Having a child with a chef . . . crazy . . . I know. I’ve received so many emails throughout this series from so many chefwives saying how they can somehow relate to what one of us has shared. Funny how you can instantly feel a bond with a total stranger because the circumstances in their life are so similar to yours. I love how technology can help us connect and not feel so alone!!
Today, I’d like to introduce you to another chefwife and Mom, Andrea.
Tell me a little about yourself and your spouse.
My husband and I met in college. We were best friends for 2 years before we started dating. We’ve been together for 10 years and married for 5. I work in accounting 40 hours per week at a university. My husband is a personal chef and cheese monger.
How many children do you have?
What has been the hardest part for you and your chef/husband with the addition of a little one to your family?
Finding a balance between our careers, housework/errands, and fun. Lately we’ve been letting the housework go a little to allow for more fun time with our kids. There’s just not enough hours in the day! We rarely get time to ourselves, and if we do, it’s late at night when he gets home from work and I’m exhausted from work/making dinner/getting kids in bed/random chores that need to be done.
What would you consider the pros and cons of staying home full time/working part time from home or outside the home/working full time?
Pros of part time work or full time mommy: Keeping up on housework, spending more time with my kids, being able to volunteer at their preschool, having playdates with other full time moms and their children.
Cons of part time work or full time mommy: Not having that professional part of my life, less money- couldn’t own our own home, couldn’t send our kids to a private school, couldn’t feed my family good food, would have to buy our own health insurance
Pros of working outside the home/full time: Having health/dental insurance, having a retirement fund that my employer contributes to, free gym membership, free college tuition for me and half off for my dependents, making enough money to support my family when my husband’s business is slow, meeting like-minded professional adults and learning leadership skills (although my employer is very understanding when it comes to asking for time off for Christmas programs/class parties/when my kids are sick).
Cons of working outside the home/full time: I’ve missed major developmental milestones in their lives- standing for first time, first tooth popping through the gums, first time rolling over, first loose tooth… I can’t volunteer at their school during work hours, time off is limited, I am constantly wondering what they are doing and missing them. I feel bad about not spending enough time with them or together as a family because my husband works longer hours than I do.
Any advice for young chef couples who are thinking about starting a family?
COMMUNICATE. Very important. Even more important when your husband is constantly gone/cooking/planning menus. Text, email, post it note… whatever you have to do. Without good communication, it will not work.
You will be “single-momming it” often, so get used to it. You’ll have to do a lot of things on your own, and explain when people ask why your husband isn’t there. Your kids will ask where dad is, or if he will be home before bed. It’s important that they know he loves them very much and works very hard.
Use the chef-dom to your advantage at an early age. My kids are 4 and 5 and already cook (supervised of course). They were tasting spices before age 2 and can identify ingredients by smell and taste. Teach them to appreciate food and what their father does.
It’s not going to be easy, but it’s very worth it. If you are working full time and you have a chef husband, you’ll only have a few hours a day with your kids. Make them count! Making dinner is a family affair at our house – everyone helps.
(This is Jennifer again.)
Post it note – I love that communication idea. Whatever you have to, make sure to communicate with your spouse or it will not work. Great advice which I’m sure we all know, but sometimes need to be reminded of (at least I do.)
Next Tuesday, I’ll be answering the same 5 questions as my guest chefwives have this past month and will talk about the crazy idea of living on the one income of a chef.
From one chef wife to another,
Also in the series A Chef, a Wife and a Child. . .
Coming Up in the Series . . .
More Interviews with Chef Wives/Moms