankly we don't all like to do everything, but maybe if you ask someone, they will like to do the things you don't like to do.