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I think I might BU... dinner/childcare related

(179 Posts)
Xuli Fri 03-Feb-17 20:05:05

We have two DC, 5y and 3m.

DH does all the cooking in the house. He does it because he enjoys cooking, and enjoys nice food. On a weekend we eat as a family, but on most week nights he is at work and so me and him eat at about 8 once the kids are in bed. 5yo either eats at afterschool club or has left overs from our meal the day before.

DH cooks from scratch about 95% of the time. As in, he makes his own sauces, marinades, spice mixes etc, makes bread fresh, that sort of thing. So even if we have a relatively simple meal like grilled chicken and pittas, there's still faffing around making the spice mix and the pitta bread.

I can't really cook. I mean, I can not poison us all but it's not something I enjoy doing and as DH has done almost all of the cooking for years, I've fallen even more out of practice.

The issue is that I have to do bedtime with both kids quite regularly due to his shifts, so when he is at home I'd appreciate some help some nights. He means to help, but gets carried away cooking and then somehow I end up doing most things because the baby is crying or something.

The logic answer is to swap cooking and childcare responsibilities - BUT because I'm not a great cook and he likes fresh made food, this isn't much of an option. I can't imagine how long it would take me to follow one of his recipes, and he won't lower his 'standards' and have a jacket potato etc one night. Delaying his cooking until after the kids are bed would probably mean not eating until 9.

This is driving me barmy. We've talked about it and he understands why it frustrates me at bedtime and says he'll help, but then still ends up faffing around and I end up juggling the 5yo and the baby yet again. But - another but - I know I'm probably being U because I am fortunate to get lovely home cooked food served up most nights, without me doing any thinking, planning or cooking.

Sigh. Should I just suck up doing bedtimes myself?

thisismadness77 Fri 03-Feb-17 20:07:59

No. He needs to "lower his standards" one night. smile or make double of fresh sauces etc so you can defrost and cook on the nights he is doing bedtime. There most be somethings that he makes that he could make double?

PeppaPigTastesLikeBacon Fri 03-Feb-17 20:08:36

I would 100% rather do the bedtime over the cooking. I did once think cocking would be easier option - it wasn't.
If you want him to help do a bedtime could you not just order take out grin

thirstyformore Fri 03-Feb-17 20:08:51

Can't he batch cook one night whilst you do the kids, then have the meals re heated over the next few days (which you could do?)

debbs77 Fri 03-Feb-17 20:08:59

I'm a single mum of 6. Seriously. I'd happily be cooked for!

Helloitsme87 Fri 03-Feb-17 20:09:01

TBH yabslightlyu, I do most of the cooking 95% of the time. From scratch. I also work 30 hours a week and have a 3 y and a 1y. I do bedtime routine and bath time 6 nights out of 7 also due to my OH shifts. Cooking isn't always fun when you're knackered. But I much prefer a healthy meal from scratch. Depends what your priorities are

early30smum Fri 03-Feb-17 20:09:52

Could he maybe make some meals that can go in the freezer like bolognese etc?

Flisstizzy Fri 03-Feb-17 20:10:25

YABU, surely bed time takes less time than cooking???

TitaniasCloset Fri 03-Feb-17 20:11:20

Yanbu. There is nothing wrong with cooking a simpler dinner a couple of times a week and having him take over the bedtimes. Cooking is obviously a hobby for him and something he enjoys, whereas putting kids to bed can just be hard work. I think you need to put your foot down and cook whatever you want or even reheat batch cooking so you have more time to relax. Also the bedtimes are memories for your children and a bonding time so he is missing out and so are they.

PerpetualStudent Fri 03-Feb-17 20:13:58

Hell no YANBU! My DP is a bit like this, it drives me potty. Talk to him again, make him see it is a serious issue and maybe try and agree on something like 2 'quick' dinner nights a week.

Maybe others who don't experience this (& are writing from the 1950s) will say you are lucky etc etc, but I say it can get quite selfish and controlling. For me I have past eating disorder issues too, so sometimes it makes me really anxious when the whole evening, every evening, revolves around food.

CripsSandwiches Fri 03-Feb-17 20:14:06

YANBU. He needs to" lower his standards". It sounds like cooking is his hobbie and he gets to do it overnight while you do all the handwork. I'd just start making a simple dinner - just chuck some salmon steaks in the oven and steam some broccoli, or a jacket potato with veg and cheese, or whatever then if he insists on cooking himself a separate meal he can make it once the kids are in bed.

Alternatively could he not at least batch cook so he's only cooking every other night? Surely a spice mix can be saved then you can rub it on some chicken and chuck it in the oven?

Sandsnake Fri 03-Feb-17 20:14:31

No, you're not being at all unreasonable. He's doing a hobby every night (cooking), whilst you're doing a chore (let's face it - putting two kids to bed at the same time is a chore!). It's obviously nice that you have the lovely food as a byproduct of his hobby but he needs to reign it in.

It sounds like he's aware of that to an extent but still gets 'carried away'. I think the answer is that he just doesn't start. As pp said, it's really easy to freeze good quality meals like pasta sauce etc. - he can cook some nights and not on others. And things like making all his own bread when you have two young children is bloody ridiculous.

Surreyblah Fri 03-Feb-17 20:14:50

He is BU. He enjoys cooking and presumably you don't enjoy DC wrangling. He is treating cooking as more important than aspects of parenting and not doing a fair share of bedtimes.

You should swop and serve whatever is reasonably tasty and healthy that you can make! Complaining about your efforts would be rude. Or he can cook later once DC settled.

Squirmy65ghyg Fri 03-Feb-17 20:16:43

He sounds like he's making things complicated to opt out of the hard shit.

Surreyblah Fri 03-Feb-17 20:16:46

It's also not great for your 5yo (with a tiny baby sibling) not to have any one to one attention at bedtime (eg quiet play, chat, a story) because dad chooses to cook elaborate things every night.

Xuli Fri 03-Feb-17 20:18:31

Bedtime probably takes an hour start to finish in our house, between bath and stories and bottles.

I need to mention the batch cooking. I honestly can't think of that much that could be batch cooked - everything seems to require fresh made naan, rice that's never standard because it needs faffing with somehow, something complicated being done with the vegetables...

Basically, it's very rare that we have something simple like chili or bolognese that could just be reheated. Take outs also don't happen because he weighs up the £20 we'd spend and would much rather by some decent food and cook it himself.

Its delicious... but it's a pain in the arse sometimes.

Lesley1980 Fri 03-Feb-17 20:20:08

Why don't you eat earlier alone & on that night he can help put the kids to bed & then faff all night making whatever he fancies for himself.

A home cooked meal doesn't have to take hours. Either he makes simpler fresh meals or lowers his standards & you cook for him.

Xuli Fri 03-Feb-17 20:22:25

He tries to help but it ends up like tonight (hence me posting today).

He said he'd prep the dinner, put at least the baby to bed - the 5yo is going through an understandably clingy phase with me - and then hopefully finish 5yo's bedtime.

Instead I ended up reading 5yo a story, and making the bottle because the baby started crying, while he kept shouting from the kitchen than he was "just coming, just a minute..." hmm

PotatoWaffleCob Fri 03-Feb-17 20:25:26

I'd happily do bedtimes myself and come down to a homecooked meal! I'm quite envious.

Helloitsme87 Fri 03-Feb-17 20:27:34

A man who does all the cooking and apparently that's unreasonable. Standard Mumsnet hmm

dailybabystuff Fri 03-Feb-17 20:29:52

Firstly yes you are so lucky to have a partner who is giving you first class food every evening and clearly takes pride in it.
Secondly this is what my Millenial Offspring call, with shocking vulgarity I do not endorse, a "white person's problem"
Thirdly if you don't re-skill yourself in the kitchen soon, you are going to look pretty feeble if he falls ill one day and needs TLC
Fourthly, ditto for bedtime routine, for him - needs practice or he will be rubbish if you fall ill and the whole lot of you need TLC far beyond Gordon Ramsay's remit.
So basically you guys need to swap once a week or so and stop stressing.

PolarBearGoingSomewhere Fri 03-Feb-17 20:30:45

I think he's being very selfish. He is essentially pursuing a hobby while you do all the shit and - even worse - you have to be "grateful" because, technically, he has contributed to the running of the home... never mind that he could have done several mundane tasks in the time it takes to produce a meal. I bet you don't get to preen and "taa daa" when you clean the loo or change the beds.

He needs to come up with some quick recipes for weeknights so he can pitch in with bedtime.

llangennith Fri 03-Feb-17 20:31:12

He's cooking because he enjoys it and he'd much rather do that than the never ending chore of bedtime.
What a cop out.
You are not a bad cook. You're a normal cook.
Tell him you'll cook two nights of the week (Tuesday and Thursday?) and it'll be sausages, mash and veg.
He can indulge his passion the other five evenings.

expatinscotland Fri 03-Feb-17 20:34:34

I'd eat at 9pm then.

PolarBearGoingSomewhere Fri 03-Feb-17 20:36:15

Hello what if OP loved sewing so decided she would hand-make all the kids' clothes, for hours a day some days, while DH juggled everything else? It's very self indulgent imo. A 3 month old is bloody hard work!

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