Challenger Kalisah is very right, there’s nothing menial (or corny) about doing things that make our families happy. And for that matter, healthy. This is a great testimonial to how taking on a cook-at-home lifestyle, even in baby steps, yields grand results for everyone in the home.
When I began to be at home during the day, I also began a conscious effort to start cooking and eating at home. Partially as a way of saving money, and partially just because I could. Eating out has been the bane of my family’s existence — and budget — for years. We literally spend more money eating out than we do on our mortgage every month. This may sound shocking to some of you, but I think a lot of you know exactly what I mean.
It’s hard when both parents work. You don’t get home until 6, 7 or later, and you don’t want to start cooking then. You want to EAT then. It very quickly becomes the norm. My poor son would ask for home-cooked meals the way most kids beg for Happy Meals. We had a constant resolve to change it, but our efforts always fell short.
But freelancing is different. Not only am I working at home, but I can make my own hours. So I can take off in the middle of the afternoon to go grocery shopping. Or cook dinner. And it’s worked out wonderfully, even for this non-cook.
I think the thing that I’m most pleased about is the amount of whole foods we’re eating, as opposed to packaged foods. Don’t get me wrong — we’ve still got a long way to go. FIVE servings of fruits and vegetables a day?? There are days (many days) we don’t get one. And I wish I could say I’m preparing more organic and locally grown foods, but that’s not really happening yet either. Baby steps, people.
My husband, who also works from home, but without the ability to make his own hours, is actually eating in the daytime for the first time in…maybe ever. Turkey sandwiches and Caesar salads and apple slices and cheese cubes. So much more healthy than his former diet of drinking coffee and diet sodas all day and eating anything he could get his hands on into the night.
The other day I was preparing to go to the grocery store, and feeling a bit like I’d hit a dead end in supper ideas. I asked Elijah, “Is there anything in particular you’d like me to cook for dinner?” And he said, “No, I really like everything you’ve been making.” I know this sounds corny and a bit simple from someone who’s spent her son’s whole life as a career woman, but I was feeling rather proud of myself at that moment. It’s often the corny and simple things we do that make our families the happiest, and there’s nothing menial about that.