Sunday, February 5, 2017

A New Dinnertime Approach: The Pioneer Woman and My Engineer

Learning to build a life with someone else seems so fantastic and simple in the movies or in the midst of planning a wedding.  The signs of what kind of work it is going to take are certainly all around, but they are easy to miss when you're just so excited about everything.  As you know, I married a great man who experiences the world vastly different than me which is not so great sometimes and creates some interesting discussions.  Like everything else, my engineer has opinions about the most efficient and effective approach to dinnertime!

Early on in our marriage he trained me to grocery shop twice a month and meal plan like a pro.  It was never intuitive to me (because what if I didn't want that for dinner when it came down to it?!), but after getting the hang of it, it helped the budget and meals run a lot smoother.  Adding children to the mix, however, has certainly decreased my brain power and motivation for things like this and being pregnant all the more.  This guy, who lives for check lists and assigned tasks, decided to engineer our dinner plans last month and as a result has given me one of the best gifts I've ever received.  He discovered Ree Drummond, known around here as The Pioneer Woman, and has tasked himself with planning our month with meals from her cook books.  So far, so incredibly good!

Honestly, when he suggested it I was afraid that he would resent me not cooking pretty quickly (because I know I would in his position!), but it's been this beautiful thing.   He loves having something to do when he gets home and I love the freedom of a little more mental breathing room.  I will usually assist or clean up after him and get his undivided attention when I talk.  The kids now know the routine and don't bother us much and it has been WONDERFUL!

Benefits So Far:
-'Couch Time' or Dad and Mom's talk about the day time has almost instantly been better respected by the kids and marriage benefits from it.
-Pregnant, homeschooling busy mom has more energy and emotional stamina.
-Dad feels accomplished for making dinner and taking a load off mom.
-Dinner is planned, yummy and good for the budget.
-Eating out isn't as much of a temptation which is good for our health and budget.

I won't always be pregnant and he probably won't always be on a cooking kick, but there is a reason I wanted to share this with you.  In marriage (or any relationship really) it's easy to jump in and fight for your rights or preferred way of doing things without looking for compromises that might look funny but actually benefit everyone.  It's taken us over 10 years to start really embracing our differences for good and I pray you can be more successful than us and do it sooner!  In doing a little inventory of our needs, this alternative approach to dinner time is producing more benefits than initially expected.  And, it is certainly old news, but the Pioneer Woman's recipes are hard to beat for yummy and easy dinners.  Everybody jumps for leftovers!

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