It’s Okay: Just Take a Break

It’s Saturday, day number 18 of October’s 31-day series, and there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you. It’s not your job to do everything in the kitchen, or frankly anywhere else in your family life. You are not the only person in the world who can buy groceries or make dinner or wash those dishes piling up in the sink. Just because you want your family to eat healthy and well does not mean that you have some kind of superpower or empty schedule that enables you to do everything perfectly all the dang time.

Take a break, my friend, and enjoy the kitchen efforts of the people around you. If no one is around, give yourself a break anyway! Order a pizza or grab takeout (we LOVE this place, and we order Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Curry at least twice a month). Devour a dinner that your husband (or maybe a friend or a parent or a child) makes for you. Sit back and savor a glass of wine while they do the work.

This week, after hosting guests for six straight days and three weeks of pretty challenging personal stuff, I did some cooking but I also enjoyed being cooked for. Thursday night, my husband made us this delicious steak dinner with crispy green beans and sweet potatoes sautéed in bacon fat. And it was awesome.

I did not cook any of these items and they all tasted delicious.  There is both steak and bacon on this plate.

I did not cook any of these items and they all tasted delicious. There is both steak and bacon on this plate.

And then today, we had some bananas going bad and H whipped up a loaf of banana bread. He used this recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence, but with walnuts instead of pecans.


Is this the banana bread recipe I would have chosen if I was making banana bread? No. Does it taste even better than what I would have made because I didn’t have to bake it? YES. 100 times yes.

It’s easy for me to jump head-first into something like 31 Days in the Kitchen and think that I have to make every meal from scratch, perfectly, with low calories and high flavor and fancy photographs and never go to sleep without mopping the kitchen and dusting the china. (What china?!?) But being thoughtful about what you eat doesn’t require such extremes. And this weekend, I’m thinking about how lucky I am to have such a great kitchen partner.

Do you take on all of the cooking responsibilities in your family? Do you ever feel like you can’t cook another meal or wash another dish? And if so — what is your favorite takeout?

This post is number 18 of my #write31days project 31 Days in the Pink-Briefcase Kitchen. You can follow along with the series each day in October. An archive of posts is available here, or just click on that big button on the right sidebar.



  1. Debra Hennesy

    Great post! Confession: my husband does 90% of the cooking…he LOVES it. This week, he’s out of town…& I’m so “out of practice” my son and I have had pizza, quesadillas, and pb & j sandwiches. And I’m totally ok with that. ;-) Your hubby’s food looks amazing, BTW!

  2. marviadavidson

    Yummy! Taking a break is a great idea. For me it means being away from eating out so much and spending time preparing my own food.

    • Mary Beth

      I totally agree. Except sometimes I think it’s better if you aren’t watching while they are actually doing the cooking. I try to stay out of the kitchen and avoid offering to help unless asked. :)

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