To get fed up of this arrangement(77 Posts)
DH says he loves cooking, and most of the time he seems to, so I obviously stand back and leave him to it.
To be honest it suits me fine because I have Multiple Sclerosis and so often can't concentrate well enough on what to put together, as well as having physical difficulties with poor balance and wobbly legs. I used to cook really well before getting MS, but now I can only prepare really basic stuff and it's not great by comparison.
However recently DH has just not prepared any food, and by the time the kids are squeaking I realise it's 5pm. I ask him what he intended to do for dinner and he replies that he doesn't know, so I have to get going, totally unprepared, and usually hash together something pretty rubbish.
From time to time I have suggested he has a day or two off from cooking and if I get some warning, then I can prepare and make notes, and ensure I get something half decent on the table. When I suggest this he gets defensive and says that he really likes it and would prefer to keep going. But then after a period of time we come across the same old problem again, and I'm sick of it because I feel trapped by it.
Today I got snappy about it. I had made every effort to pull myself together and get dinner on the table (DH declined to have any) and before I could sit down to what I had prepared, he sat down at the table with a delicious looking stirfry that he'd prepared for just himself! It made my dried out microwaved salmon and rice look like the poor relation and I really resented it because it seemed really selfish of him.
AIBU to feel like this?
How selfish of him to do that and very childish too!
Blimey, how selfish and nasty. What's wrong with him at the moment then?
Could you do a rota? So he "knows" he has a break from it?
I probably should have said that he reckons it wouldn't have for eaten by the children, and they don't eat stir fry. But my point was that if they never get served it then of course they won't eat it!
A rota is what I meant when I said a day off or two so long as I get some warning
How odd. Can't you just decide on who cooks on what days? He can even choose how many, and what days. Whatever this is about, it's not about the cooking. You need some major talking I think.
YANBU. Do you think a rota would work for you both, maybe you do weekends or something so he gets a break from it and you get some warning? Sounds like he is building up resentment and it's coming out in entirely the wrong way.
Sorry cross posted. I thought you meant an ad hoc thing. Like Frogme says, you need a bigger conversation. Could you take the onus off him by doing the meal planning even if he does most of the cooking, for example? You need to get tothe bottom of it.
I get v grouchy every so often about running the whole catering side of our family too, even though DH does cook. I'm snappy for a bit, say something I regret, and get over it.
I've done it before in the past, and on my days to cook he has got something out of the freezer and said he wants to cook. I've reminded him about the rota and he has said not to worry, that he fancies it and to all fine. And it is, for a while.
Ah well, it's a kind of a relief that ianbu!
However can you prepare and freeze some food for when this happens? Vegetable pasties and most pasta sauces freeze quite well and can just be zapped in the microwave.
Agree with PP. Can you ask him to cook extra a few times and freeze it. Or have a decent pasta sauce jar on standby for desperate times! I appreciate the situation but does seem a lot of drama over dinner.
yanbu. But is there a wider issue here in that you're not communicating well? I can't imagine getting to the end of the day and no one knowing what the children are going to eat.
I do 97% of the meal planning, shopping and cooking for us and if I need a break I plan a takeaway or tell dh that I need a break, here are the ingredients/recipe etc.
it sounds like your dh isn't taking responsibility for the food but you think it is his responsibility, which doesn't necessarily mean doing all the work, but it does mean making sure everyone knows what's happening.
and frankly if I cooked a meal for the family and then dh just whipped himself up something else, I would be seriously offended. he's either part of the family or he isn't. we would have an enormous row I imagine.
I reckon he is just fed up of being expected to do all of the cooking and reckons that you could make something more appealing if you cooked more often. He might not want to ask you to cook as he might feel that you should offer to share the burden of cooking more often. Just because he is better at cooking doesn't mean that he wants to be responsible for doing all of it or having to ask you to cook when you should just be sharing the load.
Why do you need advance warning of when you are expected to cook? Surely there is food in the house if one of you needs to cook so just cook that.
You need a rota so that each of you knows when you will be cooking and so that he doesn't feel he is having to ask you to share the cooking (he shouldn't have to ask).
Maybe you could cook food you find easy to prepare and enjoy making for freezer in advance so you know you always have 1 or 2 meals there just in case.
That means if he can't/won't cook you can defrost your meal and eat?
Pre freeze some food like bolognese, chilli ect then you just have to defrost in microwave and add pasta/rice
Inthedark - did you read the OP's original post? She has MS and all the complications that go with it. My DH has MS and no longer feels able to cook. So, despite the fact that I get fed up and pissed off with cooking all the time (never been my favourite thing), I just do it! DH didn't ask for MS, he'd love to be able to do the things he always used to do. I don't bitch about it, not do it, leave him to struggle and then cook myself something better!!!
OP, YANBU, he needs to step up and get a grip. Like my DH, you didn't ask for MS, he needs to help and support you, not act like a sulky teenager!
Thank you for the suggestions to pre-prepare food and then freeze it. I used to do that when DC ate cauliflower cheese and cottage pie, but they've both stopped eating it and I don't know what to cook instead, that is freezable anyway. Pasta is hit and miss. They're at that really difficult age of between 18 months and 4.5 years old. Any suggestions would be gratefully received!
NinjaTurtle, you mentioned that you can't imagine getting to the end of the day not knowing what you're going to feed the children. I can't either, which is why I wanted a rota. That way I could plan ahead and write out my menu. Unfortunately I need to follow really stupidly simple step-by-step instructions because my brain struggles to compute when multi-tasking. You wouldn't believe I used to be an extremely efficient ward sister in my time.
However, when the cooking is done by DH, he usually plans ahead and I never ask. Except on the rare occasions that he stops planning and it becomes painfully obvious that he has no intention of cooking anything, like yesterday. However it's always around 5pm when I notice nothing is prepared and they're crying for food which isn't being prepared - or at least the 18 month old is.
Inthedark, I said yesterday that "I've done it [rota] before in the past, and on my days to cook he has got something out of the freezer and said he wants to cook. I've reminded him about the rota and he has said not to worry, that he fancies it and to all fine. And it is, for a while."
You also said that just because he is good at it doesn't mean he has to do it, and I would say two things to that. One is that it is the only thing he does, as I do all the rest (which is a whole other issue), but the other thing is that I am painfully aware of how my MS impacts on those around me and that is why I have suggested a rota in the past. I know I would have matched his cooking skills in the past but now I can't, and he know that too. Because he's good at it he's very fussy about what gets laid on his plate, which I suspect is the reason he takes back the job pronto. I never complain even when I struggle horribly with it.
You also asked why i need advanced warning of my turn to cook. It's because I have fatigue and cognition problems, so seriously struggle to follow instructions or sequence correctly. If I have warning I can slowly plan it and make sure I have all the ingredients, then make myself a list in order of the sequence it needs, and then I am able to tick off as I go and I stand a better chance of it succeeding. It probably sounds really bazaar but I suppose it's like having a type of dementia
Lara2, thank you so much for your understanding. I really sympathise with your position because I am acutely aware of how my MS impacts on DH, and I desperately try for that not to happen as much as possible. He is more lucky than you in that cooking is one of his hobbies. It's just that he doesn't like cooking for the children because they are ungrateful and leave most of it!
Wow, the stir-fry thing was incredibly selfish!
It sounds to me as if he doesn't have a clear understanding of the reality of one parent/partner having MS, and he needs to have it explained (probably repeatedly).
Your MS should impact on him, because he needs to make the same kinds of reasonable adjustments that are made in other workplaces. He should expect to adjust aspects of his life to accommodate your disability. In his case it's a moral requirement rather than a legal one, but I can't imagine how a partnership would work unless these kinds of adjustments are made.
Why didn't you see him making the stir fry if you were cooking at the same time?
Inthedark - did you read the OP's original post? She has MS and all the complications that go with it.
Yes I did read the original post. Perhaps I didn't pay enough attention to the fact that OP wrote she has wobbly legs and sometimes cannot manage to cook. I apologise for overlooking that information. I was busy thinking of my SIL who also has MS and manages to hold down a job and do things like cooking and clearing up on the majority of days but I am well aware that everyone with MS experiences different levels of symptoms and is affected in different ways.
OP does need to find ways of managing to cook though as from the sounds of it her husband is going to have days where he doesn't cook and the children will still need to be fed. As people have suggested, cooking meals on days when OP is up to it and freezing them might be the way to go. Things like stews, shepherds pie, fish pie are good at freezing and can be just popped in the oven an hour before needed.
My DH has recently developed a love of cooking and now cooks most of the family meals, he developed this when he needed to step up as I was incapacitated, however unlike the OP my condition was temporary. He now cooks and plans all the meals and if he is away on business or going to a work function he just lets me know and I step in.
To make this simple we use a calendar hung on the fridge and each week we plan who is in for which meals and what we are going to eat.
OP could you work with your DH on something similar or always have in 2 simple meals that you can prepare which a laminate step by step guide?
If my DH decided to duck out of cooking at the last minute then when I had put dinner on the table whipped himself up a stir fry I would be livid.
Would you like us to suggest you few simple dishes which are suitable for small kids?
I remember (a while ago that was!) at the age of 18 months my kids liked simple food. Plain pasta, cooked carrots and peas and perhaps an egg or a piece of chicken. Would they eat that? Not very exciting for an adult
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