Do Chef’s Get Vacation Time?

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Last week was mid-winter break for our kids AND my chef/husband took the week off!  I can’t even remember the last time that happened.  No email (OK tons of email, but email notifications turned off), only a few texts, 1 voice mail. . . I probably should go into the restaurant and corporate office and personally thank his staff for this.  🙂

So I guess the answer to the question “Do chef’s get vacation time?” is yes.

It’s not always easy to find a good time to take it.  For his restaurant, right between Valentine’s Day and the start of Dine Around Seattle was perfect.  It also happened to line up with mid-winter break for the girls!  Yeah!

So after reflecting on an amazing week as a family, here are 10 things that happened:

1.  We had so much fun together as a family!

I was a little nervous about what it would be like to have him home for a week, as there have been many times when things have been awkward, the kids have been strange toward him because they haven’t seen him much, etc. (More on this another time.)  But our week was AMAZING!!

do chef's get vacation time

2. I ate way too much!

No explanation needed.

3.  I was reminded that I’m really not a very good cook.

Of course I was comparing myself to a very successful chef, but still, I’m not a great cook.  It’s not one of my favorite things to do, although I enjoy it more now than I did 18 years ago when we first got married.  We need to eat, so I cook.  When he’s at work I don’t feed the kids Mac and Cheese from a box every night (at least not very often).  I cook a variety of different things.  The food I make tastes fine.  But the food my husband makes is AMAZING!  If he cooked every night I would eat way too much (see #2).

4.  I learned a lot.

“Why are you adding that?”  “What is that?”  “How do I fix this?” “What is missing in this recipe?”  “Oh, so that’s what that is!”  All questions I was able to ask while trying to cook (see #5) or watching him cook this week.  Hopefully I didn’t ask too many . . .

5.  When my husband is home, he no longer lets me cook.

If I asked, “Can I please make dinner tonight?” he probably would let me.  But each time I went to cook something, he just came in and eventually took over.  One time our oldest daughter asked, “Mom, why are you just standing there watching Dad make your latte?”  My response (with a smile), “Because he just came and took over.”  I don’t think he realizes he’s doing it, but it’s pretty funny.  (I do not mind at all.  It’s really not the highlight of my day – see #3).  He’s definitely more comfortable making dinner than trying to floss a 4 year old’s teeth.

6.  I enjoyed watching him parent/discipline our girls.

Wait, that doesn’t sound right.  I better elaborate on this one . . . It’s much easier to take care of and discipline 3 children when he is home.  Don’t get me wrong.  I didn’t take a vacation from parenting last week, but it was really nice to have help!

Two situations come to mind that brought a smile to my face.  First, I overheard him say, “Should you hit your sister?”  OK, I actually laughed at this one.  Good thing I was around the corner so our daughter didn’t see.  I was laughing too much to hear the rest of the conversation.

Second, to hear him remind the girls about our devotion topic at the breakfast table that morning – “O” is for Obedience.  He asked one of the girls to tell him what the Bible said about obeying and then they talked about it.  Even though the verse recited from our six year old was very familiar to all of them – Ephesians 6:1, “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right,”  it was so nice that the instruction came from him and not from me.  His words were firm, but gentle and loving at the same time.

7. We made it to church together as a family.

Between work, icy weather and sick kids, it had been a while!  This was a great way to end our week!

Dirty Chef Coats

Yes, this pile of 5 dirty chef coats from the previous week sat on our bedroom floor the entire week. I was on vacation/staycation!! (And yes they still came clean on the first wash! If you haven’t tried the Netepur Bar, you really should!)

8.  I realized I needed to go shopping for him.

When you take the chef pants and chef coats out of the wardrobe, he doesn’t own very many pants.

9.  I didn’t have to wash chef coats!

This of course is something I greatly missed doing.  Washing chef coats is the highlight of my mornings . . . and if you believe me, please read this.

10.  I was reminded of how much I love my husband and how I love to spend time with him and as a family.

Of course I already knew this, but when you have that much time together, and you really get to talk . . . I LOVED IT!!!  The day he went back to work was really hard.

So now it’s back to reality . . . long hours, finding random times to talk and eating my own food.  Have you had a vacation/staycation together lately as a family?  Leave a comment and tell me about it!

(You can read about other family vacations here.)

From one chef wife to another,




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